MODX7 keys

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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Mike
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MODX7 keys

Unread post by Mike » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:48 am

Hi.
I new to this forum. I need some guidance. So currently I own a Yamaha CP4 and I love it. However to keep taking it along to gigs can be a challenge. Alos I sometimes need to get some creativity going and hence the MODX has my attention. My first reaction was to go for the MODX naturally since it has the 88 weighted keys which Im famialir with. But I need a balance of piano and synth in my new choice. So I'm leaning towards the MODX 7 which Yamaha says has LC expressive semi-weighted keys. Has anyone played both the 8 & 7 models. Can you still express in piano sounds on the MODX 7 (off course I dont expect it to be as the MODX8) but reasonably good expressive action.
Please comment
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by anotherscott » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:56 pm

This is subjective enough that it's possible you're the only person who could answer this for yourself. Personally, while I do not find the MODX6/7 to be the worst non-hammer actions to play piano from (I'd say it is better than Roland DS61/FA06 or Korg Kross/Krome for example), it is not among the better ones, either. In actions with at least 7x keys, I'd probably prefer Numa Compact 2/2X, Kurzweil Arts 7, Nord Electro 6D, Vox Continental... You could also consider pairing a MODX6 (or 7) with a lightweight hammer action board to play its piano sounds from, something like a Casio PX5S, Kurzweil SP6, or Studiologic SL73/SL88 Studio, all of which can also nicely function as multi-zone MIDI controllers. A MODX6 plus an SL73 is actually cheaper than a MODX8, and with no one piece heavier than about 25 lbs, pretty easy to transport. With any of those lightweight hammer action boards combined with a MODX6/7, you'll have an action for piano AND an action for your synth work.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by Saul » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:51 pm

Welcome to the forums Mike :)

I would agree with anotherscott on this one. The MODX7 has a nice set of keys and personally I don't find it a problem to play piano on but I do not consider myself a "pianist" as such so I would not be as critical as someone who is a pianist. My requirements are not that great.

I would go for two boards. The MODX6/7 and a good quality hammer action keyboard like the Casio PX5S or Kurzweil SP6.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by Miks » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:46 pm

@ Mike: please check your PMs...
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:26 pm

I have not tried the MODX7, but have tried the MODX8. If you are ok with not having the weighted key feel for piano, nor all 88 keys, and having the perfect piano feel is not a deal breaker, I would recommend the MODX7. The MODX7 is even/balanced across the entire keybed in how it triggers the various velocity sample layers, whereas the MODX8 keybed is graded and triggers the velocity samples/MIDI differently on the highest keys compared to the mid-lower keys (increasingly triggers too lightly as you go down the keybed). It is one of the main deal breakers for me that lead me to spend twice as much on a keyboard that weighs 3 times as much, just to get the perfect weighted keybed that triggers velocity layers perfectly for pianos. Once I tried the Montage 8 there was no turning back for me... If piano had not been as important for me as it is, I would have gone with the MODX6 or 7 to get a more synth like feel!
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:26 am

It does not surprise me that you found the piano to play better on the Montage 8 than the MODX8. But having played MODX8 and MODX7, I found piano to play MUCH better from the MODX8 than the MODX7. The travel/resistance of the 7 just makes it hard to have any kind of subtle control of dynamics. Maybe the 7 would solve the problem you had with the 8, but IMO, not without introducing other, worse problems.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by modalmojo » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:23 am

Are there any problems on the MODX8 graded keys for playing the internal piano sounds? Originally I was planning to get MODX6 and use Roland FP30 to trigger the MODX pianos, but now considering MODX8 as a whole package, the above mentioned issues got me concerned.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by anotherscott » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:46 am

Check out the thread at viewtopic.php?t=12460

Short version: vertig0spin thinks the MODX8 doesn't trigger higher velocity samples easily enough in the lower octaves; josephdouce thinks the MODX8 triggers higher velocities too easily in the upper octaves; northridgedave is disappointed with the responsiveness of the MODX8 in the center; and lots of other people are happily enjoying their MODX8 boards. ;-) (There's also a lot more discussion about vertig0spin's perspective in the thread at viewtopic.php?t=11774&start=60 )

Really, you have to try it for yourself. Also, without trying it yourself, I would not assume triggering a MODX6 with an FP30 would necessarily be better than the MODX8 itself. But for maximum flexibility, due to the MODX MIDI implementation, if you're going to trigger a MODX6 or MODX7 from an external hammer action board, it would be preferable to use a board that can transmit on multiple, definable MIDI channels (i.e. a board that supports multiple MIDI zones). Examples in a lower price range would be Casio PX-5S, Kurzweil SP6, Studiologic SL73/SL88 Studio or SL88 Grand, Korg Kross/Krome 88 and maybe Roland Juno DS88 (a little less MIDI capable than the others, but should still be okay for this purpose). The actions on those Korgs tend not to be so well-liked, but feel can be subjective, so I figured I'd mention them anyway, especially since they are very well-equipped on the MIDI side.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by Blakenstein » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:46 pm

@Mike

Hi, am brand new to this forum as well and I struggled with this as well. I currently play a Korg Kronos 76 weighted key keyboard on gigs - it's nearly 50 lbs and I'm getting up in age a bit so it was beginning to be a bit of a struggle hauling it from gig to gig. Anyway, I used to have a MOFX that I liked but IMO the Kronos has the best acoustic piano sounds available - the velocity, the touch, frequency range, after-touch is by far the best out there in that price range but I needed a lighter weight keyboard for gigs and with a ton of research on the Montage, I was pleasantly surprised when the MODX came out for half the price with the same sound engines and definitely won out in so many categories. To my relatively "untrained" ear, the acoustic piano sounds are pretty good on MODX- tons better than my Roland FA06 I used to have but not as good as my Kronos but the MODX impressed me so much on the versatility of the other patches (specifically the synth AWM-2 sounds - organ sounds are killer) and the tweak-ability of those patches and that the keyboard only weighs 15 lbs... yeah, I will sacrifice the weighted keys and slightly less sonic "goeyness" of the acoustic piano sounds that are on my Korg. I've performed with my MODX twice with my band and it was the only keyboard I brought to the gigs (I was very nervous as I usually play two keyboards but I'm scaling down to one) - it was awesome - played very well. The 76 key bed gave me enough real estate to set up multiple split-points for different patches as well as setting up the songs in the "Live Set" list. Hope this helps!
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by parametric » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:46 pm

Welcome to the Forums Blakenstein, and thanks for THAT post . . .

Real-world observations are so valuable when contemplating which board to buy and are worth REAMS of Advertising Rhetoric.

The appearance of the MODX range really changed the game in the mid price range . . .

Sure, we all have our favourites sound-wise, and that will always be so.

Yamaha have always been good Sound-wise, and as you've noticed, the Montage sounds are there in the MODX.

It's good to hear that you, as a gigging Musician, are happy with your MODX. ((i))

ATB

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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by vertig0spin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:37 pm

This video is the best I've seen for demonstrating the difference between the MODX8 graded keybed and the Montage 8. It is exactly what I experienced when I tried the MODX 8 and then the Montage 8. The first bass notes he hits are triggering a higher velocity sample on the Montage 8 and therefore higher volume than the MODX 8. And you can hear that the two keyboards are set to the same volume level because all the higher notes he hits on both keyboards are virtually identical in velocity triggered and volume, until he hits the C5 note. That's where the MODX8 starts to show it's graded keybed and how it gradually does not trigger the velocity samples enough, as he plays notes down the keyboard. When he plays in the mid-lower range, he is not playing softer on the MODX 8 than he is on the Montage 8. The MODX 8 is lower in volume because the keybed is triggering a lower velocity sample than it should be. When I demoed the MODX 8, I had to hit the keys unnaturally harder in the mid-lower range to get the piano sounds to trigger the proper velocity & thus the proper volume. The highest notes played perfectly though. On the Montage 8, all notes from highest to lowest, triggered the piano velocities perfectly and evenly, as you can tell in the video with anything he plays on the Montage 8!

If you can, go out and demo both the MODX 8 and Montage 8, but I guarantee that the difference will be exactly as you hear in this video (unless someone has changed the velocity curve or some velocity setting on the MODX 8. The problem being that the velocity curve set to 'Soft' makes the mid-lower notes much better, but then all the highest notes are way too hot and you have to play them twice as lightly as you should normally)



.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by anotherscott » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:31 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:37 pm
And you can hear that the two keyboards are set to the same volume level because all the higher notes he hits on both keyboards are virtually identical in velocity triggered and volume
I'm not sure about that. Check the higher register passage that starts at 2:08 - the Montage clearly seems louder to me. Which means either the Montage volume is higher, or he's playing more softly on the MODX. And that's part of what makes this tricky, we can't be sure of these variables... how well the levels are matched between the two boards, how good he is at playing things with equal force with each hand (when he had one hand on each board), or playing a part twice with the same force each time (when he played two-handed on one and then two-handed on the other). I'm not doubting your experience, or that the video provides the rest of us with an impression that reflects that experience, and of course we know for a fact that the actions are different so we should not be shocked if such differences exist. I'm just saying it's hard to really see the video itself as conclusive proof of exactly what's happening and why.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by vertig0spin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:18 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:31 pm
I'm not sure about that. Check the higher register passage that starts at 2:08 - the Montage clearly seems louder to me. Which means either the Montage volume is higher, or he's playing more softly on the MODX.
I'm just saying it's hard to really see the video itself as conclusive proof of exactly what's happening and why.
That actually makes sense if you watch it more closely and proves my point that it is the keybed that is triggering differently causing different sample velocities and thus volumes between the two keyboards.

At the 2:08 mark that you mention, the piano is "transposed" up at least 1 octave. The higher notes you hear are being played down closer to the mid note keys, not on the highest keys of the keybed. Then he hits the G note with his pinky, on the MODX 8 at 2:17, which is far above the volume of all the other "high" notes that he hit below that note, and equally as much volume as the high notes on the Montage 8.

It is the MODX 8 keybed in the mid to lower range that is causing this.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by FarHanSolo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:07 pm

My MODX7 arrived towards the end of February 2019. First impression of the keys:

1. Very noisy/clicky (perhaps if people are using headphones or have their monitors loud, they aren't noticing this but I can hear it for sure) compared to my old Korg M3-61 (amazing and fairly quiet semi-weighted keyboard)

2. Lightweight and super quick action, which is exactly what I wanted as I have a Roland FA-08 graded hammer action for piano work (almost silent keystrokes in comparison though)

3. MODX7 keys feel a bit flimsy and the spacing between some keys for a brand new instrument is inconsistent. (like poor panel gaps in some cars I've seen, not owned)

Best to go try all of them: MODX6, 7 and 8 and see what suits your playing style as the price difference is not as wide as some 61 note, 73 (or 76) note and 88 note keyboards.

It sounds like a big gripe and I'm nitpicking but I do love my shiny new Yamaha MODX7

P.S. The sounds more than make up for the low-ish quality of the keys.
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Re: MODX7 keys

Unread post by RatherBeGigging » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:59 pm

Thanks for the report on your experience with the MODX7. How are you using the synth? Home recording? Gigging? Has the noise interfered or caused problems?
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