Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Road Dog » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:36 am

Can the modx best up to play only a part within a performance while the rest of modx plays the other parts . Example: playing a piano on modx while playing organ at same time using external controller.
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:58 am

Yes. The internal keys can only play Parts 1 through 8. A good use of Parts 9 through 16 is to trigger the from an external controller. The number of those Parts that you can have the controller play simultaneously depends on how many MIDI channels the controller can transmit on at once (i.e. how many MIDI zones the controller has), though if you'd like to trigger more Parts than your controller has MIDI zones, you can incorporate additional hardware or an iPad or a laptop to route it to those additional channels/Parts.
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 am

Hi.

Just be aware that due to a stupid decision by Yamaha, you cannot change the incoming MIDI channel for parts, so, for example, your external device must be able to transmit on Channel 9 if you are using Performance Part 9.

Yamaha is being lobbied about this, via IdeaScale, and we think they are now listening.

So other than that "Stupid Quirk" of the channel being fixed to the Part Number, it should work fine.

Why is this an issue? If you have a device that only sends on a single channel or you only have one zone spare for external TX duties, and you want to drive a couple of Parts on the Montage/MODX, then you are screwed due to this "stupid quirk". in that you could set, for example, three Performance Parts to the MIDI same channel. You can of course drive all three channels externally, but you need to be sending the same data on three MIDI channels to achieve it.

Sometimes manufacturers do take silly steps backwards. My EX5 can have any MIDI channel set for a part, so does my Kronos, so I was very bemused to learn that the Montage could not do this. It has a Zone Master mode where you can set the Transmit Channel for each part, but rather bizarrely that Channel setting does not apply for data reception, only transmission.

This only confirms my long held theory that Yamaha have "stupid quirks" department, where they take their latest and greatest and decide it needs a few stupid features in there, so they do not look too perfect. ;)
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:18 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 am
Just be aware that due to a stupid decision by Yamaha, you cannot change the incoming MIDI channel for parts, so, for example, your external device must be able to transmit on Channel 9 if you are using Performance Part 9.

Yamaha is being lobbied about this, via IdeaScale, and we think they are now listening.
I've seen this kind of thing a lot. (Possibly from you. ;-) ) I wouldn't be so quick to assume it's stupidity nor that it's necessarily easily changeable. The Montage was like this from the start, and Yamaha has come out with very significant updates to the Montage that still never addressed this despite plenty of public outcry on numerous forums (including Yamaha's own), so my guess is that, if they haven't addressed it, it isn't easily addressable, i.e. this functionality is inherent deep in the design/architecture and is not easily changeable. I mean, it's not like Yamaha doesn't know about it, or has been reticent about coming out with significant updates.

My guess is that this change from the Motif era may be related to the introduction of multi-part single instruments. This brought a major new benefit in that what used to be a single "voice" could now have more than 8 elements. But this function is tightly tied to MIDI assignments, since each of the 8-element Parts must be assigned to a separate MIDI channel. If the user could assign different channels to different parts instead of using the current fixed allocation, I think the problem might be that multi-part single instruments could break, and any fix for that that would assure that muli-part single instruments would always remain intact is either very difficult or impossible within the current architecture.
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by parametric » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:29 pm

IMHO Derek this is why it is both WISE and ESSENTIAL - that Manufacturers DO hold "Brainstorming" sessions

with actual Musicians/Users to discover HOW they are using these instruments -

and WHAT they might want to with to do with them. . .

THIS was very much the impression I got when Saul and I visited Yamaha Research a couple of years ago.

We spent a concerted couple of hours with the then head of Yamaha Professional Music Products,

AND a Designer from Yamaha Japan, who quizzed us both on what we thought users were looking for in a board . .

Recent developments indicate that MUCH that we discussed was indeed taken onboard . . . . (in our opinion) . .

It's not necessarily true that product designers or Software engineers KNOW in detail how a board

might be used Musically - so I would say that its easily arranged to find out these things before a product

goes into production . . . ?

I'm sure this would help reduce these "surprise featurettes" that lurk in the back-streets of these instruments.

parametric
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:52 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:18 pm
Derek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 am
Just be aware that due to a stupid decision by Yamaha, you cannot change the incoming MIDI channel for parts, so, for example, your external device must be able to transmit on Channel 9 if you are using Performance Part 9.

Yamaha is being lobbied about this, via IdeaScale, and we think they are now listening.
I've seen this kind of thing a lot. (Possibly from you. ;-) ) I wouldn't be so quick to assume it's stupidity nor that it's necessarily easily changeable. The Montage was like this from the start, and Yamaha has come out with very significant updates to the Montage that still never addressed this despite plenty of public outcry on numerous forums (including Yamaha's own), so my guess is that, if they haven't addressed it, it isn't easily addressable, i.e. this functionality is inherent deep in the design/architecture and is not easily changeable. I mean, it's not like Yamaha doesn't know about it, or has been reticent about coming out with significant updates.

My guess is that this change from the Motif era may be related to the introduction of multi-part single instruments. This brought a major new benefit in that what used to be a single "voice" could now have more than 8 elements. But this function is tightly tied to MIDI assignments, since each of the 8-element Parts must be assigned to a separate MIDI channel. If the user could assign different channels to different parts instead of using the current fixed allocation, I think the problem might be that multi-part single instruments could break, and any fix for that that would assure that muli-part single instruments would always remain intact is either very difficult or impossible within the current architecture.
I respectfully don't agree if you are talking about single parts in a performance. that you are adding for external duties. I'm a long time Yamaha user (and software programmer who knows MIDI inside out and back to front), and pretty much every fantastic synth I have owned by them has a pretty stupid feature or two..... Case in point: The EX5 Performance mode can only play two parts from the EX5 keyboard. Absolutely stupid and never fixed. Just to take your argument, if it was due to some fundamental limitation in the synth, then I would not have been able to resolve the issue by setting the EX5 to TG mode and connecting MIDI out to MIDI in. Using the EX5 as a MIDI master, and driving all the parts via the external MIDI (being transmitted by the EX5!!!).

I believe that the issue with the Montage, is that Yamaha forgot to consider the people who are gigging with more than a Montage, and where their Master keyboard may not be a Montage. If all the R&D team did was listen to certain arrogant Yamaha product specialists then I can see how this has happened. From that perspective, Chris is correct. If Manufactures sampled how their products are used with gigging musicians across the spectrum, you would not have had an EX5 with a two Part limitation as described above, and you would lose the MIDI Echo feature the EX5 had.

The other one with the Montage is not being able to select a Live Set via MIDI, and I've told them a means for achieving it that would work for me, which is very similar to how OS 1,5 (I think) added the ability to externally select a Scene via MIDI.

All conjectured opinion of course. :)
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:52 pm
I respectfully don't agree if you are talking about single parts in a performance. that you are adding for external duties.
Then they would have to build in the facility to change the MIDI channels for a Part, but prevent that function from working if the Part were part of a multi-part single instrument? And maybe prevent someone from being able to assign a multi-part single instrument to a Performance that had had its MIDI assignments altered? As you said, it's all conjecture, I don't know if this is the issue, it's just that I could see where there would be complications if it were... whether complications for them to program it, or complications for the end user who could find things not always working as they expect. Along those lines, I'm sensitive to the fact that a big knock on Yamaha workstations for many years has been their complication, so I would understand their being hesitant to implement new functions that add complication.

Getting back to how it's implemented today, I had suggested elsewhere that I think one could get around the problem (of only being able to trigger one Part if you're using a controller that transmits on only one MIDI channel) by using a MIDI Solutons Event Processor, and setting it up so that everything it receives on Channel 1 (or whatever) is instead sent out on all of channels 9 through 16. Then for any Performance where you want external control of some sounds, all you have to do is put those sounds anywhere in Parts 9 through 16, even giving them different key ranges if desired (i.e. if you want splits). It may be disappointing that you have to spend $130 to do it, but I think it gives you everything you need, if this is the limitation you're running into in trying to use a second board to selectively control various combinations of MODX sounds in live performance. You could do it more cheaply with an app, if you happen to already own an iPhone or iPad.
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:41 pm

That’s why I use Cantabile to process my MIDI and don’t lose any sleep over it, but I still believe it is a limitation that can be resolved and should be.
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Derek Cook

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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Road Dog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks for all of your input. I have been a korg only guy for a long time but have now switched to MODX for gigging. I Love the new board as my master keyboard and am looking forward to digging in to all its capabilities. By the way what iPad app were you referring to for midi part assign.
Thanks again .....Road Dog
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by Road Dog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:00 pm

Thanks for all of your input. I have been a korg only guy for a long time but have now switched to MODX for gigging. I Love the new board as my master keyboard and am looking forward to digging in to all its capabilities. By the way what iPad app were you referring to for midi part assign.
Thanks again .....Road Dog.
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Re: Playing a part separately using an external controller while still playing performance on modx

Unread post by anotherscott » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:48 pm

Road Dog wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:00 pm
By the way what iPad app were you referring to for midi part assign.
The MIDI Breakout Box app should do it, just 99 cents, and works on iPhone, too. Also KeyStage, Camelot Pro, and MIDIflow should do it. Pricier, but they can also do a lot of other things.
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