Yamaha MODX

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Yamaha MODX

Post by OneWorld »

I have been watching some YouTube videos about the MODX and the video I have just watched, which is from an official Yamaha dealership and he says the MODX can be used as an audio interface allowing 10 inputs????

Later in the same Vid he says there are 10 outputs. I have downloaded the MODX manuals and cannot find any evidence of that - does anyone know exactly how many audio in/outs there are?

Can the MODX really be considered a serious audio interface, or is audio i/o just an afterthought that's 'better than nothing' ?
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by Eddy Deegan »

You may find this useful if you've not seen it already: https://yamahasynth.com/modx-category/m ... daw-part-1

The USB audio interface offered by the MODX appears to be intended primarily for recording the various synth parts as opposed to external audio sources, though using the A/D input on the synth you can include external sources in there as well.
Last edited by Eddy Deegan on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by OneWorld »

Eddy Deegan wrote:You may find this useful if you've not seen it already: https://yamahasynth.com/modx-category/m ... daw-part-1

The USB audio interface offered by the MODX appears to be intended primarily for recording the various synth parts as opposed to external audio sources, though using the A/D input on the synth you can include external sources in there as well.


Thanks for that, I hadn't come across that page but since my original post kept on looking for info and it appears it is a 4out 10in interface but all the audio travels down the USB cable to be recorded on the MODX HDD and does not, like an audio interface have 10 independent outs to the outside world. I guess I need find a local dealer so I can actually go see for myself.

I guess the 10 ins are from the MODX, but I cannot see 10 mic/line ins on the pics I have seen on the MODX, I guess the ins are from the MODX sound generator to the DAW, or a combination of maybe a stereo line in and the rest direct from the MODX
Last edited by OneWorld on Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by Eddy Deegan »

OneWorld wrote: I guess the 10 ins are from the MODX, but I cannot see 10 mic/line ins on the pics I have seen on the MODX, I guess the ins are from the MODX sound generator to the DAW, or a combination of maybe a stereo line in and the rest direct from the MODX

The MODX is definitely not a replacement for a general purpose multi-channel sound interface. The USB connectivity is provided for convenience when working with the synth and when working with the internal sound generator that's fine. It'll also deliver a couple of channels of input from the outside world to your DAW via the A/D input and output a stereo mix from your DAW via the main outputs but that's about it, much like most (all?) synths that offer USB connectivity.

From page 56 of the manual :

Audio channels
The audio signals of the MODX can be output to the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks.

When connecting to a computer, use the [USB TO HOST] terminal. In this case, up to 10 audio channels (5 stereo channels) are available. The output-to-channel
assignments are made as follows: [EDIT] -> [Part Settings] -> “Part Output” in the [General] display.

Note: The above is where it's made clear(ish) that most of the channels sent to the DAW over USB come from the internal tone generator.

The audio signals of the MODX can be input from the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks.

Up to four channels (two stereo channels) of audio can be input to the [USB TO HOST] terminal. Set the output level in the Mixing display or the Performance edit display.

The signals are output to the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks (two channels.) Also, up to two audio channels (one stereo channel) can be input to the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R]
jacks. The signal is sent to the A/D input part of the MODX.

With the 'Features' section of the manufacturer's website making such claims as ...

Coupled with two A/D inputs, MODX is a perfect centerpiece for any professional recording studio or live computer rig

... and ...

MODX features a professional 4-in/10-out, multi-channel USB audio interface. A single-cable connection replaces the need for an external audio interface.

... however, I can see the confusion and I think as a tagline that's really a bit misleading of them because it only applies if you are primarily using the MODX as the sound source, yet they are strongly implying something rather more grandiose.

I really think they should be a little more transparent as to what it actually is and how you can actually use it!

Don't get me wrong, it's a great synth and sounds amazing (I have a friend with one) but if you want to combine it with multiple other sound sources to record to your DAW then you will need additional interface hardware unless you can do everything non-MODX via the stereo / dual mono A/D inputs and really, who but a user with the most basic needs and not much money left over from buying the synth wants the hassle that comes with that? :-)

Marketing ... grrrr... :headbang:
Last edited by Eddy Deegan on Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:07 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by OneWorld »

Eddy Deegan wrote:
OneWorld wrote: I guess the 10 ins are from the MODX, but I cannot see 10 mic/line ins on the pics I have seen on the MODX, I guess the ins are from the MODX sound generator to the DAW, or a combination of maybe a stereo line in and the rest direct from the MODX

The MODX is definitely not a replacement for a general purpose multi-channel sound interface. The USB connectivity is provided for convenience when working with the synth and when working with the internal sound generator that's fine. It'll also deliver a couple of channels of input from the outside world to your DAW via the A/D input and output a stereo mix from your DAW via the main outputs but that's about it, much like most (all?) synths that offer USB connectivity.

From page 56 of the manual :

Audio channels
The audio signals of the MODX can be output to the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks.

When connecting to a computer, use the [USB TO HOST] terminal. In this case, up to 10 audio channels (5 stereo channels) are available. The output-to-channel
assignments are made as follows: [EDIT] -> [Part Settings] -> “Part Output” in the [General] display.

Note: The above is where it's made clear(ish) that most of the channels sent to the DAW over USB come from the internal tone generator.

The audio signals of the MODX can be input from the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks.

Up to four channels (two stereo channels) of audio can be input to the [USB TO HOST] terminal. Set the output level in the Mixing display or the Performance edit display.

The signals are output to the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks (two channels.) Also, up to two audio channels (one stereo channel) can be input to the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R]
jacks. The signal is sent to the A/D input part of the MODX.

With the 'Features' section of the manufacturer's website making such claims as ...

Coupled with two A/D inputs, MODX is a perfect centerpiece for any professional recording studio or live computer rig

... and ...

MODX features a professional 4-in/10-out, multi-channel USB audio interface. A single-cable connection replaces the need for an external audio interface.

... however, I can see the confusion and I think as a tagline that's really a bit misleading of them because it only applies if you are primarily using the MODX as the sound source, yet they are strongly implying something rather more grandiose.

I really think they should be a little more transparent as to what it actually is and how you can actually use it!

Don't get me wrong, it's a great synth and sounds amazing (I have a friend with one) but if you want to combine it with multiple other sound sources to record to your DAW then you will need additional interface hardware unless you can do everything non-MODX via the stereo / dual mono A/D inputs and really, who but a user with the most basic needs and not much money left over from buying the synth wants the hassle that comes with that? :-)

Marketing ... grrrr... :headbang:

Thanks and that is very useful advice, and yep, I'll stick with my RME interface. I guess I was hoping for too much to imagine that the MODX would ever be a replacement for all but the cheapest audio interfaces.

I think I would still buy the MODX to replace my ageing but trusty MOX. I guess I could use the MODX internal sequencer including say a 2 channel audio track, recorded to the MODX, just to get ideas down when I don't feel inclined to fire up the boiler and get WIn10/Cubase/VSTs running
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by Eddy Deegan »

OneWorld wrote:I guess I could use the MODX internal sequencer including say a 2 channel audio track, recorded to the MODX, just to get ideas down when I don't feel inclined to fire up the boiler and get WIn10/Cubase/VSTs running

Hmm, maybe, maybe not. It rather depends what your definition of 'sequencer' is! The MODX doesn't really have a sequencer in the true sense of the word, although it does allow you to record a realtime performance. There is no note editing on-board for example:

"You can layer up tracks for all 16 parts of a performance if you want to, working with a click, a whole range of time signatures, and the option to quantise events on the way in. A dedicated recording page also gives access to track mutes and levels, and a little Song overview strip instantly locates the virtual playhead. But that, folks, is about it. Pretty much the only option for modifying recorded data, other than undoing your latest take, is to punch into it or overdub. There aren't any other editing facilities: no post‑recording quantising, no trim, copy, paste, and certainly no editing of individual notes or their velocities. Your only option, to develop a recording made on board, is to export it out of the MODX as a MIDI file, and get it into a DAW"

- https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-modx#para7
Last edited by Eddy Deegan on Sat May 04, 2019 5:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by jazzcatt »

I’ve used the MODX audio interface to record the synth output over USB and the sound is vastly superior to the analog outputs. I’ve tried Balanced cables but there is a low level “whine” that isn’t present over USB so I would prefer using the USB interface option which works except for one issue. The problem is that there is a clicking and popping issue that occurs randomly when recording the output via USB. It sounds exactly like a clocking issue because I am using an Antelope Discrete interface via Thunderbolt at the same time. The clicks are as short as 2 samples long at 44.1, I’ve tried manually removing them and that’s a nightmare. There is no way to get Word clock into the MODX to allow it to function as a slave. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m up to date with all the firmware updates to the MODX. The audio output is getting worse as time goes on, it’s almost unusable in the studio. I had an older Motif and that “whine” was traced to internal audio routing too near to the display.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Clicking and popping might be that your buffer size is too low.
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by adamburgess »

At least 10 outs from the keyboard itself is better than the Integra-7 which can do 8 analog outs, but only L/R over USB!
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Re: Yamaha MODX

Post by N i g e l »

there is also a MODX+ now which is more aligned to the Montage internals.
It has more memory, 2 times the FM polyphony (128) and possibly more USB lanes, etc.

Clicks and pops could be buffer size or could be because your using multiple audio devices at once and the devices arent synced wrt a sample clock.
Can your DAW select which devices are the timing masters for playback and record ?

The MODX outputs arent balanced, so you would possibly need to use TS to TS or the special TS to TRS leads when going into a balanced input to eliminate the hum/noise.

Eddy Deegan wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 5:11 am Hmm, maybe, maybe not. It rather depends what your definition of 'sequencer' is! The MODX doesn't really have a sequencer in the true sense ...........

- https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-modx#para7

That review is from 2019, there was some work done on the sequencer for the V2 firmware, after some user rumblings about its usefullness. You might find it has improved since then. I find it ok as a note pad in the Yamaha working style. If I fluff somthing I just rerecord (maybe with the tempo lowered slightly)
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