When the Yamaha DX7 first came on the scene, the analog domination of synthesis was smashed. In the negative column, however, was its difficulty to program. Helping the world to understand the new language of FM synthesis was Howard Massey’s The Complete DX7 textbook. A free PDF version of the book has surfaced on Reddit.
The Yamaha DX7 rewrote the rules for the synth, bringing FM to the world. The Complete DX7 by Howard Massey might just give you a deeper understanding of FM synthesis.
It’s hard to overstate the impact that this synth had when it first arrived in 1983. Digital technology was sweeping through the audio industry, so the DX7 had ready and willing customer base.
Previous digital synths, like the Australian Fairlight CMI were far beyond the reach of regular consumers, in both operation and cost. The new kid on the block came packaged in a portable format and priced within reach of most consumers.
Due to their programming difficulties and flimsy original documentation, Howard Massey literally wrote the book on the synth. Find the pdf version here.