For over 40 years, Yamaha synthesizers have inspired sound and expressive control. From the DX7 that helped define the sound of the 1980s to the MOTIF series used by top stage and studio artists around the world, Yamaha has long been a name associated with cutting-edge synthesizer technology. In 2016, we announced MONTAGE, a synthesizer that expanded the realistic instrument sound of MOTIF and modernized the expressive capabilities of the DX7, along with sophisticated dynamic control, followed two years later with MODX .
Enter MODX+: a new synthesizer with the DNA of MONTAGE and MODX in a compact, mobile and lightweight package, with three models to choose from. The 61-note MODX+6 is perfect for sound designers wanting the distinctive sonic stamp of modern Frequency Modulation (FM-X) synthesis. Performing and recording keyboardists requiring realistic piano, electric piano, strings, brass and other imitative sounds will appreciate the versatility and expanded range of the 76-key MODX+7. Pianists needing a realistic piano touch and sound will be inspired by the MODX+8 with its 88 graded and weighted keys.
There are three reasons why MODX+ deserves your attention: sound, control, and mobility.
Like the flagship MONTAGE, MODX+ offers two synthesizer engines. Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) is a sample-based subtractive synthesizer engine combined with proprietary cutting-edge audio technology, allowing playback of extraordinarily detailed samples of instruments such as the Yamaha CFX 9′ and Bösendorfer Imperial 290 concert grand pianos, Seattle orchestral strings, and more. MODX+ offers 1.75 GB of internal user waveform memory, same as MONTAGE, and an upgrade over the 1 GB offered by MODX.
The second engine is based on Frequency Modulation synthesis, updated for the needs of today’s sound designer. Yamaha brought FM technology to the world in 1983 with the DX7. MODX+ features FM-X, with enhanced expressivity and dynamic capabilities as well as the versatility to create a nearly infinite variety of tones, from clear and bell-like to percussive and cutting or even distorted and chaotic. One of the major improvements offered by MODX+ is 128-note FM-X polyphony, as opposed to the 64-note FM-X polyphony in the original MODX.
MODX+ allows everyone to sound unique through Motion Control — a sophisticated dynamic control matrix. Its Super Knob plays a big role in this, allowing deep simultaneous control of multiple parts in multiple ways. For example, you can turn up a string sound while turning down a piano sound. Or turn a symphonic string section into a string quartet in a perfectly seamless manner. Applied to the FM-X synthesizer engine, the Super Knob can introduce tremendous amounts of sonic change where a simple pad becomes a bell which becomes something words can’t even describe!
Another part of Motion Control is the Motion Sequencer. It has a similar capability to the Super Knob but creates change rhythmically as opposed to manually — great for automating your modulation while synced to other parts. There’s also an Envelope Follower so you can use audio to control virtually any parameter or effect, along with ABS (Audio Beat Sync) that detects and synchronizes to the beat of an external device like acoustic or electronic drums, a drum machine, or any audio source. In addition, the pitch bend and mod wheels on MODX+ which, like those on MONTAGE, are rubberized, giving them a better feel and making them easier to control.
Did we mention MODX+ is compact, lightweight and ready to go anywhere? The MODX+6 weighs in at just 15.9 pounds; the MODX+7 at 17.6 pounds; and the 88-note MODX+8 at 31.7 lbs. We’ve even got cool bags to go with them!
Check out the video:
For more information, check out Blake’s Take on yamahasynth.com.