Yamaha MODX Highlights - Quick Look At The Most Interesting bits

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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Yamaha MODX Highlights - Quick Look At The Most Interesting bits

Unread post by Saul » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:33 pm

Yamaha MODX Highlights.png

People have been asking all sorts of questions about the new Yamaha MODX and often it's about how closely it matches the Montage and compatibility with Motif and DX7 sounds. So here is a quick summary.

MODX is directly compatible with MONTAGE as well as MOTIF XS/XF and MOXF Voices and Performances.
The free FM Converter Web App on YamahaSynth.com makes it compatible with DX7, DX7II, TX802, and TX816 synthesizer content as well.

BÖSENDORFER:
The Bösendorfer Imperial Premium Grand Piano is not included with the MODX out of the box but you can download it, free of charge.
As part of the MODX introduction, Yamaha is pleased to offer an incredible Bösendorfer Imperial Premium Grand Piano download for FREE to all MODX owners. Please go to https://eu.yamahamusicsoft.com/synth/bosendorfer- piano-montage# for details. (NOTE: That link is not working as of the time of this post but should be live soon but you CAN use the Montage download link on the same site)

EXPANDABLE:
Beyond being an amazing synthesizer, MODX is an expandable content platform. Get new sounds for your MODX at yamahamusicsoft.com. So that is the same as Montage. You can build on your MODX over time and really make it "your own" keyboard with your own sounds.

INTEGRATED FLASH MEMORY:
MODX includes 1 GB of non-volatile, low latency User Flash Memory with high speed reading/writing for your own custom Samples or Synth Libraries from yamahamusicsoft.com. I think this is faster to load to than the flash memory card you could get for the MOXF. I timed loading the 423Mb Bösendorfer Imperial Premium Grand Piano and it took approx 4.47 minutes so that is a substantial improvement over the MOXF where the same size file would have taken a whopping 25 minutes to load!

192-NOTE TOTAL POLYPHONY:
MODX features 128-note stereo AWM2 polyphony and 64-notes of FM-X polyphony. Due to the unique architecture of MODX and MONTAGE, this polyphony is always available without latency or compromising other features. Note that is 128 Note STEREO for the AWM2. Some people were concerned it may be halved in stereo but that is not the case :)

SOUNDMONDO:
This of course is available to many Yamaha keyboards and not a feature of the MODX itself but worth mentioning, because over the next few weeks and months we should start seeing user created sounds for MODX appearing on Soundmondo. So, what is it?
Soundmondo is a social sound sharing network that lets you store and recall MODX Performances and share them with other users. Each stored Performance can be rated, named and given a custom image from your photo library. With the Soundmondo App for iOS you can upload and download new Performances and directly to MODX with an iOS device.

SUPER KNOB:
Thankfully this was brought over from Montage and is an incredibly useful performance tool. I would highly recommend the purchase of the FC7 foot pedal with your MODX because it makes using the this feature even easier.

The Super Knob is to shaping sound as a conductor is to an orchestra. It directs individual dynamic elements into a single musical expression. Like a conductor, the Super Knob can tell one player to turn up while another turns down. You can change the shape of notes from long to short, bright to dark or move a player from being right next to you to the back of the concert hall.
The Super Knob allows simultaneous control of up to 128 parameters in a single Performance. This means you can control mix functions like Volume, Pan, and Effect Sends or detailed synth parameters like Filters, LFOs, and Operators.
You can even control the Super Knob with an FC7 foot controller making it easy to manipulate the sound when playing with both hands.

MULTI-CHANNEL USB AUDIO INTERFACE.
Pretty self explanatory but. MODX features a professional 2-in/10-out, multi-channel USB Audio Interface. Coupled with two A/D Inputs, MODX is a perfect centerpiece for any professional recording studio or live computer rig.
A single-cable connection replaces the need for an external audio interface, even for your iOS device.

RHYTHM PATTERN:
I believe this also features on Montage but there is no dedicated button for it? Rhythm Patterns are an easy way to add a Rhythm Part to a Performance and this is so easy to use. Pick a preset, press the Rhythm Pattern button and as soon as you start playing a rhythm will kick in tailored to that preset. Of course you have full control over the kits and patterns so it is an incredibly useful and inspirational tool. Also handy to practice your timing playing along with a drummer.

ENVELOPE FOLLOWER:
Very handy this one. I find it useful when brining in external audio but of course you can use any source within the MODX itself.
The Envelope Follower converts audio into a control source for control of virtually any synthesizer parameter. For example, a drum loop could drive effects parameters for a cool rhythm or a vocal recording could control multiple parameters for a “talking” synthesizer.
The audio can even be a “live” source through the A/D Input.

AUTO BEAT SYNC:
Again this is handy for me when playing guitar through the MODX and tapping a rhythm on the guitar body.
ABS (Audio Beat Sync) detects the beat of an external device like an electronic drum kit, drum machine, or audio player plugged into the A/D Input and synchronises the MODX Arpeggiator, Motion Sequencer, or Songs to the tempo of the external input. The MODX synthesizer “listens” to live music and plays in time.

WEIGHT:
I only have the MODX7 and MODX8 here but they are very easy to move around. The MODX6 would be even easier.
The MODX6 weighs in at 6.6 kg, the MODX7 at 7.4 kg, and the 88-note weighted Graded Hammer Action MODX8 comes in at a svelte 13.8 kg.

So there you have it. The MODX has tons of potential and I think Yamaha have done an excellent job with it. I will be exploring more over the next week or so but if anyone has any questions please fire away!
Saul
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Re: Yamaha MODX Highlights - Quick Look At The Most Interesting bits

Unread post by Derek » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:40 pm

I'd agree with all of that other than the super fast read/writing to FLASH claim that Yamaha make. Unless they have sped it up compared to the Montage, it is painfully slow compared to the Kronos and its SSD.
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Re: Yamaha MODX Highlights - Quick Look At The Most Interesting bits

Unread post by Saul » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:28 pm

It takes exactly 4.47 minutes to write a 430mb file to the flash memory. Not mega fast but a massive improvement over the MOXF and that 7 minute wait has more to do with the transfer speed of the usb stick than the on-board flash memory in the MODX.

I am sure if it had a SSD installed it would be quicker and but that would be a fairer comparison with Montage as it sits at roughly the same price point but MODX is a mid range keyboard so perhaps for now it's acceptable?
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Re: Yamaha MODX Highlights - Quick Look At The Most Interesting bits

Unread post by Saul » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:20 pm

I just retimed how long it takes to load that 430mb file to the MODX and it turns out it was quicker than I thought at 4.47 minutes. So that is pretty damned fast compared to how long that same size file would take on the MOXF :)
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