MODX - Make or Break Questions

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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pax-eterna
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by pax-eterna » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:17 am

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:38 pm
....
BTW, my hardware acoustic piano is a 112 year old upright that has some notes that will not stay in tune, so it doesn't set a really high bar to compare against. ...

hahaha, well fair enough!

FWIW, I have played the Krome too, but really my views they are all decent enough to play and I don't really rate one as better than the other, just different. It's that difference that either attracts or repels, hey! But doesn't necessarily make it better or worse.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:26 am

I can confirm that the piano sound programming is the same. You can just load all sounds from the Montage into the MODX. That's what I did. I am using one at home now and one for rehearsal to avoid schlepping around too much. Loaded all my self programmed performances - and a lot more into the MODX. So the programming is the same.

What I also did was to compare them, because, yes, when playing the MODX8 the piano sounds (for my ears) so much better than from my Montage 6. So I was not 100% sure that not something in the Montage is not quite right. I mean I was 90% sure it's in the keybed, but hey... That's when I connected them over MIDI and played one from the other. For *my ears* the do sound them same. I suppose the Montage should sound a bit better because of the appraised pure analog circuitry stuff in the Montage which no one ever talked about into the MODX. But sorry, my ears (or headphones) just don't give me that fidelity, apparently.

And yes, with some programming it should be possible to adapt the velocity response over the range of the keybed.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:31 am

pax-eterna wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:17 am
FWIW, I have played the Krome too, but really my views they are all decent enough to play and I don't really rate one as better than the other, just different. It's that difference that either attracts or repels, hey! But doesn't necessarily make it better or worse.
Fully agree with one twitch: Sometimes this changes for me within a few hours. In the morning I prefer the CFX, in the evening I prefer the Bosendorfer. Then again with that PA it's totally a piano which I sampled from the Integra-7. Next morning I wake up and although nothing has changed it's yet another. So it's a combination of taste, keybed, PA/headphones, weather, personal condition, the music you heard before, what you are playing right now and what not...

I read (and stick to that) that after mixing a song for a while you have to stop for some time. Otherwise your ear loses the perceptiveness for some frequency ranges and you overdo it...
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Derek » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:43 am

You also stop listening after a while, your brain is remembering what it heard. Always best to give “yer years” a break when mixing; my lovely Welsh wife cannot say “ears” without it coming out as “years”! :D

The other trick is to mix loud first and then play back at low volume to see if anything is dominating.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:49 pm

Okay, did not know that trick. I will keep it in mind next time! Thanks...
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by pax-eterna » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:13 pm

I usually do it the other way around. I find that often parts that sound okay at a normal level are WAY to overpowering at performance levels. Particularly kick and bass ( bass under about 175hz). But each to their own :)

The only thing I'd add is I only mix for a max of 20 minutes at a time then at least 10-15 off.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:35 pm

Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 pm
Phil is a salesman in respect of the fact that it is his job to get you to go out a buy a Yamaha keyboard by showing you how good it is.
Be that as it may, he really knows the products. More than one might expect by just referring to him as a salesman.
Saul wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 pm
I had the MOXF for quite some time. The keybed in that keyboard and the one in the MODX7 and MODX6 are, as far as I can remmber the same.
I played the MOXF6 and the MODX7 next to each other last night. They are very similar, but to my hands, not identical. Yes, the new matte finish on the MODX's black keys is noticeable, but also, there is something more "solid" about the way the keys land. I thought maybe the throw distance was shorter... measurements didn't bear that out, but that's kind of what it felt like. Also (maybe related or not) if you press and release the keys very slowly, on the MOXF6, you can feel little changes in the resistance at different points in the travel, the feel of the MODX key seems more consistent throughout its travel. My sense is that it's the same basic design, but they may have made some subtle refinements. (And sometimes even the chassis an action is mounted in can make it feel different.) All I can say is, playing them feels different. It's not a night and day difference, but they do not feel identical to me.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm

The term "salesman" does not have to be construed in any way as derogatory . There are some great salesmen out there who know the products they sell inside out. Are they product specialists or salesmen/women? and does it matter? That's a rhetorical question by the way.

If there are any differences in the keybeds of the MOXF and the MODX I am sure Yamaha would have said so but they categorically said there were not. They didn't even highlight the matt black keys as opposed to the shiny black keys. Not a word about it in the advertising or spec of the MODX either.

If people perceive a difference thats fine but until Yamaha tell me otherwise I have to stick to my original statement that they are the same keybeds in both keyboards.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:22 pm

Saul wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm
The term "salesman" does not have to be construed in any way as derogatory
right, but but you were using the term to explain why you wouldn't put a lot of stock in what someone said, i.e. because he was a salesman (rather than "the company"). That was the context. I was just pointing out that that salesman tends to be well informed.
Saul wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm
If people perceive a difference thats fine but until Yamaha tell me otherwise I have to stick to my original statement that they are the same keybeds in both keyboards.
If you have one representative of Yamaha saying one thing, and another (even if a salesman) saying the other, wouldn't playing them right next to each other yourself inform your judgment, regardless of which Yamaha rep you found more credible?
Saul wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm
If there are any differences in the keybeds of the MOXF and the MODX I am sure Yamaha would have said so but they categorically said there were not. They didn't even highlight the matt black keys as opposed to the shiny black keys.
Since you are sure they would say if there was any difference, and they didn't even talk about the matte keys, then logically, the MODX can't have matte keys. ;-) Seriously, even if the matte keys are the only difference, couldn't that be enough to say the keybeds feel different and in fact are different? As to whether there is any other difference, I can't be sure what's going on inside, I just passed along what I felt when comparing side-by-side with my MOXF6, which I thought might be of interest.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:40 pm

The person I get my info from was on the development team and if you can't trust them for info then what do you do? Yamaha reps of which Phil is one have given out wrong info in the past...mainly because they have either been given wrong info themselves or have made assumptions based on experience. Hence why I now stick with the official line unless they tell me differently, because short of opening up the keyboard and comparing it with the one in the MOXF I have no other way of knowing what is in there.

As I have already said a couple of times now I have played the MOXF and MODX. They keybed actions feel the same to me, maybe because I am not a classical pianist or someone who's main instrument is the keyboard so that could explain a lot. The matt vs shiny is not of importance to me as I found no problem with the MOXF before. Were the whole keybed "Ivory Feel" as on some Roland keyboards then yes that would have made a noticeable difference. I didn't "feel" any difference in the keybeds.

I suggest people try the keys for themselves if they can. That is the only way to be sure they are right for you. For me it's just perfect and that pretty much wraps it up.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:07 pm

Comparing the weighted keybed for playing piano sounds:

I understand the MODX has a keybed that is inferior to the Montage's keybed, and thus can cause playing 'velocity rich sounds' like a Piano, to not "sound" quite as good on the MODX out of the gate; however does anyone know if there is a difference in 'how inferior' the keybed is on MODX8(with the weighted keys) vs the MODX6 & 7? Is the MODX8 equally inferior to the Montage8 in how a piano will sound, as the MODX6 & 7 are to the Montage6 & 7, or does the weighted keys of the MODX8 give it any better playing response, and thus slightly better 'sound' than the 6 & 7? Or is it the opposite whereby the MODX8 keybed is even worse than the 6/7?

Also, regarding just the "playability/feel/action" of the weighed keys(forgetting the 'sound' for a minute), does anyone know how different the MODX8 "plays/feels" for playing piano patches compared to the Montage8 keybed? Does the Montage8 feel far more like a real piano and the MODX8 feels too heavy &/or cheap, or are they somewhat close?
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:13 pm

I have the Montage 6 and the MODX8. I was thinking about getting the Montage 8 2 years ago. But it was too heavy, too bulky and too expensive for me. So I got the Montage 6. Now that the MODX is available I got it in addition because I wanted a piano action keybed (not sure if I will keep the Montage, probably yet, synth action is better for some things).

The Montage 6 keybed feels very good for a synth action keybed. The only other synth action keybed which I ever played which was on par was the Ensoniq VFX back many years ago (I still have it and it still feels very good). I don't have the MODX6 but had the MOXF 6 and I did not like the keybed at all. That felt cheap for me. So I think there is a big difference between the Montage 6 and MODX 6 because as others wrote MODX 6 and MOXF 6 should be the same.

I cannot compare the MODX 8 and the Montage 8. However I really like the MODX 8 keybed, it does not feel cheap at all. It feels very piano like for my taste. Before at different points in time I had a Roland FP7 and a Nord Piano 2 HP. Because I don't have both anymore, I cannot compare directly. But if my memory is not wrong then I would say that the keybed is better than the Nord's and on par with the Roland. Note that the HP in Nord Piano 2 HP stands for "hammer action portable" so it is not the same as in the full Nord Piano. It's much less in weight which suited me, but it feels different. But the Roland was a full e-piano with hammer action.

So while I cannot answer your question about the comparison between Montage 8 and MODX8 I can say that for me the MODX 8 has a quite nice keybed compared to other e-pianos I played in the past. Piano sounds sound much better when I play them from the MODX 8 than from the Montage 6 because the keybed is much better suited for piano sounds. It really makes a huge difference for me.

Not sure how much that helps you. But again, listen to what others said: Try it yourself, order it from a store with 30 days reimbursement policy or go into a store if you can. That's the only way to be sure.
Last edited by Stevie18 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by Saul » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:14 pm

Well actually the Montage8 is less like a real piano than the MODX8 and the reason for that is because it has a "balanced" hammer action keybed not a graded action like on the MODX8, where as on a real acoustic piano the top octaves are lighter in action than the bottom ones. A balanced action is the same across all octaves.

So if you want something that is closer to a real acoustic piano you will want to go for the GHS type action as featured on the MODX8
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:30 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:13 pm
So while I cannot answer your question about the comparison between Montage 8 and MODX8 I can say that for me the MODX 8 has a quite nice keybed compared to other e-pianos I played in the past. Piano sounds sound much better when I play them from the MODX 8 than from the Montage 6 because the keybed is much better suited for piano sounds. It really makes a huge difference for me.

Not sure how much that helps you. But again, listen to what others said: Try it yourself, order it from a store with 30 days reimbursement policy or go into a store if you can. That's the only way to be sure.
Thanks that was definitely helpful. I don't have the option to try a Montage8 where I live (although maybe they'll get one in at some point soon!?).
I did get to try the MODX8 in the store a few weeks back and the main issue I had almost the whole time was with the keybed attack not being enough for how hard I was hitting the notes, especially in the lower/mid section. Once I found the global velocity setting and changed it from Normal to Soft (which gives the velocity more of a curve), the attack was closer to a real piano. BTW, 95% of the time I played just the CFX POP/Rock piano, as that is my preference for most of the style I play. I want to hear that nice bell-like sound increasingly kick-in when I hit the keys in the lower/mid section with medium to high attack. Up until I set the velocity curve, I could not get that sound without hitting the keys much harder than I should have been.

So for me, I would want to reprogram the CFX Pop/Rock piano, so that the proper elements have the right velocities, and bring the volume(& possibly the velocity) up on the particular element that makes that exponentially increasing bell-like sound when not hitting the keys softly. I can just start to hear it on some demo videos that play the Pop/Rock piano, but it's not quite where I'd like it to be. The Korg Kronos videos almost always have it & some of the Korg Krome videos piano can show it off as well...that's part of what makes my decision between the MODX and Krome difficult...I already heard the Krome with that piano sound (plus it has a full editable sequencer on-board)
Also I would change the volume across the keyboard so the it is more even like a real acoustic piano...I'd either take down the volume at the very bottom and the top end just a bit; or vice-versa, take up the volume in the lower/mid section.
Another thing that I would look at if it's an option is to lower compression on the various elements (or the overall sound). I found that even when I set the MODX8 to soft Velocity, there was a point where I could hit lower/mid notes hard and then even harder, but it was maxed out/compressed and didn't go to the next level like a real piano. It needs more range in volume & attack from lightest to hardest touch.
I like what Wojtek Olszak did to the piano in his Montage Pack, whereby he fixed the CFX Piano patch to play & sound more like a real piano. It would be awesome if he or someone did the same with the CFX Pop/Rock piano!

Here is a perfect example of what I am looking for & what I am referring to regarding that increasing bell-like sound with greater attack in the lower/mid section notes, that the Montage & MODX 'CFX Pop/Rock' piano can almost, but not quite do (but that the Korg can already do); Although it may still be possible with some editing on the Yamaha... If you listen to the piano intro of the Backstreet Boys song 'Incomplete', especially when he hits the 'E' note!!
Last edited by vertig0spin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MODX - Make or Break Questions

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:44 pm

Saul wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:14 pm
Well actually the Montage8 is less like a real piano than the MODX8 and the reason for that is because it has a "balanced" hammer action keybed not a graded action like on the MODX8, where as on a real acoustic piano the top octaves are lighter in action than the bottom ones. A balanced action is the same across all octaves.
So if you want something that is closer to a real acoustic piano you will want to go for the GHS type action as featured on the MODX8
Good to know!
Although, now that brings my to a new question (which may be the reason that they went with "balanced" action on the Montage8) ... Would the MODX8 be more fatiguing compared to the Montage8, when playing intense/fast paced piano songs? I thought I saw a video or read about that potential difference/issue somewhere.
Also would it not be as easy to play fast synth solos on the MODX8 in comparison to the Montage8?

One last thing, are you aware of anyone that is working on or has fixed the 'CFX Pop/Rock' piano the way Wojtek Olszak did in his Montage Pack for the 'CFX Grand'? As I mentioned in a previous reply, one of the main things I am looking for in a piano is that increasing 'bell-like' sound that comes through with greater attack in the lower/mid section notes, that the Montage & MODX 'CFX Pop/Rock' piano can almost, but not quite do. (but the Korg can already do); the best example I can find of what I'm looking for is if you listen to the piano intro of 'Incomplete' by the Backstreet Boys ... listen to when they hit the 'E' note especially (also the 'A' & 'G#' notes)!!
Last edited by vertig0spin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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