MODX - Make or Break Questions

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:11 am

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting. It's been over 30 years since I bought my Yamaha DX7-II and I am looking to buy a new Workstation-like synth. Prior to the DX7-II, I had a Korg Polysix with a Roland SH-101 (my first synths). So I am a fan of Korg, Roland and Yamaha, and my current situation is that I am researching and comparing mainly the new Yamaha MODX with the Korg Krome. I would like to have the sequencing on-board, especially for playing live; however I am open to workarounds if they are possible on the MODX. I don't want to bring a computer or other sequencing device with me to gigs, so I am hoping my questions can bring clarity to things I've read, especially with how the Montage can integrate with a DAW.

So out of the gate, I have only tried the MODX and have not had an opportunity to try the Krome, and I loved the sounds I heard on the Yamaha MODX, except for one thing that concerns me(piano sound velocity/volume), which I will put in the form of a question. But two things that the Krome already has that I want are (1) built in sequencer, and (2) awesome piano (the same full (non-looped) piano samples as the Korg Kronos).

Note that some of these questions are not necessarily deal breakers, but I just haven't found answers yet online and want to understand certain functionalities regarding the MODX:

(sequencer related questions)
- I realize that the MODX is not yet capable to interface the sequencer with a DAW like is the case with the Montage, but on the chance that they do make this available, my question right now is regarding how it works on the Montage ... Could I export a 16 track sequence song from a Montage, edit it in Protools(or Cubase), and then 'import' the fixed version back into the Montage for use when playing live (maybe via USB)? (I don't want to bring my laptop to live gigs. I just want to use the sequencer in keyboard only)
- If the answer to the first question is yes, then can I use 'Montage Connect' to do this, or does that particular application not import back or allow to save back to USB for import back into the Synth's sequencer song bank?
- Is 'Montage Connect' compatible with Protools LE 7.0(light edition) on Windows 7? Or do I need to use Steinburge Cubase?

(AMW2 'part' editing question for the ModX piano sounds)
- Can I edit the Rock Piano (AMW2 sound/part) on the MODX so that just that 'part' uses the Velocity Curve setting of 'Soft', or is that Velocity Curve setting not an option when editing a single sound/part and is only a Global setting for all sounds/parts/performances on the entire keyboard?
- Can I edit the Rock Piano (AMW2 sound/part) on the ModX so that specific particular notes or sections of notes on that sound patch are increased in volume(& velocity if possible) while the other notes are left as default?
(On my DX7-II, I have the ability to edit the Output level on the keybaord of each operator of a particular sound via 'Keyboard Level Scaling'...in either Normal or Fractional mode. I can pick a note (say C3 for example), and have the higher keys above C3 brought up in volume and the lower notes below C3 brought down in volume, either linearly or exponentially ... After playing the piano sounds on the MODX8, I would like to modify it so the higher and lower notes are lowered in volume(& the velocity if possible) compared to the mid notes near the C3 point (for my preference), as I found the mid-level notes not as loud as the higher and lower notes. Or likewise can I have the mid section around C3 brought up in volume(& velocity if possible). Is this type of edit possible with the AMW2 piano sounds?

(additional questions on part editing, copying, storage locations, etc.)
If I understood what I've read so for on the MODX, a 'part' is a sound/instrument that is saved in a certain location/bank, that can be added to a 'Performance' along with other 'parts' (up to 16)..!? If this is true, then with regard to the MODX:
- Can a newly 'part' be created from scratch and stored in a specific location?
- If so, where? What is the name of the location that new or copied 'parts' can be saved in? 'Categories'? User Bank? (I am not talking about storing a 'Performance', but rather the actual part/sound itself.)
- Can an existing 'part' be copied and stored to a new location with a new name, then edited to change the part's specific settings?
- Can I import a stereo .wav file into ModX to use as a performance sound/part, even if it's assigned to just one note?
- If I record something and it saves as a midi-based song, can I play that song down to a .Wav file and save to USB?

I know that is lot of questions, but it will help make my decisions between the MODX and the Krome easier.

Thanks,
Darryl
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:05 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:11 am
(the same full (non-looped) piano samples as the Korg Kronos).
I'll leave it to others to answer your specific questions, but the Krome unlooped piano isn't quite the same as any of the Kronos pianos, it's a scaled down version (fewer velocity layers, I believe). It's 2.8GB, the Kronos version is 4.7GB (and they have others now that are bigger).

Although not things you mentioned, I'd lean toward the MODX for a few reasons (if it can do the things you need, of course). I think the Yamaha actions are better than what Korg uses in the Krome. With your DX7 heritage, you might appreciate that the MODX includes a full FM synth as well. Yamaha's seamless sound transitions are a nice enhancement.

If it turns out the MODX isn't for you, the Roland FA could be another option worth considering.
Last edited by anotherscott on Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:47 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:05 pm
the Kross unlooped piano isn't quite the same as any of the Kronos pianos, it's a scaled down version (fewer velocity layers, I believe). It's 2.8GB, the Kronos version is 4.7GB (and they have others now that are bigger).
I think the Yamaha actions are better than what Korg uses in the Kross.
I looked at the Kross, but was not impressed by video comparisons I saw, nor the specs. I don't know if the Kross has the same unlooped piano as the Kronos, but usually you get what you pay for and the Kross is approximately half the price of the Korg Krome ... and it's the Krome that I am considering vs the MODX, both of which are roughly the same price.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:50 pm

Sorry, I meant to type Krome, not Kross. I have fixed the post.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:25 pm

The KORG KROME was a nice keyboard when it came out. I did a comparison review between it, the MOXF and Roland FA06.

Something to be aware of with the KROME is that apart from being relatively old now, it also has had issues with firmware bugs and it doesn't have an audio interface...if that is something important for you. The keybed is also not quite as good as the MOXF...which is the same keybed used in the MODX6 and MODX7. And of course you only have one synth engine.

In terms of value for money alone I would choose the MODX. Add in everything else and it becomes an even easier decision.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by pax-eterna » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:44 pm

Saul it may be "noted" as the same keybed, but I reckon it has somehow been altered by Yamaha...I had a MOXF and got rid of it because of the keybed...this MODX, well so far, is showing none of the things I noticed about the GHS bed in the MOXF....time will tell I guess. Others on other forums have also noted they think the keybed is "just that bit different" and cannot explain why really. Perhaps Yammie have made some minor adjustments, although Yamaha being Yamaha they would have been spruiking in advertising if they had, so ?? .......
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:16 am

I'm not sure about the MODX8 and MOXF8 but the keybed in the MODX7 and MODX6 is exactly the same as the MOXF. I recognised it straight away and so did Chris (Parametric) when he tried it.

I never go to play the MOXF8 so you could well be right about the MODX8 keybed. In any case I find it really nice to play on so still a big thumbs up here :)
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:17 am

Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:16 am
I'm not sure about the MODX8 and MOXF8 but the keybed in the MODX7 and MODX6 is exactly the same as the MOXF. I recognised it straight away and so did Chris (Parametric) when he tried it.
Bad Mister posted on the yamaha forum, "The action of the MODX6 and MODX7 is a new, different keybed from that which was found on the MOXF6. " Now, whether there is any more substantial difference than the change from glossy to matte black keys, who knows... but the discussion was at https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-quest ... e-as-moxf6
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:24 am

It's not new. I asked Yamaha and they said it is the same keybed. Who to believe, the salesman or the company?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:20 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:24 am
It's not new. I asked Yamaha and they said it is the same keybed. Who to believe, the salesman or the company?
That's a funny way to put it, since "Yamaha" is inanimate and cannot speak. ;-) You're actually talking about comparing what two different representatives of the company have said. "Bad Mister" (Phil Clendeninn) is titled Product Specialist, I don't think that equates to salesman. He is very tech savvy, and knows all the ins and outs of the gear, more than a "salesman" normally would. So I'd say it's not "salesman vs. company" it's "product specialist vs. {?}" where ? is engineer, marketing, president, whoever... i.e. whatever position your source holds.

But clearly, if one action has matte black keys and the other has glossy, they are not identical, they will feel different to your fingers in that respect at least. Now, maybe that's the only difference, I don't know, but I think that's enough to say they are not the same, and it's enough of a difference that I expect that one could prefer the feel of playing one vs. the other, even if that's the only change. For whatever reason, this guy thought the new action felt better to play... (at about 2 minutes in) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfH4NFvuJzU
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 pm

Phil is a salesman in respect of the fact that it is his job to get you to go out a buy a Yamaha keyboard by showing you how good it is. No pedants here please!

I had the MOXF for quite some time. The keybed in that keyboard and the one in the MODX7 and MODX6 are, as far as I can remmber the same. This is why I questioned it with Yamaha upon which they confirmed it was the same keybed. Why would they replace it? The idea was to keep costs down and creating a new keybed when one clearly was not needed would have been a waste of resources and would have bumped the price up.

Chris (parametric) will be able to tells us if there are any differences as he still has the MOXF6 but I don't think he noticed anything when playing the MODX7 a few weeks back.

As I already said I cannot comment on the differences in keys between the MOXF8 and MODX8 as I have not played the MOXF8.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Mighty Motif Max » 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 only played a Montage a few times in a store, and never seen a MODX, but to my ears the pianos on my Motif XF are better than the ones on the Krome. So out of the two, I would probably go with the MODX if I had to choose, even though it doesn't have the sequencer, sheerly for sound quality.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by parametric » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:00 pm

All I can say is that the MODX6/7 seemed to me to be the same as the MOXF6.

I've not played the MOX for a while, but that is my impression . . .

What constitutes a good keybed is extremely esoteric at the best of times, and as far as the MOX/MODX comparison is

concerned, much probably has to do with manufacturing tolerances, assembly and installation.

At the manufacturing point, I guess the keybed is by now a complete assembly, and IS what it is . . . .

and just gets installed . . . ?

I guess small differences do remain, as is demonstrated by Concert Pianists, trying a room full of identical Steinway Grands . . .

They will settle on ONE - leaving you wondering what is WRONG with all the others?

Only they can answer that . . . (even if they can put it into words :roll: )

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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:13 pm

Yes that is the same with acoustic guitars. Even when made on a production line no two guitars are absolutely identical because there are slight differences in the wood of each guitar and that cannot be eliminated from through the production process. Hand made guitars are even more prone to differences for the same model. So they may LOOK the same but will often not sound the same.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:22 pm

Saul wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:25 pm
And of course you only have one synth engine.
In terms of value for money alone I would choose the MODX.
Thanks, I'll have to check out your review now.
I realize the Krome only has 1 engine and the MODX 2, and I am quite familiar with programming on the DX engine, the ADM2 is likely even easier, but I do like that the Krome's engine uses some unlooped samples same as the Kronos.

The sequencer question may be a deal breaker for me though on the MODX because I want to use it playing live as well as for studio and I don't want to bring a laptop or other device for sequencing, even if/when the MODX has that functionality. But on the chance that they follow suit with the Montage, right now does the Montage have the ability to export a 16 track sequence song, edit it in Protools(or Steinberg Cubase), and then somehow 'import' the fixed version from the DAW back into the Montage as a sequence song for use when playing live (maybe via USB), or is it a one-way street out to the DAW, but no way to import back into the Montage?

If the answer is the latter whereby there is no way to imported back into the Montage, does the sequencer on the Montage/MODX have the ability to allow you to record part of a song, then if you make a mistake, overdub a section? Or does it only allow you to overwrite the entire track only without the ability for punch-in/out insert dubbing?
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