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Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
#2837823 04/10/19 08:20 PM
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Hey everybody,

So I am still debating between the PSR series and the MODX series of keyboards. I know the PSR-s775 has a great built in sequencer, but I'm worried it may not have as good onboard sounds as the MODX series keyboards.

So I am leaning towards the MODX, but the question is...does it have a good onboard sequencer for recording my music? And is there a big difference with its recording capabilities when compared to the PSR series?

You all have helped me a lot get this far, so I definitely appreciate the help on deciding between these two types of keyboards.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2837892 04/11/19 03:31 AM
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The MODX has simple MIDI recording capabilities but not, as far as I'm aware, any form of multitrack recording. It's primarily designed to be a stage performance synth, not an arranger workstation.



Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2837913 04/11/19 05:24 AM
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Just checked. No, no sequencer or editor on either the Montage or MODX, just a simple single-track MIDI (or audio) recording capability. These are assuredly not arranger workstations!


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838021 04/11/19 11:46 AM
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Hi!
Are you sure, Chris?
The Modx specifications page on Yamaha web site specifically says "16 sequence tracks". Now, that might mean something different to what you are talking about (i'm not an expert), but i'd find odd that Yamaha implemented a 16 track sequencer in the P515 or the CLP685 and it didn't in a synthesizer like the Montage or the Modx.


P-515
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838029 04/11/19 12:00 PM
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No disrespect, but you're just as capable of looking this stuff up as I am!

From the MODX FAQ page at Yamaha:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/music_production/synthesizers/modx/faq.html

Q: MODX has Fully-functional Sequencer?
A: No. MODX just has the simple sequencer "Performance Recorder". It does not have edit function.

That seems pretty clear to me.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838041 04/11/19 12:38 PM
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I believe the confusion is that the MODX does indeed let you overlay 16 tracks of recording, but it does not allow you to subsequently edit the tracks individually. It can record a multi-track performance, it's still a sequencer, but a limited one. It would need more editing functions to be a "fully functional" sequencer as many people would think of it. Instead, Yamaha provides free Cubasis software with the MODX, their idea being that full function sequencing would be done on the computer.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838044 04/11/19 12:43 PM
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The appropriate section of the MODX user manual (pages 45-47) describes this and makes it clear that in no way is this a full-function sequencer.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838055 04/11/19 01:11 PM
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Okay, my fault then.
I simply didn't know there were those differences between a full and a non-full sequencer.


P-515
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838056 04/11/19 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
The appropriate section of the MODX user manual (pages 45-47) describes this and makes it clear that in no way is this a full-function sequencer.

Yes, if you have a specific definition of "full function sequencer" in mind and know what you're looking for... otherwise maybe not so clear. After all, those exact pages call the Performance Recorder a "sequencer" and refer to the saved data as "sequences" multiple times, including specifically saying, "this instrument features a Performance Recorder (built-in multi Track sequencer) for recording your keyboard performance as MIDI data." You have to go a bit further and infer what *can't* be done to fully recognize the limitations, exactly what it is that's missing and requires connecting to a computer.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838059 04/11/19 01:18 PM
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I'd personally consider that editing capabilities are a basic requirement for something to be called a sequencer. Without that it's merely a recorder.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
Cheshire Chris #2838072 04/11/19 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mydp
Okay, my fault then.
I simply didn't know there were those differences between a full and a non-full sequencer.

There are numerous kinds of sequencers. Whether something is a "full" sequencer has no official definition... I think your definition might just depend on whether it has the feature(s) you need. ;-) But there are phrase sequencers, and step sequencers... sequencers that incorporate audio recording vs. ones that are MIDI only... But calling a keyboard a "workstation" does imply that it has a multi-track *editable* sequencer, and the absence of that feature is presumably why Yamaha does not call the MODX or Montage a workstation.

Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
I'd personally consider that editing capabilities are a basic requirement for something to be called a sequencer. Without that it's merely a recorder.

I guess why that's why Yamaha's official name for the feature is Performance Recorder, even though they define it as a type of sequencer. But it does have some enhancements over a simple recorder (i.e. punch in/out and overdub, though once you do the latter, you can effectively no longer do the former). Sometimes features don't fall into neat categories...

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838274 04/12/19 05:00 AM
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Thx everyone for the replies on this. It sounds like I'll be going for the PSR-s775 from what I've learned from you.

Does anyone know if there is a big sound difference between the MODX and the PSR-S775?

If no sounds difference, I think I'm definitely leaning towards the PSR-S775 for that full sequencer. I'm really tired of messing with PC software to be honest so to be able to record a complete song right on the keyboard is a huge featuee for me.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838275 04/12/19 05:06 AM
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In terms of conventional orchestral instruments, I'd say they're comparable. Where a synthesiser win out, of course, is in its ability to create new sounds - eg as used in modern dance music. If that type of "electronic" sound is not important to you, go for the PRS; it sounds as if it'll meet your requirements a lot better.

Do you have nowhere reasonably local that you could try the instruments for yourself? That would perhaps be the best thing to do, if it's feasible.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838276 04/12/19 05:13 AM
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Where the MODX comes in is the way that it integrates with an ipad or Daw..

I would say, get a windowstablet, attach it to the modx, install any DAW software (modx comes with Cubasis) and start creating... if dome right, the external software will feel as integrated part of the MOdx, much like a 2nd screen.

I dont think you want to rely fully on hardware for song composing. A combination of both hardware and software is the most convenient way to go..

And the software comes in all levels, from easy to expert level..


Where MODX rocks in combination with a DAW, is its arpeggio's that can be quite helpfull in recording of patterns .. nothing comes close to Yamaha's arps for realisme.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
anotherscott #2838394 04/12/19 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott

There are numerous kinds of sequencers. Whether something is a "full" sequencer has no official definition... I think your definition might just depend on whether it has the feature(s) you need. ;-) But there are phrase sequencers, and step sequencers... sequencers that incorporate audio recording vs. ones that are MIDI only... But calling a keyboard a "workstation" does imply that it has a multi-track *editable* sequencer, and the absence of that feature is presumably why Yamaha does not call the MODX or Montage a workstation.


Thank you. That's's an interesting piece of information. To me, a sequencer was something that allowed you to record a track while listening to the one(s) previously recorded. With that definition everything is a sequencer. I now know that things can be way more complex, and that other definitions leave out the one in the Modx (and the P515, by the way). The PSR 775 has more sophisticated capabilities, like the step recording, which seem quite useful...


P-515
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838400 04/12/19 11:35 AM
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The P-515's (which I have) manual never uses the word "sequencer". The recording capability is just called that: a recorder.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
Bachus #2838597 04/13/19 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bachus
Where the MODX comes in is the way that it integrates with an ipad or Daw..

I would say, get a windowstablet, attach it to the modx, install any DAW software (modx comes with Cubasis) and start creating... if dome right, the external software will feel as integrated part of the MOdx, much like a 2nd screen.


Interesting, I will have to check this out and thx for the suggestion. Do you know if there is a limitation on how many MIDI tracks I can create using the DAW software and MODX combination?

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838600 04/13/19 03:46 AM
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Ryan, given that you specifically said that you wanted an arranger workstation and didn't want to mess with PCs, etc, would it not be sensible to concentrate on self-contained arranger workstations rather than looking at stage synths? They really are a completely different type of instrument!


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838602 04/13/19 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Ryan, given that you specifically said that you wanted an arranger workstation and didn't want to mess with PCs, etc, would it not be sensible to concentrate on self-contained arranger workstations rather than looking at stage synths? They really are a completely different type of instrument!

Yup, very true. I really do hate messing with the PC and software to be honest. The only thing holding me back now are the string sounds on the PSR-s775. Is there anyway to import high quality string sounds into the PSR? I created another thread on this on the forums but figured I would ask here too.

I was wondering if there was a way to import high quality string samples like these into the PSR-s775:
https://www.loopmasters.com/genres/64-Strings/products/8798-Real-Strings-10-Year-Anniversary-Bundle

I used to also record with EastWest Hollywood strings on my PC, which were super high quality strings so if I can get these types of strings onto the PSR that would be awesome. Anyway to do this?

Thanks for the help once again.

Re: Yamaha MODX series have a good sequencer for songwriting?
ComposerRyan #2838648 04/13/19 08:41 AM
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Those VSTs use gigabytes of samples, most keyboards can't handle such large sample sets.

If the PSR-775 lets you load user custom samples, there are programs that allow you to sample your VST sounds to create versions you can load in to keyboards that permit custom user samples, the results can be quite usable, if you don't need too much. Look at Sample Robot, Mainstage Auto Sampler, Extreme Sample Converter, Samplit.

If PSR-775 doesn't permit custom samples, you could check out Korg arrangers (PA700, PA1000), I think they do. If you don't need arranger features per se, but just a multitrack editable sequencer, there are other keyboards you can look into. If you like Yamaha sounds, you could look to pick up a used MOXF (predecessor to MODX) with its optional flash card. Unlike the MODX, the MOXF had a full traditional multitrack editable sequencer, and there are also additional downloadable string libraries available for it.

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