by Chadwick Wood
March 17th, 2020
Here's a bank of 32 FM drum patches designed for the Yamaha DX7 and related synthesizers, available for free download. In the bank you'll find some kicks, snares, claps, hats, and other percussion sounds. The sound bank is compatible with the DX7, TX7, DX7ii, TX802, and TX816. The sounds were designed using Patch Base, but the enclosed SysEx files can be sent to your synth using any SysEx transfer program (such as Sysex Librarian on Mac, MIDI-Ox on Windows, or Sysex Base on iPhone or iPad).
For TX802/DX7ii owners, there's a bank file for the Voices with the same sounds as the DX7, but also including the extra voice data that the TX802 and DX7ii support.
And for TX802 owners, there is also a Performance bank, where I've made 3 separate drum kits set up as Performances, with each separate drum sound on its own MIDI Channel (1-8). The 3 kits are set up to all route audio through both Outputs I and II, and then the "(split)" versions of the kits break the sounds into separate outputs (some on I, some on II) for separate audio processing.
Here are some examples of the drums in use. All of these are played by the TX802, sequenced in real-time, with the audio coming from the combined I and II outputs. I ran one of the outputs through a little chorus and reverb to add some space to the mix.
The DX7 is a tricky synth to design traditional drum sounds for. So, you get some (hopefully) interesting near-misses in attempting to create typical drum machine sounds using FM. A lot of the sounds are velocity sensitive so you can be more expressive with them. Some of them respond to different notes (pitch), and some are a fixed pitch.
If you use the sounds and have any feedback about them, please let me know. I may update this bank in the future.
p.s. If you're looking for more DX7 sounds, take a look at our Yamaha DX7 Resources page.