MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

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Normhart
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MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:30 am

Hi everyone,

I’ve come across a problem with my MODX 8. When I play hard to moderately hard on the keyboard, the screen goes dead and everything locks up requiring a power off/on to recover. It’s not just a random thing as I thought earlier but can be recreated consistently. I know it’s a problem local to the synth as this doesn’t happen when I use an external midi’d keyboard. Could this be a bad mechanical connection inside? I’m about to take it to a local repair shop to open it up and take a look inside. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Norman
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Stevie18 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:22 am

This could be a bad mechanical connection, yes. It could also be a fault in some component which has a faulty solder connection. Or some crack in some board. Impossible to know. If the unit did not fall down or something you should ask for a warranty repair. I would not let anyone open it unless they are an authorized Yamaha repair shop who is also doing the warranty repair!
Last edited by Stevie18 on Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Normhart
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:30 am

Stevie18 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:22 am
This could be a bad mechanical connection, yes. It could also be a fault in some component which has a faulty solder connection. Or some crack in some board. Impossible to know. If the unit did not fell down or something you should ask for a warranty repair. I would not let anyone open it unless they are an authorized Yamaha repair shop who is also doing the warranty repair!
Upon further inspection, I noticed that there were quite a few things running off the outlet the MODX was on and tried just running it on another outlet all by itself and voila, no problems. Even banging on the thing as hard as I could -well maybe not as hard as I could but much more aggressively than previously kept things stable. At one point it did corrupt the screen (slightly) and lock but not completely blanking as it did before. I chalked this up to maybe not having any power stabilizing equipment on the outlet -which I immediately went out and purchased.
I didn’t, until this synth, realize how critical having clean, stable power was to these things. I guess with all the sophisticated processing and power hungry functions, there is a whole new standard of basic power requirements.
For anyone experiencing or about to experience this issue, please make sure that you are getting the proper quality of juice into this keyboard and suspect bad power initially before assuming anything defective with the instrument. There’s nothing worse than going through the hassle of exchanging/servicing only to run into the same situation over again.

I didn’t see your reply until now. Please read my new post. Thanks!
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Stevie18 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am

Interesting, in 30 years or so I never ever had any problem with the power going to a synthesizer board I am playing. And I have often played in live situations where tons of equipment is hanging on the same outlet. Including the synth, the PA, some lighting rigs, ... So this really surprises me. Also the MODX is not really consuming that much power (~20 W max). That's ridiculously low compared to some amps etc. It should not make the power outlet unstable unless you are powering from some generator or battery. And music equipment is usually
built to deal with some less than trustworthy power supply situation.

I don't doubt that this helps you. However somethings still does not feel right, there. Also the fact that previously you wrote that it does not appear if you play from a different board over MIDI sounds like the power supply should not be the issue. After all playing from the board should not have much impact on the power consumption. Can you reverse the situation and make sure that the power situation is the same? Maybe when unplugging the stuff you moved the synth and this had some impact on some connection issue or so...
Last edited by Stevie18 on Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:19 am

I'm with Stevie on this one. I normally have a full power board with all sorts of gear plugged in and none of that affected the MODX or any other keyboard for that matter. There is though definitely nothing wrong with making sure you have a good quality power strip to plug things into but I can't imagine it was the power input which caused the problem. The power adapter perhaps?

The MODX is essentially a computer in a keyboard and as with all computers a stable power supply is a must but I very much doubt Yamaha would produce a keyboard that was so susceptible to minor fluctuations in power supply that it would fall over when playing hard. In fact I can't see how playing hard would have anything to do with the power supply.

Honestly I would not trust it Norm. If you can recreate the issue I would get it off to a Yamaha service centre for repair under warranty and as Stevie said, DO NOT let any unauthorised repairer open the MODX. That will invalidate your warranty and you definitely don't want to be doing that right now!
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:48 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am
Interesting, in 30 years or so I never ever had any problem with the power going to a synthesizer board I am playing. And I have often played in live situations where tons of equipment is hanging on the same outlet. Including the synth, the PA, some lighting rigs, ... So this really surprises me. Also the MODX is not really consuming that much power (~16 W max). That's ridiculously low compared to some amps etc. It should not make the power outlet unstable unless you are powering from some generator or battery. And music equipment is usually
built to deal with some less than trustworthy power supply situation.

I don't doubt that this helps you. However somethings still does not feel right, there. Also the fact that previously you wrote that it does not appear if you play from a different board over MIDI sounds like the power supply should not be the issue. After all playing from the board should not have much impact on the power consumption. Can you reverse the situation and make sure that the power situation is the same? Maybe when unplugging the stuff you moved the synth and this had some impact on some connection issue or so...
Thanks for your input. I guess time will tell. For now, I have something that had enough of an effect on the issue to seemingly alleviate the problem. I mean the thing would immediately go into shutdown when I hit a key fairly hard. When I changed to another power configuration, I literally banged on the keys trying to make it fail and it held up. I did put it back onto the original power setup and sure enough, the problem returned so it’s definitely related in some way with the power setup.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:50 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:19 am
I'm with Stevie on this one. I normally have a full power board with all sorts of gear plugged in and none of that affected the MODX or any other keyboard for that matter. There is though definitely nothing wrong with making sure you have a good quality power strip to plug things into but I can't imagine it was the power input which caused the problem. The power adapter perhaps?

The MODX is essentially a computer in a keyboard and as with all computers a stable power supply is a must but I very much doubt Yamaha would produce a keyboard that was so susceptible to minor fluctuations in power supply that it would fall over when playing hard. In fact I can't see how playing hard would have anything to do with the power supply.

Honestly I would not trust it Norm. If you can recreate the issue I would get it off to a Yamaha service centre for repair under warranty and as Stevie said, DO NOT let any unauthorised repairer open the MODX. That will invalidate your warranty and you definitely don't want to be doing that right now!
I’ll follow through on your advice to get this checked out by a service shop - just to be on the safe side. Thanks!
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:20 pm

Keep us posted on how that goes Norm. It is definitely an unusual issue so would be very interested to hear if they find anything.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Stevie18 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:00 pm

+1, I would also like to learn what comes out of this. Very unusual...
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by GuyDenruyter » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:03 pm

Couldn't it be that the power adaptor was not properly fixed when you were working on your first power socket, and that by changing the wall socket you fixed it better?
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:04 am

GuyDenruyter wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:03 pm
Couldn't it be that the power adaptor was not properly fixed when you were working on your first power socket, and that by changing the wall socket you fixed it better?
I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I’m still testing with the new hookup, though. Our local Yamaha dealer here currently still needs to obtain the service documents for the MODX but when they do, I’ve scheduled a check out.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Derek » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi

I’m late to this thread, and you already have lots of good advice, but I would concur that something is not right, and bad connections can be very intermittent, just because it is gone now, does not mean it is gone for good. I still remember a car I had which blew reversing light fuses with amazing regularity, but I could never find a problem when I looked. This lasted for a year, until (AT LAST) one day the short was present when the car was parked up. It was the wiring loom and a bit of bad design of the internal metal skin it went over. The wires in the loom were chafing against a small lip of metal on the interior skin in the boot, until the insulation had been worn through and occasionally (due to jolts in the road) the bare wire would make contact with the metal

Relevance this post? You may have an intermittent bad connection which has “gone good” for a while until the intermittency returns: A connector not quite seated, a crack in a PCB, a dry joint (rare these days with automated assembly, but not impossible), etc. so I do recommend it is checked out. As the MODX is new, ensure it goes somewhere that will not void your warranty.

The combined powerload of several synths running off the same electrical ring or spur should not be an issue. You’d be amazed at what you can run off a single UK 13A mains outlet in a pub where they point you towards a single mains outlet on the stage! (Or when you have surreptitiously plugged into the single vacuum cleaner socket by the stage stage to avoid the sound level trips ;) )

Saul’s point about the Montage being essentially a computer of sorts is well made. Whilst not as bad as the Kronos (two minute boot time with my sample preload), the Montage does take a good period of time to initialise. In my research on the Kronos, the one thing I picked up on as a recommendation was to run via a power conditioner/UPS. Not only does it protect your expensive investment from dodgy mains, but it means you will not be faced with a two minute silence on stage when a brownout of power causes the Kronos to reinitialise. Likewise, you don’t want this happening with the Montage/MODX as well. I don’t bother in the studio, but I would not be on stage now without a UPS.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Saul » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:40 pm

Good point about the UPS Derek. I think for anyone performing it is a MUST HAVE item. The cheaper ones I think give about 8 minutes power which in most cases is fine and the more expensive ones can give 30-45 minutes which, if you are a solo performer could actually get you through the gig...depending on circumstances of course.

The other thing as Derek mentioned is simply to protect your gear. A UPS is a good protection against power surges or sudden drop in voltage etc.

I keep thinking of investing in one or two for the studio as we have a lot of computer gear here. The Mac is pretty good if the power goes down, not so the Windows PC's :(
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Normhart » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:19 pm

Derek wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:23 pm
Hi

I’m late to this thread, and you already have lots of good advice, but I would concur that something is not right, and bad connections can be very intermittent, just because it is gone now, does not mean it is gone for good. I still remember a car I had which blew reversing light fuses with amazing regularity, but I could never find a problem when I looked. This lasted for a year, until (AT LAST) one day the short was present when the car was parked up. It was the wiring loom and a bit of bad design of the internal metal skin it went over. The wires in the loom were chafing against a small lip of metal on the interior skin in the boot, until the insulation had been worn through and occasionally (due to jolts in the road) the bare wire would make contact with the metal

Relevance this post? You may have an intermittent bad connection which has “gone good” for a while until the intermittency returns: A connector not quite seated, a crack in a PCB, a dry joint (rare these days with automated assembly, but not impossible), etc. so I do recommend it is checked out. As the MODX is new, ensure it goes somewhere that will not void your warranty.

The combined powerload of several synths running off the same electrical ring or spur should not be an issue. You’d be amazed at what you can run off a single UK 13A mains outlet in a pub where they point you towards a single mains outlet on the stage! (Or when you have surreptitiously plugged into the single vacuum cleaner socket by the stage stage to avoid the sound level trips ;) )

Saul’s point about the Montage being essentially a computer of sorts is well made. Whilst not as bad as the Kronos (two minute boot time with my sample preload), the Montage does take a good period of time to initialise. In my research on the Kronos, the one thing I picked up on as a recommendation was to run via a power conditioner/UPS. Not only does it protect your expensive investment from dodgy mains, but it means you will not be faced with a two minute silence on stage when a brownout of power causes the Kronos to reinitialise. Likewise, you don’t want this happening with the Montage/MODX as well. I don’t bother in the studio, but I would not be on stage now without a UPS.
Thank you Derek and everyone for their recommendations. Not exactly a rosy picture judging by the general consensus here. For a while there I was optimistic that I had gotten down to the root of the problem (external power issues) and was out the woods but the very valid concerns brought up are pretty hard to ignore. For what it’s worth, I’ve been using the keyboard with none of the previous glitches (knock wood) and at least for now, things are more or less stable. BTW, I think I may have mentioned that I went back to the original outlet and not surprisingly, the problem immediately show up. Returned it to the ‘good’ outlet - problem disappeared. I guess time will tell, if it’s definitely an internal problem to the MODX, the problem will likely resurface at some point. When that point will be is anyone’s guess, I suppose but I’ll post again when and if it does.
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Re: MODX 8 hard playing locks up keyboard

Unread post by Derek » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:47 pm

Normhart wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:19 pm
BTW, I think I may have mentioned that I went back to the original outlet and not surprisingly, the problem immediately show up. Returned it to the ‘good’ outlet - problem disappeared. I guess time will tell, if it’s definitely an internal problem to the MODX, the problem will likely resurface at some point. When that point will be is anyone’s guess, I suppose but I’ll post again when and if it does.
Sorry I missed that. If that is the case, I would get an electrician in to check the sockets, as you may have a fault on that socket - why just the Montage (if that is the case) I cannot say.

Or if you are confident enough yourself, isolate the power to that socket, open it up and check that all connections are secure and tight, no frayed wires, etc.

PS: It's one reason why I hate wall wart PSUs on pro gear. Hopefully not the case in your instance, but I have fixed a few synths over the years (last one a friend's CS2x) where strain had been put on the PSU lead and it had broken the soldered connections on the PCB.
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