Well it didn’t go unnoticed. Yamaha’s Reface range of synths have stirred up quite some emotions on the web. I thought to add my impression on the Reface DX here since it’s been a long time for a new FM synth to hit the market.
The unit looks good, nice design touch on the DX Legacy. It’s small but the keys have velocity which is a nice surprise. Runs on batteries, Small speakers, USB, FX unit built in, AUX in, interesting…
But now… 4 operators. Ok, I see in the manual that you now have feedback on every operator so it should sound better than e.g. DX100… but it’s still a bit cheap for the price on which the DX is estimated. The Aux in is only for hearing music from your mobile device? no external FX signal processing? Although there are four configurable ribbon panels editing FM will still be a pain in the *. This all is a bit disappointing. I understand you can now share voices via the browser. That’s nice, but I wonder if you can edit your patches through the browser.
It looks like the hardware adds so little to the FM system that Yamaha would have been better off releasing it as a FM sound module with editing capabilities over the web or other midi controller hardware. Having FM with some good FX built in is a nice asset to any producer but it’s just a shame to pay extra for the keyboard…
Here’s a video from Sonicstate which shows you the ins and outs:
Apart from the CX5M and CX5M-II I also own a TX81Z. Why? Do you ask – I just say: “LatelyBass”!
In more words, this TX81z is a 4-Operator FM synth like the CX5M but you have the ability to change the operator waveforms itself. This allows you to make more complex waveforms with just one operator.
Matt Gregory has a very informative webpage for the TX81Z which also explains a lot about FM-Synthesis and programming; also a good read for the CX5M users: http://the-all.org/tx81z/ Anyone who also owns the TX81Z by the way is more or less obliged to have this editor.
So a while ago I got a request from Paul Deco if I could put the .vog soundfiles back online. The CX5M shares the instrument-data structure with the FB-01 so they could be handy for FB-01 users too. I’ve zipped them here
Now, In the previous version of this site there was also a .VOG decoder. I’ve been working on that too so you can see what sounds are inside the .VOG files (typically 48 instruments per file). I have not made the file uploader for that decoder in this new CX5M site (a bit worried about security since the contact form is already spammed now and then) but you can browse through some instruments. You can click on the links below and see how the sound parameters are setup. WARNING: It’s a load of numeric stuff if you’re not into FM programming…