A Performance like “Pearly Gates” combines several concepts, so while there is no one tutorial that covers everything, a number of the tutorials together will give you all the skills necessary to put together your own Multi Part Performances.
It is probably best to take it a little at a time; mastering one thing at a time. The Performance uses 3 Parts (an FM-X tone, a Pad, and a Drum Kit) it features Arpeggios and Motion Sequences, selected using the [SCENE] buttons (which recalls different combinations of Arp Phrases and Motion Seqs).
The basics — combining existing data that you find interesting into your own User Performance. Each PART (slot) can contain a complete or partial instrument sound. The Parts can be copied/moved from one Performance to another. Several Parts can be “merged” into the same Performance. The fundamentals for this would be to tackle the “Category Search” function (there are three different types of ‘searches’ for sounds).
When Parts are combined into the same Performance, they can bring along, or not, previous settings, like Volume, Pan, Control Assignments, etc., even Insertion Effects. The Parts are like individual instruments… the Part Edit parameters very much determine how that instrument behaves. The Performance Common Edit parameters are those that ‘glue’ all the component Parts together… on the upper Common level of the architecture you can pull together all the individual Parts and address them via the Super Knob and it’s 8 CommonAssign Knobs.
“Part” and “Common” are the two programming levels of the Performance architecture.
_ Each Part has its own set of real-time accessible ‘Quick Edit’ Knob parameters (24) plus each Part has its own 8 Assign Knobs. The Part Assign Knob functions allow you to determine which of the scores of assignable parameters will be accessible when you recall your Performance Part.
_ The Common area has its own set of real-time accessible ‘Quick Edit’ Knob parameters 24 (they effect all 16 Parts together) plus there are 8 Common Assign Knobs that can be linked, as necessary, to control specific targeted Part Assign Knob parameters. This allows you to customize your performing control such that you can reach down into the architecture to control any individual parameter of any of the Parts.
You may wish to combine several Parts… some you wish to interact with — for example, with a single gesture you can change one Part by turning it up and another Part by panning it across the field. You can design and scale the response of scores of parameters; determining which of your Keyboard Controlled Parts do what. Because you can actively play as many as 8 Parts with the MONTAGE keyboard, while another 8 can be under individual direct control or can be “played” by the onboard Sequencer; you will need to have a way to individually address each them.
The whole Super Knob/Assignable Knob Control matrix allows you to pull off much of this with hands-free control (you can assign an FC7 sweep pedal plugged into the Foot Controller 2 jack to move the Super Knob, you can use the Scene buttons to change the Arpeggios and/or Motion Sequences that are associated with the Performance Parts, you can automate parameters changes with up to 8 Motion Sequences… the Motion Sequences here are changing the OscFreq on the Ring Modulator (Insertion Effect) on the FM-X sound in Part 1.
If you have a specific question, please ask. You may already know about the Performance Merge function (used in assembling Parts into a New Performance) — but if not, it would be cruel to move forward with any more information).
See article: Using MONTAGE Category Search
Method to Learn
There is a training mandate we have when we do dealer and end user trainings/master classes… there is a method to learn things. For example, you must learn to “layer” Parts before you learn to “split”. Since a Split is a Layer divided into upper and lower regions, one must create a layer, then define the Note regions.
Most times, the first thing the attendee wants to learn is how to create a split… but when you know the subject, as the trainer, you know you must teach them how to layer the 2 Parts before you teach them how to divide the keyboard (well, it make more sense to do so).
Let us know, how much you know (how much you feel comfortable with). Because [CATEGORY SEARCH] is one of the most fundamental skills — we’ll start there. For example, there are 3 different Searches for sounds… are you comfortable on when to use each of them?
Let us know. We will try to find a *detail* of what’s happening in “Pearly Gates” and post it — give us an idea of where you are with programming thus far.
Insightful, useful and helpful as always. Sometimes we want to run before we learn to crawl and walk.
I have changed the instrument in the FM-X part of the Pearly Gates performance by editing the part and then using [Category Search] but it appears I lose some of the dynamics when doing so. Either I am not using [Category Search] correctly and/or not all of the parameters of the previous part are retained when replacing it with another sound.
I am intrigued to understand how someone went about to build a performance like Pearly Gates. Where did they start? Did they have the idea in their head and then created it until it was done or did they start with a basic sound and start layering it, adding motion, changing parameters till it ended up what it is. I am sure both ways could be the answer.
I do however feel creating a tutorial for how to build a performance like Pearly Gates from the absolute start can be very beneficial to many of us. Apart from highlighting the various topics one needs to master, it will create some perspective on what is needed to create such performances and which parameters were actually used or modified. Some detail on Pearly Gates would be much appreciated.
Although I use [Catergory Search] often, I guess I need to go study it more. Let me do that, and then hopefully we can continue to the next step.
Hint: When you are using [CATEGORY SEARCH] to replace an existing Part you are given “options” to bring along Mix settings, Arps/MS, Scene settings, etc, or you can select the new sound and have it inherit the existing settings.
Thanks very much for the topic, because it will allow us to discuss this all-important programming question. Knowing how the original programmer approached putting this together will likely lead you to discover, that each Multi Part program, like this, has its own story (which is valuable information, on its own).
And while you will certainly gain much from following the basic steps of the different routines, there is much that is gained by jumping in and experimenting on your own. What peaking over the programmer’s shoulder will teach you is that changing one thing, inspires changing this other thing, which causes you to change this other thing, and so on. It’s really a process that you go through, deciding what works and doesn’t as you go along. A lot of back-and-forth…
Ease of programming often comes down to your role in the process. And certainly, your comfort with the different tasks.
When you are programming an analog synth, your starting point is 1) Choose a Waveform. Then you begin the process of decorating that selection. When you are programming a sample-based synth most often your starting point is also 1) Choose a Waveform, then you decorate that selection. The exception is when you begin by actually sampling your own Waveform - in which case the ‘ease of use’ value goes way, way down and the degree of difficulty goes way up.
But with sample synths, you can choose to use an existing Waveform as a big jump-start to your programming… when you do, suddenly, working with sampled-based synthesis is, again, fairly easy to use.
When you are beginning with, for example, the FM-X engine, you have the option of building your own Waveform (from scratch) or choosing to use one of thousands of existing FM sounds as a starting point.
The reason analog seemed so easy was you were never (ever) involved in the creation of the Oscillator (Waveform) you were given several buzzer like tones (basic wave shapes) to choose from, which you then shaped into musical sounds.
That background to make this point… the programmer could have started “from scratch”, and built the FM-X tone you hear in Part 1 or they may have *borrowed* an existing FM-X tone, either from another program in the MONTAGE or perhaps they converted and then imported a classic 6-Operator DX FM tone (there are a gazillion* of them) _ gazillion is a ‘technical term’ for a whole bunch. (The SmartMorph function is yet another way to generate new FM-X sounds).
If you find a Waveform that you like, be it one of 6,347 AWM2 Waveform Yamaha provides cataloged in the searchable Waveform List, or an FM-X Part you grab (merge) from an existing FM-X Preset. Either way you can avoid the hours of work it takes to program these technologies ‘from scratch’.
Tip: If the ‘from scratch’ depth of programming is not your particular cup of tea, don’t be afraid to borrow and tweak.
This levels the “ease of use” playing field with analog synth programming quite a bit. Either way is a completely legitimate way to proceed. Only go the ‘from scratch’ route if you consider it fun — some do, some don’t.
Where to Begin
You can see why I answered initially as I did. The “Pearly Gates” Performance has an FM-X sound as Part 1. When you get to know FM programming, it doesn’t take long to come up with this type of timbre; however, if you are brand new to FM synthesis, we could begin the learning process with a tutorial on the basic concepts of FREQUENCY MODULATION.
Learning the basics of FM Programming (and FM-X specifically) is well covered on this site. We’ll provide links at the end of this post. But to proceed with our overview analysis, let’s just assume you have an FM-X sound in Part 1. Or you may have *replaced* it.
”Pearly Gates” — An Exploration
Let’s begin by isolating the FM-X sound in Part 1
Recall “Pearly Gates”
From the HOME screen
Solo Part 1
This can be done in the screen, or using right front panel buttons. Skill: Isolating a Part or group of Parts, is a required skill, particularly because building a Performance is done a brick at a time. We’ll want to dissect this Performance accordingly. You’ll want to be able to hear individual Parts, or just two Parts, and different combinations, etc.. The MONTAGE/MODX use a SOLO/MUTE system where SOLO = 1 sound alone, to isolate more than one sound, use the MUTE function. Multiple sounds can be Muted. In this Multi-Part Type Performance, often one Part can interact or influence another. They are not always standalone entities… the Motion Sequence on one Part might rely on the Arpeggiator of another…
Play Part 1 alone;
Change the [SCENE] playing each for several measures — observe what changes, even if you don’t know what is causing it yet, the first task is to listen — hear what is going on.
_Part 1 has both an Arpeggio and a Motion Sequence assigned.
_The Performance Tempo is 70bpm
_Part 1 is mapped to play across all keys (C-2 thru G8).
_Turning the Super Knob clockwise (which can be done either directly or, hands-free, using a heel-to-toe movement of a Yamaha FC7 sweep pedal plugged into the Foot Controller 2 jack) dramatically changes the resulting sound of Part 1… changing from the very rounded smooth tone to a much more plucky, spiked tone as you increase the Knob.
This FM-X sound is made from Algorithm #69 — which has two Carriers (two Operators that are outputting sound). The Super Knob is actually doing some‘morphing’ between these Operator stacks (a fairly good clue that the programmer made this sound from scratch on a MONTAGE!) There are two stacks, one anchored by Op4, the other by Op8. The Op4 stack is faded in by the Super Knob, while the Op8 stack “morphs” from rounded to a more plucky attack.
From the HOME screen, touch “Scene”
The MEMORY switch for Arp and Motion Seqs is ON
Here you will see how the “Arp Select” and the “Motion Sequence” types are linked to each Scene.
Using the dedicated front panel [SCENE] buttons 1-8 or the “Scene 1” - “Scene 8” tabs along the very top of the screen, to move through them.
Any Motion Seq 1-8, can be paired with any Arp Select 1-8.
“Motion Sequences” are way to automate parameter change. Think of them as you would an LFO or an Envelope Generator — both of which can be used to automate parameters over time. It’s a tool to automate the change of setting values.
In this case, the Motion Sequence is assigned to automate change to parameters of the Part 1 “Ring Modulator” Insertion Effect A. It is adjusting the Ring Modulator’s “Oscillator Frequency”, and the “Dry/Wet Balance”.
Scene 1 has hardly any movement from the MSeq, while Scene 8 is heavily modified by the Motion Sequencer.
Part 2 is an AWM2 Pad sound - it has several personalities. The first when you first recall it, another when either one of the [AsSw1/2] are engaged. The Super Knob opens the Filter and raises the Volume of Part 2.
Part 3 is an Arp assigned Drum Kit - the unique Drum Kit includes percussive vocoded phrases assigned to several keys.
That should get you started… we can dive deeper, if you wish.
Thanks Bad Mister. I will digest the above and work through the various tutorials and links. I am starting to get a better understanding of what you meant when you said: "You can choose to snorkel or you can choose to scuba dive". Anyway, respect to you and all the people who know what they are doing!