MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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josephdouce
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MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by josephdouce » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:47 pm

I originally posted this in the "Software Updates" thread but thought it deserved its own.

This was brought to my attention so I went into a store and tried it as I am planning to purchase the MODX8.

It appears the performances were copy/paste from the montage and work great on the MODX6/7 however they overlooked the GHS on the MODX8. In an attempt to emulate the acoustic pianos, they have also tried to emulate the action for the NON-GRADED keybeds. This means on the MODX8 playing any note above G5 results in a dramatically increased volume for the same velocity.

Basically some of the performances need to be adjusted for the GHS to get a consistent sound. The issue is obvious when you compare the MODX7/8.
Once I purchase my MODX8 I plan to share my "fixed" performances". It would be an easy fix for Yamaha as it only affects acoustic pianos really but would require a MODX8 specific update with modified performances.

It's not a MAJOR issue and can be fixed by the user by making user copies fixing them but that's a lot of messing about. You can see how they have done it below, for example here switches 6&7 aren't necessary for the GHS keybed.

Image
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by jahfume » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:34 pm

I think someone else posted something similar somewhere in the Wishlist thread on here but that thread is getting to be a bit bloated.

Maybe you can copy this to yamahasynth.ideascale.com ?

So I wonder if this mal-programing is true for the Borsendorfer pefrormances also?
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by anotherscott » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:28 am

jahfume wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:34 pm
So I wonder if this mal-programing is true for the Borsendorfer pefrormances also?
The issue, as I understand it, affects everything that makes use of velocity in the lower parts of the keyboard. That is to say, assuming a performance was created to respond at its best on a balanced action (which would includes all Montage and MODX models except the MODX8), if no changes are made, it will respond at less than its best on a graded action (MODX8), because you will have to hit the keys relatively harder on the bottom end of the keyboard for those notes to respond the same as they do on the other models (relative to the keys on the top end of the keyboard). I don't know that I would call it "mal-programming", but it does seem to at least be something Yamaha could build in an additional adjustment for. Though even whether it is a problem at all is somewhat subjective, as plenty of people are perfectly fine with how the MODX8 plays (and how the MOXF8 and MOX8 played, which presumably would have had the same issue). The question may be, could it be better.
josephdouce wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:47 pm
It would be an easy fix for Yamaha as it only affects acoustic pianos really but would require a MODX8 specific update with modified performances.
Another way to go might be for them to supply an additional global GHS-specific velocity curve function which the owner of a GHS could invoke, which would offset the values of all performances accordingly (i.e. the "next velocity layer up" would happen at lower velocities in the areas that have the heavier feeling keys).
josephdouce wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:47 pm
It's not a MAJOR issue and can be fixed by the user by making user copies fixing them but that's a lot of messing about. You can see how they have done it below, for example here switches 6&7 aren't necessary for the GHS keybed.
Yes, elements 6, 7, and 8 are fine as they are. For elements 1 through 5, those settings would be fine for the upper keys, so you can keep them as is and just change the key ranges to include only the keys where you are happy with the existing response. Then you'll need to add more elements that duplicate those first 5 elements for the lower keys, with different velocity switching points. I don't know how many zones of gradation the GHS uses, but you'll need 5 elements for each such zone, to be able to balance it the way you want. Luckily, the existence of multi-part single-instrument performances gives you plenty of element locations to work with!
Last edited by anotherscott on Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by northridgedave » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:47 am

Exactly the issue I am having with the modx8. Both the CFX and Bose are affected. The board feels terrible to me in that middle range. Not quite sure how to make this edit but I will try this fix. Thank you so much!
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by northridgedave » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:02 am

Can someone tell me how to get to the above display, I am unclear how to do it. And once there, what are the proper adjustments to make. Or is the issue that Yamaha should make the changes or is there an editor I should be using. Thank you.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by josephdouce » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:10 am

It's not that the lower part needs to be played harder, it's that the upper part needs to be played softer. If you look at the image above G#5 the fff sample is triggered at 60 whereas the lower section it doesn't trigger until 92. Also there are more CFX samples available then are used here.
The higher section only uses 2 velocity levels when there are 9 available.

A start would be to set it up something like this, I shifted the trigger points so its somewhere in between the 2 stock settings....

Sample - Velocity - Range

CFX p - 2 to 35 - All
CFX mp - 36 to 51 - All
CFX mf - 52 to 67 - All
CfX f - 68 to 83 - All
CFX ff - 84 to 101 - All
CFX fff - 102 to 120 - All
CFX ffff - 121 to 127 - All
CFX KeyOff - 1 to 127 - C2 to G5

There's only 8 elements so you'll need two slots of you want to use pp and ffff. I went for ffff as I think unless you're playing classical unlikely you'll need the pp sample.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by Kal1n_M » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:37 pm

There is already a "fixed", "better" version of the CFX in the Olszak Pack... not sure if it's addressing exactly the same issue you are experiencing, but you may try it. However, It's quite possible that he is addressing an issue with the Montage 8 keyboard...
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by anotherscott » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:56 pm

josephdouce wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:10 am
It's not that the lower part needs to be played harder, it's that the upper part needs to be played softer.
Ah. That's the opposite of how vertig0spin originally described the problem elsewhere. The same phenomenon explains both subjective experiences, though. In order to play a graded action and experience the same relative velocity-timbre changes a given sound gives you on a balanced action, something has to be done (whether by Yamaha or the user) to compensate for the different weightings (balanced being the same throughout, vs. graded heavier at bottom and lighter on top). Whether you personally would prefer to make the lower keys more sensitive or the upper keys less sensitive probably varies with how heavy your personal touch is and maybe how you have the board's own velocity curve set (normal, soft, hard, or wide).
josephdouce wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:10 am
A start would be to set it up something like this, I shifted the trigger points so its somewhere in between the 2 stock settings....

Sample - Velocity - Range

CFX p - 2 to 35 - All
CFX mp - 36 to 51 - All
CFX mf - 52 to 67 - All
CfX f - 68 to 83 - All
CFX ff - 84 to 101 - All
CFX fff - 102 to 120 - All
CFX ffff - 121 to 127 - All
CFX KeyOff - 1 to 127 - C2 to G5
If that works for you, great, but it doesn't address the problem as described, because you are adjusting the velocity-based sample triggering for all 88 keys, not just for the upper ones as you say you want (or just the lower ones, as vertig0spin wants).

Also, by eliminating the mapping of separate elements for G#5 and up, I think you'll lose the authentic attribute of having those notes ring (sustain) when played regardless of whether or not the pedal is down.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by josephdouce » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:30 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:56 pm
josephdouce wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:10 am
It's not that the lower part needs to be played harder, it's that the upper part needs to be played softer.
Also, by eliminating the mapping of separate elements for G#5 and up, I think you'll lose the authentic attribute of having those notes ring (sustain) when played regardless of whether or not the pedal is down.
If you look at my original post, you see in the screen shot G5 up trigger the fff at a much lower velocity you need to use 2 parts to fix it properly and maintain the damping and velocity layers.

This would do it but take 2 parts, and if you're going to use 2 parts you can increase to 7 velocity layers from the original 4:

Part 1
CFX p - 2 to 35 - C2 to G5
CFX mp - 36 to 51 - C2 to G5
CFX mf - 52 to 67 - C2 to G5
CfX f - 68 to 83 - C2 to G5
CFX ff - 84 to 101 - C2 to G5
CFX fff - 102 to 120 - C2 to G5
CFX ffff - 121 to 127 - C2 to G5
CFX KeyOff - 1 to 127 - C2 to G5

Part 2 (No Damping)
CFX p - 2 to 35 - G#5 to G8
CFX mp - 36 to 51 - G#5 to G8
CFX mf - 52 to 67 - G#5 to G8
CfX f - 68 to 83 - G#5 to G8
CFX ff - 84 to 101 - G#5 to G8
CFX fff - 102 to 120 - G#5 to G8
CFX ffff - 121 to 127 - G#5 to G8

If you really want to squeeze it into 1 part you can do this but you loose the key off sound:

CFX pp - 2 to 35 - C2 to G5
CFX mp - 36 to 59 - C2 to G5
CfX f - 60 to 92 - C2 to G5
CFX fff - 93 to 127 - C2 to G5
CFX pp - 2 to 35 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
CFX mp - 36 to 59 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
CfX f - 60 to 92 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
CFX fff - 93 to 127 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)

or you can keep the key off sound and loose one of the velocities but you'll loose some detail:

CFX p - 2 to 35 - C2 to G5
CFX mf - 36 to 59 - C2 to G5
CFX fff - 93 to 127 - C2 to G5
CFX KeyOff - 1 to 127 - C2 to G5
CFX p - 2 to 42 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
CFX mf - 43 to 85 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
CFX fff - 86 to 127 - G#5 to G8 (No Damping)
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by Canto » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:20 pm

There's been a lot of discussion and conjecture on this subject. If you'd like to address this please see page 125 of the reference manual dealing with amplitude scale. In the case of this particular thread, adjusting the scaling of elements 6 and 7 would allow the user to create a feel customized to their own taste.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by anotherscott » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:44 pm

Good tip about amplitude scale. That might be all Joseph needs to do, since his desire seems to be to scale back the amplitude at higher velocities in the top area of the keyboard. The earlier take on this from vertig0spin was that, for him, the lower notes didn't merely need to be louder as velocity increased, but often needed to trigger the "next sample up" to get the brighter timbre he was after as well. That would appear to require remapping of samples to different velocities, rather than just adjusting amplitude.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by northridgedave » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:02 am

Well....I guess I need to be more specific about what I'm hearing and feeling, and see if anyone else has the same or similar experience and also if this thread is on the right track for me.
Bear in mind that I'm coming from playing a Stage piano that had fully-weighted wooden keys for my outside gigs, and I have an upper end Grand Piano that I use in my house. I'm technically trained to be able to produce an even sound (velocity or amplitude) across the full range of a keyboard.
My issue with my MODX8 seems to be with the CFX and Bosendorfer pianos only. When I get to the mid-range (C-2 to about G-5) it feels like the sound I get through my speakers (QSC K-10s or my Yamaha Stagepas 500s) isn't as loud or full as the bottom end or is almost shrill in the upper end. I have to technically work too hard (hit the keys) to produce an even volume or tone across the key range. It's the last thing you want to happen, it totally pulls me out of what I'm playing and instead into thinking about how I need to compensate for the feel of the board. I've not had this experience with any other keyboard and I'm a couple of months into this board. I can't quite wrap my head around a solution and I'm very frustrated. I hope this all makes sense.
Thank you to whoever had the time to read all of this, I'm very appreciative and hope someone can point me in the right direction.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by josephdouce » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:08 am

northridgedave wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:02 am
Well....I guess I need to be more specific about what I'm hearing and feeling, and see if anyone else has the same or similar experience and also if this thread is on the right track for me.
Bear in mind that I'm coming from playing a Stage piano that had fully-weighted wooden keys for my outside gigs, and I have an upper end Grand Piano that I use in my house. I'm technically trained to be able to produce an even sound (velocity or amplitude) across the full range of a keyboard.
My issue with my MODX8 seems to be with the CFX and Bosendorfer pianos only. When I get to the mid-range (C-2 to about G-5) it feels like the sound I get through my speakers (QSC K-10s or my Yamaha Stagepas 500s) isn't as loud or full as the bottom end or is almost shrill in the upper end. I have to technically work too hard (hit the keys) to produce an even volume or tone across the key range. It's the last thing you want to happen, it totally pulls me out of what I'm playing and instead into thinking about how I need to compensate for the feel of the board. I've not had this experience with any other keyboard and I'm a couple of months into this board. I can't quite wrap my head around a solution and I'm very frustrated. I hope this all makes sense.
Thank you to whoever had the time to read all of this, I'm very appreciative and hope someone can point me in the right direction.
Have you made any attempt to rectify this, it sounds like you are in the perfect to position to make the necessary modifications to the performance to get an even response.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by anotherscott » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:59 pm

northridgedave wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:02 am
When I get to the mid-range (C-2 to about G-5)
This further illustrates how personal and subjective this can be. Joseph is disappointed with the responsiveness at the top, vertig0spin is disappointed with the responsiveness at the bottom, and your issue is with the middle! Though yours is hardest to possibly attribute to a difference in the actions. So I think your first step should be to try to play a Montage 8 and see how that sounds/feels to you. I know vertig0spin's goal is to make the MODX8 piano play more like the Montage 8 in how velocity alters the sound from bottom to top, and I think Joseph is kind of looking for a similar thing, albeit from a different perspective, but all this may not be relevant to your experience at all. If it turns out that you don't like the bottom-to-top playability of the Montage either, then attempting to alter the MODX piano sounds to make them play a bit more as the Montage does wouldn't make sense for you.
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Re: MODX8 GHS Issue on Piano Performances

Unread post by josephdouce » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:00 pm

At the end of the day it's a synth and not just a stage piano so we are only limited by our own abilities to make it feel/sound like we want. There are plenty of stage pianos with this keybed that don't exhibit these issues and neither do the non piano sounds. It's just a preset if you don't like it change it. All we can agree on is that its not perfect. And if you have no idea how to modify the performance to get it the way you want and don't wan't to learn, maybe you should've just bought a stage piano not a synth.

When I say you I mean collectively I am not pointing this at any individual.

All I'm saying is it could better out of the box, it's also been brought to my attention a lot of Seamless Sound Switching performances are broke out of the box as they were copied from Montage that supports 8 parts and MODX is 4.

I feel like Yamaha rushed this product to get it out before the missed NAMM and have missed some things along the way.
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