Ahead of any official announcement from Yamaha, it appears that there’s a new Montage style synthesizer on the block. Aimed to replace the ageing MOXF it’s the cheaper, lighter and groovier version of the flagship Montage synth.
It’s funny how it looks immediately out-of-step from everything else that’s going on in the world of hardware synthesis. Not a whole lot going on in the front panel control department. Looks like everything has been sucked into the large touch-screen and data wheel. But this is Yamaha’s style and they are not about to change a winning format because of the moans of a few synthesizer purists.
AWM2 Synthesis Engine and FM-X Technology
At the heart of the MODX is the Advanced Wave Memory (AWM2) synthesis engine. It processes both samples and synthesised sounds providing some ultra-realistic instrument performances, digital recreations and drum sounds for up to 28-note polyphony. The FM-X is an 8-operator FM engine that’s highly programmable with 64-note polyphony and a wide variety of filter types. The sound switching is completely seamless for performances with up to 4 parts, apparently. A built-in envelope follower converts any audio input into a control source for any synth parameter. Motion Sequences give you the ability to create tempo-synchronised sequences which can be assigned to any parameter. This opens up new way to control rhythms and sound. It also features dedicated controls on the front-panel, allowing for real-time manipulation.
There are a whole bunch of numbers which give an indication of how huge this sound source is. The Waveform-ROM has been expanded to 5.6 GB, there are 2,370 new Waveforms bringing the total to 6,347. There’s 1GB of Flash-ROM built it. There are 2000 preset performances, 640 user performances, 5,120 library performances, 256 preset live set slots, 2048 user and 2048 library live set slots and a ridiculous 10,239 arpeggios. Don’t forget that you can have 8 simultaneous arpeggio parts and 8 scenes per performance.
The MODX has 76 semi-weighted keys and has been kept light and compact to make it easily transportable. It has a built-in audio interface like the Montage, providing 2-ins and 10-outs over USB. With a single cable the MODX could be in control of your whole setup. The Super Knob provides control over up to 128 parameters within a single performance. You can mix volume, pan, effects, filters, LFOs or whatever with the single knob. They’ve managed to include 4 whole faders and 4 encoders just in case you want a bit of individual control mapped to an individual parameter. There are assignable all over the place.
13 dual insert effects cover processing tools from reverbs to virtual circuit modelling. There are Beat Repeats, Vinyl Breaks and Bit Crushers, Spiralizers and compression with a side-chain. That’s a pretty comprehensive array of effects on a powerful DSP chip.
The Yamaha MODX is an impressive machine if you like that sort of thing. Not really my cup of tea, but the Montage range has been hugely popular for people wanting to play with big sounds on workstation keyboards like it’s 1992 (I’m joking, it’s awesome).
The leak came originally from Gear4Music.com who have since pulled it. But not before it was picked up by YamahaMusicians.com who already have a dedicated forum in full swing talking about it. Apparently, delivery was suggested as the 13th-17th September with a price of £1399.