Category Archives: Yamaha TX81Z

Roland Juno-106 bought, JX-8P and TX81Z sold

Today I bought a Juno-106 in very good condition. It works perfectly, cosmetically I would say it’s 8/10. Selling the JX-8P was a bit hard for me, but I believe four JX-engines are enough. I can still get the same sounds on the JX-10 and MKS-70. The TX81Z has Lately Bass, but it’s nothing compared to the TX-816. If it wasn’t for the lack of rack space I’d probably kept the TX81Z.

Back to the Juno-106 – my first impression is that it sounds very early 80’s, and that’s something good. My second impressions is how simple it is to program with it’s sliders and simple structure. It’s obvious that the Juno-106 was engineered before the FM boom and that it’s analog and proud of it. Compare this to the JX that has a lot of presets that mimics

DX7 presets like marimba and electric pianos. The JX is like an ashamed analog that wanted to be born digital! All respect to the JX – it is a great analog whether it wanted to be or not back in the mid 80’s! It’s just a matter of programming, and that matter is actually the second problem with the JX. The Juno has very hands on programming, the JX uses buttons and menus, if you want sliders you have to get the overly-expensive PG-800 programmer or a Behringer BCR-2000. The BCR-2000 works great, but it’s still not the same thing.

The reasons explained above are the reasons the Junos are more expensive than JXs. Remember, that when new, the pricing was the other way around! The JX is technically more superior with it’s two oscillators per voice, more high end and more complicated. It’s this complicity that is the problem! I like them both – in different ways!

Just An Illusion, Oberheim DMX + Yamaha TX81Z

A quick test playing the bass line from Just An Illusion on the Yamaha TX81Z. On the original recording the bass is from a Roland SH-1000, played manually without any sequencer at all. I noticed that the Lately bass was quite similar even though it’s an FM-synth. I especially like the “rubber” touch of the sound. Since the original was done without sequencing, I decided to do that as well. And it’s actually very hard, I’m impressed by Tony Swain’s tightness. The velocity controls the filter on Lately Bass, so it’s important no too hit the keys to soft or hard.

The drumbeat on this recording is from the Oberheim DMX, I don’t know what’s used on the original record. You might recognize the DMX sound from Into The Groove, especially with the reverb on the clap.

Effects used:
Lately Bass = Logic standard chorus plug, a bit of eq
DMX Clap = Logic Gold Verb
Everything else is vanilla. Recorded on three channels through the preamps on an RME Fireface 800.

Note that I used the Facetime cam on my MacBook to record this since couldn’t find the tripod for my Canon DSLR. Unfortunately, Photo Booth records with variable frame rate, which makes the audio/video sync unstable, especially noticeable in the last clip.