Another device mentioned by Richard David James on his SoundCloud account page is the Yamaha Reface DX FM Synth,as well as other methods of inputting data: "I always hook up several input devices simultaneously, including special shaped microtonal keyboards, wind input devices, pads, mini keys, big weighted keys, loads of things, then just pick which one you want for whatever your working on, then you find each keyboard has its use..Learn how to use minikeys, it gives you a different way to input stuff. one of my fave keyboards ever is the reface FM, love it, shame the synth doesn't have MT though.."more
Yamaha have truly tried their best making FM easy to programme this synth, I do not own any other FM synths but from what other FM synths I've seen such as the original DX7 or volca FM the tiny screen and single data entry slider is not enough and seems a nightmare for programming FM but the incredibly useful proper screen and 4 data entry 'sliders' (which being honest needs a bit of getting use to) makes programming FM much easier than it normally is. 8 voices is more than enough normally but as it has mini keys sometimes whilst playing really big chords your fingers can slip and steal voices and to be honest I would of liked a larger keyboard and full sized keys would be preferable but I don't mind the mini keys too much and quickly got used to them. The inbuilt looper is really useful and great fun and the in built effects are surprisingly useful and good quality too. Some people complain about only having 4 operators but as my first FM synth its a great starting point and you can still get deep FM sounds with 4 operators.
Like the summary says, I miss the extra two operators that a real DX7 offers. That said, its way easier to program patches into this thing and its more convenient all around. It runs off of batteries (though it dies quickly), has good I/O, acts as a MIDI controller, and the speakers are actually pretty nice. I wish the keys weren't so dang tiny and that they were full depth. I also wish that it had a programmable mod wheel. It does allow for sustain pedals to be used which is nice. Definitely well-priced