This video is a real blast from the past, showcasing a piece of music tech history! Before the age of YouTube influencers, Spotify, and SoundCloud demos, music instrument manufacturers used to create demo tapes to showcase their latest synthesizers and music tech. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a tape in my attic that I hadn’t played in many years: a 1986 Yamaha DX100 demo tape. I had ordered this tape from Music Tech magazine back in 1986, and it includes demos of the Yamaha DX100, which was the younger sibling of the 1980s classic synth, the Yamaha DX7.

Side one features relatively sensible demos of the DX100’s sounds, while side two is one of the cheesiest-sounding 80s recordings I’ve ever come across. It’s designed to mimic a fake radio station, complete with songs from that era played using the DX100 and RX15 drum machine. It even includes a brilliantly fake American DJ voice, along with tracks from Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, and a very 80s rendition of the Star Wars theme.

This video showcases Side 1, and I’ll be sharing the delightfully cheesy Side 2 with you soon.

Synth Enthusiast’s Delight: Yamaha DX100 Demo Tape Unveiled

01:20 Start of Side 1

03:03 Strings, Flutes and Horns

4:57 Pianos, Clavs and Electric Pianos

7:43 Organs

8:42 Vibes and Hamarimba

10:00 Old Banjo and Squeezebox

10:58 Windbells and Racing Car

11:40 Guitar tuning

12:51 Custom sounds

14:47 Synth sounds

18:41 Conclusion of side 1 and talk of MIDI

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