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The Yamaha TX81Z is a rack-mounted (keyboard-less) frequency modulation music synthesizer, which was released in 1987. Unlike previous FM synthesizers of the era, the TX81Z was the first to offer a range of oscillator waveforms other than just sine waves, conferring the new timbres of some of its patches when compared to older, sine-only FM synths. The TX81Z has developed a famous reputation, largely based on some of its preset bass sounds. A keyboard version with more onboard editing abilities was released the following year as the Yamaha DX11.

The unit is multitimbral, and has 128 ROM voices, 32 editable voice slots, and 24 editable Performance memories.

The RAM slots were rarely utilized due to the perceived high quality and usability of the original patches and the difficulty of programming new sounds with the limited front-panel interface. Among the presets is the famous LatelyBass, one of the most popular presets in synthesizer history.

The TX81Z is backwards-compatible with sound patches developed for Yamaha's DX21, DX27, and DX100 synthesizers. It is also very similar, and almost completely patch-compatible, to the DX11 synthesizer, which is essentially a TX81Z with a velocity and pressure-sensing keyboard, and a pitch envelope.


What's in your digital synth collection??????

Yamaha RY30 Yamaha TX81Z ESQ-1 VFX-SD TR-626 TR-707 Machinedrum UW mkI (coming soon)

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Digging for '76:14' clues...

...early 90s :) Gear wise it was - A Casio FZ-1 - Akai S950, Juno 106, SH101, Jupiter 6, Yamaha TX81Z which i still have and it still works :) Piano/Rhodes ish sound in Obselon minus is that. Kawai K1, We were trying to get the depth of Vangelis but didn't have a CS80, actually...

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dead looking

If I eventually decide to buy a new synth, that most likely is going to be a rack. I am trying to unload and declutter my living room, and rack synth definitely helps to optimize space. I am wondering, why there are not so many (if any) new rack synths available these days?

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