Yamaha RX8
Digital Rhythm Programmer

The RX8 is a typical PCM-based, late '80s digital drum machine - that followed the footsteps of the granddaddy RX5.  The RX8 features 43 PCM voices in its ROM, sampled at an impressive - for the time - 16bit, and a generous amount of buttons for programming it.

There are 12 rubberized pads on the front panel, and even though they don't respond to velocity, they are pleasantly comfortably to play.  There are also some (basic) effects, such as detune, expand, and reverse.

The character of this drum machine is typical of the 1980s, with the obligatory "big" snares, DX7 brass hits and slap bass, quirky percussion, "cannon" toms, etc.

Yamaha RX8 audio demos in mp3:

These are the two factory song demos on the Yamaha RX8:

00 PIRATES. ....... a very happy tune, expertly programmed

01 DOWNBEAT .... powerful number, with cool bass action

And this is the factory pattern demo of a few classic pop, rock and Latin patterns obtainable on this machine:

00 SAMPLPTN ..... a selection of powerful rock, pop, Latin and funk patterns.



Here's a list of all 43 waveforms available in the RX8's ROM:

Name Yamaha Description My description
BD1 Bass drum  
BD2 Bass drum  
BD3 Bass drum  
BD4 Bass drum  
BD5 Bass drum  
SD1 Snare drum  
SD2 Snare drum  
SD3 Snare drum  
SD4 Snare drum  
SD5 Snare drum  
Rim Snare Rimshot  
Tom 1 1st tom  
Tom 2 2nd tom  
Tom 3 3rd tom  
Tom 4 4th tom  
Tom 5 5th tom  
Tom 6 6th tom  
Tom 7 7th tom  
Tom 8 8th tom  
HHclos Closed hi-hat  
HHopen Open hi-hat  
Cup Ride cymbal (bell/cup)  
Edge Ride cymbal (edge)  
Crash Crash cymbal  
Bass 1 Bass guitar (slap)  
Bass 2 Bass guitar (pull)  
Marimb DX marimba voice  
DXorch DX orchestral hit  
Claps Handclaps  
Cowbel Cowbell  
Tambrn Tambourine  
Shaker Shaker  
CgaHMT High muted conga  
CgaHOP High open conga  
Cga LO Low conga  
Bgo HI High bongo  
Bgo LO Low bongo  
TimblH High timbale  
TimblL Low timbale  
Ago HI High agogo  
Ago LO Low agogo  
Cuica Cuica  
Whstl Whistle  




Yamaha RX8 drum samples (44.1MHz, stereo, .wav files)


Yamaha RX8 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)


Yamaha RX8 manual

Available at www.yamaha.com

Initialize - Initializing the Yamaha RX8

Power up while keeping the "STOP/CONTINUE", the "-1/NO" and the "+1/YES" buttons pressed at the same time:  the display will show "Initialize R X 8!"  - release the buttons.

You can also load the factory song and pattern demos by pressing the "ACCENT" button while powering up.


Features at a glance
Year of release: 1989
Display: yes, backlit green
Preset Patterns: 100 patterns, 20 songs
Pads: 12
Pads respond to velocity: no
Pads respond to aftertouch no
Sound generation method: PCM
MIDI: in, out
Sound expansion capabilities: only memory via card
Outputs: two stereo sets
Effects: yes
Controls: buttons, two rotary knobs
Pedal controls: no
Tape Sync: no



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