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Alex Annesty's music equipment

Over the years, I've collected various bits of kit for recording and playing music. I've ended up with a few items, which might be termed 'vintage music equipment' and a few more, which might just be referred to as 'old'.

This page is a work in progress, but eventually I hope to list all the items I think might be of interest to anyone else. Where I've picked up any useful hints and tips, relating to specific items, I've included these too.

Keyboards and synthesizers

Yamaha DX7s

I bought my Yamaha DX7s second-hand in the mid-1990s. It's a great piece of kit; I love playing and programming it. Amazingly, its original battery only expired at the end of 2009, after at least twenty years (Yamaha stopped producing the DX7s in 1989).

Yamaha DX7s

As the original battery was soldered to the motherboard, inside the instrument, I decided to replace it with a battery holder, sited in a more accessible location. I've added a detailed page, describing the procedure with instructions and photographs (link below).

There are a few functional differences between the DX7s and original DX7 and, whilst there's a wealth of information available for the original MkI version of this famous synthesizer, there isn't so much for the MkII. I decided to create a few pages as an additional contribution to the support information available for the Yamaha DX7 series of keyboards (or Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizers, as Yamaha described them). I started by publishing a web page on how I replaced the internal battery and, following feedback via my contact page, expanded the details. In response to further feedback I created additional pages and this seems to be an on-going process. I'll keep doing this as long as people keep asking (assuming I know, or can find the answers). So far I've produced pages covering the following specific Yamaha DX7s information:

I've added a downloadable copy of the Yamaha DX7s manual to the Music Equipment Manuals page.

In response to the increasing popularity of my DX7s pages on this site, I've now created a Yamaha DX7s home page.

Yamaha PSS-680

In the late 1980s a friend of mine had a Yamaha PSS-680. I fell in love with it and bought one of my own straight away.

Yamaha PSS-680

Originally, I just used the PSS-680 for messing around, but ended up using some of the voices in recordings; you can beef them up with a bit of EQ. The main synth sound on the "Petty Cash "demo is my PSS-680. Also, the auto-accompaniment options are great fun and there are loads to choose from; I even ended up writing a song based on one ("The End").

Music computers and software

Yamaha CX5MII/128

I bought this great music computer from a friend in the late 1980s. I still have all the original packaging and documentation, the YK-01 keyboard and the following cartridges:

  • YRM-301 MIDI Recorder
  • YRM-501 FM Music Composer II
  • YRM-502 FM Voicing Program II
Yamaha CX5MII/128

I used the CX5M for song writing and as a sequencer for some early demos I recorded. It includes a full Yamaha 4 operator FM synthesizer and I learned FM voice programming on it, using the YRM-502. I also learned a lot from the excellent "300 voices for Yamaha 4-operator synthesizers" by Derek Sebastian and Eric Noizette. I programmed a few of the voices from the book into my CX5M and used them in recordings; the 'sinister' solo synth voice in "Bogey Men" is a good example.

I've added a downloadable copy of the Yamaha FD-05 / FD-051 Service Manual (floppy disk drive and disk drive interface) to the Music Equipment Manuals page.

Expanders and modules

Yamaha TG100

I bought a Yamaha TG100 when they first came out, around 1992. It was a cost-effective way of adding a General MIDI AWM expander to my basic home studio set-up.

Yamaha TG100

In the end I only really used the TG100 for its drum kits, which were better than anything else I had. It doesn't get used much these days but, being the horder I am, it's still there on top of the rack and connected up to the mixing desk.

Roland CR-1000

I bought my Roland CR-1000 with the Yamaha CX5M in the late 1980s. It's a basic drum machine, which can be used for live accompaniment, or as a MIDI drum expander module.

Roland CR-1000

The PCM samples still stand up pretty well, apart from the decay on the cymbals, which is pretty poor by modern standards. All the other voices have that classic 1980s drum machine sound, including the once ubiquitous hand clap! I still use my CR-1000 for instant accompaniment when I'm tinkering around with a guitar.

Home studio / recording equipment

Tascam Porta 05 HS

Coming eventually!

Alesis 1622 Mixer

Coming eventually!

Alesis Microverb III

Coming eventually!

Amplifiers

Peavey Bandit 112 Single Unit Guitar Amp - Sheffield Equipped

I bought this versatile and competitively priced American amp in the early 1990s and it's still going strong. It's an early (non Transtube) model, equipped with a single Sheffield speaker, which I believe is a little bit brighter than the Scorpion speaker some of the early Peavey Bandit 112s were fitted with.

Peavey Bandit 112

I've added a downloadable copy of the Peavey Bandit 112 Operating Guide and a Peavey Bandit tone settings blank to the Music Equipment Manuals page. I created the tone settings blank myself, so I could note down any settings I found that wanted to use again.

Other stuff

So far, I haven't included any other amplifiers, outboard equipment, or guitars, but will add them at some point.

If you have any queries, comments, or suggestions relating to anything on this page, or any other part of AlexAnnesty.com please get in touch via my contact page.


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