Synth DB

The Ultimate Synthesizer Database


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Yamaha | DX11


The DX11 was released in 1988, four years after the DX7 hit the market. The DX11's synthesis and sound quality is classic DX-style FM synthesis using 4-operators per voice. The DX11 has one major advantage over the DX7 and other older DX-synths, however. The DX11 offered 8-part multitimbrality, whereas older DX synths were monotimbral. The DX11 is essentially a keyboard version of Yamaha's first true multitimbral FM synthesizer, the TX81Z rack module. It seems it was called Yamaha V2 in Japan.

The DX11's multitimbral features allowed you to spread various sound patches across different areas or "zones" of the keyboard. It also allowed for complex ensemble performances using external sequencers or while playing live using "Performance" patches. Also added were some Quick Edit functions so you don't have to delve into the complexity of FM synthesis to make a few simple tweaks. These quick edits affect the tone, envelope attack and release times. Unfortunately there are no on-board arpeggiators or sequencers.

The DX11 is only 8-voice polyphonic. A standard DX7 has 16-voices and though it is monotimbral, superior polyphony makes the DX7 an often more popular choice. Also, with just 8-voices, the DX11's multitimbral performances can wind up sounding pretty thin. Other 8-voice DX-type synths include the DX21, DX100, and TX81Z. And unlike most previous DX synths which all used sine waves for synthesis, the DX11 offers up to eight different waveforms to work with! And all the classic DX sounds can be found in the DX11. Brass, piano, strings, bell sounds, percussion, effects, and much more. Other features include chord-stacking, digital delay, and panning effects, however there is no chorus effect as on earlier DX-synths. At its current low second-hand price, the DX11 is an inexpensive way to get useable DX sounds!

Engine TypeDigital
Voices (max)8
LFOSine/Square/Tri/SAW up/SAW Down/Random
Engine Detailed16 bit Digital 4 operator FM. 8 algorhythms.
Envelope (VCA)ADSR
FXReverb, DDL delay, pan and tremolo (no chorus effect)
Memory128 preset patches, 32 performance patches, External cartridge memory holds 64 patches, cassette interface
ControllersBreath controller
Key typeKeys
Extra infoCalled V2 on the Japanese market
Produced:1988 - 1988
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.


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