you can program the tx81z via computer, and imo it sounds better than most software
I guess this is a little too vague for me to prove or disprove but I don't always find that the TX sounds better than software. To me it has a sort of "glassy" sound, which I guess means that it's not super accurate but is pleasantly and musically inaccurate, mostly due to the aliasing and lookup tables. For basses this is just great, for some dull pads, and for stuff like hi hats or snares it can mangle the high end nicely, depending on the situation. But for clarity I think software whoops its ass, at least in my experience with FM7, Reaktor, Max, and the Nord G1 (would you call that hardware or software?). I get a lot more crispness and smoothness, especially in the high end, with the improved sampling and bit rates, the faster envelopes, and the dynamically calculated sinusoids. Also I think the attack on the TX's envelopes is often too slow and shitty.
i just crashed my fb01 and had to reboot it. the tx81z gets midi buffer overflow errors. anybody else have hardware fm synth anecdotes like that?
yep the tx81z has a notoriously shit midi buffer, but you can get some cool results by overloading it.
Interesting - mine has never done anything cool when I overload it. It just sits there until I push a button on the front panel.
Also you guys cataloguing & lusting over old FM synths may want to check some posts, especially on gearslutz, by this acreil guy. He's done his homework and knows a lot of details on the guts of these beasts:
You can pretty much just google "acreil FM" and get your mind blown.