Can 'performances/splits' include external instruments?

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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Can 'performances/splits' include external instruments?

Unread post by dcjams » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:31 am


I don’t have much experience of complex synthesisers like the MODX or Montage so short of reading the manual from front to back I wasn’t sure how to search for the answers I’m looking for and I might not be using the correct terms either.

Can I do the following on the MODX:

Choose some presets I like and split them across the keyboard. Presumably this is a given, layers and splits and performances and all that, but I include the question for completeness and to give context to the next question.

Can I also include my external synthesisers in that (without going via a DAW) by perhaps setting a specific MIDI channel on a given layer and either that layer doesn’t have a designated MODX patch or it’s muted.

In other words:

C0 - C2 some MODX FM bass patch
C2 - C5 some MODX piano patch
C5 - C8 factory patch 7 on my DSI OB-6

I guess the crux of the question is, can I assign a specific note range of the keyboard to a given MIDI channel and not have the MODX play anything for that range?

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Re: Can 'performances/splits' include external instruments?

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm

This should work fine:

"Here is the full article "MONTAGE as a master keyboard, zones, ect."

Montage has one mode (called Performance mode) and each active Performance Part can act as a Zone Master.

In [UTILITY] mode, select "Settings" -> "Advanced" -> set the ZONE MASTER switch ON. This makes the Master function available globally.
1_montage.png (54.88 KiB) Viewed 663 times
Now when you create a Performance you can determine how it affects the external connected devices by allowing you transmit OUT via MIDI to those modules.

Each active internal Part can be setup to transmit OUT via MIDI on any channel. The Note Limits, volume. Etc. can be set as required. These Zone Settings are independent from those you setup for the internal tone engine.

Recall the Montage Performance setup as you describe. You only need setup Part 1 as a Zone Master to transmit OUT on MIDI channel 3. Here's how:

Press [EDIT]
Press [PART SELECT 1/1]
Because you've activated the global Zone Master, parameters that will allow you setup external control will now appear within Performances.
In the lower left corner of the screen make sure "Common" is selected (blue)
Touch "Part Settings" -> "Zone Settings"- > turn the Zone Switch = ON
1_2montage.png (53.81 KiB) Viewed 663 times
Touch "Zone Transmit" to activate/deactivate individual physical controllers
Set your external zone parameters as you require.
[STORE] your newly edited Performance.

If you want to control the internal and external devices together (layered) they can share the Part settings of your internal. But when you require a Zone to be independent, you can work differently

If the INT SW = ON, then the internal Part will play layered with the external Zone. If you want to NOT trigger the external sound, you should create a "dummy" internal Part (assigning a Part exclusively for external control). It seems in order to activate a Zone some thing must be assigned to the Montage Part, (even if you plan to not use it) you can then turn the INT SW = OFF for this Part and use its setup just to control the external device. Making sure KBD CTRL is OFF if you use one of the first 8 Parts, or simply use Parts 9-16 to setup your external Zones.

Then recalling this Performance will send the MSB/LSB and Program Change but do nothing else.

The KBD CTRL icon appears on Parts 1-8 and allows the Montage keyboard to address multiple Parts from its own keyboard. It is called Keyboard Control because it literally places the Part under control of the Keyboard. If this icon is not active then a Part can be played and controlled only when you manually select it.

The Montage is 16 Part multi-timbral. Without the KBD CTRL icon active, you can play one Part at a time, by directly selecting that Part [1]-[16]. This is how a multi-timbral layout works.
The KBD CTRL, available for Parts 1-8, enables you to simultaneously address multiple Parts using the massive Controller Matrix of the Motion Control engine. When the icon is green, it means this Part is available for duty (internally and/or externally).

Necessarily, the Montage when addressing multiple Parts has to also deal with transmitting what you play OUT via MIDI. And this is where most folks glaze over or become some what confused, understandably. There are times when you need to keep the multiple Parts separated by channel, and there are times when you don't want to keep them separated. There are times when you are controlling arpeggiators (there are 8) that separation is required. There are times when no Arps are used, you might opt to have it travel out on a single channel. Are you using the arp to play something externally? Conversely, there are going to be times when you want the Montage to receive as a single entity and others when you need it to play multiple roles via MIDI. It's all just basic MIDI, no more simple or complex than thinking through what you require.

The Zone Master control function is there to help you when you wish to connect the Montage to external devices. Because the Montage does not have a workstation style sequencer, it is a bit different, necessarily, than its predecessor, the XF. In the XF you transmitted via a Track to the tone generator. If you selected Track 1, you transmitted to Part 1 only because Track 1 was set by default to Midi channel 1 and by default Part 1 was set receive that channel. But it was totally possible to set Track 1 to transmit on Midi channel 12, in which case any Part, or Parts, set to receive on channel 12 would respond.

The Montage does not work like this, at all. So remembering XF, may only confuse you. There is no MIDI Track to determine the MIDI Channel you are transmitting on. What was a separate mode (Master) has been rolled up and included in each of the 640 User Performances. When you activate Montage Part 1 it automatically is set to transmit OUT on MIDI channel 1. However, if you are connected to external devices, with Montage you will want to activate and customize the ZONE MASTER function... Doing so will give you control over what is transmitted both internally and OUT via MIDI. Important to note, if you are not triggering other devices in your keyboard setup, the Zone Master can be turned completely Off (reducing the size of your resulting backup file). Once the Zone Master is activated in Utility mode, however, you can customize every program as you require within your particular rig.

The good news it is programmable, if there is any bad news, this means you'll have to program it.

You can set up a different MIDI OUT configuration for each PART in a Performance. That's right, all 16 Parts can. But as you know, you can only address 8 of them at one time. How do you know this? Because in order for a Zone to be active it must traverse an active KBD CTRL internal Part. And a maximum of 8 Parts can be active at once on Montage.

But say you assign a MultiPart Performance that uses Parts 1-8, you could play these eight Parts simultaneously. Say you assign eight more to Parts 9-16, you can play these individually when you select them directly, each could carry an external Zone device. This is where the Part Setting > Zone Setting > INT SW is useful.

If your MultiPart Performance uses Parts 1-4, (KBD CTRL = On for Parts 1-4)... In order to use this while connected to external devices, you will need to decide how best to link your internal workings with what you need to accomplish externally. If you need to setup the external device totally independently, you can. If you wish to create a layer situation with one of your four internal Parts, you can.

To setup an independent external zone, place a "dummy" sound in Part 5, KBD CTRL active but set the INT SW = Off.
It takes a minute to "get this"... a Part, if selected directly, will sound. KBD CTRL active or not. When the cursor is highlighting the PERFORMANCE name, (what Montage considers "Home") only those Parts with KBD CTRL active will sound.

This is why the INT SW is important and different from the KBD CTRL switch.

The default condition sets the internal switch On when you activate the Zone Switch. However, I wouldn't necessarily take this as a hint to use this way. (if I remember the XF correctly, both the INT SW and EXT SW were initially set to On in Zone 1, although I rarely, if ever, used it like that. Mostly I would setup separate zones for external use, exclusively. I never or hardly ever used the switch active for both INT and EXT within a single zone.

Although Montage's configuration of the Master function is different, I would still opt to use separate Zones that address the Internal from those that would be for an external device.

When using the Master keyboard features it seems optimum to analyze each configuration as necessary to accomplish your goal. Separate internal and external zones still seems to be the most logical and flexible way to work.

There are two transmit options when in a Performance and controlling external devices. One is defined by selecting the "Common" level, like when you are 'Home', the other takes place when you select a specific Part. The first allows you to build combination internal/external Performances. The second allows you to select individual controller setups. When creating splits and/or layers that combine internal zones and external zones, the ability to control them separately in a necessity. There's a maximum of eight Zones, any combination of internal + external that equals eight. When you look at it this way, it starts to make more sense.

I wind up using the Parts 9-16 to setup individual zones be they exclusively internal or exclusively external. Using the [PART CONTROL] buttons to smoothly switch between sounds.

All sixteen Parts have the ability to be a preset Zone Master, so if in a particular stage event, you need to play different external modules from the Montage keys, these can be used by selecting them directly, via the Part Control buttons.

Necessarily, the Montage when addressing multiple Parts has to also deal with transmitting what you play OUT via MIDI. The Zone Master control function is there to help you when you wish to connect the Montage to external devices via MIDI.

It is completely normal for any keyboard to send what you play on its keys OUT via MIDI and it also sends messages when you move its controllers. Nothing need be activated or turned on to do this, all MIDI devices normally do this, quite naturally. The Montage is no different. So when you play on the keys you are generating MIDI messages. If you want to control where they go and the nature of those messages you must use the ZONE MASTER function.

A Switch does not have to be enabled for the Montage (or any keyboard we make) to send MIDI message OUT. This is completely normal for it to do so all of the time. The Montage does have two MIDI INPUT/OUTPUT modes - one that lets it transmit on as many as 8 Channels simultaneously (according to the number of active KBD CONTROL Parts you are using) and one that lets it transmit on a single MIDI Channel 1-16 of your choosing.

So if you are set to MIDI I/O mode = Multi and you are connected to an external device, you are sending messages on each Channel you are using. If you are playing CFX Concert (4 PARTs) you are transmitting on MIDI channels 1-4, if you are playing Seattle Sections (7 Parts) you are transmitting on MIDI channels 1-7.
If you are set to MIDI I/O mode = Single and you've selected channel 1, then if you are playing CFX Concert (4 PARTs) you are transmitting on MIDI channel 1, and likewise, if you are playing Seattle Sections (7 Parts) you are transmitting on MIDI channel 1.

When you connect to an external MIDI device via a 5-pin MIDI cable, you would then be in a situation where you want to manage what you are transmitting OUT, by activating the ZONE MASTER function. Now you can take control over which messages are internally dealt with and which messages are routed OUT via MIDI.

If you do not want to send messages OUT, you can use the ZONE MASTER function to OPT OUT for each active ZONE. You do so by activating the ZONE and setting the MIDI Transmit Channel to OFF.

If you are playing a Multi_Part Performance and you are generating multiple Note Ons on different MIDI channels, most likely, you are set to MIDI I/O mode = multiple. This is up to you which way you wish to operate, but either way you will want to use the ZONE MASTER to eliminate transmitting where you don't want things to go.

If you want to send a Bank Select and Program Change to a specific device but do not want to trigger the module you want to activate a ZONE specifically for that external device. There are several ways to proceed... Here's one:

Method 1: Create a ZONE for this external device. You don't mention what or if you need this PERFORMANCE to play internally simultaneously - so we will just assume that you do.
From the PERFORMANCE HOME screen, select PART 9. (We select 9 because we do not know how many of the internal Parts you will be playing simultaneously). You do so by lighting the [PART CONTROL] button on the right front panel and pressing [PART SELECT 9]
Touch the "+" icon to ADD a single "dummy" Part - it does not matter what it is as long as it is a single (Green) PART. It doesn't matter because we will not be playing it or hearing it just transmitting via its slot.
Press [EDIT]
Touch "COMMON" in the lower left of the screen (blue)
Touch "Part Settings" > "Zone Settings"
Turn the ZONE = ON
Set the INT SW = OFF
Set your Transmit Channel = 3
1_3montage.png (53.19 KiB) Viewed 663 times
Set the MSB/LSB and Program Change as you desire to recall the sound on your external device. You do not have to set the KEY RANGE to C-2 through C-2 because this ZONE will not be activated by the KBD CTRL - and will only be active if you manually select PART 9. We have assumed you are playing other sounds under KBD CONTROL (in Parts 1-8), and therefore you will never select PART 9 directly. The Bank Select and Program Change message will be sent when you recall this PERFORMANCE. But if you are nervous that you might forget, you can set the Range as you desire to prevent accidents but... totally not necessary, here.

Press [STORE] to store your new PERFORMANCE
When you recall this PERFORMANCE, the Bank Select and Program Change will be sent to your external device, the PERFORMANCE will be in the "HOME" status, where you are set to play the sounds under KBD CTRL.

How can you send "program change" messages from the MONTAGE to another keyboard?

The link to the answer on the Zone Master feature shows you how MONTAGE acts as a master keyboard controller. It sends both MSB and LSB values for Bank Select, and then a Program Change number.

MSB is Control Change 0 (values range from 000-127)
LSB is Control Change 32 (values range from 000-127)
Yamaha uses both numbers to define the Bank, followed by a Program Change Number (000-127) to select a program within the Bank as defined by both MSB and LSB.

Lets say I want the MONTAGE Performance to change an external synth module/keybd with a BANK SELECT and PROGRAM CHANGE.

Call up the Performance you wish to configure
Press [UTILITY], go to “Settings” > “Advanced”
1_4montage.png (32.47 KiB) Viewed 663 times
Press [EXIT] to return to your Performance
Press [EDIT]
Next you want to select a PART, if you are going to be using this setup to control both INTERNAL and EXTERNAL, you may want to have separate Part slots for each. (Recommended). If necessary, touch the “+” to ADD a new Part slot which you will setup for the EXTERNAL Part.
You must select a placeholder Internal Part... which we will deactivate in the Zone Settings...

Select that Part for editing
Touch “Part Settings” > “Zone Settings”
Turn the ZONE = On
Turn the INT SW = Off
You can set a MIDI Channel to transmit Out on
1_5montage.png (34.41 KiB) Viewed 663 times
You have the ability to activate Bank Select, Program Change, Volume, Pan ... if you need to send any or all of these.
You’ll need the MSB number and the LSB number (place under Bank Select), Insert the MIDI program number ...

In the screen shot above the GM bank is MSB/LSB = 000/000, and the first MIDI Program Number is Concert Grand (piano).

(Credit: Phil Clendeninn)
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Re: Can 'performances/splits' include external instruments?

Unread post by Derek » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:01 pm

Yes, Zone Master should do what you want.

Montage’s main MIDI limitation right now is with MIDI data coming in, but setting up Zone Master should do what you want. I haven’t bothered with it myself as I use Cantabile as a MIDI processor in my rig, so it is doing all the splits for me.
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Re: Can 'performances/splits' include external instruments?

Unread post by dcjams » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:46 pm

Thank you so much! Sorry, I missed this helpful replies until now
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