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#2966496 - 01/03/19 07:42 AM Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig?
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
I've got a very cool gig coming up at the end of the month, doing a little showcase with That Joe Payne at Yamaha UK. The twist is that we turn up and play the gig just using Yamaha equipment they have in stock. I think they're going for a similar to Anderton's Sound Like series?

There's one downside to this: I've never used any Yamaha keys before (I have two FC-4 pedals though that are 10 years old and lovely though) and I'll have minimal time to program anything.

So, Yamaha-heads, what should I be making a beeline for? The majority of the music is orchestral so I need lots of really nice strings, preferably ones I can shape easily. On my PC3 I have the sliders mapped to different elements and techniques so I can fade in, say, doubling everything up the octave, or switching the left hand to pizzicato while keeping the right arco. There's also a bit of synth on the records, which in the studio was FM8 so Yammy gear should be perfect for this.

The way I see it is either the Montage or MODX would be the best replacement for my PC3, and I like the idea of having a Reface or two for synth sounds. The Genos looks really awesome for this but it also looks utterly terrifying!
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#2966504 - 01/03/19 08:23 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
Aidan Offline
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Moray, most of the things you are mentioning on the Kurz are sort of do-able with the Montage/MODX but to get the sort of precise control you are talking about is only possible with quite a bit of pre-programming time, which you probably won't have the luxury of.

Genos is not as terrifying as it sounds for dialling up sound families, most with the articulation switches already built into the voices without the need for editing. If they'll let you use one of those – or even an earlier Tyros – it might be a good choice.
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#2966513 - 01/03/19 08:56 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Aidan]
MotiDave Offline
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Walking up to a foreign board and doing the things you list on the fly is quite a challenge (as Aidan notes).

Yamaha has a wealth of great orchestral tones in MODX/Montage - very easy to find via touchscreen. easy to dive into strings, wind, brass, as you need. But having multiple sounds in a Performance so you can blend in/out/fade etc - that has to be programmed unless you luck on one of the Performances already set up with the super knob to do transitions as you desire.

Do you know if it will be Montage or MODX (both are effectively the same engine - Montage has more sliders controls etc.)

its not hard to construct Perf's quickly that bring in different single-part orchestral sounds together. Easy to solo on one part, but the blending/fading - that takes a lil setup to get as you desire. Depending on ambition and pre-familiarity, you could set it up fairly quickly.

I've never touched a Genos - or any arranger for that matter.
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#2966520 - 01/03/19 09:38 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Aidan]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
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Loc: Wilts, UK
Thanks Aidan, that's good to know, particularly about the Genos. I think that'll probably be at the top of my list to try!
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#2966539 - 01/03/19 10:41 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
JerryA Offline
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Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 7319
Loc: New England
Moray, congratulations on what looks to be a fun gig. I hope you'll post the video here should you have one.

Not sure how much time you will have hands on with the final instruments but prepping sounds interesting. Keep us posted. Do you have a pal with a Montage/ModX?

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#2966670 - 01/04/19 04:58 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: JerryA]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
There'll definitely be some video. I don't know anyone locally with either but if I have time between now and then I'll check my local(ish) store for a demo.
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#2966695 - 01/04/19 07:41 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
stoken6 Offline
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When's the gig Moray? Is it at Yamaha Music in Wardour Street? I may pop in!

Cheers, Mike
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#2966720 - 01/04/19 09:28 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: stoken6]
AnotherScott Offline
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I haven't played a Genos, but based on what I know, that's what I'd go for. As others said, the Montage/MODX can pretty much do the same things as you're doing on the Kurz, but like the Kurz, will require advance knowledge and setup time that it sounds like you won't have. Genos' built-in articulations are designed to give you natural sounding alterations as you play, without your having to do advance programming. I'd think of it as driving an automatic rather than a stick. You lose some fine level of control for the utmost in performance, but you get pretty good results without having to think about it.
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#2966741 - 01/04/19 10:24 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: AnotherScott]
MotiDave Offline
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if you could get your hands on a Montage or MODX before you go, and assuming you know what you'll want to play at this upcoming gig - you can create a library file and bring a USB stick ... if that level of advanced prep appeals. IF you don't introduce user waveforms (user samples), and there's no reason you should have to - load time is very quick.

I assume same for Genos ... again, never touched nor smelled that animal.
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#2966813 - 01/04/19 02:44 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MotiDave]
pjd Offline
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Registered: 09/14/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Massachusetts
Hi Moray --

If you do give Genos a go, I had a few moments and put together a very brief quick start:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/genos-to-60-in-4-seconds/

I use Genos as a synth and often ignore all of the auto accompaniment features. There's probably a few typos lurking in the write-up, but hopefully it will save you some time.

All the best -- pj

Music technology blog: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/

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#2968095 - 01/10/19 04:50 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: stoken6]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
Originally Posted By: stoken6
When's the gig Moray? Is it at Yamaha Music in Wardour Street? I may pop in!

Cheers, Mike


Hey Mike, it is! It would be great to see you, and anyone else who wants to listen to great music and geek out. It's 24th Jan, won't be a late one though. It's ticketed, but tickets are free, get them here: https://www.thatjoepayne.com/tour
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#2968097 - 01/10/19 04:53 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: pjd]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
Originally Posted By: pjd
Hi Moray --

If you do give Genos a go, I had a few moments and put together a very brief quick start:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/genos-to-60-in-4-seconds/

I use Genos as a synth and often ignore all of the auto accompaniment features. There's probably a few typos lurking in the write-up, but hopefully it will save you some time.

All the best -- pj

Music technology blog: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/



That is perfect pj, thank you so much! I shall keep that bookmarked on my phone.
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#2968256 - 01/10/19 06:44 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: pjd]
Synthaholic Offline
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Originally Posted By: pjd
Hi Moray --

If you do give Genos a go, I had a few moments and put together a very brief quick start:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/genos-to-60-in-4-seconds/

I use Genos as a synth and often ignore all of the auto accompaniment features. There's probably a few typos lurking in the write-up, but hopefully it will save you some time.

All the best -- pj

Music technology blog: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/



I like your website!
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#2968282 - 01/10/19 09:04 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Synthaholic]
pjd Offline
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Registered: 09/14/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks, folks! Glad to help out.

-- pj

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#2968290 - 01/11/19 12:00 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: pjd]
Analogaddict Offline
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I'd put a Yamaha sticker on the PC3... wink

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#2968293 - 01/11/19 12:36 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Analogaddict]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 1002
Originally Posted By: Analogaddict
I'd put a Yamaha sticker on the PC3... wink


Very clever don't see many Yamaha's like I used too but dang this forum has has so many fans guess I need to check the Montage out wait I did that last year. like

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#2968445 - 01/12/19 12:36 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: bennyray]
Analogaddict Offline
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I don’t intend to bash Yamaha - I own, love and use a MODX, and I have a CP80 and a Yamaha upright home, but they have a history of having endorsers that don’t actually use the Yamahas. David Bryan is perhaps the most stellar example. I spend so much time programming sounds that I get a bit annoyed when somebody assumes that I can do the same thing without proper preparations. smile This is just my personal ‘problem’, it seems like a great gig otherwise, congrats to Moray!!!

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#2968485 - 01/12/19 10:31 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Analogaddict]
Doberfort Offline
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Registered: 12/17/11
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Loc: Norway
In my rig I have both a Montage and a PC3 and I am doing 95% strings with the ELO tribute band I am doing right now. I think the Kurzweil outperforms the Montage on a lot of string sounds and sounds more lush and organic. For solo violins, chellos and pizzicatos the Montage is doing a nicer job. If someone told me to leave the Kurzweil at home and use 2 Montage on a stage I would be in big trouble as they have very different sonic qualities. I love both, but they are very different.


Edited by Doberfort (01/12/19 03:24 PM)
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#2968543 - 01/12/19 02:53 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: Doberfort]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
Thanks for that perspective Doberfort, I'm looking forward to comparing the recordings!
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#2968555 - 01/12/19 04:35 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
CEB Offline
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How did it go? .... Or has it happened yet? I put very little time on the MODX. The time I did put on it it failed my virgin test. The Motif and earlier boards I could immediately go to voice mode and try and audition the basic core sounds of the board. On the new generation boards I'm lost. That not a bad thing. I just need to read a manual to figure how the new boards work. It's really different from the S90xx and Motifs.

PS. Oops I see the event is later. Sorry.


Edited by CEB (01/12/19 04:36 PM)
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#2972342 - 01/29/19 06:07 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: CEB]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
Hi everyone, thanks for all your advice, the gig was great fun! I ended up with a Montage 8, Joe had a CP4. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of programming time with it, just enough time to build a few basic splits, and not nearly as many as I wanted - there were a lot of nerves from both of us as a result! The staff were lovely though, even if only one of them there on the night actually knew how to work the beast! If you're in London, go and check out the store, in particular the grand piano showroom in the ballroom upstairs. Those Bosies... drool Strangely the other bit of gear that stuck with me was the Reface DX. That little box was fun!

If you want to watch the gig, including my abysmal attempts at finger drumming, it was live-streamed on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ThatJoePayne/videos/vb.1381912308728877/2220150798207272/

The Montage was fun, but I'm not sure I'll be adding it to my rig anytime soon. Here's my run down of it after a couple of hours anyway:

Good:
* The piano sounds are incredible.
* The FM sounds are lovely.
* Build splits/layers and registering them to a bank is really easy once you know how. The touchscreen functions are really nicely implemented.
* I kind of like the fact that nothing has an index number. No worrying about where to save stuff, just searching by name or by category.
* The build quality is great.

OK:

* The Super Knob (fnar). On the patches where it's well programmed like the church organ, it's brilliant. On others the tweaks don't make so much sense and it feels like an adterthought. For a live gig though it's a nice way to add a bit of variation.

Bad:
* The orchestral sounds felt a bit underpowered to my ears. Lots of top-mid scratchiness and no bottom end. I like a bit of weight to my orchestral string sections.
* The tonewheel organs. But you don't buy Yamaha for those!
* The mess of buttons on the right of the panel. You don't truly appreciate nice design until you see really bad design. There didn't seem to be any logic to the layout, and adding shift functions just made it worse. I missed contextual soft buttons so much! It's odd choice to have so many with a touchscreen too.
* It has a weird curve and a lip on the back which coupled with the weight means that lifting it on your own is incredibly difficult. Fortunately I didn't have to move far, but adjusting it on the stand was way harder than I would have liked.
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#2972385 - 01/29/19 10:03 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
MotiDave Offline
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Nice summary, thx!

Note - they "fixed" your last two Bad issues in MODX lol

- they just eliminated all those buttons to remove temptation of trying to make sense of them. Everything is just thru the touch screen. To me, MODX now has an odd amount of vacant space, but thats fine I guess. My big gripe is the master volume - I love they moved controls from left side of keys to above them to reduce overall length (significantly), but they missed the mark on volume. They give a tiny knob all the way to top left - its bad placement and bad knob design. should have kept a slider aka all prior top line Yamahas imo and put it closest to the keybed, not furthest.

- 1/2 the weight or less. I can fling my MODX7 around with one hand with nary a thought to it. love the amount of professional power in a sub-20 lb keyboard.

I can't compare orchestral to whatever benchmark you base your perceptions on. I think they are very good, though I tweak programming on them quite often to get more precisely what i want. Bottom end fullness can be readily solved but not in the scant 15 min or half-hour you had to learn the board before performing. Fair critique as a walk-up and ready sound set, perhaps.

Compared to prior Yamaha UIs - Motif or MOXF - its a dream interface. Baby steps, Yamaha never jumps too far in one leap. at least they are finally headed in the right direction for usability.

I've come to believe their B3 inadequacy is both well understood and well accepted within Yamaha. can't fathom why, but it just is. They just do not care, and will never come close to a standard issue clone.


Edited by MotiDave (01/29/19 10:07 AM)
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#2972443 - 01/29/19 12:37 PM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MotiDave]
MorayM Offline
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Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 1484
Loc: Wilts, UK
I had a quick go on the MODX and liked it a lot, sound and interface. The volume knob I wasn't bothered about, I set them once and forget!
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#2972603 - 01/30/19 07:01 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
Wastrel Offline
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Am I to understand from some of the comments in this thread, that Yamaha has finally cobbled together some sort of workable man-machine interface? I struggled for years with various Motifs and their Byzantine GUIs, and don't think I have ever fully recovered.
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#2972641 - 01/30/19 09:24 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: MorayM]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: MorayM

* I kind of like the fact that nothing has an index number. No worrying about where to save stuff, just searching by name or by category.

It can sometimes be a little disorienting, not having as much of a sense of "where you are" but it basically works. And in fact, one of the things that bugs me about the Kronos Set List is all the extraneous info, all the visual clutter that makes it harder to quickly find what you're looking for. That is, a slot doesn't just have the name of the sound/song, but has the type of program it is and its number. It's fine to have at stuff when you're editing your sets, but in performance, it's entirely unnecessary, and to me, undesirable.

Originally Posted By: MorayM

* The Super Knob (fnar). On the patches where it's well programmed like the church organ, it's brilliant. On others the tweaks don't make so much sense

To me, the real value of the knob is for you to program it to do whatever you want it to do. I look at the pre-programmed stuff as examples/demonstrations... if they happen to do something you find useful, it's a bonus. ;-) (But what is fnar?)

Originally Posted By: MorayM

* The mess of buttons on the right of the panel. You don't truly appreciate nice design until you see really bad design. There didn't seem to be any logic to the layout, and adding shift functions just made it worse. I missed contextual soft buttons so much! It's odd choice to have so many with a touchscreen too.

You're not alone... I remember a review that also saw the lack of those buttons on the MODX as an advantage. Since there is virtually nothing you can do with those buttons that you can't do from the touchscreen, it does make sense for a new or casual user to basically ignore them. But once you're really enmeshed in operations, it may be nice to have buttons both as shortcuts (so you don't have to hop from screen to screen for some things) or sometimes for a more positive/tactile experience in performance. With touchscreen, there is a greater chance of an errant tap failing to invoke the sound/function you want (or invoking something else instead), the likelihood of that is decreased with a hard button. But I do see it as more of a "power user" option, and the screen by itself is generally fine. And there is also a benefit to some conveniently located free panel space, which can be used in a variety of ways.
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#2973304 - 02/02/19 11:32 AM Re: Gigging with an all-Yamaha rig? [Re: AnotherScott]
CowboyNQ Offline
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I discovered another advantage to buttons on a touchscreen driven keyboard tonight. Not a MODX, but the principle is the same.

Tech crew managed to drop an LX bar INTO my Krome’s touch screen before the show, piercing the screen and rendering touch functionality 100% inoperable. I’ve had my Krome since 2013 and have never used the buttons before because the touchscreen is so easy to use. But I sure was thankful they were there tonight.

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