No-one can underestimate the effect the DX7 had when it was released in 1983 - it totally changed everything!

It offered a completely new form of synthesis and offered 32 exquisitely prepared presets (with the option of a memory cartridge to expand the total number of sounds further) that turned everyone's understanding of 'a synthesiser' on its head.

Sparkling electric pianos, totally realistic tuned percussion such as marimbas, vibes, glockenspiel plus thoroughly authentic harpsichords (complete with a note-off 'thunk' so characteristic of the real thing) and much, much more including 16-voice polyphony at half (or less) the price of a rival 5- or 8-voice polyphonic analogue synth!

It was understandably an overnight success and spawned a myriad of offshoots. Originally there was just the DX9 but there were countless DX variations over the ensuing years until FM synthesis lost it flavour.

But however popular the DX was in its time, its synthesis method was almost impenetrable to all but the most determined programmer. Using a technique known as FM SYNTHESIS invented by Dr John Chowning, it involved learning about operators, modulators, carriers, algorithms, frequency modulation ratios and more..... just as most of us had got our heads around oscillators, filters and envelopes!!

Also, because of the sheer number of parameters involved in this new-fangled synthesis method it was unfeasible to have knobs and sliders for every function and so the the DX7 was the first (?) parameter access user interface on a synthesiser making it even more impenetrable. As a result, a huge market grew providing cartridges with preset sounds that rarely (if ever) got tweaked.

Along with 8-bit drum machines, the DX7 became the musical backdrop for the '80s with tinkly Fender Rhodes and metallic slap bass impersonations dominating the music of that era. It also (temporarily) marked the end of analogue synths as people went down the FM route and any 'analogue' product released around the same time was almost doomed to extinction.

Thankfully, in these enlightened times, FM sounds can sit alongside analogue synths and samples quite comfortably and Nostalgia contains a good collection from the original.