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  1. David
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. Sunday, 31 May 2020
Hi all,

I've recently got a MX61 v2 for using it as a complement for my MODX. As you know, this model allows for the unlocking of the FM Essential iOS App. The App itself seems nice and good sounding, but unless I'm missing something, there seems to be no way for integrating it in a DAW, right? I mean, it's OK for playing live, but is there any possiblity of midi sequencing from Cubase or some other DAW using the sounds of the virtual FM synth? If you have to hook the MX to the iPad/iPhone via the usb port, then you cannot simultaneosly connect the MX to a PC/Mac using MIDI, right? AFAIK the midi signal in the MX uses either the midi terminals or the usb port, but not both at once.

If the above is right, then the App is of little use in terms of music production :(
Am I perhaps missing something?
Responses (6)
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I've recently got a MX61 v2 for using it as a complement for my MODX. As you know, this model allows for the unlocking of the FM Essential iOS App. The App itself seems nice and good sounding, but unless I'm missing something, there seems to be no way for integrating it in a DAW, right?
The App can be run as an Inter-App Audio device on your iOS device. Say you are using Cubasis (that’s the version of Cubase that runs on your iPad/iPhone), you can connect your MODX or your MX to your iPad, and while running the DAW on the iPad/iPhone, both the synths and any plugin synth apps can also run. If you want to connect both synths to the iOS device you’ll need additional connectivity.

Be sure to also get Yamaha SynthBook App (It includes an analog physical modeling synth, AN2015, that can also be run using Inter-App Audio protocol... so you can have both the FM and AN Apps running simultaneously in Cubasis on your iPhone or iPad... (what a world!)

Any projects you do in Cubasis can exported to your computer version of Cubase using the “Cubasis Project Importer”. Get an idea on the road — lay it down, and when you return home, open on your computer rig! It is ridiculously full featured! Explore the link below...

Read more about it here: About Cubasis
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you very much for your quick and very informative reply.

OK, if I've understood well then you can sequence in your iPad/iPhone using Cubasis, but not directly using a laptop/desktop computer. Not the most convenient workflow if you usually work with the computer but you have to switch to the iPad whenever you want to use the App and then convert again the project to switch back to Cubase, but at least is still possible...

BTW, when you convert Cubasis -> Cubase project, you can access only the audio tracks recorded using FM Essential, but not the midi tracks (I mean, you can indeed export midi tracks but this would be of little use as you cannot access the FM synth form the computer), right?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It’s not clear what is amazing/confusing (disappointing?) you... that an iOS device is a separate host for recording MIDI and Audio?
That the iOS device is not a synthesizer module?
That your computer will not run FM ESSENTIAL?

I think you were thinking that the iOS device was a synth module that could magically be added to your computer rig — did you forget that it is acting as a mini-substitute for a computer, not as a MIDI module. At this point in history, that’s where we’re at... But never say never.

Audio, yes, audio... predates MIDI, still works, but means a level of commitment. A similar level of commitment as recording an acoustic guitar, or laying down a vocal, you don’t get to change your mind in the same ways as if you are recording a MIDI instrument. No biggie!

You can use the iPhone/iPad as a separate mobile rig. It ‘hosts’ the DAW and the plugins, it is taking the place of your computer in that autonomous system. If you are getting that much, your on your way to understanding this. And more importantly, how you might be able to use this... It’s okay to be disappointed that it doesn’t fly (like you thought) but to say it would be of “little use” is just narrow vision).

If you want to use your FM ESSENTIAL app “in your computer“, you can record it (as an audio source) and record it as audio.
Connect your MX to the iOS device, running FM ESSENTIAL, via USB. Treat this rig as if it were an external (non-MIDI) device...

Connect the analog Main L/R Outputs of the MX to the AD IN of the MODX. This will make the MX/FM Essential an input to the computer system.

Connect the MODX to your computer via USB and set it up to be the 10-in/4-out audio interface for the DAW... using the Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver.
The MODX can now send the A/D IN on its own discreet stereo USB audio bus to your DAW. There are even two Insertion Effects and a dedicated 2-band EQ available for it.

You are simply treating the “MX/FM” combination like it was an old FenderRhodes Suitcase 73 that you found out in the garage, you connect it (analog) to your audio interface (MODX) and treat it like it like an instrument that only has audio outputs.

What if you make a mistake?
Do it over, like the old days!

Try it, you’ll find that while working with ‘just audio’ is like working without a safety net, but can be just as, if not more, rewarding!

Extra Credit
Signal arriving at the A/D IN of the MODX can be a modulation source and clock source within the Motion Control Synthesis Engine. This opens the doors for an unlimited number of ways to work with sound design. You can assign Super Knob and Common Assign Knob Control over the incoming MX/FM combination... this can all be captured (real-time) into your DAW. This ‘automation’ can be documented separately and because it generates MIDI messages, the Knob movement automation can be edited in your DAW.

Hope that helps.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks again for your explanations. I don't know whether it's more accurate to say "old fashioned" or "narrow minded", but the point is that when I'm using Cubase I have simultaneous access to 8 different hardware synths and I have the possibility of adding VST instruments whenever I need them, and I simply can't find a good reason for wanting to use an iPad/iPhone instead, other than for sketching ideas when I'm not in the studio.

As I see it (and this is only a matter of personal taste), I'd have preferred that Yamaha realeased it as a VST instrument (such as the YC-3B) instead of an iOS App. I'm not a programmer but I suspect that from a technical point of view there is not a big difference between programming a VST or an App, given that the emulated FM synthesis engine is the same. Don't take me wrong, the App sounds really good and surely it's great for many people, but it's only that I'd find it much more versatile if I could use it as a midi instrument and not only as an audio source, as you can always convert midi to audio when needed, but not the opposite.

PS: I liked very much the idea of finding a Fender Rhodes Suitcase in the garage. In that case I wouldn't criticize the lack of midi for sure! ;)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I get frantic calls all the time looking for the authentic “Lately” bass sound - “What have you done for me lately...” - This 4-Op FM Synth Bass sound is a true classic. You had people collecting TX81z’s and DX100’s just to have spares of this sound. I’m sure it’s in the FM ESSENTIAL App somewhere. It’s one of those “classic” FM sounds... (used on many, many hits... it becomes legend)! It’s not that it is complex or anything, it just has a proven track record.

The organ App seemed appropriate for the computer VST plugin, and the FM App seemed an appropriate promotion for the iOS devices — you are allowed to disagree, of course. Both are freebies (promotional) and I’m sure someone studied the situation.

But when it’s about “the sound” — which means the behavior, how it responds, that’s when you are feeling the difference in how FM changes timbre versus how a sample changes timbre. It can be explained, technically, but that’s not what is important for those creating the music; it can be felt and it makes a big difference in their music. It’s one of those things...

So if you were one of those “I have to have the authentic 4-Op FM synth bass” producers, or I need that classic FM EP sound, or that Brass Horns thing, etc., etc., the FM ESSENTIAL App is an awesome FREE add-on to the MX (entry level) sampled based synth. The *combination* sound Bank, combines AWM2 from the MX and FM from the App, essentially mimicking the layering possibilities found in the MONTAGE/MODX dual architectures (and hardening back to the SY77/SY99 days. The layering of samples and FM can be pulled off with the App and the MX with a simple cable and adapter! The sound is even summed to the MX outputs so no extra audio connection is necessary!

The promotion makes sense from that standpoint.

“Bang for your buck” ratio Off the charts... Here’s how it plays out: so even if you don’t have $4000 to get the Montage8, but you can afford the 61 key MX... you downloaded the free FM App and head to the music store to plug it into an MX and unlock the free banks of sounds... the promotion was to get you into the music store... while you’re there ...what’s all the buzz about the Super Knob on this MONTAGE... while there you’ll hear the MONTAGE - fall in love with the sound. And then while unlocking your App with the MX, you’d get to experience AWM2 + FM... You will naturally play through the sounds and there is this combination Bank.... which, basically is an the entry-level version of the more expensive MODX and the pro MONTAGE technology.

Something like that... once you got to hear AMW2 and FM, the goal of the promotion was reached. Actually, once you walked through the door of the music store, the goal of the promotion was reached... but the free FM ESSENTIAL by itself is cool... the “plug it in and unlock the rest of the sounds” thing was an opportunity to talk Synthesis with your local music store.

Even if you did not buy the MONTAGE, MODX or the MX, you got to hear the concept and in exchange for your visit you got a fully functional iOS App that can work on its own.

We’re hoping you can’t unhear that combination!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
bastava semplicemente come in tutti sintatizzatori e tasiere roland di dare la possibilità di usare contemporaneamenre il midi via usb e il midi in uscita in-out calssico e il problema era risolto mediante usb controllavo l'app e con il midi classico comunicavo con la daw nel pc o mac
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
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