Yamaha expands the groovy and accessible MODX Music Synthesizer with a bit more polyphony for seamless sound switching. Otherwise, the MODX+ is largely the same great synth it’s always been.
So, the stunning new news is that the polyphony now matches the Montage at 128 notes for both the FM-X sound engine and the AWM2 engine. The internal storage has been beefed up to 1.7GB for sample library and Yamaha has rubberised the mod and pitch wheels. That’s about it. No innovations, no AN-X virtual analogue engine as many people had speculated and really very little to offer someone who already has the MODX. However, as an evolution of a great all-purpose stage and studio synthesizer, the MODX+ keeps it decent and desirable.
So while there’s no new technology in here, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the FM-X sound engine is pretty phenomenal. It goes well beyond the capabilities of the original 6-operator DX7 by having 8 operators for super-complex carrier/modulator configurations as well as other enhancements such as filters. Using an artificial intelligence (!) algorithm you can morph seamlessly between eight different FM-X sounds. The added polyphony is going to help with the smoothness of that.
One nice touch is the ability to convert and import sound banks from the DX7, DX7II, TX802 and TX816 synthesizers. There’s probably no better FM synthesizer engine out there which is only right as Yamaha invented it.
The other sound source is the Advanced Wave Memory sample-based engine. It can run 16 parts, 8 synthesizers, 18 filters, 9 LFOs and features completely programmable virtual circuit technology.
The Virtual Circuit Modelling also extends to the massive effects engine with all the usual modulation, delay and reverb effects. But there’s more than the usual suspects with Vinyl Breaks, Bit Crushers, Beat Repeat, Spiralizers and compression with sidechain.
MODX+ it’s a little bit better
Ultimately the MODX+ is an upgraded version of a fabulously versatile digital synthesizer that can be pretty much anything and everything. It’s lighter and more portable than the Montage and is great for gigging and being whatever you need it to be. I would have loved to have seen something new as this is all rather underwhelming. But, as a refresh, it’ll do.
The MODX+ is available in three versions. The 61-key synth action is £1,479, the 76-keyed keyboardist is £1,744, and the 88-keyed weighted piano player version is £1,999.
- Yamaha MODX+: Yamaha