In 1987, Yamaha released yet another variation on their FM theme in the form of the 1U rack mounting TX81Z. Derived from the DX21, it offered 8-voice polyphony and was multi-timbral.

With just four operators (compared with the DX7's six), it offered less flexibility in some respects but unlike the DX7 (and other variations on the product range), it offered waveforms over and above the sine waves present in earlier manifestations of FM. The multi-timbral facilities also elevated it above other Yamaha FM synths but with only 8-voice polyphony, its application was limited.

As you can tell from the photo above, programming was a tedious affair with many pages and screens to scroll through but as compensation, it did come with a good complement of presets that were, in many cases, surprisingly good and not what you might expect from a budget FM module.

One such preset was called 'Lately Bass' and if I'd got a dollar for every request I have received for this particular sound, I might not be worrying about CD sales!! For some reason that I don't understand, this one sound has been requested over and over again by many, many people across the world.

Well, once again, regular Hollow Sun contributor, Louis Van Dompelsaar has come to the rescue and has carefully multi-sampled the sound from his TX81Z. Not only are they full-length multi-samples with no looping but each one is also velocity crossfaded to emulate the original that had velocity based tonal variation but no amplitude variation thus giving a robust bass sound that will underpin a track nicely with a solid LF foundation.

I am extremely grateful to Louis for taking the time to donate this obviously popular sound.