MODX - Make or Break Questions

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anotherscott
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:41 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:22 pm
I do like that the Krome's engine uses some unlooped samples same as the Kronos.
The important thing is how it sounds, and how it feels to play. You should really try them rather than deciding which spec you like better. Unlooped doesn't automatically mean it would sound better than the Yamaha overall, because there are so many other things that affects the outcome. Velocity layers, implementation of sympathetic resonances, key-off behavior, which piano they sampled and how they mic'd it... you shouldn't assume you will necessarily like the unlooped Korg piano better than the CFX or whatever in the MODX.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:44 pm

Mighty Motif Max wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:49 pm
For me, the MODX/Montage pianos are better than the Krome. I have the previous generation Motif XF and a Krome both, and the XF sounds are also in the MODX and Montage. So I would imagine that the new pianos are different, but likely better than the Krome.
I've also only had the chance to try out the MODX and not the Krome; however knowing that the same samples from the Kronos are in the Krome, and from listening and comparing side by side all the Youtube vids that I could find regarding the MODX/Montage pianos vs the Krome (& the Kronos, but mainly the Krome), to my ears the Krome is more real, fuller and consistent across the entire keyboard.
I did however like some of the AWM2 based pianos on the MODX, except that I found both the volume & sound velocity was lower in the mid section compared to the lower or higher end keys. I had to hit the keys harder around C3 than I did an octave higher or lower, so it didn't feel natural as a piano. I have an actual accoustic piano at home and I can tell when a section of keys is too low. It's like they wanted to emphasize the bass notes and the high keys more!? I did not in any video that I watched/listened to of the Krome, hear a drop in volume around that area. Yet just like when I tried the MODX out for myself, the videos of the MODX also all seem to have a section of keys that sound too low in volume and attack, and they aren't the high or low keys. Maybe this can be easily adjusted on the MODX by editing the AWM2 engine of that sound part!? Does anyone know if this is possible?

Two perfect examples of songs I played on the MODX that did not feel natural some of time, except for the notes a bit higher up and definitely the low notes, were Journey's 'Open Arms' & 'Faithfully'...I had to hit the keys much hard than I should have to to get the right volume & sample velocity at times...
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:41 pm
The important thing is how it sounds, and how it feels to play. You should really try them rather than deciding which spec you like better. Unlooped doesn't automatically mean it would sound better than the Yamaha overall, because there are so many other things that affects the outcome.
True. I wish I lived closer to a city that had a Music Store that carries the Krome. Closest would likely be a 10 hour+ drive away. I was lucky that Halifax had a MODX 88 to try out. If I could try the Krome Piano, I would know within minutes if the Pianos are better sounding, and equally important, better naturally real action/volume/velocity; or not. I would just need to play a couple of Journey songs and I would know very quickly.
I struggled with the MODX in this regard, but hopefully that can be adjusted for a certain section of the keyboard..!?

Not being able to try the Krome will make this decision so much more difficult, as I can't truly go by anyone elses preference(whether here or on the Korg forums), and all I have to go by is the reviews and videos for comparison. Piano is the one instrument you can't fake. It either feels and sounds like an awesome piano on all the notes of the keyboard, or it doesn't. Other instruments or sounds I am not quite as concerned about in this regard.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Just reading up on the Sequencer specs, it says:
Performance Recorder - 16 Sequence tracks
Recording type: Real time replace, Real time overdub, Real time punch in/out.

Does that mean I could record a track and then overdub or punch in/out any parts I want to redo without having to redo the entire track? Basically, allows you to edit by recording over the parts here and there..!?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:54 pm

When I had the KROME for review I really liked it and especially the acoustic piano. Some things to be aware of apart from firmware issues I mentioned previously are the keys, they have shorter travel than most keyboards so it can take a while to get used to that and they did not feel as high quality as those in the MOXF. The AD converters are also not the same as in KRONOS, which is fine. You only notice when doing a side by side comparison, which I did and then it is obvious why the KRONOS costs so much more!

All in all though I highly rated the KROME and at the time I was testing it, had it included an Audio interface as the MOXF did I would have probably bought one.

Right now though KROME really does not stack up well against the MODX. It is by no means a bad keyboard but it is showing it's age and with the availability of so many sounds for MODX including that rather wonderful Bosendorfer Imperial Grand I can't really see any reason to go for a KROME over the MODX. That is my personal opinion though ok...not making any broad statements about which is better just which one I would buy ;)
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:49 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:54 pm
with the availability of so many sounds for MODX including that rather wonderful Bosendorfer Imperial Grand
Is this a sound that comes built-in by default, or is it from additional patches that can be added later?
I should first ask, are there additional patches available from the ones that come with the keyboard initially?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:45 pm

The Bosendorfer is a free download. Instructions here: viewtopic.php?f=186&t=11655

There are plenty of free patches available and anything that you see for Montage will also load into the MODX.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:06 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:45 pm
The Bosendorfer is a free download. Instructions here: viewtopic.php?f=186&t=11655

There are plenty of free patches available and anything that you see for Montage will also load into the MODX.
Thanks Saul ... Is there a download site for Montage patches or how would someone get the patches from the Montage so they could load them onto the MODX?


I have been watching a lot of videos that compare the Piano sounds of the MODX to the Montage, and there is a difference!

One of the main differences I noticed is basically what I experienced when trying out the MODX8 at the Music Store last weekend. The feel/attack of the MODX is not set high enough by default. It didn't sound like it should in the mid range notes for how soft or how hard I hit the keys. The high notes were good and the deep low notes were good, but everything especially in the lower middle range was not hitting the proper sampled velocity layer. It sounded like I was playing the songs really softly when I was actually just playing them normally as I would on my actual acoustic piano I have at home. If I hit the mid range notes/chords much harder, it sounded like I was just playing normally.
After awhile I found where the global velocity could be set to 'soft', which helped a great deal, whereby I didn't have to hit the notes as hard just to get them to sound at the proper sampled velocity layer; however the mid notes were still lower in volume (and still just a touch low on attack), and the high notes & lowest notes were then a bit too loud, with too much attack/velocity for how hard I was hitting the keys.

Every video I've watched on the MODX pianos, I can hear the same thing. Especially watching the ones comparing against the Montage, whereby the Montage seems more even across the entire keyboard, as if they programmed the piano patches/parts differently than they did on the MODX for the same sound.

So, I am left with a few questions to ask specifically regarding the MODX & Montage Piano sounds:
1. Does anyone know if both the Montage and MODX have the exact same global system settings by default, such as the Velocity curve, etc.?
2. Does anyone know if both the Montage and MODX have the exact same number of sampled piano velocity layers, or does the Montage have more layers?
3. Does anyone know if both the Montage and MODX piano parts/patches have the exact same programming right down to the Amplitude Level Velocity Sensitivity settings/curve/offset/etc. & Amplitude Scale break points offset 'for each element'?
4. Has anyone imported (or read where someone imported) the Montage Pianos onto the MODX to see if there is a difference with the Montage's imported sounds playing them on the MODX?

I am basically wondering if there is a way to get the MODX pianos to sound/feel the same as on the Montage...!?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by pax-eterna » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:12 pm

Wow you are being pedantic on those piano sounds...To me they are all fine and I do not notice any of the things you are saying. And comparing it to a real hardware acoustic piano is really comparing apples and oranges if you don't mind me saying.

If you want that level of realism in a keybed you need to spend a lot, a LOT more than this. In my experience...pretty much everything up to about $3k in price has some issue with the keybed. Even the Roland V-Acoustic (at about $9000+) has issues haha!

As I read somewhere the other day, no one can explain why classical piano players will pick a particular Steinway from a room full of the exact same model steinway. Same goes for keybeds. It is so subjective that anyones opinion no matter how sincere, and how much they believe it themselves, is pretty useless really.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:20 pm

Almost certainly, the Montage and MODX pianos are programmed completely identically. My guess is that any difference you notice in velocity responsiveness is due to the differences in the actions (GHS vs. Balanced Hammer Effect). It would be interesting to use MIDI to drive the MODX8 from the Montage 8 keys and vice versa, to try to see what difference the action makes.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:40 pm

I can only relate my experience with acoustic guitars and how that translates to keyboards. Right now I have 10 acoustic guitars here from 7 brands. They all have six strings and you can play the same songs on all of them however, to get the best from each guitar you need to adapt your playing, sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes quite markedly. It is the same with keyboards.

As anotherscott pointed out, Montage and MODX have different keybeds and the action and response of the balanced hammer keybed in Montage compared to the GHS keybed in the MODX is quite different. So likewise if you go from an acoustic piano to the MODX you might need to compensate for the differences. The velocity curve is one aspect of that as is moderating your touch on the keys.

Do remember we are comparing a mid range keyboard costing £1399 (MODX8) here in the UK to a flagship keyboard costing around 3 grand. There WILL be differences and most notably those differences will be in the quality of the keybed.

I don't have a Montage here to compare with, just the MODX7 and MODX8 so I can't really answer the questions about the same global velocity settings but I did have the Montage 7 last year and as far as I can remember there was no difference in how it plays in terms of sounds and velocity settings to the MODX.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:38 pm

pax-eterna wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:12 pm
Wow you are being pedantic on those piano sounds...To me they are all fine and I do not notice any of the things you are saying. And comparing it to a real hardware acoustic piano is really comparing apples and oranges if you don't mind me saying.

If you want that level of realism in a keybed you need to spend a lot, a LOT more than this. In my experience...pretty much everything up to about $3k in price has some issue with the keybed. Even the Roland V-Acoustic (at about $9000+) has issues haha!
Yes I would agree I am being a super perfectionist with the piano sound, as it is one of the two major factors in deciding whether to buy the MODX over the Krome. I've only played the MODX, but have also heard several videos on the MODX's piano sounds that back up what I heard them sound like, and I've also heard videos of the Krome that had a better sounding piano than the MODX, especially in the middle of the keyboard. I can't try the Krome or even the Montage for that matter, unless I take a long trip.
The fact is, I see potential in the MODX pianos, if it just means some deep element level programming to make up the realism in spite the cheaper keybed. If both the MODX and Montage have the exact same sound patch 'part' for pianos with the exact same sample velocity layers and 'part' programming, and the main difference I hear is the keybed, then I can work with that and make the MODX sound/feel nearly exactly like the Montage, thus making my decision easier.

BTW, my hardware acoustic piano is a 112 year old upright that has some notes that will not stay in tune, so it doesn't set a really high bar to compare against. Although, I have played some really expensive high quality hardware acoustic grand pianos, and also a high quality 7GB non-looped sample based instrument plugin Bechstein piano (in Protools) triggered via midi from my DX7-II keybed, and they all had super awesome feel and sound/velocity in the mid range notes...I think that spoiled me for my next synthesizer!
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:41 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:20 pm
Almost certainly, the Montage and MODX pianos are programmed completely identically. My guess is that any difference you notice in velocity responsiveness is due to the differences in the actions (GHS vs. Balanced Hammer Effect). It would be interesting to use MIDI to drive the MODX8 from the Montage 8 keys and vice versa, to try to see what difference the action makes.
I think you are probably correct in that the keybed is the biggest difference, and I like your idea of driving the MODX8 from the Montage 8 via midi. That's a video someone should make and I'd love to see!
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:50 pm

Saul wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:40 pm
As anotherscott pointed out, Montage and MODX have different keybeds and the action and response of the balanced hammer keybed in Montage compared to the GHS keybed in the MODX is quite different. So likewise if you go from an acoustic piano to the MODX you might need to compensate for the differences. The velocity curve is one aspect of that as is moderating your touch on the keys.

Do remember we are comparing a mid range keyboard costing £1399 (MODX8) here in the UK to a flagship keyboard costing around 3 grand. There WILL be differences and most notably those differences will be in the quality of the keybed.
I agree that the keybed is likely the biggest factor in the sound difference between the MODX and Montage, and modifying the velocity curve & other things can make up for most of that. Do you have an inside connection with Yamaha that can verify if the samples and programming are the same on both keyboards?

Interesting note regarding the Bosendorfer you mentioned. Of the 7 GB non-looped sampled instrument pluggin I got to try, there was also a Bosendorfer piano as well. It sounded awesome. I hope the MODX Bosendorfer patch is equally as awesome sounding. Is there a video anywhere where someone is playing this on either a MODX or Montage?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:55 pm

Well I would happily demo the Bosendorfer on the MODX for you but my piano playing chops are not really up to that sort of standard. There is a chance we can get Chris (parametric) to do it if he's over next week. We should also have the Native Instruments S88 Mk2 in for review.
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