mda's DX10 is a simple 2-operator FM synth (3-op if you use the special FL Studio version). It has no GUI, instead you are presented with 16 parameters in your host's default interface.
A lot of people seem to compare it to Yamaha's classic FM synths, but let me tell you: it's not comparable. It cannot even be compared to a Yamaha 2-op, such as the OPL sound chip. Where Yamaha-style FM is more warm and punchy, DX10 is more metallic and acid-like. Everything seems to sound like that UK "Donk" bass sound as you crank up the modulation amount. Also, its envelopes are rather limited. Instead of ADSR, it uses a sort of strange ADR/DSR envelope. In comparison, the OPL2/3 used ADSR, the DX21 used a ADDSR, where a secondary decay rate is applied to the sustain, and in the DX7, a freeform 5-point envelope is used.
Suffice to say, you cannot model 2-op Yamaha sounds accurately using DX10 (without losing your mind that is), you can however use it for its own merits. One of those merits include a waveform modulator, where you can modulate between a sine and "saw" approximation that contains additional harmonies added to the fundamental sine.
It can definitely sound interesting in its own right if you play to its strengths, but don't be fooled, it's not a Yamaha clone, and you will be hard pressed to make any decent brass sounds.
I'm going to start by saying that I really like this synth.
First off, the GUI. Its the default, which can be nice sometimes, because you don't need to browse the parameters to automate, but with larger synths like this, is gets a bit complicated. I did find my way around, with a bit of difficulty.
The sound is where this little VST excels. It does a great DX piano, and it just seems to worm itself into my mixes. Generally, whatever I do with it seems to work! Whether it is raising a few octaves to create a bell/chime effect, or making some percussive hit, this tiny synth does it, and does it well.
It doesn't have the most features for a synth, simple ASDR envelopes, and FM, but it does its job, and does it well! I don't see a need for other options, except maybe a way to pick a different base waveform to modulate.
I did not look for documentation, but it is pretty basic, and easy to pick up. You don't need to know what you're doing to get nice sounds out of this synth, so I'll give it points for this anyways.
The presets are so-so, they aren't anything groundshaking, but they give a good basis for your own experimentation. In other words, they work.
Since I've never tried MDA customer support, I will base this off of what this synth has become, IL DX10. Image-Line has great support, and I've never had a problem with them. All questions I've asked have been handled quickly and professionally in their support forum. Full marks there.
VFM is quite possibly one of the best out there, considering its a free plugin, that with a custom UI, would normally cost 30 dollars. Can't deduct here!
The stability seems fine. I've had some issues with its sister, the JX10, but never with the DX10. It also is very cpu efficient, making it a nice synth to compose basic melodies and progressions on!
Overall, this is an excellent synth! Definitely worth the bandwidth! It seems to fit just right into my mixes, either as a main or a supporting element! I'd recommend this synth to anyone looking to explore the power of FM Synthesis!Read more
i like simple sounds and instruments that do not do a lot of things. This DX10 reminds me of my old YamahaCX5 and FB01, it is surprisingly versatile punchy and dynamic. It is possible to push it in some way beyond the "limits", there are some settings that do unpredictable and strange things.I have programmed some great dance basses, analog sequencer type sounds and some drums (BDs and HATs)..... anything comes from mda is great!!Read more
For more information about this plugin, here is below in italics a short extract of the description from the original page (before he's gone to Sourceforge where he has upgraded all his old plugins, then ported them to 64-bits... and added some new plugins that are not yet in the KVR Database):
"Sounds similar to the later Yamaha DX synths including the heavy bass but with a warmer, cleaner tone."