Ken Shirriff Breaks Open The Yamaha DX7

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For higher or worse, this synthesizer was king within the Nineteen Eighties music scene. Positive, there had been synthesizers earlier than, however none acheived the sudden reputation of Yamaha’s DX7. “Tackle Me?” “Freeway to the Dangerzone”?  That harmonica solo in “What’s Love Bought to Do With It?”  All DX7. This synth was in every single place in pop music on the time, and now we are able to all get some perception from looking at this de-capped chip from [Ken Shirriff].

To be clear, by “look” that’s precisely what we imply on this case, as [Ken] is reverse-engineering the YM21280 — the waveform generator of the DX7 — from images. He took round 100 images of the de-capped chip with a microscope, composited them, after which analyzed them painstakingly. The element in his report is exceptional as he is ready to present particular person logic gates because of his highly effective microscope. From there he can present precisely how the chip works down to every particular person adder and array of reminiscence.

[Ken]’s hope is that this work improves the understanding of the Yamaha DX7 chips sufficient to construct extra correct emulators. Yamaha stopped producing the synthesizer in 1989 however its ubiquity makes it a preferred, if area of interest, platform for music even at present. After all you don’t want a synthesizer to make glorious music. The following popular culture pattern, grunge, primarily was a insurrection to the 80s explosion of synths and neon colours and we’ve seen some distinctive methods of exploring this period of music as effectively.

Due to [Folkert] for the tip!


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