Yamaha RX8 Drum Machine

Submitted by synthwork on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 04:39

Yamaha RX8 Drum Machine Introduction

Yamaha RX8 Digital Rhythm Programmer

Yamaha launched the RX8 in 1989 as a replacement for the RX7 and to be Yamaha's first drum machine using 16 bit PCM samples. In the late eighties there were several successful 16 bit drum machines available, the Alesis HR16 and HR16B as well as the Roland R8 and R5 to name a few, but the RX8 was still able to carve out a niche in the market of the time.

Yamaha RX8 Tech Specs

Synth Type / Synthesis Branding UNKNOWN
Waveform Data 43 16 bit drum samples
Polyphony 12 sounds
Stock Patches 43 drum sounds
DAC Resolution 16 bit
Built-In Effects yes
Sequencer 20 songs, 100 patterns
Drum Pads 12 pads (not velocity sensitive)
Floppy Drive no floppy, it does have a card slot for data and the ability to output data to tape (assuming you have or can fabricate the special Yamaha cassette cable)
Production Years 1989 to UNKNOWN

Yamaha RX8 AC Adapter Information

Original AC Adapter Model Yamaha PA1505
Output Voltage 15 Volts DC
Max. Current Draw 500mA
Pin Configuration center positive
DC Power In Connector Outer Diameter 5.5 mm
DC Power In Connector Interior Diameter 2.1 mm
NOTES The PA1505 outputs 15V DC but the actual RX8 units states that 12V to 15V is OK. This is common on the older 15V Yamaha gear.

How to Reset the Yamaha RX8 to Factory Default Settings

Power the RX8 off completely and then turn it back on while holding down the STOP/CONTINUE, -1/NO and the +1/YES buttons, all three simultaneously.

 Yamaha RX8 drum machine rear ports and card slot

Yamaha RX8 FYI

  • Marilyn Manson used the RX8 from 1989 to 1990
  • There was at least one book written specifically for the RX8. Written by Bobby Maestas and released in 1989, the book was titled "Yamaha RX8: Drum Machine" (ASIN B0007259IO).
  • It is often said that you can add PCM sounds to the RX8 via the card slot in the rear. This is false. The rear slot is only for sequence data to be stored on Yamaha MCD32 RAM cards.
  • The RX8 has the ability to play any of its on-board samples in reverse.
Yamaha RX8 drum machine label

Yamaha RX8 Documentation

Feel free to download the owner's manuals from our RX8 manual page.

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