Synth VSTs are one of the most wonderful things about music production these days.
Powerful, expensive synthesizers can now be accessed in your digital audio workstations right away.
And the best thing is that most of them are available as free to download plugins for Windows and Mac.
Software synth plugins are amazing for everything.
There are many VST emulations of famous synths.
One of the most popular is the one for Yamaha DX7 FM synth.
Dexed is a free emulation of the classic synth and helps produce the most loved piano sound from the 80s.
In this review, we take a closer look at Dexed VST for Yamaha DX7 and discuss some key aspects of the plugin.
We also learn how to get started with it.
Dexed VST Review – Updated 2021
A multi-format, multi-platform plugin synth modeled on the famous Yamaha DX7, Dexed is aimed at offering a tool for the original FM synthesizer.
It is also a midi cartridge manager for the synth.
The freeware FM synthesizer puts all the classic functions and sounds of the original Yamaha synth in a modern, easy to use package.
Dexed VST is designed to make the classic 6-operator FM synthesis much more comprehensive and easy to program than it was with the hardware.
The emulation is so accurate that this VST can load all the DX7 presets.
The instrument features are quite similar to those of Yamaha DX7 with additional benefits of being a software synthesizer.
If you have a SysEx manager and DX7 patch editor, the plugin allows loading the Yamaha DX7 presets.
It can easily work with the native DX7 with support for DX7 input and Sysex messages and allows changing controllers.
You can load or save any DX7 SysEx program and save any program into different SysEx files. It comes with a compilation of 1024 programs.
- Multi-format and multi-platform
- 144 parameters available on a single panel
- Operators have real time meter to show the status
- Support for DX7 input and output messages
- The sound engine is closely modeled on the characteristic of the original synth
Yamaha DX7 VST – What You Should Know?
Yamaha DX7 was a synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation and was the first digital synthesizer to get success by selling more than 200,000 units.
It was one of the best-selling synthesizers in the world history and its presets had become the staples of the pop music of the 80s.
Famous artists like Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, A-ha, Kool & the Gang, Billy Ocean, Kenny Loggins, and others used it.
Highly popular was its electric piano sound which was specifically employed in power ballads.
The digital DX7 had chilly, glassy, harsh sounds with brightness and richness as compared to the warm and fuzzy sounds of analog synthesizers.
The preset sounds consist of ‘plucked’ and ‘struck’ sounds and it could produce sixteen notes at the same time.
It was the first-ever synthesizer featuring liquid crystal display and allowed name patches.
Dexed Tutorial – Getting Started
Getting started with Dexed and using the classic DX7 presets is easy.
You just need a DAW and Dexed for Windows, Linux, or Mac in VST and AU formats for free installation.
As soon as you load Dexed in your workstation, you see your synth’s interface.
The bottom left area displays the name of the patch loaded at the time.
You can check the presets by clicking the up and down arrows at the right of the patch name or view the entire list of presets by clicking on the patch name.
To make your sound, click on the ‘INIT’ button at the left of the patch name to initialize the synth.
The patch that is initialized will play a simple tone.
On playing the synth, the level meter of the first oscillator gets active.
The level knobs for other operators are at their minimum levels.
At the middle bottom of the interface, you can see the Algorithm panel that shows the operator organization.
This works by routing the operators to the synth’s output when an operator on the bottom row is voiced.
Other operators above them are not heard directly but used to modulate the pitch of the operators below.
Best Dexed VST Presets
Dexed VST presets are some of the most loved sounds.
The most famous FM synth sound is the cheesy e-piano sound which was abundantly used in the hits in the 80s.
Dexed VST is a free emulation of the synth but works great at producing the classic e-piano sound of the DX7.
A large number of recognizable sounds can be found in Dexed including the perky MARIMBA, the iconic E-Piano, the atmospheric TUB BELLS, deep house organ E.ORGAN and the funky BASS.
These are among the most-loved presets ever created.
The amazing free synth VST is ideal for producing percussive sounds like mallets, tines, aggressive distorted basses, and icy pads.
There are thousands of readily available Dexed VST presets that can be loaded easily to start playing.
This means you don’t need to know how to program a DX7.
You can download DX7 patches in SysEx format and Dexed can import them easily.
The most classic DX7 sound is the Rhodes electric piano simulation with FM synthesis.
This sound is used in all the jazz and pop ballads from the 80s.
During the 80s, DX7 was greatly used for digital metallic, slappy, or punchy bass sounds.
A popular sound in pop hits was a mix of electric piano patches and FM electric basses.
Chime sounds, church bells, and tubular bells are quite famous and used a lot in the time of DX7 as these synthesizers could imitate these sounds more realistically.
A lot of albums used DX7 to produce sounds like “marimba”, “FM metallic synclav”, “xylo” and “hybrid electric guitar/clavinet”.