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"CFX Padded 2" and clipping due to Effect "Classic Compressor"

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 Mark
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Topic starter
 

Hi there,

When playing hard I notice clipping on the above patch through both digital (USB) and headphone outputs.

However if I edit Part 1 (Piano Acoustic) to turn off Effect A (Classic Compressor) the clipping goes away.

Is there an issue with this patch or the effect as seems this clipping like this should not occur in a factory preset?

BR,
Mark

 
Posted : 02/01/2021 7:21 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

It is not clear where the clipping is occurring, or even if what you are noticing is a clip and not whatever the keyboard is plugged into...

“Playing hard” is also a wildcard. With any compressor the more audio coming in, the less signal going out — after the incoming signal passes a ‘threshold’ (a point along the level scale where Gain Reduction begins)

Abrupt gain reduction can be described as a clip, without it actually being technically a clip. With a compressor your are setting a maximum for the signal (you are adjusting the *dynamic range) - the flatness of the result when the maximum is reached can look and even act like a clip. The difference between a Compressor and Limiter is simple a matter of degree. But both are restricting how loud the signal can gets once it passes the trigger point.

Technically, a clip is audio signal exceeding the maximum the system can handle... and is most closely associated with (unusable) distortion. (Is this what you mean or are you just hearing the Compressor flattening the maximum? That’s the real question)

Clipping (the bad kind) can occur in any system when improper gain staging exists.

For example, plugging the Line level MODX Main L/R Output into an input looking for signal from a microphone, will likely clip the system immediately, due to the huge level mismatch. And it would do so on most any sound you recall.

It is also possible to change the gain structure within the keyboard program itself... you can route signal through its internal processors and it is possible to boost the levels so much that the outputs will deliver a crazy amount of signal to the next audio stage. It is possible to generate a MODX signal that would be too hot to handle by any mixer (don’t do that).

Once you clip in an audio system, it simply is passed on to the next stage in the signal chain. That’s Gain Staging — making appropriate adjustment to flow of the signal along its path through multiple devices.

Each processor (Insert Effect, EQ) stage can impact the overall signal. Your Element can pass through a 3-band EQ before the Insertion Effect Blocks, then a 2-band EQ post the Insertion Effects. Each of these represent an opportunity to influence the gain structure. If you make a setting that ‘clips’ (flatten out at the maximum level) the next processor in the signal path cannot fix that... you can turn it up or turn it down, but the result is how well you hear that clip, adjusting after-the-fact is not fixing the cause... you simply pass along the distorted signal to the next stage.

If you think of signal flow as a pipe system handling water... each processor has valves to adjust the flow... well, distortion is equivalent to RED dye. If you allow the red dye into the pipe system at the start of the pipe system, adjusting the valves down the line does not remove the red dye. The distortion remains in the signal. The valve just increases or decreases the overall flow. The red dye is still in the water.

Basically, without actually hearing your situation, it’s difficult to determine what you are really hearing. But if you think your instrument has an issue, have it looked at by an authorized service center. Before you do that, try to eliminate external devices that are apart of the audio signal path as a whole. Remember, you are listening at the very end of the audio chain. Work backwards.

Please make sure you are using the proper power adapter (Yamaha PA150), the wrong power supply can cause major problems in sound quality.

 
Posted : 03/01/2021 4:47 pm
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New Member
 

Is there an issue with this patch or the effect as seems this clipping like this should not occur in a factory preset?

Hello Mark,

I hear the same distortion/clipping with "CFX Padded 2" with my MODX6:

- The clipping starts when playing chords with (for testing purposes: fixed) velocity values over ca. 105 and is clearly audible when playing with a fixed velocity of 127.
- The clipping is completely gone when said effect (Classic Compressor in Part 1) ist deactivated.
- I'm listening to the MODX directly via its headphones output. There's nothing else in the audio signal chain.

So: it's clearly an issue with this factory patch (or this insert effect).

Best regards,
André

 
Posted : 04/01/2021 8:30 pm
Jason
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member
 

I don't have a MODX. And I don't have your headphones. Two strikes against reproducing. However, when I set my Montage to fixed velocity of 127 - I cannot reproduce. The Montage is going through a mixer with gains trimmed to prevent red-lining. And my speakers a pair of HS-series studio monitors.

Check your gain setting

[UTILITY] button,
"Settings" -> "Audio I/O" menu

"Output: Main L&R" gain - I have mine set to +0dB. If I was having this issue I may try setting to -6dB. Or if you have your gain higher than +0dB then I would roll it back by the next notch down and repeat until the results were better or I "ran out of rope".

 
Posted : 05/01/2021 12:12 am
 mark
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New Member
 

I noticed the exact same issue with CFX Padded 2 on my MODX-7. If you play hard you get a horrible clipping distortion sound, which goes away if you turn off the classic compressor. Took me ages to narrow it down to that effect because I always assumed the distortion was happening somewhere else in my signal chain, and I don't find it particularly intuitive to navigate down into the insert effects for individual parts on the MOD-X.

I just did some experimenting and discovered something odd. If I change to a different effect for Ins A on the piano, and then back to Classic Compressor and dial in exactly the same settings -22dB, ratio 3.0, 1ms attack, 100ms release, output level 63, then the distortion goes away. I've saved my own fixed version of the patch

 
Posted : 07/01/2021 10:59 pm
 mark
Posts: 0
New Member
 

It gets stranger. As I said before, if I change the Insert A effect to something else, and then put it back to classic compressor - the sound is fixed. But then if I save that as a new performance, then navigate away and reload the saved performance, the distortion comes back. It doesn't even have to be the exact same classic compressor settings - I tried a few variations, but when the performance gets loaded the distortion is always there.

 
Posted : 15/01/2021 7:05 pm
Jason
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member
 

This may already be what you're doing, but be sure you save the "fixed" version with an obviously different name so you're more easily able to differentiate between the preset and your modified version.

Regardless, hopefully Yamaha is trying to reproduce on their own MODX so maybe this can go on the "operating table".

 
Posted : 15/01/2021 8:29 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

Can you post this sound?

 
Posted : 15/01/2021 9:43 pm
Posts: 0
New Member
 

Hi, I've the same identical issue.
I receveid my MODX 8 yesterday, upgraded from 2 to 2.51 and did a factory reset.
Then I began hearing all the presets (from Live set) and the first one of the second page, "CFX Padded 2" (which I like) impressed me negatively as it has a really distorted sound if I play hard!
@Bad Mister, velocity is higher than 95 since only the elements 3 & 4 are blinking when I hear distorsion, sorry for my lack of accuracy.
No luck lowering master volume level, the same with Utility->Main L&R (it was already set to 0 dB, but no difference even if set to -6 dB).
So I checked also the EQ of the elements of the bad sounding part, the "Piano Acoustic" (because muting the other FM part, the sound is still distorted), and noticed that they are all set to +12 dB! Lowering all them (or just the elements 3, 4 and 5) to +6 dB (that is the first lower step) solved the problem, but then the FM sound overcomes the piano, so I have to lower it as well... 🙁
After reading the above suggestion, ie deactivating the compressor in common effects, I tried and it works, thanks!
I also noticed that in the first live set of the first page "CFX + FM EP 2", all piano elements have +6 dB EQ (not +12) and a different common effect (not the compressor). In fact, that sound is not distorted at all.

Perhaps the +12 EQ boost on the elements of "CFX Padded 2" piano part are perfect for the Montage, since it has better D/A converters. I'm just speculating here, as I read somewhere that there are other performances that are fine on Montage and have distortion on MODX.
I really hope this is false, because it is weird to get distorted sounds on factory patches (in "the best of MODX" live set page!) of a keyboard that is sure cheaper than Montage (cheaper D/A converter, lower output volume, less outputs and live controls, plastic construction and cheaper keybed) but not very cheap anyway.

I apologise for my terrible English!

In addition: with the same AKG K371 headphones I never hear any distiorsion with my old CP33, even if I destroy my ears playing very hard at very high volume. The same is with the other performances on the new Modx. On that specific patch instead, I can lower the master volume to the minimum I can hear, but still hear (low-level) distorted sound. No difference at all if I use a mixer or connect the headphones directly to the keyboard. So, definitely the culpirit is not outside the keyboard.

 
Posted : 02/02/2021 9:43 pm
Jason
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member
 

I haven't seen responses that

[UTILITY] button,
"Settings" -> "Audio I/O" menu

Gain reductions help or do not help this problem. Not that it hasn't been tried - I just don't see that feedback.

And the resulting distortion hasn't been recorded and posted. BM's got audio engineer chops in spades and can intuitively give you a diagnosis on what's going on. I'd take him up on the offer to listen.

 
Posted : 03/02/2021 1:05 am
Antony
Posts: 0
Estimable Member
 

If it helps anyone, I can NOT reproduce this problem on my MODX7 V2.5.

 
Posted : 03/02/2021 4:45 am
Posts: 0
New Member
 

I haven't seen responses that

[UTILITY] button,
"Settings" -> "Audio I/O" menu

Gain reductions help or do not help this problem. Not that it hasn't been tried - I just don't see that feedback.

Hi Jason,
As you can read above I tried but that gain reduction makes no difference. It's set to 0 dB and even If set to -6 dB I get a (low level) distorted sound, just like the sound if I lower the master volume. Probably because the distortion remains in the signal and we have to work backwards, as BM said.

Please make sure you are using the proper power adapter (Yamaha PA150), the wrong power supply can cause major problems in sound quality.

Checked, Yamaha PA150.

I checked other performances with fixed velocity curve (127) and can hear the issue just in this performance, "CFX Padded 2", and in "CFX Padded" (but much less relevant on the latter).

And the resulting distortion hasn't been recorded and posted. BM's got audio engineer chops in spades and can intuitively give you a diagnosis on what's going on. I'd take him up on the offer to listen.

I've recorded it directly on a usb drive.

 
Posted : 03/02/2021 12:28 pm
Werner
Posts: 0
New Member
 

Same behaviour here on Montage 8 running OS 3.5 when striking keys hard.

I was also irritated by the behaviour 2 weeks ago and discovered the compressor to be the main reasson. Bypassing compressor did sort out the issue for that moment... I've not done any further investigations...

Werner

 
Posted : 03/02/2021 2:47 pm
 Tom
Posts: 11
Active Member
 

I have this same problem but on several patches including piano patches. This distortion is heard both directly from the headphone jack of the MODX and through the output speaker system. Weird stuff. To be clear this happens when I hit the keys hard...play normal and everything is lovely. Hit two notes hard nothing add a third or fourth note distortion. Some have said it could be a polyphony thing but I don't belie 3 notes on a piano sound is too many notes. At first I wondered if it was maybe a loose solder joint on one of the circuit boards. I connected a midi keyboard controller and can create the same problem...it is a internal setting design issue...Hope someone here can come up with a solution...  

I have also had an issue with the whole board going whack on me at gigs. Complete useless embarrassing static garbage. Turn it off it come back on OK in a few minutes back again...I have had luck having the keyboard on its own dedicated power cable. Certainly in this case it is a AC power supply issue. In the situations where this has occurred most often the electricity is either limited outlets or on generators. I have purchased a ups AVR ( automatic voltage regulator ) to see if this will eliminate that issue going forward. I play a two tier set up with a Nord on top so the Nord can fake me through if the MODX goes bonkers but it no fun being put in that situation in the middle of a live performance.

 
Posted : 19/02/2024 5:40 pm
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