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  1. AnotherScott
  2. Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MODX Series Synthesizers
  4. Monday, 22 February 2021
I don't think the MODX can do what I'm trying to do, but I figured I'd better run it by the experts here before I give up and post it as an Ideascale suggestion...

Normally in Multi mode, if you have anything loaded into Part 4 of a Performance, the keyboard will also transmit note events on channel 4, unless you have used the Zone settings to have that part transmit on some other channel and not transmit on channel 4. So far so good, yes?

Okay, so now I set up a 4-Part Performance with the appropriate Zone settings so that I hear no internal sound on Part 4, all I hear is an external sound Part 4 is triggering from my iPad. That works fine.

But if I switch to another Performance which has an internal sound set for Part 4, the iPad sound is still being triggered because, as mentioned above, an internal Part 4 sound will, by default, also send MIDI note events out on channel 4.

Possible solutions:

1) Edit all the Performances that have 4-Part sounds so that Part 4 is set to not send MIDI. That's not really practical, I want to be able to call up any sound at any time, and I don't want to have to manually edit every 4-Part Performance that came on the board. Also, I may want to do the same thing with Part 3, using another iPad sound, and maybe even sometimes Part 2, so it just becomes increasingly impractical.

2) Change the board from Multi mode to Single mode. Now the board will only transmit on channel 1, even when I have sounds on Parts 2, 3, and 4. All I have to do is make sure the iPad is not set to respond to MIDI channel 1. This is workable. Now I should be able to have Performances with *either* internal OR external sounds on Parts 2, 3, and 4, and switch between them as much as I want, and I will only hear the internal sounds when I only want to hear internal sounds, and external sounds only when I want to hear external sounds. BUT... I may also sometimes want to independently trigger a MODX sound from some other keyboard. For that to work, I need the board to be in Multi mode. I don't really want to give up that capability. So this solution has a pretty significant trade-off.

3) Put my iPad sound on some channel in the 9-16 range. Now I can be sure that no MODX Performance consisting of internal sounds will ever inadvertently trigger an external sound, since when it comes to internal sounds, MODX Performances are limited to parts/channels 1 through 8. So there will be no conflict as I switch back and forth between Performances that use any combination of Internal and External sounds. Seems perfect, right? BUT... as soon as I put even a single external sound on any part between 9 and 16, I lose seamless sound switching of the internal sounds, even if I'm only switching between what are, internally, single part sounds. That's a pretty unfortunate trade-off.

I guess what I'm looking for is for the board to be able to be set for Multi mode when it comes to receiving MIDI, but Single mode when it comes to sending MIDI. Or alteratively, some new setting that simply globally turns off transmission of MIDI notes on all Parts except when specifically enabled for a Part via the Zone Master function (which would be better, because it would free up all channels, even channel 1, which even Single mode wouldn't do). I don't suppose maybe there is such a setting and I missed it?

Is there any other way to accomplish my goal here? Or is this a job for Ideascale?
Responses (13)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
2) Change the board from Multi mode to Single mode.


If you like most of this remember that zone control defeats single mode. Therefore you can selectively place your keyboard back into multi-mode by the Performance settings.

Source: https://yamahasynth.com/learn/montage/zone-master-faq-mastering-montage
When Zone Master is enabled in UTILITY and the current Performance has Zone Switches set to On, this setting overrides the MIDI I/O Mode "Single" or "Hybrid" setting. Activating the Zone Switch within a Performance (Zone enabled) automatically changes the status to address multiple devices. Therefore, when you select a Performance, in which you have pre-programmed a MIDI transmit configuration, it will override and apply. Whatever Zone Settings are in the currently selected Performance will determine what gets transmitted OUT via MIDI and on what channels that data will travel on.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Ah! I thought that Single mode (which normally restricts MIDI transmission to one channel) would only apply to how it handled its own sounds, and that Parts set to control external zones through the Zone Master function would still transmit on the channels you told them to transmit on. I didn't realize that Single mode is basically completely disabled any time you're playing a Performance that an External zone. That makes this a bit messier, as what gets sent out over MIDI (when playing internal parts 2 and 3 for example) will change as you switch between Performances that have external zones and ones that don't. Ugh.

BUT... I think I have the answer! For simplicity's sake, I had been keeping the Part number and the MIDI channel in sync with each other, but I realize now, there's no reason to do that, and it's actually a hindrance. Instead, I can put the iPad sound on Part 4, but associate the external sound with channel 9 (i.e. set the iPad app to receive on channel 9, set the Part 4 external zone to transmit on channel 9). Now when I switch away from that 4-Part Performance to a Performance that has 4 Parts worth of internal sounds instead, yes, it will now transmit on channel 4, but the iPad app won't see it because it's set to receive on channel 9, not channel 4. So as long as I set my iPad's sounds to receive on 9 through 16, I can still invoke them from MODX parts 1-4 (maintaining seamless transitions), in Multi mode (maintaining the ability to independently trigger MODX sounds from an external keyboard). Unless I missed something, I think this does just what I want!
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
That was going to be a first suggestion ("fixing" #3) until I saw one listed earlier had a way to possibly conform. Zones (and MODX in general) is great for MIDI transmit flexibility. In a case where that's the primary goal - you have ultimate control over the channel Parts transmit on.

Do keep in mind the "defeat" rule. There are some "sneaky" configuration changes that don't readily reveal themselves. It's not completely hidden - just a thing that isn't "vocal" enough to avoid being missed unless you have some idea what to look for.

The MIDI Signal Flow part of the Quick Setup menu will show in the upper-left if, for example, "Single Channel" mode is activated. If you turn on Zone Master and any Part's Zone to ON then returning back to the MIDI Signal Flow will show now zone control is active and the MIDI IN/OUT does not show a MIDI Channel. If you turn off Zone Master and navigate back - you'll see "Single Channel" and also the MIDI IN/OUT shows a single channel number. It's trying to tell you something here. I guess the thought was if they nag you with an "are you sure" when enabling zone control while hybrid or single is active - that the "are you sure" would get annoying after the 2-3rd time. This is where some popup explaining what the rule is would have helped and a check box "don't remind me again" to tick if you want to silence the warning from herein. ... instead, luckily you're participating here where there's support to help navigate.

I'm with you about the complication of the defeat. I wrote an Ideascale where I wished I had control over this (less restrictions). The full extent of that wish probably isn't feasible - and that's OK. However - flip side - given that this does defeat on a Performance-by-Performance basis - it's one of those things that can be looked at through the lens of "a feature" and used to advantage. I'm not thrilled about the lack of ultimate flexibility - but am happy that there's a way to opt out of this "global" setting at the Performance level.
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
From the “Zone Master FAQ”....

What MIDI Channel should I set my external device? Are there any "best practices" recommendations?
You can set your external device to any MIDI Channel you choose. However, just remember MONTAGE can, at times, occupy as many as eight MIDI channels, and when it does it uses channels 1-8. If you select a MONTAGE Performance that is set up with five KBD CTRL Parts, and MIDI I/O = Multi, then the MONTAGE is addressing Channel's 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. And it could potentially want as many as eight channels (there are eight Part KBD CTRL Performances). If you pre-plan the Performances you are going to use, you can setup and customize/store the settings for each, as required. But if you like to 'roam-free' and program "on-the-fly", then recognize the MONTAGE is an octopus- it Sends and Receives 8 channels. Best practices: by setting your external device to a channel that is 9, or higher, you can avoid any surprises when just exploring the MONTAGE Factory Performances.

Best practice: It is recommended that you give each external device its own Zone slot so that you can determine what happens with it using an exclusive set of parameters.

Extra Credit: If your external device is additionally connected to the MONTAGE A/D Input, this greatly expands your options to control when and how your external device is sounding.



Tip: Once you setup a MONTAGE Part for use as an external Zone, that Part can be brought into any other Performance using Category Search.
You might consider making a Single Part Performance designed and named specifically as an external Zone (Int Sw = Off). The advantages are you can use Performance Merge to add (“+”) it to any existing Performance and you can replace any existing Part with your Zone Part.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
re: "Tip: Once you setup a MONTAGE Part for use as an external Zone, that Part can be brought into any other Performance using Category Search."

Is there some way to use Category Search to show performances that consist of (or include) external Parts? If an internal sound must be loaded into a Part in order to assign an external sound to that Part (even if you intend to silence the internal sound), I assumed that Part, saved by itself, would be assigned the category that its internal sound was in, but maybe not? This isn't something I've had a chance to get back to and play with yet, though it picks up directly from the conversation we were having at https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/1-part-performances-that-only-play-external-midi-sounds
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Is there some way to use Category Search to show performances that consist of (or include) external Parts?
I just put “Ext” in the name and when I Search I simply type “Ext” and they all appear.

If an internal sound must be loaded into a Part in order to assign an external sound to that Part (even if you intend to silence the internal sound), I assumed that Part, saved by itself, would be assigned the category that its internal sound was in, but maybe not?
Since it is a “dummy” sound, this is the perfect candidate for Main = “No Assign”, Sub = “No Assign” — if you reserve this for external Parts you’ll have yet another way to Search for this type of setup... when Stored as Single Part Performances, take the time to name them descriptively so you know what it’s for by sight.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I just put “Ext” in the name and when I Search I simply type “Ext” and they all appear.
Ah!

Since it is a “dummy” sound, this is the perfect candidate for Main = “No Assign”, Sub = “No Assign” — if you reserve this for external Parts you’ll have yet another way to Search for this setups... when Stored as Single Part Performances, take the time to name them descriptively so you know what it’s for by sight.
I think I like the idea of creating my external sound Parts by loading a similar MODX sound (which is silenced and has its external zone settings assigned to the appropriate external sound). So for example, if I'm creating a single-Part Performance that does nothing but trigger a particular sound in my iPad's B-3X Organ app, I'd build it on a (silenced) MODX Organ part, assuming that means that that external organ sound comes up when I search for Organs. And I'd also use EXT in its name so I could call it up in a list of all external sounds as well. So I could find it either of two useful ways.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Also ...

If you're not using the favorite designator - you could use that to mean "includes external Part(s) ". It's sort of a freebie-use-it-as-you-wish [CATEGORY SEARCH] flag.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
That's another good idea, Jason. I think that would work well for me. The star which gets added to a Performance's select box would probably be helpful to make sure I don't select such a Performance when I'm using the MODX without an external device attached, the star is something I think I would see more quickly/easily than something added to the name. Though I might also employ naming tricks, as I may create Performances that include sounds from different external devices, so I might also want to use some characters to indicate which external device has the sound.
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The star which gets added to a Performance's select box would probably be helpful to make sure I don't select such a Performance when I'm using the MODX without an external device attached...
When using the MODX without an external device attached, you can go to [UTILITY] > “Settings” > “Advanced”
Shut the “Zone Master” = Off
This globally defeats all Master Keyboard settings.

Recalling an External assigned Performance would simply play the INT SW’d Part which no longer will be switched Off... so the “dummy” sound can now be heard. You can place any sound as the “dummy” if you don’t want to ‘waste’ a slot.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
When using the MODX without an external device attached, you can go to [UTILITY] > “Settings” > “Advanced”
Shut the “Zone Master” = Off
This globally defeats all Master Keyboard settings.

Recalling an External assigned Performance would simply play the INT SW’d Part which no longer will be switched Off... so the “dummy” sound can now be heard. You can place any sound as the “dummy” if you don’t want to ‘waste’ a slot.
Good info. Normally, if my external device is not attached, I'd want to be sure to not select that Performance at all, but this brings up an alternate idea of specifically using (as your "dummy" sound) some sound that is at least some reasonable facsimile of the external sound it would otherwise be triggering. I mean, I wouldn't want to shut ZM off, select my external organ performance, and hear an internal piano instead... but if I had at least used an organ sound for the dummy position, I'd still end up with something in the rough ballpark of what I'm aiming for, that could be a worthwhile strategy. Though for my particular use, I'd probably stick with just avoiding the starred sounds when no external device is attached. Good to know, though!

This reminds me to revisit an earlier question, though... from your earlier post:
Since it is a “dummy” sound, this is the perfect candidate for Main = “No Assign”, Sub = “No Assign”
Performances are automatically categorized by the category of their first-part sound, right? So how is it that any performance is ever unassigned to any category in the first place? (I've always seen those "no assign" options but never thought about why they are there and how to use them!)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Performances are automatically categorized by the category of their first-part sound, right? So how is it that any performance is ever unassigned to any category in the first place? (I've always seen those "no assign" options but never thought about why they are there and how to use them!)


This question sounds like contemplation of chicken-or-egg.

It is correct that Part 1's category fields is what assigns the Performance's main/sub categories. In order for you to create your own Performance's category, you need not hunt down an existing Part that has the category you're after. You can place any Part you like in slot 1. I would tend to pick what's in slot 1 based on polyphony "stealing" (if there was any risk of that) more than on category. No matter what's in the Part 1 slot - you can go in and change the category.

1) [PERFORMANCE] (HOME)
2) Touch screen (TS): touch Part 1 (must be 1st part - the "anchor" )
3) TS: Choose "Edit" from the popup
4) TS: Bottom-left (2nd box from left) make sure "Common" is selected
5) TS: Select "Part Settings" -> "General" menu
6) TS: At the top left are two parameters "Part Category Main" and "Part Category Sub". Touch either or both and edit as you wish.

This is why I say you need not have the chicken first or egg first. The Part's category is arbitrarily set using programming.

In the first place for Presets - certainly Yamaha has provision to edit and "birth" Performances with any parameter values they desire. Whatever process they use to produce the internal data is not so important as you have all the tools you need to change the Performance's category (for your own user creations) if you wish. There is no need to rely on inherited values from Part 1's assignments.

Adding ... and if Part 1 is a kazoo and normally listed as a woodwind instrument (and Parts 2 and 3 are clean and distorted guitars) - it may irk you to set the Part 1 kazoo to say the electric guitar category because you decide this Performance, in whole, is best represented as electric guitar. I do not necessarily see the value in categorizing the individual Parts beyond being able to set the Performance category. I say this because within the context of a Performance - I can't think of ever using the individual Part categories for Parts 2-16 as anything. Maybe if you wanted to make a spreadsheet of all of your Parts and figure out which Performances use what instruments and you used the Part category for this -- but I don't do this and am OK "fudging" values in the Part 1 slot that may mismatch what the Part itself represents in order to serve the Performance category function.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
No matter what's in the Part 1 slot - you can go in and change the category.

1) [PERFORMANCE] (HOME)
2) Touch screen (TS): touch Part 1 (must be 1st part - the "anchor" )
3) TS: Choose "Edit" from the popup
4) TS: Bottom-left (2nd box from left) make sure "Common" is selected
5) TS: Select "Part Settings" -> "General" menu
6) TS: At the top left are two parameters "Part Category Main" and "Part Category Sub". Touch either or both and edit as you wish.
Thanks, I didn't realize catgory was changeable!
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