Dexed is a free plugin FM synthesizer from Digital Suburban that is closely modeled on the Yamaha DX7. It is available in VST, AU, and LV2 formats for Windows, Mac or Linux and was released in 2015.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the user interface on Dexed is somewhat terrifying to look at. Learning what each knob on the GUI does takes some time for those new to frequency modulation synthesizers, but fear not; 1024 presets are included to get you started. Dexed is essentially a Yamaha DX7 in a computer; not only is the sound spot on, but Dexed can be used (and was originally designed as) a software controller for the hardware unit. You can tweak and automate 144 DX7 parameters on Dexed as well as directly load or save DX7 and TX7 series patches through SysEx.
The amount of mileage the Yamaha DX7 got, especially in 80s music, cannot be overstated. Flipping through the presets here will therefore be sure to elicit some patches that you’ve heard before. The full range of FM weirdness can be found - morphing, sci-fi drones, super thick basses, clear leads, lush pads...nothing is off limits really.
Thanks to the massive range of sounds FM synths are capable of, Dexed would be a worthy plugin to have in any producer’s arsenal. You’re going to find lots of sounds you’ll never use, but there’s something here to inspire anyone. That variety is why Dexed has become one of the most popular freeware plugin synths.
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