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Yamaha RX Series Drum Machines
Old 2nd June 2012
  #1
Yamaha RX Series Drum Machines

I'm interested in getting more information on the Yamaha RX series drum machines from the mid to late 80's. What are the differences? Which are the most basic and most advanced? What was the time line of their release? What are all the models? So far I've identified there was the RX5, RX7, RX15, and RX21. Any others? My first keyboard was a Yamaha PSS-680. I've always had a soft spot for the drums in it. Which of the RX's might have the same drum sounds as a PSS-680? Thanks for the info!
Old 2nd June 2012
  #2
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
Not all of them have individual outs. I know for sure that the RX-11 and RX-5 have them.

They all pretty much have the same sounds. Also you can adjust both the attack and decay as well as the pitch. It doesn't have traditional step sequencer programming, but use the pad method. You tap out your beats.

I've seen RX-11's go for around $70-90 on ebay, but there is this crackhead trying to sell one for $265.
Old 2nd June 2012
  #3
i had the rx11 back in the 80's and they upgraded to the rx 5...i bought one of those again in 2010 as i had such fond memories of it.

rx11 was built in sounds, no external add on cartridge to expand the sound set

rx 5 shipped with a cart of 28 sounds plus the ones in the actual unit and i had 4 additional carts back in the 80's

both rx11 and rx5 had individual outs
both did NOT have velocity sensitive pads
rx5 was 12bit with 16bit d/a converters
there was no overlap in samples from one another in regards the rx 11 and rx5

rx11 had a really nice slack snare amongst the choices of snare...i think it had maybe 4 or 5 snares in all...it's been a long while since i used one!

the rx 15 , rx21 and rx 11 were from the same master sample collection

rx 5 and rx 7 are from same sample collection


timeline

rx11, rx15 rx21

then rx5

then rx7 [rx 7 had many of the samples from the carts but only stereo outs and no cart slot]

rx5 gives you the ability to reverse any sample, pitch it up/down...set pitches for a sample over the top 12 keys so you can write a tune with them for example if you with without a midi keyboard...it can recieve and record velocity data but the pads are not velocity sensitive [unlike the korg ddd1]

you also have a damp button to stop a sample playing for example to choke a crash cymbal
you have adsr envelopes for samples...no filter though.
you can edit a sound per hit in a sequence
the rx5 has hardware volume faders for the 12 outputs
Old 2nd June 2012
  #4
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Headz51230's Avatar
 

I have a rx5 inc on Monday with the jazz and Latin Rom cards, pretty pumped.

Sent from my PG06100 using Gearslutz App
Old 3rd June 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai View Post
RX-5
It doesn't have traditional step sequencer programming, but use the pad method. You tap out your beats.
RX-5 does in fact have some sort of step recording mode
...although it is not the Roland mode.

As far as sounds are concerned, personally i think that the sounds are not really that interesting unless you radically modify them, using the many parameters that you get to play with.
Otherwise they fall squarely into the "trying to sound like real drums" camp and are not really suited for modernish electronica.
Old 3rd June 2012
  #6
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Headz51230's Avatar
 

Well it does have asdr and pitch control so that's cool.
Edit I see that's been covered extensively already :beer:

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Old 3rd June 2012
  #7
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UpNSmoke's Avatar
 

it's the user, not the gear

Old 3rd June 2012
  #8
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Don't forget to include the RX21L a sort of answer to Roland's TR-727 although the sounds aren't as good, sounds include cuica, and the RX17 which is a combined RX21 and RX21L
Old 3rd June 2012
  #9
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Liquid Legacy's Avatar
 

Was offered a RX5 (the best of the bunch imo) for 260 euros a while back. I kinda regret turning that down so I'll pick one up if I ever see one for sale again. Seems like a well-featured drum machine with a recognizable sound (I've heard it on quite a few famous 80s recordings).
Old 3rd June 2012
  #10
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flat's Avatar
My only real dabbling into the RX world was an RX21. I'll be honest and say it was the most mediocre sounding drum machine I have ever used. It was appalling Even worse than those awful Korg DDM-110s.

Having said that, my friend had an RX15 + CX5M setup and that seemed to sound much tighter.
Old 3rd June 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquid Legacy View Post
Was offered a RX5 (the best of the bunch imo) for 260 euros a while back. I kinda regret turning that down so I'll pick one up if I ever see one for sale again. Seems like a well-featured drum machine with a recognizable sound (I've heard it on quite a few famous 80s recordings).
260 € does sound slightly excessive to me.
Old 3rd June 2012
  #12
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Liquid Legacy's Avatar
 

Yeah, that's why I turned it down. But considering how rare it is that these fellas show up on the second hand market where I live, AND the fact that everything is way more expensive here (including used stuff), it wasn't such a bad deal after all. If another one pops up at around 200 I'll jump straight on it
Old 3rd June 2012
  #13
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I had a Yamaha RX5 and it seemed to be a pretty cool machine, but I just end up sequencing with other equipment (mainly my Nord Modular G2X and EMU XL7), but the sounds were actually pretty nice.

When I decided to get a Dynacord ADD One, it seemed it was wise to let it go, despite I saw one for a nice price a while ago and must say I felt tempted to get it...

The worse part is that it is a bit too big... :(

Ended up selling it for a bit over 100 euros (I think I got 325 euros together with a Yamaha RY30, which is a lovely machine too, by the way).


By the way, are there any differences between the RX5 and the PTX8 in terms of sound and editing capabilities?
Was thinking of getting one of those to use with my Dynacord ADD One pads, and even to use it as sampling material to the Dynacord...



To Liquid Legacy - If you want good drum sounds, I have a Simmons SDS9 complete kit for sale here in Oslo for a nice price
Really good electronic drum sounds, but it's just way too hard to take it back home and now I don't have enough space here to keep it...
Just contact me if you are interested.
Old 3rd June 2012
  #14
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Martin78's Avatar
 

i have rx7
it has all sounds of rx5 plus some more

but you don't have individual outs

very good source for rx5 sounds
Old 3rd June 2012
  #15
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FabGear's Avatar
My first drum machine was the RX15. I soon added the RX21L. Sold them both when I bought the RX5 new. Still have the RX5.

In addition to 12 individual outputs the RX5 has a volume control slider on each channel. Each sound can be assigned to a different MIDI channel. When programmed from a MIDI keyboard you can record multiple tunings of the same sound with velocity control. There are a few instrument sounds like Slap Bass and Clavinet so you can add some instrumental patterns along with the rhythms.
Old 3rd June 2012
  #16
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I had the 21 as well. Not great sounding but I was able to do a lot with it back in the day. It was my first drum machine. I thought it had velocity sensitive pads... but I could be wrong.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want one of these in 2012. If you crave the sound find a sample set and be done with it. None of them were anything all that wonderful in terms of functionality and the sound is easily captured.

Yamaha RX Series Drum MachinesYamaha RX11 Drum Machine WAV Samples Pack CD | eBay
Old 3rd June 2012 | Show parent
  #17
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paugui View Post
By the way, are there any differences between the RX5 and the PTX8 in terms of sound and editing capabilities?
I think they're the same.

The RX7 is somewhat more advanced, with polyphonic sounds and LFOs. But it loses the RX5's faders and individual outs. Most 80s Yamaha stuff (RX11 through RX8, and lower end keyboards) shared the same basic drum samples. But the samples in the RX5/RX7 are edited slightly to permit looping, and some other models had lower quality samples.

The RX11 was the first model, it's perhaps more punchy in a Linn Drum sort of way, but the sounds aren't editable. The strength of the RX5 and RX7 is that amplitude, pitch, attack and decay can be edited per hit.

The lower end models (RX8, RX15, RX17, RX21, RX21L, RX120) probably aren't worth bothering with.

Here's mine:
Old 3rd June 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 

I seem to remember on my RX-5 that you could turn off the looping of the sounds. That made it cool for industrial type drums.
Old 3rd June 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpnutt View Post
I seem to remember on my RX-5 that you could turn off the looping of the sounds. That made it cool for industrial type drums.
Not only that, but the looping is quite audible. What should be a long "booooooommmm" on a bd turns into "boooom - oom - oom - oom " clattering type of noise.

So it is a good thing that you can turn it off.
And no, you cannot set your own loop points on the RX-5 as some people seem to believe.


And, totally unrelated to the above, one of the most interesting parameters on the RX-5 is that you have a programmable pitch bend ( 2 octaves up or down, and time parameters) you can apply to your drums - makes for some weird effects and can alter a drum beyond recognition.
Old 4th June 2012
  #20
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Headz51230's Avatar
 

Old 4th June 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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Headz51230's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpNSmoke View Post
it's the user, not the gear

that is bad ass
Old 6th June 2012
  #22
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Martin78's Avatar
 

hi-quality sample pack from my rx7:
Yamaha RX7 complete sample pack | Martin78.com
Old 18th June 2012
  #23
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The Hamburglar's Avatar
 

I just ordered a mint in-box RX5. I think its thin but punchy sound should pair nicely with the modular...also a fun sketchpad and toy to play with.
Old 25th June 2012
  #24
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The Hamburglar's Avatar
 

First impressions...

This thing sounds pretty great. Kick, low toms, claps, and shakers are the early stand-outs. Turning down the decay on the toms and snare make them sound a lot tighter and less 'we're trying to sound like a real drum kit.'

I haven't tried the step edit pattern mode but I'm a real-time pattern programmer and it's pretty quick chaining them together.

It is really tragic though that, unless I'm wrong, you have to stop the pattern from playing to do pretty much anything, especially sound editing.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase. I can't wait to sample it into the ASR-10 when that arrives later this week...

Also, it's really fascinating how much different, and better, it sounds than samples I had downloaded and was running in Maschine. They sound basically the same but punchier / more pronounced.
Old 25th June 2012
  #25
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blinky909's Avatar
i picked up an RX5 a few years ago - it gets very electronic sounding. not everyone is doing dance music, albeit the RX5 has been all over some Detroit techno stuff over the years.

if you take the time to explore the depths of what it can do, you will be rewarded. sure at first blush the sound set is dated, but what sample playback instrument isn't dated? the tools are just tools, it's how you use them.
Old 25th June 2012
  #26
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SampleScience's Avatar
 

I have the Yamaha RX21, the drum kit on it (I think there's around 8 sounds) sounds very bad, even with effects & EQ it's problematic! Despite this I managed to make one good track using only the RX21 & a EQ to "filter" the sound.

Inmy opinion the most interesting model of the RX series is the RX5. The cool demos we can hear on youtube proves that. But I think they are selling for way to much money, in my city I can get one for 200$...
Old 25th June 2012
  #27
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The Hamburglar's Avatar
 

I got my RX5 for 185 shipped and I've seen them go for closer to 100 recently. There are just the usual assholes who keep relisting items at exorbitant prices in the hopes that some sap willing to pay whatever will just order it out of convenience.

Also, I failed to mention how comically enormous this thing is.
Old 26th June 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hamburglar View Post
Also, I failed to mention how comically enormous this thing is.
it's about the size of an MPC 2000XL, which mine is right next to. as for price, i paid $200 for mine and feel it was worth the price. it is a refreshing sequencer to use after being crippled by the x0x 16 step affair.
Old 9th October 2015 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 

Hello everybody!
Here laid out a small video review of its collection of drum machines Yamaha RX.
Now I'm interested mapping of sound samples.
I he began to decipher the model RX-5. Many is understand, but there are unknown moments.
Where can I see a complete specification?
Old 25th March 2016
  #30
Here for the gear
 

RX11 issue

Hi,
I own a RX11 which stayed in the closet since... 1996, and of course it doesn't work any more.
After a reset procedure : Red digit shows : 8r (after been plug for 1 week) and LCD screen shows (half screen) black squares.

Battery did not leak (but have to be changed IMO)

Any comment would be welcome.
Thanks
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