MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:50 pm

mitya wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:32 pm
The guy in PMT Nottingham said it was a rival to the Montage. Yet given Yamaha basically killed the Montage with their own MODX, that hardly seems correct.
I have to respectfully disagree with this part.
I own a Montage 8 and it's not going anywhere anytime soon...and probably due to the MODX doing so well, plus Yamaha's new roadmap/model to stick with the same hardware for longer and provide enhancements/features via OS updates. I think we are going to see some really BIG enhancements/features added to the Montage quite soon...eventually the MODX will get these as well, but they will showcase them first on the Montage. The Montage & MODX are a team!

On other forums like yamahasynth.com/forum, most of the posts are generally in the Montage section instead of the MODX section. People are still buying the Montage, and once they release enhancements/features that make the Montage more appealing & competitive to the Roland Fantom, even more people will buy the Montage...IMHO
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 pm

Ivan Jochner wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:46 pm
Strong points against MONTAGE:
5. Piano modelling - Virtual Piano.
7.Sequencer & Pattern modes.
8.Reworked keyboard /keybed feel.
I can not disagree with most of what you said (yet!...just wait for the next OS update on the Montage); however these points I respectfully disagree with:

5. My #1 make or break priority in choosing a new synth several months ago, was Piano sounds, and if I had to choose again today between the Montage & the Fantom, I would go with the Montage again in a hearbeat!
The CFX piano is bar none one of the the greatest pianos ever sampled & programmed IMHO. Also, with SampleRobot I am actively working on capturing a couple of my VST pianos for the Montage (NI Bechstein & Synthogy Ivory C7, my favorite all time piano)...so far the sampling is 'spot on'! Zero noticeable loss in quality and it sounds exactly the same as the VST piano. SampleRobot is quite amazing once you start playing with it!

7. The things I can do using Pro Tools to capture midi and edit the sequencing for the Montage is unreal. I can fine tune the aftertouch, velocities, pitch bends, etc. And all 16 tracks/PARTs play back on the Montage exactly how I sequenced & edited them in Pro Tools, and Pro Tools makes is so easy and quick, yet so specific if I want to fine tune things! I just associate the sequencing to the corresponding Performance's Audition, press the 'Audition' button, and perfection!

8. I can't speak for the Montage 6 or 7, as I have never played one, and I haven't tried the Roland Fantom keybed for the 88 key Workstation either, but the biggest reason I chose to spend over twice as much on a synth that is 3 times the weight, and not go with the MODX8, is because the Montage8 triggers all the sample velocities perfectly across the entire keybed, most especially for playing Pianos, whereas the MODX8 does not! And the action feels way better for pianos & so realistic on the Montage8 than the MODX8 IMHO
I would guess the Montage8 keybed 'feel' would rival the Fantom 88 key, but that is somewhat subjective.

Having said that, I do love Roland and kinda regretted a little bit getting the DX7II-FD over 30 years ago, and then the Roland D-50 came out soon after & my jaw dropped after playing it! However, I made the best of the DX7II and learned to program FM-X fairly well, coming close to the sounds on the D-50, and some sounds were actually better, so there were trade-offs. Having both (if I could have afforded it) would have been the best, as they would have complemented each other greatly.
If I could afford a second Synth/Workstation right now, I'd likely go with the new Roland Fantom, so I am definitely a fan of the new synth! My first two synths before the DX7II was a Korg Polysix and Roland SH-101, and they were both awesome for the time...
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by GregC » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:33 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:40 pm
Saul wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:07 pm
Well on price of course it seems aimed at the very top end of the market which the MODX is not. The Fantom is a flagship product so really it can be compared to the Montage and Kronos.
When comparing features and what you get for your money it could be argued MODX is a better "value" buy. It depends on what you need in a keyboard and what your uses are?
Which begs the question, will Roland do what Yamaha did with the MODX, and develop/sell a new synth in a year or 2 from now, that is based off their new flagship Fantom, but at half the price/weight/etc., to compete with the MODX?
Its a mistake to wait 1 to 2 years, hoping to save a a few Benjamins

Fantom and a credit card is a perfect couple ;)
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by mitya » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:45 pm

I figured I'd come in for some slack re: saying the MODX killed the Montage. I know this debate has run and run before.

All I know is, when I bought my MODX, I came across no shortage of Montage owners on various sites that were pretty miffed that they'd shelled out £3K+ for the Montage when the MODX did pretty much everything the Montage did.

Sure, there's higher FMX polyphony (or is it AWM2?) and a metal case (could be a downside - weighs a tonne) but apart from that?

And the lack of sequencer is still a pisser for many (me included). Yes, yes, it's a synth, not a workstation, I get it, but I really can't imagine why you'd go for a Montage over the Fantom. I guess you'd have to *really* want that FMX loveliness.

Now, I will say I'm no where near an expert, and perhaps those more knowledgeable than I are aware of other reasons why the Montage isn't the write-off I see it as, vs. the MODX or Fantom. Just my viewpoint!
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:16 pm

GregC wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:33 pm
Its a mistake to wait 1 to 2 years, hoping to save a a few Benjamins

Fantom and a credit card is a perfect couple ;)
I agree, it wouldn't be something worth waiting that long for. I am just surmising that Roland may try following in Yamaha's footsteps (seeing how successful the MODX is) and come out with a new synth that has most of the functionality of the Fantom, but at half the price, to compete with the MODX...
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:50 pm

mitya wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:45 pm
I figured I'd come in for some slack re: saying the MODX killed the Montage. I know this debate has run and run before.

And the lack of sequencer is still a pisser for many (me included). Yes, yes, it's a synth, not a workstation, I get it, but I really can't imagine why you'd go for a Montage over the Fantom. I guess you'd have to *really* want that FMX loveliness.
Many previous DX7 owners like myself likely factored the FM-X engine in as a 'Pro' when comparing and deciding which synth to buy, and for me it was definitely a plus, as I have imported all my best DX7II sounds into the Montage8.
But that was not a make or break for me in my decision to buy the Montage8 over the MODX8 & Kronos88. Piano sounds were at the top and the CFX is one of the best I ever heard/played.
Polyphony was another must for me and the Montage has more polyphony when using multiple engines than the Kronos had (lowest common denominator polyphony).
Regarding a sequencer, I am on the team that does not want Yamaha putting a lot of time and energy into that feature, and would rather see them use that time/resources to give us other features & enhancements. Maybe it's because I've never used a sequencer on a Workstation before, but I find using Pro Tools so awesome for my workflow, that I prefer the Montage the way it is and vote to not have a full sequencer onboard. I would find an onboard sequencer very limiting at this point in comparison to using Pro Tools. And both the Montage & MODX will play back everything/midi that is recorded & edited in the DAW, perfectly!
mitya wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:45 pm
Now, I will say I'm no where near an expert, and perhaps those more knowledgeable than I are aware of other reasons why the Montage isn't the write-off I see it as, vs. the MODX or Fantom. Just my viewpoint!
But THE most important thing for me was having a synth with the best piano sounds and feel! Like I said above, I wanted to buy the MODX8 because it pretty much had everything that the Montage8 has, and the MODX8 was the first synth I tried when I was looking to buy. But I was frustrated trying to get the pianos to sound and feel right. I almost asked for a sledge hammer so that the mid and lower keys could trigger the sample velocities properly. I found the global velocity and set it where the lower keys were better, but then the high mid and especially the highest keys almost blew my ears out!
The weighted action was ok on the MODX8, but not super awesome for making me feel like I'm playing a piano.

And also regarding pianos, I wanted to have a variety of them, such as a C7 Grand, Steinway, Bechstein, etc. But piano libraries are huge & take up a great deal of the User space. Having that extra User space on the Montage8 was a must for me, and allows me to have "all" of my piano libraries loaded and ready at all times!

I'd love to have the new Fantom if I had the money, but if I had to choose between the Montage8 and Fantom 88 key, I'd still choose the Montage8.

Don't be surprised if we see a 3rd engine (VA) as an option, plus a whole bunch of other features/enhancements that people have been asking for, in the next OS update of the Montage, which eventually the MODX will see as well!
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by GregC » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:22 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:16 pm
GregC wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:33 pm
Its a mistake to wait 1 to 2 years, hoping to save a a few Benjamins

Fantom and a credit card is a perfect couple ;)
I agree, it wouldn't be something worth waiting that long for. I am just surmising that Roland may try following in Yamaha's footsteps (seeing how successful the MODX is) and come out with a new synth that has most of the functionality of the Fantom, but at half the price, to compete with the MODX...
I am not 1 for wishful thinking, just IMO stuff.

If Fantom came out at the same time as Montage, what decision would you then make ?
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:36 pm

GregC wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:22 pm
If Fantom came out at the same time as Montage, what decision would you then make ?
Montage 8! It contains the worlds BEST Yamaha CFX Grand piano, has an FX-M engine, super awesome interconnectivity with Pro Tools for sequencing. Also, the free SampleRobot for Montage is super awesome and will allow me to have a perfect copy of my favorite all time piano (Synthogy Ivory C7), as well as my NI Bechstein, and import into the Montage. I love the layout of using the 'Scene' buttons while a sequenced song is playing via the 'Audition' button, allowing me to do everything from one Performance that I select from the 'Live Set' buttons. I don't have to touch or look at the screen while playing live... Roland is a close second though, I do love certain aspects about it and it's also an awesome workstation.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by GregC » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:33 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:36 pm
GregC wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:22 pm
If Fantom came out at the same time as Montage, what decision would you then make ?
Montage 8! It contains the worlds BEST Yamaha CFX Grand piano, has an FX-M engine, super awesome interconnectivity with Pro Tools for sequencing. Also, the free SampleRobot for Montage is super awesome and will allow me to have a perfect copy of my favorite all time piano (Synthogy Ivory C7), as well as my NI Bechstein, and import into the Montage. I love the layout of using the 'Scene' buttons while a sequenced song is playing via the 'Audition' button, allowing me to do everything from one Performance that I select from the 'Live Set' buttons. I don't have to touch or look at the screen while playing live... Roland is a close second though, I do love certain aspects about it and it's also an awesome workstation.
Which leads me to ask again. With all this awesome capability, I see none- few musicians making AND recording original material using Montage or MODX. I have searched and looked.

I was , in particular looking for originals recordings from MODX owners.

That is why I buy this stuff. To record originals. Not a cover song person.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:18 am

sneak-thief wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 am
patch changing doesn't work smoothly compared to Yamaha's SSS.
There is apparently an issue with switching between standard and V-Piano sounds, but otherwise, its seamless switching looks much better than Yamaha's. MODX is seamless switching between sounds of up to 4 Parts, Montage up to 8 Parts, and Fantom up to 16 Parts. Also, there is a slight gap in Yamaha playability during the sound switch, a portion of a second where a new note may not sound... we'll see whether Fantom may be better there too.
ZT Scheer wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:45 pm
My Fantom7 arrives tomorrow, and I'll be able to compare sound quality and features to my MODX7.
Fantom 7 looks great, but at almost 34 lbs, I'd rather gig with the ~16 lb MODX7! Other advantages of the MODX7 for me would be the FM engine, the user multisampling available today, and I just really like a lot of the Yamaha acoustic instrument sounds.

But yeah, overall, Fantom is in another league (as it should be at the price difference). Advantages include the aforementioned seamless switching without the 4 part restriction, the dedicated synth control surface, the LED indicators on many of the controls, 16 zones that can be mixed and matched for any combination of internal and external sounds (Yamaha has a limit of 8 internal sounds and 8 external sounds that can be assigned to the keyboard), the ability to assign any part to any MIDI channel, aftertouch, assignable outs, mainstage/logic integration, trigger pads, assignable outs, full sequencer... and that's before you get to whatever you may think about its sounds (which include some unique things like analog filter and modeled piano).
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by sneak-thief » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:46 am

Something else to consider: only 1 insert effect (MFX) per part (tone) on the Fantom would be pretty irritating. Having dual insert FX is a must for me.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by mitya » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:06 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:16 pm
GregC wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:33 pm
Its a mistake to wait 1 to 2 years, hoping to save a a few Benjamins

Fantom and a credit card is a perfect couple ;)
I agree, it wouldn't be something worth waiting that long for. I am just surmising that Roland may try following in Yamaha's footsteps (seeing how successful the MODX is) and come out with a new synth that has most of the functionality of the Fantom, but at half the price, to compete with the MODX...
100%. Will be amazed if this doesn't happen. Particularly since their existing product in the MODX bracket, the FA, is knocking on a bit these days.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by mitya » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:07 pm

sneak-thief wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:46 am
Something else to consider: only 1 insert effect (MFX) per part (tone) on the Fantom would be pretty irritating. Having dual insert FX is a must for me.
Ah very interesting. It was the same on the FA - surprised it's still only 1 MFX per part on the Fantom, particularly at that price range. Given this, the MODX has a strong advantage in that area.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by mitya » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:14 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:50 pm
Regarding a sequencer, I am on the team that does not want Yamaha putting a lot of time and energy into that feature, and would rather see them use that time/resources to give us other features & enhancements. Maybe it's because I've never used a sequencer on a Workstation before, but I find using Pro Tools so awesome for my workflow, that I prefer the Montage the way it is and vote to not have a full sequencer onboard. I would find an onboard sequencer very limiting at this point in comparison to using Pro Tools. And both the Montage & MODX will play back everything/midi that is recorded & edited in the DAW, perfectly!
Totally get where you're coming from; you don't want Yamaha working on features you don't need or want, which then lead to the price being higher.

I guess I'm slightly skewed in that I'm trying to use what is ostensibly a synth as a workstation; the thing is, though, the MODX does have workstation traits, even if it isn't a fully-fledged one. And that lack of sequencer - even a basic one - feels like such a silly omission, given how easy it would have been to ship with one. I'm a programmer, and these things aren't complex to program, at least at the basic level. So it bugs me daily that it doesn't have one, and probably never will, but then like I say I'm conscious I'm willing the MODX to be something it was never designed to be.
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Re: MODX versus Roland Fantom?

Unread post by anotherscott » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:19 pm

sneak-thief wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:46 am
Something else to consider: only 1 insert effect (MFX) per part (tone) on the Fantom would be pretty irritating. Having dual insert FX is a must for me.
Yes, dual insert fx is a nice Yamaha advantage, though Roland has the advantage of insert fx on more parts simultaneously.

In terms of how many insert effects can be applied to internal sounds (playable from keyboard) for a single patch, it looks like this:
* MODX, 12 fx (2 per part for up to 6 parts) Whoops, should say 16 fx (2 per part for up to 8 parts)
* Montage, 16 fx (2 per part for up to 8 parts)
* Fantom, 16 fx (1 per part for up to 16 parts)

In a way, the distinction makes sense. Most of us rarely split/layer 16 sounds at a time when playing (in fact, on a Montage or MODX, the limit is 8 keyboard playable Parts in a Performance) BUT it is common to play all 16 sounds at once when sequencing. Since unlike Montage/MODX, the Fantom includes full sequencing, you can see why it might be seen as particularly valuable to be able to put independent fx on each of the 16 sounds on the Fantom, and less of an issue on the MODX/Montage. But it would be nice if Roland added an option to create scenes that permitted two MFX per sound but limited such patches to a max of 8 instead of 16 sounds (an alternate implementation of the same max 16 MFX per scene).
mitya wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:07 pm
Ah very interesting. It was the same on the FA - surprised it's still only 1 MFX per part on the Fantom, particularly at that price range.
The fx implementations aren't exactly the same... it looks like Roland did double the number of insert fx on the Fantom compared to the FA, i.e. 32 instead of 16, but instead of using them to allow dual effects on a single sound, they used them to provide seamless sound switching between (what FA called) Studio Sets. That is, you could have 16 fx going on a 16-part patch, and hold a chord through a patch change to another 16-part patch that has is own 16 fx going, and there will be no sound dropout or fx glitch, so for that transition time, you have 32 insert (MFX) fx happening. Yamaha's limitation in how many parts you can use without losing seamless switching is reportedly due primarily to the total number of effects it can play at once. (Though there must be something else in the case of the MODX, because its ability to put dual fx on up to 12 Parts at a time would seem to support seamless switching with sounds of up to 6 Parts, yet it only supports 4).
Last edited by anotherscott on Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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