Yesterday I picked up a “MINT” condition Yamaha RX7 Digital Rhythm Programmer for cheap from a used music store here in Nagano-city, JAPAN. It came with the original adapter and manual. The Yamaha RX7 was absolutely in perfect condition so I couldn’t pass it up. I was originally thinking of picking up an RX5 if I ever found one, but then settled on the RX7 and I’m glad I did. The RX5 is great with the individual outputs, individual mixer, and additional sound cards, but ultimately the Yamaha RX7 will work just as good. I currently have the Yamaha DX7 MKI and DX7IID. The RX7 Drum Machine obviously goes very well with those two synths and it’s fun to create retro 80’s jams now. I actually grew up in the 80’s so not only is it very nostalgic for me, but it’s also satisfying to be able to pick up a lot of this gear in great shape for a great price.
The Yamaha RX7 drum sounds are actually very good with respect to capturing that 80’s sound obviously. It blends nicely with the DX7 sounds and I find it very easy as well to program. Sound Quest also has a software editor for the Yamaha RX7 that can be used to tweak the settings which I find to be very useful. The RX7 can also take RAM4 cards like the DX7IID so any modifications can be saved. Some people complain about the lack of memory, but honestly it’s pretty easy to dump data to and from the computer. Plus for me I usually work mainly in pattern mode rather than song mode. Thus I have plenty of patterns and space to work with. I tend to change up my keyboard grooves over a handful drum patterns rather than program a unique pattern for every single keyboard groove. I also have a tendency to use drum machine patterns as a sort of metronome for practicing complex keyboard parts, so the Yamaha RX7 memory is more than sufficient for that.
The Vintage Yamaha RX7 drum machine is a fun “large” device that works well for creating any sort of drum pattern for practicing your grooves with. If you like the FM digital sound and are a fan of 80’s music like I am, then the Yamaha RX7 will surely fit nicely into your nostalgic music rig. Indeed you likely can get sampled sounds and use a sampler, but the ease of use with programming your own beats and the cheap price tag, make the Yamaha RX7 hard to beat. It’s is a rather large box, but once you find a place to put it, then it’s actually quite nice to have the larger buttons. You can also midi this up to anything and work with the sounds via midi.