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Posted By: CyberGene Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 02:41 PM
In another thread I mentioned I started playing in an amateur band, mostly new-wave, pop, electro, chill-out stuff. My duties are synth pads, leads, etc. I've gradually went through using my Studiologic SL73 hooked to iPad running Korg Gadget 2, then AUM with plugins, then switched to my Macbook running Apple MainStage. With every switch I got even more options, sounds and capabilities, but it was getting even weirder to program...

So, after a lot of research I finally decided to purchase a Yamaha MODX 6. First impression is that this thing can really produce every possible sounds and has a lot of controls and millions of effects.

And the second impression is that either I'm old, or probably too brainwashed by playing only classical and jazz acoustic piano all my life, or the MODX is a brain puzzle, or everything of the above but I simply can't grasp anything about how to use it and program it frown Where's the problem? Are there any people on this forum who own a MODX? What's your pattern of using it? I think I may use it as just an instrument with ready patches that I select and use, probably would be able to layer two patches together. However I think I might be only scratching the surface and wold benefit much more if I am able to program more complex stuff like motion sequences, arpeggios, effects, etc but the menu system is ridiculously non-intuitive, at least to me. Any advices? Is this a real problem with MODX or that's how things are with all workstations? In that case, any advices on how to penetrate that brain barrier of mine? Like, MODX for dummies (classical pianists)? smile

P.S. Yeah, I've been reading through the manual. I already went through it twice and even started the reference manual.
Posted By: newer player Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 03:11 PM
Yamaha threw a lot of their pro workstation stuff into the MODX but you can't use it all.

My Korg analogue synth has lots of knobs so is more intuitive on the fly, but the big MODX screen provides lots more options. In a live situation you can't be menu diving on a screen so need to adapt your workflow.

A British PSR guy living in Sweden named "Woody Piano Shack" has a few MODX YouTube videos focused on performing that might get you going.
Posted By: Abdol Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
In another thread I mentioned I started playing in an amateur band, mostly new-wave, pop, electro, chill-out stuff. My duties are synth pads, leads, etc. I've gradually went through using my Studiologic SL73 hooked to iPad running Korg Gadget 2, then AUM with plugins, then switched to my Macbook running Apple MainStage. With every switch I got even more options, sounds and capabilities, but it was getting even weirder to program...

So, after a lot of research I finally decided to purchase a Yamaha MODX 6. First impression is that this thing can really produce every possible sounds and has a lot of controls and millions of effects.

And the second impression is that either I'm old, or probably too brainwashed by playing only classical and jazz acoustic piano all my life, or the MODX is a brain puzzle, or everything of the above but I simply can't grasp anything about how to use it and program it frown Where's the problem? Are there any people on this forum who own a MODX? What's your pattern of using it? I think I may use it as just an instrument with ready patches that I select and use, probably would be able to layer two patches together. However I think I might be only scratching the surface and wold benefit much more if I am able to program more complex stuff like motion sequences, arpeggios, effects, etc but the menu system is ridiculously non-intuitive, at least to me. Any advices? Is this a real problem with MODX or that's how things are with all workstations? In that case, any advices on how to penetrate that brain barrier of mine? Like, MODX for dummies (classical pianists)? smile

P.S. Yeah, I've been reading through the manual. I already went through it twice and even started the reference manual.


Your best bet is to ask your problems at:

https://yamahasynth.com/forum

Bad Mister (Phil Clendeninn) is there, in addition to a few other Yamaha professionals. They are all very knowledgeable.

The learning curve of Yamaha synths is known for being steep compared to other synths. It's not the consumer's fault but it is Yamaha's poor design problem.

Once you learned how the brain of the engineers at yamaha worked 30 years ago, you'll pick everything up super quick.

*PS: There are many tutorials and articles. I highly recommand you to browse it thoroughly.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene

And the second impression is that either I'm old, or probably too brainwashed by playing only classical and jazz acoustic piano all my life, or the MODX is a brain puzzle, or everything of the above but I simply can't grasp anything about how to use it and program it frown


It's not you, it's Yamaha frown

I don't recall, have you ever owned a Yamaha stage piano? The interface is ridiculously non-intuitive, in a way that only a purely-Japanese-designed electronics product can be.

There are button presses, long-presses, long-press-with function-alt presses, long-press-until blinking, and so on. Incredibly non-intuitive and non-discoverable at times. A lot of functions are assigned to buttons that don't really make sense and just need to be memorized. You simply need the manual, and beyond that, a community of knowledgeable peers who can explain how the esoteric access methods work.

Seems like they may be turning the corner with the Nord-like "direct access" of the CP-88, which is a good thing IMO.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 05:48 PM
Regarding the Yamahasynth forums, yes, I’ve followed some of the tutorials by Bad Mister and while they show how you can achieve unbelievably good sounds and control, they totally don’t make sense to me and I fail to see the logic behind all the terminology and concepts. Admittedly, I have spent only two hours with the MODX, so I have to allow more time for my brain to get used to these awkward workflows.
Posted By: MusicalDudeist Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 07:12 PM
I have a MODX7, but I'm afraid I can't be of much help. The menu-diving complexity is high on this instrument and a bit daunting to me as well. I can't imagine that will be any less complex when the next OS update adds pattern sequencing ability.
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/19/19 09:32 PM
FWIW --

Originally Posted by CyberGene
. .. Admittedly, I have spent only two hours with the MODX, so I have to allow more time for my brain to get used to these awkward workflows.


ROFL !!!!!!!

Come back after you've banged your head for days or weeks -- things should make sense by then.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
In another thread I mentioned I started playing in an amateur band, mostly new-wave, pop, electro, chill-out stuff. My duties are synth pads, leads, etc. . . .

So, after a lot of research I finally decided to purchase a Yamaha MODX 6. First impression is that this thing can really produce every possible sounds and has a lot of controls and millions of effects.

And the second impression is that either I'm old, or probably too brainwashed by playing only classical and jazz acoustic piano all my life, or the MODX is a brain puzzle, or everything of the above but I simply can't grasp anything about how to use it and program it frown Where's the problem? Are there any people on this forum who own a MODX? What's your pattern of using it? I think I may use it as just an instrument with ready patches that I select and use, probably would be able to layer two patches together. However I think I might be only scratching the surface and wold benefit much more if I am able to program more complex stuff like motion sequences, arpeggios, effects, etc but the menu system is ridiculously non-intuitive, at least to me. Any advices? Is this a real problem with MODX or that's how things are with all workstations? In that case, any advices on how to penetrate that brain barrier of mine? Like, MODX for dummies (classical pianists)? smile

P.S. Yeah, I've been reading through the manual. I already went through it twice and even started the reference manual.


One of the things you bought, with the MODX, was all those pre-programmed sounds -- and the capability of tweaking them, if you choose to.

I don't see any shame in just using it as a "performance instrument" -- pre-programmed sounds, layers, maybe splits. That much should be relatively easy to do. I'm not saying "intuitive" -- nothing about a computer wrapped up to look like a musical instrument is "intuitive" -- but you should be able to set them up fairly easily (once you know the magic spells), save them, and recall them with a small number of keystrokes.

. . . If the engineers and sound designers did good work, that might be all you need.


FM synthesis has been notoriously difficult for most people. "User-friendly tools" are becoming available -- there are favorable reviews of the Elecktron Digitone -- but that's probably the _last_ thing you should try to master.

I don't know what's available on the MODX for tailoring the built-in sounds, but you will have _at least_ ADSR envelopes, and various modulators, de-tunes, and effects to play with. It takes a while to get your head around those (unless you have previous synth experience), but they're within the grasp of normal humans.

It's possible that, as a classical pianist, you might be comfortable doing a lot of arpeggiation yourself, rather than using the machine's software. That depends partly on what you're playing. If there's a three-octave repeating pattern, and you're filling in stuff over that -- yes, the arpeggiator will be your friend.

So it's not that you're dumb, or that your brain is old. It's that nothing about the MODX is "intuitive" for you yet, except pressing a key to generate a note. I expect the rest of its functions will become "intuitive" slowly, over time, with growing experience.

I sympathize with you, from a different starting point and a different target. I was able to get my head around my microKorg without much suffering. But my Korg Volca Drum -- a tiny drum-machine synth, where every button does at least two things, and there are several "modes", and the display is tiny -- is proving difficult to master.

. . . Mostly, I need to dedicate a lot more hours to learning its mysteries.

Have fun (if you can call it that!) --






Posted By: Peddler100 Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 12:23 AM
I don't own a MODX (have no fear, I am not hijacking the thread smile ). The only DP I have every owned is the NU1X and as you know that has probably the least amount of options of any current DP for sale. Sometimes you have to accept that there is no logic, that the interface will never make sense. I liken it to the Nintendo Mario games. Some things if you jump up and hit them spit out a gold coin, others don't. As far as I know there is no way to tell in the game, you just keep trying until you figure out what works. Good luck!
Posted By: bsntn99 Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 02:21 AM
I have one of the predecessors, MOX8. To this they added the 8 operator FM and 16 parts instead of 4 parts for performances for the MODX line. The basic architecture is pretty much the same. A voice or part is made up of up to 8 elements with filters, envelopes, and effects included. You can then combine multiple parts, up to 16, to make up larger patches called performances.

Each element in a voice is essentially one type of sound, be it a synth sound, an orchestral sound, or it can be one velocity layer of a piano. For the CFX, each of the elements can be one of the velocity layers of the piano. For more than eight, you just combine two parts. The FM is made up of 8 operators or oscillators. Usually the oscillator is a sine wave. You set with the different modes how you want these to interact. The magic comes when you set different ratios and apply different envelopes to the different operators as they interact. There are a lot of resources on the web to better explain FM synthesis and some great youtube tutorials.

If you want to get really into programming, I highly recommend the Melas tools at the link below. In the screenshots, you can begin to wrap your head around the architecture. I use these with my MOX8. Yamaha also provided a great on screen editor with the MOX8, but seems to have dropped this thinking the touchscreen is good enough with the MODX series.

http://www.jmelas.gr/montage/bundle_scr.php
Posted By: Gretel Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 06:33 AM
How are the pianos on the MODX8? Do they have sympathetic resonance? Or more generally: How do the pianos compare to digital pianos in this price range?
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 07:52 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I’m not a total newbie. I’ve worked with a Moog Model 15 on my iPad and think I’m pretty familiar with most analog synth concepts and modules, I know how to patch my own sound, I know what’s a filter, an ADSR envelope and how to apply it to amplitude or pitch, I know how to use a LFO, I’m familiar with most type of effects including more modern ones such as sidechaining. I know how FM synthesis works although I don’t know how to achieve a particular sound, that still new to me. I understand all the concepts of a workstation like performance, parts, etc. I think I also understand basic stuff about AWM2, waveforms.

However when I try to apply all that to MODX it all makes no sense laugh

Let me give you an example. On the MODX there’s the so called superknob which is just a knob that can be programmed to simultaneously tweak multiple parameters. Like, with just turning a single knob you’re actially turning multiple other knobs. And there’s an example given in the user manual on how to program the super knob to create a crossfade between two parts. In theory the knob should only do a very simple thing: increase the volume of one part and at the same time decrease the volume of the other one. Now, let’s see how that’s actually done:
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It’s excruciatingly non-intuitive smile I think I started somehow getting it already but I think I might have been wrong about the purpose of the MODX. I thought it would be very easy to do that type of programming while at a rehearsal but that seems like a rather impossible thing. Instead the MODX programming seems to be rather a homework task where I read the manual and watch videos in order to be able to do simple things such as blending two sounds smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 10:34 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Let me give you an example. On the MODX there’s the so called superknob which is just a knob that can be programmed to simultaneously tweak multiple parameters. Like, with just turning a single knob you’re actially turning multiple other knobs. And there’s an example given in the user manual on how to program the super knob to create a crossfade between two parts. In theory the knob should only do a very simple thing: increase the volume of one part and at the same time decrease the volume of the other one. Now, let’s see how that’s actually done:
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Wouldn't that have just been two lines of Python? laugh laugh
Posted By: bsntn99 Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/20/19 04:03 PM
Start here: Yamaha Montage MODX - The Super Knob & How to Use it to Transition & Crossfade Between Parts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRF_Ye6rBFw&t=614s

Youtube videos are going to be the best way to learn this stuff. Again, the Melas tools make doing this stuff a lot easier including programming the super knob and motion sequencer.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/22/19 09:44 PM
I have this (annoying) quality to not find peace on earth until I know how something works in details and can be as stubborn as it is required to achieve that.

So, three sleepless nights later I have a fairly good overview of how to program this d*mn thing and I still hold my view it’s very non-intuitive. Whoever designed it is a non-human being or someone who hates humanity.

Anyway, the MODX is really a very powerful machine. I like it more and more.
Posted By: minstrelman Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/26/19 04:48 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I have this (annoying) quality to not find peace on earth until I know how something works in details and can be as stubborn as it is required to achieve that.

So, three sleepless nights later I have a fairly good overview of how to program this d*mn thing and I still hold my view it’s very non-intuitive. Whoever designed it is a non-human being or someone who hates humanity.

Anyway, the MODX is really a very powerful machine. I like it more and more.


this reminds me of my experience with my Yamaha XF8.
super very challenging.
I like my XF8 alot!!
but, for me, not easy to figure out how to do stuff.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 10/26/19 06:10 AM
BTW they released firmware 2.0 last night. Adds new effects, performances, etc and most importantly a pattern sequencer.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/20/19 02:12 PM
So, after a month I already feel comfortable with the awkward Yamaha synth architecture and it doesn't seem like a brainf*ck anymore.

Or so I thought wink I had a jam on Monday and decided to split the keyboard in two parts: an arpeggiated synth on the left, a pad on the right. It's a pretty straightforward process: you set the upper and lower limit for each part and that's displayed nicely as colored bars on the display: one on the left touches the other on the right at the split point. I did this many times before. And then I realized I can hear the left part arpeggios being triggered by pressing keys in the right part shocked So, I had a lengthy conversation with Bad Mister from YamahaSynth forums and I was 100% sure it was a bug! And then after another lengthy consultation with the long version of the user manual it turns out that:

Splitting the keyboard is not actually splitting the keyboard! It's actually a weird concept that determines which notes are allowed for a part. In other words a part will receive key presses from the entire keyboard but only the allowed notes will sound. And since the left part is an arpeggiated one with a pattern that goes an octave below the pressed keys, the left part received all key presses from the right part and some of the pattern notes went into the allowed (left) region and so were audible laugh So, in case of split with an arpeggiated parts, you don't use the usual note ranges. You go into some buried menus to change "another" note limit setting. One that's not visible on the main performance screen.

Can you comprehend that? I couldn't. This is not made by human. This is not made for human. This is inhumane!!!

OK, now that I know it, it's OK, I'm a software engineer and I like solving puzzles. And BTW, the MODX is absolutely fabulous synth, the other guys compliment the quality of sounds every time. But geez, Yamaha engineers are out of their mind.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/20/19 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
But geez, Yamaha engineers are out of their mind.

The Yamaha User Experience (UX) engineers were busy designing the UI for the N1X. 😶
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/20/19 02:20 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
But geez, Yamaha engineers are out of their mind.

The Yamaha User Experience (UX) engineers were busy designing the UI for the N1X. 😶

You naughty guy! laugh
Posted By: TrollToddington Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/20/19 11:20 PM
CyberGene,

I here ya! Years ago I used to have a MOX6. Got it after seeing that famous Yamaha guru demonstrator Bert Smorenburg play it. My conclusion is that such instruments are designed only for people who have chosen playing music as their primary occupation. Or, teens who have extraordinary amounts of free time. Whatever. Sold it ar 60% loss, and the guy who bought it from me sold it in a month due to the very same reasons you’ve stated here.

I reverted to composing music using a Yamaha PSR workstation. These, of course, have their own set of “goodies” but at least the user interface is very simple and the sound patches are ok (the expansion packs less so).

In short - if you want to make old-fashioned traditional music, you get a PSR. If you want to create something yet unseen or unheard - you get a music production synthesiser. In the end I got tired of both and now I play the Viola - an instrument with a very simple user interface, no keys, no knobs, just 4 strings and a bow. I haven’t touched my Clavinova for 3 or 4 years now. I don’t sell it because, in my opinion, there should be a piano in every home.
Posted By: Abdol Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/21/19 12:04 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
So, after a month I already feel comfortable with the awkward Yamaha synth architecture and it doesn't seem like a brainf*ck anymore.

Or so I thought wink I had a jam on Monday and decided to split the keyboard in two parts: an arpeggiated synth on the left, a pad on the right. It's a pretty straightforward process: you set the upper and lower limit for each part and that's displayed nicely as colored bars on the display: one on the left touches the other on the right at the split point. I did this many times before. And then I realized I can hear the left part arpeggios being triggered by pressing keys in the right part shocked So, I had a lengthy conversation with Bad Mister from YamahaSynth forums and I was 100% sure it was a bug! And then after another lengthy consultation with the long version of the user manual it turns out that:

Splitting the keyboard is not actually splitting the keyboard! It's actually a weird concept that determines which notes are allowed for a part. In other words a part will receive key presses from the entire keyboard but only the allowed notes will sound. And since the left part is an arpeggiated one with a pattern that goes an octave below the pressed keys, the left part received all key presses from the right part and some of the pattern notes went into the allowed (left) region and so were audible laugh So, in case of split with an arpeggiated parts, you don't use the usual note ranges. You go into some buried menus to change "another" note limit setting. One that's not visible on the main performance screen.

Can you comprehend that? I couldn't. This is not made by human. This is not made for human. This is inhumane!!!

OK, now that I know it, it's OK, I'm a software engineer and I like solving puzzles. And BTW, the MODX is absolutely fabulous synth, the other guys compliment the quality of sounds every time. But geez, Yamaha engineers are out of their mind.


This is not unique to Yamaha. DAWs and all of the synths have similar concept. In MainStage for example, you do the exact same thing laugh
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/21/19 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
. . . So, in case of split with an arpeggiated parts, you don't use the usual note ranges. You go into some buried menus to change "another" note limit setting. [b]One that's not visible on the main performance screen.[/]

Can you comprehend that? I couldn't. This is not made by human. This is not made for human. This is inhumane!!!


ROFL !!!!

Well, it _was_ made by human; some engineer decided that it should work that way.

Be thankful that Yamaha has a workaround for the problem.<g>

Along with "too many functions, too few knobs", I now have another saying:

. . . Too much complexity, too-small display.

Somebody joked that the microKorg XL's onboard patch editing was really nice, for someone who enjoyed doing keyhole surgery. I sympathize with your screech of pain.
Posted By: Rusty Mike Re: Yamaha MODX - 11/21/19 12:36 AM
The horrible UX is the reason I’ll probably never own another Yamaha electronic instrument ever again. How they sound is irrelevant if you can’t work the damn thing.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 03:20 PM
And yet another ridiculously stupid decision by Yamaha for the MODX: each of the 16 parts is hardcoded to receive data on the MIDI channel with the corresponding number and you can’t change that 🤦🏻‍♂️ I connected my SL73 to the MODX with the intention to control the CFX piano sound, however the main CFX sound is actually a multi-part instrument (to overcome some legacy limitation of the AWM2 architecture that allows only 8 elements per part) and I can’t control the CFX through the SL73 because the separate parts can’t listen to the same MIDI channel. The only solution is to use a “light” version of the CFX with only a few layers in a single part.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 03:52 PM
The MODX and the Montage have two MIDI modes : single vs. Multi channel. Then you can have all the 16 parts receiving a single channel.

But you can’t have, let’s say, the 4 or 5 CFX parts receiving a single channel and another part receiving an other channel.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
The MODX and the Montage have two MIDI modes : single vs. Multi channel. Then you can have all the 16 parts receiving a single channel.

But you can’t have, let’s say, the 4 or 5 CFX parts receiving a single channel and another part receiving an other channel.

I know but I want to create a multi instrument setup: MODX keyboard playing a pad/lead split and the SL73 controlling Rhodes or CFX piano parts on the MODX.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
The only solution is to use a “light” version of the CFX with only a few layers in a single part.

That's not the only solution. The best solution is to take advantage of the fact that the SL73 is a 4-zone controller, which means you can set it to transmit on 4 MIDI channels at a time. So if the Yamaha sound you want to trigger is split among parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, you should be able to just set your SL73 to transmit on all four of those channels simultaneously, and you're all set.

There are other solutions for people whose second keyboards are only single zone (single channel) controllers, too. You can set MODX to “MIDI I/O Mode” = Single. Then the external keyboard can play the multi-part CFX sound. The trade-off is that the MODX itself will only be able to play single-part sounds. In other words, you're still limited to one of your keyboards only being able to play a single part, but you've switched which keyboard has the limitation and which does not. Another solution for people with single channel controllers is to use an iPhone or iPad with any of a number of apps that will take a single MIDI channel in and convert it to a multiple MIDI channel out.

Originally Posted by Frédéric L
The MODX and the Montage have two MIDI modes : single vs. Multi channel. Then you can have all the 16 parts receiving a single channel.

But you can’t have, let’s say, the 4 or 5 CFX parts receiving a single channel and another part receiving an other channel.

There's also a third MIDI mode, Hybrid (added with the update that came out a few months ago), which gives you some more flexibility as well.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 04:27 PM
Anotherscott, thanks for the SL73 4-zone solution, that would actually work!
Posted By: Abdol Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Anotherscott, thanks for the SL73 4-zone solution, that would actually work!


I'm not familiar with the samples in the waverom of your MODX, but although MODX is Yamaha's synth, Yamaha has decided to create special that you can't make them on your keyboard. These are multi-samples that appear in your waverom, they have special names and they include all the samples belonging to one instrument.

For example, if your piano has 5 velocity layers, there is one special sample that has all of them gathered in one sample!

The only drawback is you can't adjust the velocity values yourself and they are hardcoded... This way all you need to do is to set the first "element" to the sample you want.

I don't know how many samples these "special samples" can have but they exist all over my MOTIF XF's waverom.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 07:01 PM
To my understanding there’s a limitation of 8 “elements” within a part. An element AKA waveform is a bunch of samples, e.g. a separate sample for each key, for instance a drum part will have different drums and percussions on each key. All these samples can be within an element but as you can expect will be triggered by different keys. If you however need to trigger different samples for the same key, e.g. velocity layers of the same piano key, you need to put them in another element up to 8 for a part. If you also include release samples that means a single-part piano will have 7-velocity layers for all the 88 keys. Now, there’s also a limitation for number of samples within a single element, it’s not 88, it’s less. So, if you don’t want to have stretches, you will exhaust additional elements. Which is why the concert CFX patch in the MODX is made of 4 parts. It’s a 9-layer piano: Mastering the MODX
Posted By: Abdol Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
To my understanding there’s a limitation of 8 “elements” within a part. An element AKA waveform is a bunch of samples, e.g. a separate sample for each key, for instance a drum part will have different drums and percussions on each key. All these samples can be within an element but as you can expect will be triggered by different keys. If you however need to trigger different samples for the same key, e.g. velocity layers of the same piano key, you need to put them in another element up to 8 for a part. If you also include release samples that means a single-part piano will have 7-velocity layers for all the 88 keys. Now, there’s also a limitation for number of samples within a single element, it’s not 88, it’s less. So, if you don’t want to have stretches, you will exhaust additional elements. Which is why the concert CFX patch in the MODX is made of 4 parts. It’s a 9-layer piano: Mastering the MODX


In the song mode of MOTIF, you can set all the parts to the same MIDI channel and have 16 parts voice, with 8 elements in each. Exactly the same as Montage. But the UI is not intuitive and cumbersome to work with. All Yamaha did, was to redesign the UI.


Now what I mentioned is not relevant to the 8 elements!

The AWM2 has two major designs(voice categories): One for drums and percussions and one for instruments. For drums, you can have up to 128 velocity layers and 128 samples (128x128)! but it is not exposed in the synth interface for you. A very similar feature exists in Genos/PSR series for the users!!!!! So you can set up to 128 velocity layers for a note in a drum voice in PSR series... (I am not 100% if it accepts 128 samples but I remember you could do it on the fly and set the velocity to whatever value you wan)

I don't have MODX to explore its waverom, but in the edit menu for any AWM2 voice, under each element you can pick a sample from the available waveforms. Some of the samples are actually multi-samples (at least in MOTIF series), and they don't consume more than 1 element, but you can have at least 4 velocity layers in it!

Maybe it is a single sample with multiple begin-end-loop points defined.

If you notice when you enter the edit menu for Drums and Percussions you don't have all the features of a regular voice. For example, the eXpanded Articulations are not available for drums.

This question was asked directly by me from Bad Mister. The purpose was to design a round-robin style drumkit, but it is not possible when your voice is initialized as drum/percussion. The only way is to initialize the voice as a regular, and this way you can have only 8 elements.

In addition to all of these oddnesses, there is CP1 piano samples, which has been argued enormously here, are available for MOTIF XS/XF and it is ~120MB but the voice itself is around ~400MB! This CP1 file format is a special file format that only Yamaha knows how to decode it and uses Yamaha's proprietary compression technology with a compression ratio of 2.7:1.

There is so much to learn about the AWM2 architecture for you there and so much to make you frustrated as well.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 08:51 PM
So, I also read again the reference about AWM element editing and it seems an element (a waveform) contains many keybanks which are the actual raw samples and each keybank can be assigned to a key range and velocity range. However there may be some limitation to the maximum number (or total size?) of keybanks within a waveform which is why the 9-layer CFX patch on the MODX needs 4 parts.
Posted By: Abdol Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 09:21 PM
I just looked in the waverom:

CF3 Stretch Sw St

or

CF3 Stretch Sw Mn

You load the Sw samples in 1 element and it includes multiple samples already without wasting more than 1 element and you will have 7 elements free for other things.

There are many samples that they have "Sw" in their names. The Sw means "switching". Here is the answer by Bad Mister:

http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/470176
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Yamaha MODX - 01/12/20 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by Abdol
In the song mode of MOTIF, you can set all the parts to the same MIDI channel and have 16 parts voice, with 8 elements in each. Exactly the same as Montage. But the UI is not intuitive and cumbersome to work with. All Yamaha did, was to redesign the UI.
It's not exactly Motif Song Mode with a redesigned UI. In some ways it's better, in some ways it's worse. It's worse because you no longer have independent MIDI channel assignment, and you have a max of 8 keyboard-playable sounds instead of 16. It's better because you now have seamless transitions between "songs" instead of only when switching sounds within the 16 sounds that can be part of a song.

Also, while it's true that an advanced user could create the equivalent of Montage "multi-part single instruments" using Motif Song/Mix mode, with Montage, *Yamaha* provided a whole bunch of high quality instrument sounds in that format. There's a big difference between what for most users only exists in theory and what exists in reality, and providing those multi-part instruments with Yamaha's sampling expertise is significant.

Of course, Montage brought some other benefits to the platform as well... e.g. a complete FM synth, 8 external zones (instead of 4), faster processor, and in terms of the basic architecture, I believe a stereo waveform used up two instances of polyphony in the Motif, but only one in the Montage.






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