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The Obscure Yamaha V50 vs DX7 Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
The Obscure Yamaha V50 vs DX7

So I'm a huge fan of classic 80's DX7 sounds and was thinking of picking up a reface DX to get into FM synthesis, but a rare little Yamaha V50 popped up near me for about $110. Seems like a decent deal to me, but I can't find much on the synth online. So I have a few questions I hope someone can answer:

1)The sequencer looks like its based off loops which is something I'm very much into. I really wasn't a fan of the linear sequencer on the T3EX and M1. Can someone confirm that I can use loops and maybe use it to sequence some other hardware synths of mine.

2)Now onto the sounds, I mostly want it for the Leads, Basses and Electric Pianos. Very classic FM stuff that I can use for synth pop, synth wave, and 80s rock stuff.

3)I'm very used to my Korg T3 keybed, which is the same as the DX7's, so would the V50 also be the same keybed? If not, how would you rank it?

If anyone has any tips or any advice on whether to buy or not do let me know.

Thanks in advance! Cheers!
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 

It's Fm with 4 op, efx and seq. Very good fm sound, very decent keyboard. Terrific look, imo (i'm a fan of those old yami synths). You can seq external expanders via midi, and the seq is very intuitive. The only twist, if i remember correctly (it was my first synth) is no velocity in the seq. At $110 i buy it in a heartbeat.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
I remember lusting after the V50 of those when I was a kid. Still think it’s a great looking thing but sadly never got to play one.

For $110 I am sure you could resell it without a loss if you didn’t get on with it.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

In some ways the v50 has even more sonic capabilities than a DX7. Calling it ‘just a 4-op’ fm synth doesnt do it justice
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
robotunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
So I'm a huge fan of classic 80's DX7 sounds and was thinking of picking up a reface DX to get into FM synthesis, but a rare little Yamaha V50 popped up near me for about $110.
Great price. Get it. It helps if the disk drive works but you can get by without it. Watch out for buttons that either double trigger or take a couple of presses to respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
I can't find much on the synth online.
It's pretty much 2 TX81z synths with cleaner output, a sequencer, RX17 drum samples, and some bad effects by today's standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
1)The sequencer looks like its based off loops which is something I'm very much into. I really wasn't a fan of the linear sequencer on the T3EX and M1. Can someone confirm that I can use loops and maybe use it to sequence some other hardware synths of mine.
Loops are for the drums only. The other tracks are linear sequencing with realtime or step recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
2)Now onto the sounds, I mostly want it for the Leads, Basses and Electric Pianos. Very classic FM stuff that I can use for synth pop, synth wave, and 80s rock stuff.
I could be wrong, but wasn't that music made mostly with analogs? You can certainly make synth pop, synth wave and 80s rock stuff with the V50, but to thicken it up I'd recommend layering and detuning two patches (for 8-note polyphony) or layering and detuning 4 patches (for 4-note polyphony). Sounds really juicy then, depending on your programming chops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
3)I'm very used to my Korg T3 keybed, which is the same as the DX7's, so would the V50 also be the same keybed? If not, how would you rank it?
Nice keybed with easy-to-control aftertouch. Feels like it's on the level of the DX7II keybed but I'm going by memory since I sold the DX7II some years ago. But playing the V50 just now next to the SY77 they feel quite similar in quality, with the 77 having a little more spring.

The V50 isn't a throwaway. Feels solid and giggable.

It started life as the V80, which Yamaha showed at NAMM in '89 I think and claimed it would be its new flagship synth. But it never went into production, as the D50 and M1 were making FM sound dated. Yamaha scaled back the V80 a bit and released it as the V50 instead then turned its attention to making the SY77 and released it in '91 I think as the ultimate FM synthesizer. So the V50 has a proud heritage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danu1997 View Post
If anyone has any tips or any advice on whether to buy or not do let me know.

Thanks in advance! Cheers!
Don't hesitate. Get it.

1) If you have a Windows computer, get the free software P-farm. Feed it two V50 patches that you like and it will produce 30 genetically related patches. Delete the ones that are redundant or not to your taste then hit enter again. All this takes only 5-10 minutes. Keep doing this till you have 32 patches that you really like, then save them to the V50. Repeat the process two more times and in about a half-hour you'll have 96 patches that you really like, enough to nearly fill the 100 user presets.

2) You don't have to learn FM programming. The V50 / TX81z / DX11 sound best when you layer and detune patches in what Yamaha calls a performance. Now that you have 96 that you really like, you should be coming up with some really nice layered performances. You can save 100 of them.

3) The drums have a nice '80s crunch to them. I think they pound pretty good, and samplers really love them. I like to sample them and distort them a bit and give them some reverb to make them sound HUGE.

4) A couple of really nice tricks are alternate assign mode and chord memory. Check out the manual for more info.

5) As with any FM synth, garnishing the V50 with chorus/phaser, delay and reverb really emphasizes certain harmonics and makes your patches sing.

The V50 is my favorite 4-op (until I get a Digitone one of these years). It's quick, versatile and fun, and I've quickly created an entire album's worth of music with just the V50 and the RS7000. And enjoyed doing it.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I wasn't familiar with the V50 so I just looked it up... I'd say GET IT. Looks like a cool underrated 4-op FM synth... basically an upgraded DX11 with twice the polyphony, some cool sequencing features, a drum machine and effects added. It also has the pitch and mod wheels to the left of the keybed instead of above like on the DX11.

If you don't end up gelling with it, toss it on eBay and make twice what you paid for it... that's just judging from the eBay listings showing up underneath this thread.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
silent5's Avatar
 

If you haven't seen this, see this.



Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the info guys that was really helpful! Big shoutout to Robotunes for the elaborate post. I think its a good deal at 110, gonna try and bargain a little more to see where it goes but I'll probably end up buying it.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Done deal at 100 bucks with delivery. Should be here within a few days, I'll let you guys know how I get on with it. :D
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