Quick note: Version 1.31 of the CP OS fixed a worrisome problem in 1.30: If local control was turned off in the MIDI settings, the instrument might not power on. Advanced Mode
Advanced Mode in the CP73 and CP88 lets you put any Voice (instrument sound) in any section. That includes being able to double up, or triple up, on sounds from the same section. One advantage of this is being able to put a different section’s effects on a Voice. Another example: You could octave-shift three layers worth of the CP’s best piano Voices for a monster montuno
Even in Advanced Mode, the CP remains a three-part multi-timbral instrument, so you won’t be accessing the industry-standard 16 parts via a DAW or anything else.
Here’s how it works. Press the Settings button, go to a menu called “Advanced Mode SW” and press the data dial in for Enter. Each section — Piano, E. Piano, and Sub — can be toggled into Advanced Mode independently. If a section’s switch is on, its LED display (as well as the LEDs for its category knob) will go out, indicating that the usual rules for what lives in that section no longer apply.
You select Voices for a section with its rocker switch, the only feedback being that the Voice name appears next to its section in the main LCD display. Do not
use the data dial, as this will change the entire Live Set. Since Live Sets include virtually all the settings in the CP, this will likely take you out of Advanced Mode as well, unless it’s a Set you’ve saved where Advanced Mode is active for one or more sections.
I have to admit that with the large number of Voices now in the CP as of recent OS updates, it’s a bit tedious that an up/down rocker switch is the only way to get at them in Advanced Mode. How I’d like to see it work is that you highlight a section in the main display, then use the Live Set buttons as a numeric keypad for random access to all the Voices. Then again, the CP doesn’t have cursor buttons so it’s not immediately clear how Yamaha could implement this. Better still, I’d like to see a software editor (paging John Melas) in which you could set up Live Sets with or without Advanced Mode lickety-split — or lickety-layer (groan).
Still, the benefits of being able to use any section’s effects on any Voice are certainly worth the trouble. One occasion this proved useful was recently, when my girlfriend (a classically trained soprano and conductor who’s been wanting to get a little bit rock ’n’ roll) and I were playing around with a duo arrangement of “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs for some local cover sets we plan to perform this summer. If you listen to the keyboard alternating between Em9
chords on the original recording, it sure as heck sounds like the Rhodes is running through a Leslie speaker at fast speed. Well, the CP’s E. Piano section doesn’t have a rotary effect, but the Sub section does. With the “78Rd” Voice, the Sub section’s rotary effect got closer to what I hear on the record than did turning up the rate on the choruses or phasers in the E. Piano section.
As we’ve seen from previous posts in this review, the CP is plenty flexible even if you don’t know Advanced Mode is there. With it, though, you have an extra layer of customizability, and to see what it can do without even having to roll your own, plenty of Live Sets that take advantage of Advanced Mode are available at Soundmondo, Yamaha’s online patch sharing community. The CP section is here
We'll get into the nuts and bolts of Live Sets.