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Problems with freebie Character Pianos

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I downloaded the free "character pianos", a parting gift for Montage owners from Yamaha, and found there's a flaw in the "felt piano, mono" performance. When it's selected there are crackling sounds over the piano sound, and these start even before a key is pressed. Paul noted this over at http://sandsoftwaresound.net/ as well. The crackles seem sort of regular, almost like an arp running in the background, but there are no arps running according to the touchscreen for that performance. And the crackles stay on my MODX even when I switch to another different performance in the set but finally go away if I select yet another performance after that. They are "free" performances so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. "So long and thanks for all the fish".

Edited: I played with the performance a bit and found the noise is there with the Superknob turned all the way to the left but goes away as the knob is turned to the right (clockwise). Going further into effects I found the noise is coming from the "digital turntable, old record" effect in the "B" slot. the noise goes away when that's disabled. I guess that's the way it was designed but I have to ask "why?": sounds like a defect rather than "effect" in this case.

 
Posted : 21/07/2023 2:18 pm
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I've seen the same issue on MODX6... fortunately I'm not interested in the felt patch otherwise had to dig on it to resolve ... anyway it's a free one bonus...

 
Posted : 21/07/2023 2:52 pm
 Paul
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Hi Kevin --

Thanks, and right you are!

Using the vinyl record effect is a cool notion by itself, but why does the effect persist into other performances when they are selected? That seems like inappropriate behavior, AKA a bug in handling the effect pipelines, maybe? I wonder if this is an unwanted side-effect of SSS where the synth engine keeps the previous Performance alive after a switch?

Thanks, again. I was about to download the expansion pack and re-install, just in case it was a corrupt file!

All the best -- pj

Music tech blog: sandsoftwaresound.net

 
Posted : 21/07/2023 5:13 pm
Posts: 773
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AKA a bug in handling the effect pipelines, maybe?

Certainly the new offering in October won't have 'bugs' like that will it? LOL!

I hope you are gearing up to give us the scoop on that when it arrives.

 
Posted : 21/07/2023 5:40 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

That Effect Type dates back to the Motif Series (edit: actually, back to the Yamaha A-Series samplers of the late 20th Century), if you are just now discovering it, it could be a matter of how much or how little you actually explore your instrument. Perhaps it simply shows your lack of interest in effects with words like “Digital Turntable” in the title.

For those too young to remember vinyl as a daily musical media, you may not realize that the surface noise that is so gloriously recreated in this simulation, was there from the time you engaged the media until it was completely disengaged (needle down to needle up), not just when the music was playing.

It was there even between compositions (music bands). As soon as the diamond stylus touched the vinyl material, the *effect* (the surface noise) appears, and until you disengaged the arm from the oil based product, you were provided with the symphony of surface noise crackling and popping, oblivious to music data’s location, duration, or purpose.

Without that rather annoying omnipresence you miss most of its charm! and the very point of the emulation.
__Oh well, some folks recall the emulation of the Mellotron, and ask “How come the sound abruptly ends after 8 seconds?” __ guess you had to be there…

If you understand your SSS feature, you know that if you store a Performance with the SSS icon active that some Effects will carry over into the selection. If you are preparing your own LIVE SET (selection order) be sure to prepare your next program for the type of transition that fits your selection.

It would be the same as if you frivolously left a 64-Measure “Motion Sequence” chore open and running when you decided to change programs, or left a 90-second Reverb trail-off hanging in the air. It’s your responsibility, at this point, as to what happens next…

If you program the Volume to absolute maximum or to a bare minimum, or set the RELEASE TIME to 90 seconds…. you should not be surprised when it’s still in that condition if you don’t check your stored recall/reset condition settings in the neighboring programs. Knowing the reset/recall/release conditions is the going to be the performer’s responsibility on certain things.

Those who use these types of effects (ones that create an environment for your music to exist in), create that environment from the moment it’s recalled. Usually they wait for music data - but in the case of this Effect, it creates a background environment into which you will add your music. It is not necessarily responding to it, as much as it is accompanying your playing, fulltime!
_ If they decide they want to avoid a surprise when finished with this program, they should, like a good vinyl-ist would do, lift the stylus off the vinyl and return it to the holding arm (in this case, make sure that SSS is not engaged in the program following this LIVE SET selection)… that would simulate lifting the tone arm (ending the effect).

Hope that helps.

Extra Credit:
Give yourself a task to study and learn a new Effect Type each week.
If you are just discovering some Effect Types that have been there for years, imagine what awaits… some of the classics are updated from the old SPX90 days, Harmonic Enhancers, Multi FX, some are new wrinkles Beat Repeat, Isolator, Stereo Optimizer, MultiBand Comp, etc., etc., etc., etc.

 
Posted : 22/07/2023 12:32 pm
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Going further into effects I found the noise is coming from the "digital turntable, old record" effect in the "B" slot. the noise goes away when that's disabled. I guess that's the way it was designed but I have to ask "why?": sounds like a defect rather than "effect" in this case.

Have you tried just removing that effect? Try it and see how you like the sound.

And if you think it sounds 'bad' now then maybe you haven't tried the 'Old Record 2' parameter value for that effect. Makes the 1st one sound downright pleasant!

Many of the presets have programming that isn't strictly necessary but is added for 'effect' (pun intended). It you plan to base your own performance on a preset it is generally recommended that you thoroughly examine the preset so you know what is in it.

Then you can remove/alter anything you don't want or need.

(in this case, make sure that SSS is not engaged in the program following this LIVE SET selection)

As far as I know there is no ON/OFF setting for SSS - it is automatic if your performance meets the conditions for SSS.

 
Posted : 22/07/2023 3:45 pm
 Paul
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[quotePost id=122578]
For those too young to remember vinyl as a daily musical media, you may not realize that the surface noise that is so gloriously recreated in this simulation, was there from the time you engaged the media until it was completely disengaged (needle down to needle up), not just when the music was playing.

Without that rather annoying omnipresence you miss most of its charm!
[/quotePost]

Hi Phil --

I was one of "those people" who religiously recorded my brand new vinyl to tape before gutting the record. Didn't want to hear snap, crackle and pop in the middle of Dark Side of the Moon (while in an altered state). 🙂

I'm hoping to use the Felt Piano for quite interludes at my church gig. I'm going to prank the video crew with the turntable noise and see what they think. :p

All the best -- pj

 
Posted : 22/07/2023 5:41 pm
Jason
Posts: 7905
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As discussed earlier - the turntable effect is one of the very few ways to get sound out of a newly recalled Performance without first pressing a key or button (play button, audition, etc).

I cannot recall the exact application of this, but I do remember a Performance I programmed that used this. Probably with the turntable effect Part's output set to none and an envelope follower of the turntable noise doing something else.

With some feedback back to the turntable Part, you can probably create a pseudo-random generator to simulate some analog behavior.

 
Posted : 22/07/2023 6:04 pm
david
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Sweet noise! Reminds me of Everybody loves Raymond episode when Frank hated the CDs and wanted the crackling noise on this Jazz albums. Yeah at least you can turn the SK to remove it but true nobody ever wants that sound in a realistic live session or recording etc. That's exactly why we moved away from it to HiFi and absolute purity. It does kind of put to to sleep however like a crackling fire. Default should be off but I assume they have it on as a demonstration. I thought BM would be learning the new synth. Instead of "stay tuned" exactly when is the reveal? There's absolutely no logical reason now that it's coming in October to keep it a secret any longer. In fact, you might stop musicians from buying competitor's gear if they could read the specs. It only becomes annoying to make everyone speculate yet again. I'm buying it no matter what to explore but most players can't do that, they have to get a synth and move on. We don't need a fancy YT reveal just provide specs/features and do something fancy later.

 
Posted : 22/07/2023 7:16 pm
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Topic starter
 

I'll admit I haven't explored all of the effects available on these keyboards and probably should. I date back to the Motif (Classic) series as well, and as a "boomer" I'm familiar with turntables and record noise too. But having spent some 40 years as a broadcast technician (where we're generally trying to get rid of noise) my first thought on hearing the noise in a "new" piano was defect, not effect.

 
Posted : 23/07/2023 1:11 am
Joel
 Joel
Posts: 529
Honorable Member
 

Hi dear all

As far as I know there is no ON/OFF setting for SSS - it is automatic if your performance meets the conditions for SSS.

No but yes too if you take a little time to do a silent part and place it on part 5.
What i call a silent part is an AWM2 init voice, go to edit element, set Element 1 to off, store it as "silent part" name and you have a part that have no sound, that do not count in polyphony and that can stop SSS if you place it on part 5 when you need.

Hope it's help

Phil thank you very much for your detailled answer.

I have done a good number of page on Moessieurs explaining Montage Effect, but it take time to do it with all informations about how/what and range for each setting, with the Tech Talk Live each month to prepare, and all videos i done, facebook group where i post in regular way answers ...., i will try to finish it like it's holidays for me, but i also work on CK editor full presentation in the same time and videos promote for the band.

 
Posted : 23/07/2023 5:32 am
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

As far as I know there is no ON/OFF setting for SSS - it is automatic if your performance meets the conditions for SSS.

No but yes too if you take a little time to do a silent part and place it on part 5.
What i call a silent part is an AWM2 init voice, go to edit element, set Element 1 to off, store it as "silent part" name and you have a part that have no sound, that do not count in polyphony and that can stop SSS if you place it on part 5 when you need.

I consider that more of a 'hack' than a solution. Yamaha should simply an an ON/OFF switch for SSS so that users can disable it regardless of how many parts they are using.

Then it would work similar to how you can set a parameter for each controller for whether it is reset or not when a new performance is loaded.

IMO it should be a general principle to give the user as MUCH control as possible over features and interactions.

 
Posted : 23/07/2023 4:04 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

I consider that more of a 'hack' than a solution. Yamaha should simply an an ON/OFF switch for SSS so that users can disable it regardless of how many parts they are using.

It’s not a “hack”. This shows you don’t really understand SSS or why it works as it does. Spend a bit more time with the synth.

SSS is NOT something you “simply” turn On/Off… It’s something your Performance qualifies for if it meets the criteria — if your Performance has 4 or less KBD CTRL Parts (MODX/MODX+) or 8 or less KBD CTRL (MONTAGE) it can qualify for the SSS icon. If you exceed those limits the engine does not have enough processing power to keep Insertion Effects available for each KBD CTRL active Part on either side of the program transition.

The MODX/MODX+ can have a total maximum of 12 Parts with two active Insertion Effects each. The 8 KBD CTRL Parts, 1-8, can be guaranteed two Inserts each. You must choose on a per Performance basis which additional 4 Parts (from 9-16) will have access to two active Inserts.
The MONTAGE can have the full maximum of (all) 16 Parts with two Insertion Effects each. 8 KBD CTRL Parts on either side of the program change can maintain their two Insertion Effects.

It is the Insertion Effects that are interwoven into the instrument programming at the Element/Operator(Carrier) level of the architecture.

Extra Credit:
For novice/beginner programmers, placing a Performance in a LIVE SET for quick ‘set list’ access and smooth (seamless) transition is great. You don’t have to be proficient in the depth of programming your synth. You can take two already ‘prepared meal’ components and stack them on your plate. (It’s easy to assign Live Set locations).
Live Set Slot 1 = “CFX Concert”
Live Set Slot 2 = “Orch Brass Oct”
SSS is accomplished

Once you are a bit more comfortable with the way the synthesizer engine works, you can prepare your own meals in advance, ie., you can start to assemble the different portions of the meal within a just one Performance.
Recall “Orch Brass Oct”, touch “+” (Add) to “Performance Merge” the “CFX Concert” into the program.
Set SCENE 1 to recall the piano KBD CTRL and set Scene 2 to recall the brass KBD CTRL.
Smooth transitioning is accomplished inside one Performance.

In reality, SSS is not really necessary between every two programs, only when you need to overlap what you're playing into the next section. If you believe you need it for every single musical transition, you’re probably wrong. For those special cases where you do need it, once you’re experienced, you can create your own.

The instruments placed within a Performance can be seamless transitioned between, either by individual PART SELECT or by KBD CTRL Scene button control. In the articles linked below you can learn to build 12 Part MODX/MODX+ Performances and 16 Part MONTAGE Performances that show you you can use a Performance layout in a similar fashion to how you use a Live Set (as a method to organize your instrument recalls in seamless-transition fashion.

As you get to know your instrument better, you’ll find more adept ways to work with it.
It’s the same as you could use two separate Live Set slots to transition from the “CFX Concert” to the “Orch Brass Oct” — setting a Live Set location for each one…. or when you’re confident in how to program your instrument… you could “merge” the two Performances into one new Performance, knowing that you can use the KBD CTRL [SCENE] Memory buttons to pull off the seamless sound transition within the single Performance.

Please see the articles below to learn about different approaches to building your own data:
MODX/MODX+
Mastering MODX - Performance Basics Part 1
Mastering MODX - Performance Basics and the Live Set Part 2

MONTAGE
Mastering MONTAGE: Performance Basics and the Live Set Part 1
Mastering MONTAGE: Performance Basics and the Live Set Part 2

The “programmable” synth should not punish those willing to study and learn the apparatus. When I run into someone who thinks 256 Live Set slots in each of the 8 User Live Set Banks, is not enough - the solution is they must learn to actually use the hardware (it is more than enough for most folks, if you find it is not, learning to program your own data will be an obvious solution!)

Eventually, (perhaps) an E-Z version of the synth will become available. The EZ version typically does not do as much, but features all the sound capability but does not go as deep programming-wise. (SSS is not something you simply turn On and Off, you must understand the reason for limitation, and then qualify your programming to meet those settings).

 
Posted : 26/07/2023 9:43 am
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

It’s not a “hack”.

The 'hack' I referred to is artificially creating an unneeded part in order to DISABLE the effect carry over that SSS will automatically cause.

I call it a 'hack' because I believe ALL of the following to be true:

1. There is no 'switch' that can enable/disable SSS and prevent effect carry over
2. There is no 'switch' that can enable/disable effect carry over irrespective of whether SSS is in effect of not.
3. The ONLY way to disable the effect carry over that will occur when SSS is in effect is to 'artificially' create a condition (e.g. adding an extra, unnecessary part.

Are all of those statements true?

If I have two performances with 4 or fewer parts why should I have to add an unnecessary part in order to keep the effects from spilling over? I would point out that your comments did NOT provide any other solution to the 'carry over' problem.

The above is why I consider the required solution to be a 'hack'. I

Yes -I'm assuming we will have to agree to disagree.

This shows you don’t really understand SSS

I believe I understand it well enough.

or why it works as it does.

Absolutely correct - that is where I have questions and issues.

SSS is NOT something you “simply” turn On/Off…

EXACTLY my point - it isn't but could be, and IMO, should be. After all the functionality is there to disable it - it just needs to be exposed to the user

It’s something your Performance qualifies for if it meets the criteria —

My point again - except it does it whether the user wants it qualify for or not - the user should have a choice.

If you understand your SSS feature, you know that if you store a Performance with the SSS icon active that some Effects will carry over into the selection.

I do understand that - and would like a way to prevent that carry over without having to add a part that I don't need.

It would be the same as if you frivolously left a 64-Measure “Motion Sequence” chore open and running when you decided to change programs, or left a 90-second Reverb trail-off hanging in the air.

If I'm not mistaken there are ways to prevent those from happening.

It’s your responsibility, at this point, as to what happens next…

Except I have to use a 'hack' to do that rather than an ON/OFF parameter.

In reality, SSS is not really necessary between every two programs, only when you need to overlap what you're playing into the next section.

Which is EXACTLY why there should be a straightforward way to disable it when you don't need it.

if your Performance has 4 or less KBD CTRL Parts (MODX/MODX+) or 8 or less KBD CTRL (MONTAGE) it can qualify for the SSS icon.

That 'can qualify' is the key.

Even the simplest 2 part performance with NO effects may not qualify.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here's how to see that last statement in action

1. INIT NORMAL (AWM2)
2. Notice the blue SSS designation on the far right after the performance name
3. Select part 1 and copy it to part 5 (or 6+)
4. Notice the SSS designation has gone away

Simple performance, no effects, only 2 parts but one of them is greater than part 4

5. Delete the part 5 added above
6. Notice the blue SSS designation reappears
7. Select part 1 and copy it to part 2 (or 3 or 4)
8. Notice the SSS still appears.

Just adding a part with a number higher than 4 will disable SSS. I prefer a parameter to do that.

Glad to see you are still active in the forums even when we don't see eye to eye. (though you eyes are much better than mine).

Curiously I figured you'd be spending all of your time working on articles and things for that next generation instrument Blake hinted at for October.

We 'common folk' are in for a heap of hurt if Yamaha doesn't provide you (or a reasonable facsimile) to help with the questions/issues that new offering is guaranteed to present us with.

 
Posted : 26/07/2023 3:44 pm
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