MODX - Make or Break Questions

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:30 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
While I by now guess that the MODX is probably just not the right thing for you (not the MODX8 and certainly not the MODX6/7) I would still like to clarify that. I am not sure who at Yamaha you asked or what the exact the question was. Maybe you were not asking the right question...
The answer to the question "Can you edit a performance such that the velocity response in different parts of the keyboard can be adapted to personal taste?" is certainly yes. Maybe it is still not enough for your taste but you have a lot of possibilities.
I contacted support through the https://www.yamaha.com site.
For the sake of a synth nearly half the price of the Montage, you definitely have my attention and are getting my hopes up again that the MODX8 is still an option, as opposed to what Yamaha's response lead me to think.

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
To clarify what you can do you could do the following experiment (if you had a MODX or Montage):
  • Take performance "CFX Stage" as a starting point. It has only one part for the whole piano which means you have 7 parts free.
  • If you for example say that the velocity response in the middle of the keyboard is okay but not in the lower and higher parts, copy part 1 to parts 2, and 3.
  • Split the keyboard using the parts' "Note Limit" setting so that the 3 parts are in different keyboard regions, e.g. part 1 lower part, part 2 middle part, part 3 higher part (you could split into up to 8 regions if you need, remember that you have 8 parts available).
  • For each of the regions you can now use the velocity offset and velocity depth to adapt that part to your needs. You should not make too drastic changes there, otherwise you get weird effects when playing melodies which span regions. But some extent of editing is okay.
  • If that's not enough, note that each part of the mentioned performance has 5 elements which handle different velocity ranges (the others are used for the high notes and the key off sound).
  • Each of the elements has a velocity curve of its own in the element's amplitude screen. Does that help enough?
Wow, I knew multiple parts could be slit like that, but never thought about the 3 piano part split idea, and customize them for the different sections of the piano. Duh! ;) That might just work for me...

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
[*]In addition to that you have per element the level/key setting which can be used to have higher volume towards the lower or higher end of the key range.
[*]In addition to that there is the scale screen with 4 keys and 4 levels which allows you per element to adapt the level further for 5 regions per element .
This I could potentially just do at the 'part' level for each of the 3 part sections. I knew about the amplitude volume scaling and was going to utilize if velocity scaling was an option. But now with your idea, I could kinda replicate velocity scaling to a certain extent, as well as a bit of volume scaling.

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
So can you adapt the velocity response to your needs? I certainly think so. Is it a lot of work and fine tuning? Absolutely. But as someone wrote earlier you would have to do it once per piano sound and then store it. And then you can use that piano sound again and again.
That could work for what I am looking to do. Thanks!
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:11 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:34 pm
I am not sure how this is done, I would certainly like to see what mechanism they use for that. However, the assumption that each key is hit with the same velocity is not necessarily true. First, that depends on the exact nature of the mechanism. Note that the velocity which is important is that at the end when the hammer hits the string. Having a constant velocity at that point in the face of different counter forces is a non-trivial thing to achieve I would assume. Second, since they have to program that mechanism to have different velocities for the different velocity layers, they could certainly program a different velocity curve per key... So for the lower layers the mechanism could apply higher force or not.
I think when the do the sample recording using the key striking mechanism, they are doing it for a keyboard that will trigger the sample layers evenly and balanced. I don't think they do it with a GHS type keybed in mind, at least not the sampling they did for the Montage, which is what I am primarily referring to.

My thought is that when they sampled the piano, the mechanism they used to strike all 88 keys would have been designed to replicate the same force on each key for each sample layer so that everything is kept balanced/even in the sample library, maintaining the natural gradedness/imbalance of the real acoustic piano keyboard, so that the piano player can hit the syth keys with the same force they normally would on a real piano and it would trigger the same layer for that level of force as if playing a real piano. Thus letting the piano player not have to worry about playing harder or softer on higher or lower keys, and just focus on playing as they normally do.
If the sampling mechanism is set differently for different keys which end up in the same velocity layer, then the piano player would have to adjust their playing.
Before this issue with the MODX8 came up, I never heard of GHS and did not know that real acoustic piano keys were graded. So when I play, I've never thought about hitting higher keys harder of softer compared to the mid or lower keys. I always saw the entire piano as even and all sections sound like they do by design. I didn't care what the design was. I realize most piano pieces vary in how hard the fingers hit the keys at various times and various sections of the keyboard, and have quite a range, but there are a few songs that just require hitting all the keys with the same force, high, mid & low. So if the sampling mechanism hit higher keys on the real acoustic piano differently than the lower keys for a particular velocity layer, then when I go to play that song on the synth like a montage with a balanced keybed, the higher keys that I hit for the same velocity layer as I trigger on the lower keys, would not sound like they should if I was hitting them with the same force with my fingers on a real piano. That is why they would need the mechanism to keep the same striking force on all keys for a particular velocity layer when they do the sampling.

What you suggest with offsetting the natural gradedness of an acoustic piano by using different levels of force on various keys across the acoustic piano for a particular velocity layer, would have been perfect and the right way to sample if they were doing the sampling specifically for a GHS type keybed, so that the player would not only get the same feel as a real piano on the lower vs higher keys, but the different velocity layers that are triggered on the lower vs the high keys, would reflect the proper sound as the real acoustic piano would give. I wish they had re-sampled the CFX pianos for the MODX8 so that it wouldn't have the issues that it currently does using the Montage's CFX balanced piano samples.

All that being said, I agree that it would be very interesting to be involved in the process and to watch them do the sampling of a piano that you know will become the sampled library of velocity layers in a particular keyboard, see the mechanism use, and to know how it's done!
User avatar
Stevie18
Product Specialist
Product Specialist
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:49 pm
Germany

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:54 pm

Yes agreed, I would love to see that. I searched the internet for some time but did not really find anything. There are Youtube videos about how a piano is sampled. They talk endlessly about the microphones they are using and how they are placed. But nothing about how it is actually triggered.
anotherscott
Member
Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:36 pm
United States of America

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:21 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:11 pm
I think when the do the sample recording using the key striking mechanism, they are doing it for a keyboard that will trigger the sample layers evenly and balanced. I don't think they do it with a GHS type keybed in mind, at least not the sampling they did for the Montage, which is what I am primarily referring to.
When they sample a piano, they are unlikely to sample it with a particular model (i.e. Montage) in mind, as Yamaha is likely to want to use the same samples in a wide variety of instruments. It would not be very cost-effective to keep sampling the same piano over and over again for every new model. And the majority of Yamaha's hammer actions are graded. (In fact, I think the Montage 8 is the only current hammer action Yamaha without a graded action.)

I would guess that samples are done with no particular kind of action in mind, i.e. graded or not. But the subsequent programming (i.e. velocity-mapping) of the samples could be done with some model and action in mind, and if they programmed these piano samples for the the Montage 8, and brought the same exact set of sound programming to the MODX without adjusting for the different kind of action, then sure, that could affect how they play.
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:30 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:21 pm
When they sample a piano, they are unlikely to sample it with a particular model (i.e. Montage) in mind, as Yamaha is likely to want to use the same samples in a wide variety of instruments. It would not be very cost-effective to keep sampling the same piano over and over again for every new model. And the majority of Yamaha's hammer actions are graded. (In fact, I think the Montage 8 is the only current hammer action Yamaha without a graded action.)
I would guess that samples are done with no particular kind of action in mind, i.e. graded or not. But the subsequent programming (i.e. velocity-mapping) of the samples could be done with some model and action in mind, and if they programmed these piano samples for the the Montage 8, and brought the same exact set of sound programming to the MODX without adjusting for the different kind of action, then sure, that could affect how they play.
Makes sense to me! I just wish they had options in the AWM2 engine to do Velocity Scaling, at least in the MODX models.
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:22 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
The answer to the question "Can you edit a performance such that the velocity response in different parts of the keyboard can be adapted to personal taste?" is certainly yes. Maybe it is still not enough for your taste but you have a lot of possibilities.

Split the keyboard using the parts' "Note Limit" setting so that the 3 parts are in different keyboard regions, e.g. part 1 lower part, part 2 middle part, part 3 higher part
So for clarification(or correct me if I have read something incorrectly):
- A 'performance' has 8 parts..!?
- A sequenced 'song' has 16 stereo tracks, where you can have numerous different perfomances (or parts of performances) on the different tracks, and still play live from a particular performance..!?
(or is it that 16 parts can be played in total in a song?)

My concern is with the 16 song tracks...Does only the part from a performance used in a song count toward the 1 track or do all the parts in that performance count as different tracks (using up more than just one track)? Do effects, such as reverb, count against the number of song tracks or number parts that can be played in a song?

Here is what I plan to do and why I ask:
I'd like to record a squenced song that has: drums in 1 or 2 tracks with reverb effects, bass in another track, guitar with effects in another track, a 2 to 4 part layered strings or other things in another track (or would that be 2 ot 4 tracks, plus each effect would be additional tracks?), possibly another sound(s) part(s) in another 1 or 2 tracks with effects, and while all that plays in the song, I can play the Piano sound with reverb and possibly added strings that can be added or removed via the Super Knob.

So if the Piano is taking up 3 parts and the strings another 1 or 2, and each of them have some kind of reverb or delay effect; am I going past the allowed number of parts/effects/etc., for a single song while playing a 3 part piano & strings performance?
Will I have very little polyphony voices left to even play many notes on the piano/strings?

*Basically, does having piano made up of 3 parts each with reverb, take up too many tracks/allowed parts per song, and/or use up too much polyphony voices for a full tracked song?

Stevie18 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 pm
In addition to that you have per element the level/velocity setting which you can use to fine tune the response to the velocity.
In addition to that you have per element a velocity offset which can be used to set a minimum velocity. Together with the above you can have very fine grained control over the response to velocity for each element.
Are the options for velocities at the part/element level the same 5 curve options that you can choose from when setting velocity globally (Soft, Normal, Hard, etc.)

Also, with the velocity offset (which if I understand correctly, moves the velocity layers that you trigger either up or down for the same attack force you stirke the keys with..!?), how many different setting options are there for that setting? Is this a much more fine tuning of velocity than the 5 velocity curve setting options, whereby I might not even need to set the curve differently from the default 'Normal'..!?
anotherscott
Member
Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:36 pm
United States of America

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:18 pm

The MODX can play maximum of 16 parts at a time total (regardless of whether they are from live playing or sequence playback).

Effects are not parts. 12 of the parts can have dual effects on them, plus there are master effects you can apply to everything (and an effect for an external input).

A more fundamental issue may be that the MODX does not include a full sequencer. Are you intending to assemble/edit your sequence externally (computer/iPad)?
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:01 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:18 pm
The MODX can play maximum of 16 parts at a time total (regardless of whether they are from live playing or sequence playback).
Effects are not parts. 12 of the parts can have dual effects on them, plus there are master effects you can apply to everything (and an effect for an external input).
A more fundamental issue may be that the MODX does not include a full sequencer. Are you intending to assemble/edit your sequence externally (computer/iPad)?

Ok, thanks. I thought I read in a post somewhere that effects go against the number of sequencer tracks in a song, or something like that, where they count against something/some limit...!?

Do you know how the polyphony voicing is tallied on the MODX? Does it basically just, add up the max number of notes played at a particular point in time and as long as it's not past 128 notes for AWM2 sounds & 64 notes for FM-X sounds, it should be good..!?

If I record a synth track for a song from a performance that has 4 parts, but I only use 2 of those parts in the track, does the song take that as 2 of the 16 allowable parts or a 4 parts? Also, does it put the 2 or 4 parts in separate tracks or is each performance its own track no matter how many parts, whereby an 8 part performance(using all 8 parts) records using just one track of a song..!?
______________

I realize that about the MODX not having a full fledged sequencer that allows editing on the MODX itself; however I asked Yamaha about the option of editing a song in a DAW and then importing back into the MODX and they responded with the following "...You can use also use MODX Connect to transfert the song from the MODX to the computer, edit song in DAW and transfer the Song from the computer in the MODX using a USB drive."
If true, then that works for me, although I would probably just use the overdub & punch in/out functions on the Synth sequencer to fix it without the need for a DAW...
anotherscott
Member
Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:36 pm
United States of America

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:21 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:22 pm
*Basically, does having piano made up of 3 parts each with reverb, take up too many tracks/allowed parts per song, and/or use up too much polyphony voices for a full tracked song?
Polyphony has nothing to do with parts (or effects). You could use up all your polyphony with one part, or you can have polyphony left over while playing many parts.
vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:01 pm
Do you know how the polyphony voicing is tallied on the MODX? Does it basically just, add up the max number of notes played at a particular point in time and as long as it's not past 128 notes for AWM2 sounds & 64 notes for FM-X sounds, it should be good..!?
This is a more complicated question. Polyphony is not about notes per se, it is about the total number of tones being generated. That may sound like the same thing, but it's not. An organ sound made up of 8 elements each playing different drawbars would use up 8 instances of polyphony with just a single played note of a single part. So what you said there is basically right, except you have to allow for the fact that a single note of a single sound can be triggering multiple tones (elements).
vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:01 pm
I would probably just use the overdub & punch in/out functions on the Synth sequencer to fix it without the need for a DAW...
As I understand it, while overdub could be used as you intend, punch in/out to fix something can not, because there is no way to punch in on just a single overdubbed track.
Last edited by anotherscott on Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:02 am

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:21 pm
As I understand it, while overdub could be used as you intend, punch in/out to fix something can not, because there is no way to punch in on just a single overdubbed track.
Why is there is a punch in/out option if not for a single track. How are the tracks chosen that are used? Is it punch in/out per performance? Are songs recorded based on performances vs. parts? If I record one part of a performance that has 7 parts, does that means it records 7 tracks or just records everything in the performance to 1 or several tracks?
anotherscott
Member
Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:36 pm
United States of America

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:29 pm

You're on the right "track." ;-) Best explanation I've seen is at yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/tutorial-steps-for-recording-tracks (copy and paste that into a new browser window). Read the whole thing, because there is good back and forth about different approaches, and pros and cons.
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:15 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:29 pm
You're on the right "track." ;-) Best explanation I've seen is at yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/tutorial-steps-for-recording-tracks (copy and paste that into a new browser window). Read the whole thing, because there is good back and forth about different approaches, and pros and cons.
Nice, thanks! Sounds like connecting to a DAW to 'record/re-record/edit' parts of a song is the way to go, and then just import the edited midi tracks back into a song on the MODX/Montage via USB. It would be nice if they allowed 'Punch In/Out' for single tracks for those who don't have or want to use a DAW, maybe in a future OS release..!
I do like the idea of the drums & bass being an arpeggio for certain songs, but other songs may require too much customization in the drums to use an arpeggio..!?
I don't even know how arpeggios are recorded so I'm not sure if that last statement was correct. Maybe arpeggios can be a full song length with changing parts throughout and maybe they are editable via punch in/out..!?
pax-eterna
Member
Member
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 pm
Australia

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by pax-eterna » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:30 pm

TBH, you'd be better off leaving the MIDI file on he DAW, or running a laptop. Particularly if you have several tunes you are doing for a show. You do know that you cannot "link" a song file to any performance? (well that's my understanding anyway)...ergo when you select a performance you need to go menu diving to load the matching MIDI file.
vertig0spin
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 am
Canada

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:10 am

pax-eterna wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:30 pm
TBH, you'd be better off leaving the MIDI file on he DAW, or running a laptop. Particularly if you have several tunes you are doing for a show. You do know that you cannot "link" a song file to any performance? (well that's my understanding anyway)...ergo when you select a performance you need to go menu diving to load the matching MIDI file.
I don't want to bring a laptop or sequencer with me to gigs. I want to use just the MODX to play everything, except for some keyboard parts that I play live.

That would not be a great design if a song can't be defaulted/linked to a specific performance. Songs are created via a performance and they appear to have designed the performance recorder for specific performances and encourage configuring the performance parts with Arpeggios for bass/drums and record the keyboard part(s). Why would they advise creating a specific customized performance for doing songs this way if the song doesn't link to that same performance? If I come back later to that performance recording/song, it wouldn't make sense that it has a different performance selected for the song..!?
User avatar
Stevie18
Product Specialist
Product Specialist
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:49 pm
Germany

Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:42 pm

What pax-eterna writes is that you cannot load a song automatically when you select a performance. That's sort of right (*) (**).

But in the other direction, when you save a song it is stored to link to an associated performance. So when you load the song, you get the right performance automatically. That should be fine for many use cases, it is just a little bit slower than selecting a performance. And selecting a song cannot be done over MIDI (as far as I know, night be wrong).

(*) Well you can do the following: You record the songs you need or import the MIDI files. Then you go to some performance and press edit. In the "General Tab" of the "Common/Audio" page you have a button named "Update User Auditions". When you select that it will load *all* your songs to "User Auditions". It will overwrite all previous "User Auditions" for all performances, so make sure to keep all songs you need to have in the User Auditions around before pressing the button (the songs will of course remain there).

After saving the Auditions, for each performance you can select a User Audition from the list in the same screen, if you select "Audition Bank" User and then select the right audition using the song name. Now when you press the Audition button it will actually play the song associated with a performance. This is kind of better than the songs in some cases: It starts immediately when you press the audition button and you do not have that stupid limitation that you cannot leave the performance recorder screen while it is playing :-).

There are some limitations, though: I found that the loop mode does not work so you have to unroll any loop and make it long enough for all cases. Also, it won't stop at the end. After some pause it will restart. So you have to stop it yourself by pressing the Audition button at the end. What you can do if that is a problem is to enter some long pause at the end, but you have to stop it eventually because it would otherwise start playing the next audition when you select the next performance... Those are the only limitations I know of, not sure if there are more.

(**) Alternatively you can convert a song to an arpeggio and associate that with some part of the performance. There are limitations to that and it might be a bit tedious, but apart from that maybe it can help as well. It may have other advantages as well, because you can change between songs using scenes etc. You can have multiple arpeggios playing alternatively or at the same time. So this maybe be the better option for some people, anyway...
Post Reply

Return to “Yamaha MODX Forum”