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  1. Dan
  2. MODX
  3. Tuesday, 12 March 2019

I just bought a MODX6. This is a really great keyboard !
It is my first synth from Yamaha. Can't resist to buy it :)
I use a lot of Yamaha arrangers, and they all responds to the MIDI CC84
This is very important for me, as I am repitching notes while changing chords from my PC software

Why oh why even the PSR-E363 (185€) reacts to the CC84, but not the flagship MONTAGE / MODX :(

Is it possible to add it in a software update?


Responses (6)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Speculation: This is mainly a code base issue. I'm not sure how related the software architecture is between the two which may make it more difficult to shoe-horn CC84.

The type of application which would benefit from enhanced pitch movement between notes would be a steel guitar. Something I now use multiple PARTs with different areas of the keyboard in different note limits each with different PB +/- values so I can make some notes in the chord move by minor thirds, some by seconds, some stay static (and different variations on theme). It's fairly taxing and specific - not great if I have too many chord pairs to go between. OK for some tunes.

This is where my ears perked up on CC84 as it seemed like a possible tool in the bag for pedal steel emulation - or making that easier.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Bad Mister, the CC84 functionality is indeed very useful, and it is part of the MIDI specs since 1983 for a reason.

Being able to repitch notes without retriggering the amp/filter envelopes is a necessity if you want to faithfully emulate many acoustic instruments (strings, brass, woodwinds, ...) when they play legato. I do not see any good reason why the best Yamaha product line in term of sound synthesis is NOT capable of this so basic functionality .... while it is offered in cheap/toy models from Yamaha too.

Your main competitor (Roland) has always offered CC84 in all its synths. You can check with current Integra 7 and FA series midi implementation chart (freely downloadable from the Roland site), which also clearly explains how CC84 is supposed to work.

This is not rocket science: it is very basic functionality all the world has always implemented in most romplers, at any price point. It is disappointing that Yamaha cannot implement this in their synths. Before pushing some (seldom useful in real life) functionality like the motion sequencer, 8 arpeggiators, superknob and the like, you should have the basics covered!!

Especially when the MODX/Montage pretends to offer some computer integration against the overwhelming VST competition (CC84 is useful when sequencing and driving the sound generator from a computer, not when directly playing with your hands).

All the XG keyboards (arrangers) use the same AWM2 rompler engine of the Motif/Montage/Modx synths. With almost the same samples (I have both and an A/B comparison is easy to do) and sounds. Not to mention the same DSP effects.

Both line of products use the same chips to produce the sound (I have the schematics used by the service shops to repair equipment). So why no CC84 in Yamaha synths?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Very interesting, sounds very cool...

...the products that boast XG/GM compatibility are going to be your best bet, because that engine is designed for that type of manipulation. The focus in the synths (as you’ve noticed, since the original Motifs) leans toward providing programming flexibility and the ability to store those edits right within the local program.

In the MODX there are direct handles to many parameters within the instrument’s controller matrix. They are designed to be accessible for the performer’s convenience. The focus in the Arranger world is often using automated MIDI messages to interact and manipulate backing Parts in real-time via sequenced MIDI data... in the MODX many of these can be addressed, via Sysex and/or CC Mmessages (in some cases).

Working around the cc84 issue, may not be possible... I’ll inquire, I’ve never encountered a need to use it quite that way, but that’s certainly a good usage! I let you know if I hear something...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you for your big answer !

I am a software developer, and I am creating a kind of chord arranger software for my new MODX.
When a pad voice is playing a C major chord C E G and I want to transpose this to a G major chord, then the C is repitched to B, the E to D and the G stay there
This is very smooth transition between chords. It works very well on XG and GS synths.

Without the support of the cc84, the notes need be replayed completely, and the enveloppe starts again from 0. This sounds less good.
There is probably a reason why they dropped the cc84 as it is like that since the first MOTIFS

I will try to convert some of the XG messages to the MODX SYSEX, to be able to tune some drums notes from the computer. The same for the DSP messages that are a bit different between XG and MODX

But CC84, I don't think I can workaround it, if it is not possible in the MODX to repitch many notes to other notes
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The PSR-E363 and other Yamaha keyboards that adhere to the XG/GM protocol will all respond to cc84 (Portamento Control). These keyboards have a different engine than those you find in the Yamaha synthesizers. Some of the fundamental approaches to certain functions and articulations are handled in an entirely different way. So the fact that an inexpensive keyboard like the E363 uses cc84 is more because it has the XG engine than anything else... XG engines run in price from entry level items like the PSR-E series, up through the very expensive Clavinovas, PSR-S series, Tyros/Genos and beyond... XG utilizes the Portamento Control parameter so they all will use it regardless of price.

Portamento Control is handled differently in the synthesizer.

You will find, for example, that the synth engines do not use NRPNs (non-registered parameter numbers) like the XG engine; NRPNs can be used by XG/GM file authors to tune individual drum kit instruments (individual Keys), for example. Because there is often no way to *store* edits in the XG product (it is not a requirement that expensive user RAM be built-in to an XG product) typically, the Sequence file contains detailed 'edits' that are sent to the XG Tone Generator in the XG Setup Measure right after the system reset command. If you desire to tune the snare drum on the E363' you could use NRPNs to tune just the snare drum Key... in the synthesizers, like the MONTAGE/MODX you have tons of the expensive kind of user memory so your edits to the tuning of the snare Drum does not have to be done with CC messages in a setup bar of a sequence file, you can simply store the edits to your sounds right on board the instrument. Convenience.

With Portamento, the synthesizers have a completely different approach to controlling it. The synthesizer has its focus on doing flexible emulations, you'll find it often uses different approaches to things from your PSR. In fact, among different Yamaha keyboards you will find that it is really dependent on the product type, technology, and the design focus... while AMW sample playback is used in both the PSR and the synths, the approach is different. Even the analog synths and physical modeling Synths, from Yamah, had yet another approach to Portamento.

You mention that "This is very important for me, as I am repitching notes while changing chords from my PC software." ... I'm not really sure exactly what that means (sounds interesting!) perhaps there is an alternative way to accomplish this. Can you explain a bit more about your use of cc84?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I'm all for implementing more options. Single note Portamento seems interesting. Control ARPs can take advantage of CCs - so it may offer something interesting to ARPs for real-time (without a computer) playing. I do not personally have a strong need for this in my gigs - but it does not seem to displace anything.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 6
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