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  1. Jörgen
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. MODX Series Synthesizers
  4. Sunday, 06 December 2020
Hello,

My current Yamaha keyboard is the Genos workstation/arranger and while I love the sounds,
I hardly use the other features - like the arranger and the built in recorder - anymore.

Has anyone of you compared the sounds of the MODX and the Genos?
I have reed before that they should be pretty equal, but it always good to get some other opinions.

The Genos doesn't have a USB audio interface like the MODX have.
Can I use the MODX interface to record multiple audio tracks simultaneously to Cubase or do I need to record every track individually?

Genos have a Phantom powered MIC input with a lot of nice effects. Is this something the MODX have as well?

Thanks
/Jorgen
Responses (11)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Jorgen. I own a Modx 6 and I'm fully satisfied. It's like having the Montage. But the Montage is the flagship synth and in spite they are mostly the same in regards of specifications the sound quality is not the same as far as I know reading in the Internet. In the same way, the Genos is the flagship arranger and the sound quality should be superior to my Psr s970 for sure. Actually you should compare your Genos to the Montage which both are around the same price range and quality. Also take into account the cheaper keybed the Modx has. Apart from that I could tell you, as an arranger player I am, you will find in the Modx/Montage line an infinite superior palette of sounds apart from the acoustic sounds you already have in your Genos. My recomendation is go and try a Modx before you decide.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you Victor. Appreciate your reply.

I will try to find some store near me that sell the MODX. The problem is that most stores here are online only.

I like the built-in audio interface in the MODX and the smaller footprint in my small home studio.

Also, the support for the Motif/Montage/MOXF is really great and especially from Bad Mister that have been a great resource since my first Motif maybe 15 years ago.

In fact, we were joking over at the psrtutorial forum if we could bribe him with a Genos and get him over to the dark side :D
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
For me, there are a collection of Genos voices that employ super articulation 2 for control over the sound that Montage/MODX does not have (and cannot have). Others wish for the arranger-style automation in background music control which does not exist in the synthesizer line. If you can live with losing both and instead would prefer having more surgical control over the sounds themselves as a feature trade-off - then MODX/Montage may be better aligned for your usage.

You can record multiple tracks simultaneously using Cubase if you want. There isn't anything limiting this usage. MODX has less audio channels than Montage. MODX has 5 stereo outputs from MODX presented to your computer as corresponding audio inputs. These are named USB 1-8 (for 4 stereo feeds) and Main L&R (for the 5th stereo feed). You can play up to 8 Parts worth of sounds at one time (in stereo) so if you want to record all 8 Parts at once in stereo - you'll need to take two passes (not 1 pass, not 8 passes) at a minimum. This is where it may be advantageous to record MIDI and audio simultaneously for the 1st pass then play back the MIDI on the 2nd pass after audio setup (USB channel) reconfiguration on MODX in order to pick up the second set of Parts. If you're recording 5 Parts (or less) at once - you can do this all at once without a second pass.

Neither MODX nor Montage have phantom powered MIC inputs. Neither has XLR. Both are unbalanced TS 1/4" connectors. You'll need external gear to interface phantom powered microphones to translate these into unbalanced/non-powered 1/4".

Edited 12/8
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My current Yamaha keyboard is the Genos workstation/arranger and while I love the sounds,
I hardly use the other features - like the arranger and the built in recorder - anymore.

Has anyone of you compared the sounds of the MODX and the Genos?
I have reed before that they should be pretty equal, but it always good to get some other opinions.

Sound-wise, as Jason said, the SA2 voices (and their specific playability) are a significant difference. So you definitely lose something there. Also, since you're talking about MODX rather than Montage, you're losing the expressivity of aftertouch.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you guys. Very informative. I will for sure miss the acoustic sounds on the Genos, but I am sure I can find some VST instrument that can cover up for that.

I will make sure to get an external phantom power device or I might just use my Yamaha AG06 mixer. (Haven't decide if I should keep it or not).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I'm sure I've seen this question before? I think the last time I answered I said that in my opinion the keybed on the Montage is better than the one on the MODX (it suits me better anyway). I started off with the MODX and bought a Montage this year and still have them both and the Montage feels better to play.

But all of this is a personal thing so my advice would be to try both out if you can to see what suits you best :)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The difference between a Digital Workstation (Arranger), like GENOS, and the Music Synthesizers, like the MODX and MONTAGE, is profound and well documented.

First, let’s discuss the keyboard action (since you indicate a preference toward playing the sounds)... the GENOS has Yamaha’s FSX keyboard action (76-key), the MONTAGE 7 shares this exact action — importantly, they both are Aftertouch capable. If you compare the keyboard action of the MODX7 (Initial touch) action to the GENOS/MONTAGE7 it is quite a difference.

The MONTAGE comes in a 61-key, 76-key synth action versions (FSX) and an 88-key Balanced Hammer piano-action. The synth action FSX would be more comparable to a comparison with a GENOS.
The MODX comes in 61-key, 76-key action (no Aftertouch) and an 88-key Graded Hammer piano-action (no Aftertouch).

Both the GENOS and MONTAGE include advanced circuitry to ensure the highest quality analog audio output.
Both the MODX and MONTAGE feature audio interfaces; the MODX has a 10-input/4-output audio interface for your computer, while the MONTAGE features a 32-input/6-output interface for your computer. A focus of these synthesizers is recording to DAW software.

Having 32 USB Outputs, the MONTAGE is capable of transferring 16 stereo or stereo + 30 assignable bus outputs, you can record external audio through the A/D INPUT, using dedicated Insertion Effects
The MODX has 5 stereo or stereo + 8 assignable bus outputs, you can record external audio through the A/D INPUT to the computer, using dedicated Insertion Effects.
Neither has phantom power capability (however).

The major difference is the focus... the MONTAGE/MODX are synthesizers - focus on customizing and creating sounds, and obviously a big focus on recording to DAW software. Both can act as a Remote Control Surface for Cubase/Nuendo, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live

It is highly recommended that you play a MONTAGE and MODX for yourself. How something sounds and how it “feels” to play is a personal experience, and what one person likes or dislikes does not have to be proved — it’s personal. Only you will know what fits you.

The items are from the same company — so the same care and attention to details exists in both. They do not share file compatibility (beyond the SMF format for transferring MIDI Sequences). While MODX and MONTAGE share a synth engine and can easily share most files, you cannot load sounds between the MODX/MONTAGE and the GENOS.

The MONTAGE and MODX both have an 8 AWM2 Element or 8 FM-X Operator tone engine programmable to a very deep degree.

The GENOS is a combination of a massive XG/GM sound engine editable via the standard XG-Editable parameters and the innovative SA and SA2 (Super Articulation) Voices which although not user editable are made from as many AWM2 Elements as the factory programmer’s desire... some of the SA and SA2 Voices are made from literally scores of Elements to give the performer access to various alternative Waveforms that either cycle through sounding duties depending on how and what you play. Repeated notes do not just repeat the same waveform, rather, based on how you are playing you may receive a different set of Waveforms. Legato phrasing can remain mono, while playing a chord results instantly switches to polyphonic behavior, automatically. You have several Articulation buttons that can manually change how a voice begins, sounds, and ends depending on how you access them... this in addition to those Element switches that are implemented during play.

So the playing experience is completely different (although I’ve seen uninformed players play GENOS and have them miss all these extras... it varies by who the keyboard player is and whether they just “play on” the keyboard or whether they “play with” the sound of the Keyboard.

The MODX/MONTAGE give the performer the important ability to edit and customize the 8 oscillator engines (they are synthesizers)... the GENOS, by comparison, is mainly edited by Yamaha factory programmers for the performer. The MODX/MONTAGE has XA CONTROL (Expanded Articulation) which is a programmable version of the Super Articulation found in the GENOS — And while the end user gets to program the sounds in the synths, the GENOS’ access to programming ‘unlimited Elements’ is for the factory programmers only.

As to the sound... the MONTAGE sounds superior to the MODX. It is twice the price and weight of the MODX. If you walked into a room and someone was playing a MODX, you would not be able to tell it from a MONTAGE... but if you sat them side by side, you’d pick the MONTAGE, every time.

In general, the MODX7 (MSRP = $1999), the MONTAGE 7 (MSRP = $3999) and the GENOS (76) MSRP = $6799...

If you are looking at the synthesizers — you do so because of their programmability and their ability to do advanced DAW Record ... deciding to get a MODX or MONTAGE is easy: if I put two stacks of dollars in front of you... one stack has $2000 in it, the other has $4000 in it... you can pickup and keep either stack of money... you’d pick up the $4000 stack every time. Period. End of story!

You could spend hours pondering the differences but it’s really simple... it’s not like you’re comparing apples and oranges in this comparison. If you have a choice, you’d get the MONTAGE (unless you think Yamaha just totally has priced the products improperly... and I can’t help you there) but if you add up all the differences between MODX and MONTAGE you get exactly the price difference.

Picking up a pile with $6800 requires you weigh a different set of criteria because the *focus* of the GENOS is very different from the *focus* of the two synthesizers. It’s no longer apples to apples. The GENOS is more $$ than both the MODX7 + the MONTAGE7 combined... you could get both and have money left over for a new set of monitors or you could get a MODX for each hand and one to sit on (lol)... and still get a set of new monitors!

The good news is they are all Yamaha, so as mentioned, the attention to detail and the quality is ensured. It comes down to focus.
Good luck... Thanks for being a Yamaha customer dating all the way back to Motif series! (By the way, most Motif ES/XS and XF sounds are compatible with MODX/MONTAGE).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I don't know how you always find the time to write such in-depth answers, but kudos to you.
I actually sold my Genos today and ordered a MODX6. I don't expect the exact same quality in voices,
but the DAW integration and the smaller foot-print (I have my keyboard on a desk), I feel will make up for it.
I also order a Phantom power box for my condenser mic.
Now there's a lot of catch up time ahead, learning this new instruments. Any advice where to start learning?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hello Jörgen --

Congrats on buying the MODX! Sorry to reply so late, but I've de-prioritized social media. :D

Phil's take on MODX vs. Genos is great as usual. I own and play both MODX and Genos.

MODX definitely has better DAW integration than Genos. Quite a few folks in the PSR Tutorial Forum have been requesting Genos DAW integration for quite some time. However, the Genos electronics would need significant improvement to come up to MODX capability. Still, I sequence Genos more often than MODX via DAW, perhaps because I don't have to think too much about the XG voice architecture and it's just second nature by now.

As to sound quality, you've already grokked the difference that SA2 makes. However, the non-SA2 voices on both keyboards are excellent. In many cases, the underlying samples (sonic DNA) and digital effect algorithms are the same. However, each keyboard is targeted and voiced for its own different users (markets). I enjoy playing both and am satisfied with the overall sound quality in each case.

I create my own voices/performances and often steal programming ideas from one keyboard to use on the other. Of course, MODX is far more programmable than Genos. The voice editor in Genos Expansion Manager has a few serious limitations for professional use; the MODX engines are wide open. If someone is into sound design or voice programming, MODX is definitely on top.

As to learning, Phil, Blake and the rest of the Yamaha crew have created excellent write-ups and videos on this site. My usual suggestion is to start small -- maybe record a single track just to get familiar with screen navigation and workflow. Maybe create a new performance or two from an existing one. Keep yourself backed up to flash drive and experiment away! I like to stay backed up not because I fear MODX, but I fear my forgetfulness. :D

Good luck -- pj
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you Paul,

So far I am very happy with the MODX. I though miss some of the sounds from Genos and wish I had enough space in my man cave to keep them booth.

The main reasons why I decided to switch from Genos to the MODX are the following.

1. The lack of good DAW integration made it painful to work with Cubase. When recording styles, I needed to use the internal midi recorder first and then export the song to midi and finally import the midi file into Cubase. Otherwise I would get a lot of strange problems, mainly because of sysex issues. This actually made me stop using the main feature of an arranger - the styles - and I would use it more like a traditional synthesizer.

2. The lack of an integrated audio interface. Maybe Yamaha thought that the target group of the Genos don't need an audio interface and that the internal recorder would be enough. But we are talking about one of the most expansive workstation on the market and even my previous MX49 synth had a built in audio interface.
Even though I already have two external audio interfaces today - A Yamaha AG06 and a Zoom U44 - a built in audio interface will make my workflow a lot easier. Also the MODX allows me to record 5 stereo tracks simultaneously (if I understand it correct) and that is a big advantage for me that wants to record different drums on separate tracks.

3. I have limited space on my desk that I need to use both for my work as an IT consultant and for my hobby. The Genos was a bit to big for my desk and I needed to lift it off the desk when working.

4. The support for the genos and other arrangers are mainly coming from the users on the psrtutorial forum. While there are many talent and helpful users there, there is no support from a Yamaha representative. Like you say, the support and available tutorials for the Montage/MODX are at another level.
I really appreciate that we can integrate with peoples that actually work for Yamaha and are dedicated to help users that are using their products.

The one thing I will miss the most from the Genos is the super realistic acoustic sounds, like acoustic guitars and strings. However, I hope VST instruments will cover that gap for now.
Ample sounds have some really nice guitars - both acoustic and and electric - and Halion or Kontakt will probably cover the other Bread & Butter sounds.

Best regards
/Jugge
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hello Jörgen --

Glad to hear that MODX is working out for you.

I had a similar experience (1) when recording and working with Genos MIDI/audio. I was bouncing MIDI and audio files between the Genos and Cubase. Exporting WAV from audio multi-record was especially clunky because export is performed in real-time, probably because it's really intended for mix-down. Oh, well. I wish Genos had a speedy WAV export.

As to point (2), that is/was surprising. The low-end arrangers are better than Genos in this specific regard. Looking at the Genos schematics, there isn't a direct low-latency path to the USB To Host interface, so I doubt if Yamaha will ever add audio interface capability via software update alone. It's probably going to take new hardware. MODX/Montage both have a dedicated SSP2 processor that handle the HOST audio interface (in the same manner as a Steinberg UR, I suspect).

I agree about budget. I caved in and bought Genos because it was "now or never" -- finally hit an age where I didn't want to wait any longer. :D I'll probably keep this Genos forever and continue riding the Yamaha synth train as new technology and products roll out. :) MODX is my main gig ax.

All the best -- pj
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
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