All 60 factory patches from the DX5’s external cartridges (less the piano patches… get them in DX Keys Deluxe) – plus a selection of Program combinations free of charge! • Four or more velocity layers, tons of multisamples: 2.13Gb of FM goodness • Custom-created twin patches designed from the ground up to work in layered, detuned pairs for a rich, warm sound • Signature DX5 convertors bring surprisingly ‘analogue’ weight to digital technology
The DX5 shipped not only with factory patches in its internal memory (see our PatchVault DX5 Factory Set A to get these), but also two ROM cartridges containing a further 32 patches each. These were designed to sit permanently in the DX5’s twin ROM slots – at least, until you chose to change them out for RAM carts or aftermarket ROMs – and provide further sounds to be used in the 64 onboard Performance memories. Effectively, this gave the DX5 – and its big brother the DX1 – constant access to 128 patch memories (64 internal, 2×32 external) which could be harnessed in pairs to create 64 layered-and-detuned or keyboard-split Performances. It was a really significant palette of sounds.
As before, many of the patches were custom-built by Yamaha’s sound designers to work as layered pairs – so rather than simply duplicating a patch and detuning it for richness, which is a trick the DX7 mkII can pull off, the DX1 and DX5 often call upon pairs of patches designed from the ground up to complement each other (eg, FM Ensemble A and FM Ensemble B, layered and detuned, sound much richer and warmer than two instances of just FM Ensemble A on its own).
All in all, these are a fascinating glimpse into what the world would have sounded like if you’d had the £3000 necessary to buy a DX5, or the £10,000 needed for the flagship DX1, back in the 80s. These cartridge patches favour pure synth sounds (although there are also some really nice strings in there) and more experimental soundscapes; plus some sound effects (to be honest, these are rather meh; did Yamaha really think someone dropping ten grand on a state-of-the-art luxury machine needed MachineGun and Helicopter sounds? And yet, there they are…). We’ve included the effects for completeness, but the real goodness here is in the icy synthscapes (Planet Ice is excellent), the raw-edged leads and stabs (SynthRiser, we’re looking at you) and the rather excellent FM percussion options dotted throughout the selection (RotoToms get our vote for “most fun sound”). Load up your DAW with this, the Factory Set A, and DX Keys Deluxe and you’ve effectively bought yourself a whole DX1 for less than a takeaway curry 😀