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Don't know how to set a note Hold or Latch for a Part in a Performance...Please help!

42 Posts
8 Users
Posts: 94
Estimable Member

Thank you Jason. Checked. The Superknob does turn when I play and causes notes to hold, but I'm afraid that it still doesn't turn back when changing notes. I have included some screenshots of settings. Do you have an idea why the knob doesn't turn back when I I change notes?

Attached files

Posted : 16/02/2022 7:42 pm
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member

When you play a chord you should see the superknob sweep from 0 to around 9 o'clock. Lift off all keys. Press another chord an look at superknob - it should re-sweep through.

When not holding any notes superknob will stay at 9 o'clock.

It's setup correctly and should be doing this.

Posted : 16/02/2022 8:14 pm
Posts: 94
Estimable Member

Almost there πŸ™‚ I had to swap the 0 and 127 values, below in the Super Knob settings under Motion Control.

The only remaining challenge is that the Super Knob responds to all keys, although it is only linked to the chords part for the left section of the keyboard...

Posted : 16/02/2022 8:41 pm
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member

Yes, motion sequences have the semi-annoying "feature" that note limit is not something you can just define like you can velocity limits. Instead, what you have to do is sync to an arpeggio then define (under the arpeggio note limits) the note limit that will propagate back to the note limit of the motion sequence.

The super knob area doesn't have an arpeggio - but you define which Part you want superknob to use for its arpeggio under "Sync Part". If you have the free slots you can add a Part just to define the note limits and add an arpeggio with the arpeggio note limits to cover the note(s) you want.

You don't have to add a new Part if the "chord" Part already can have an arpeggio that defines these limits.

All of this is good, in a general sense, as you learn practical reasons why you have to do certain "funky" things. It can seem like a long and windy road - but there is a way to get there.

Posted : 16/02/2022 8:53 pm
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member

For me, I started with the "Init Normal (AWM2) " Performance. So it's just a 1 Part piano sound with no velocity sensitivity. The standard initialization. It has no arpeggio (nor do I "want" one) so Part 1 is free to add the arpeggio for the purpose of limiting the notes to trigger the Super Knob Auto.

Under Part 1:
1) (Part 1 Common) "Arpeggio" -> "Common": Turn Arp Part ON, Arp Master ON, Hold OFF, Key Mode DIRECT, Change Timing REAL TIME, Loop OFF, ARP/MS Grid 60, Note Limit Set to your desired limit for the knob auto trigger (I set mine to C-2 to C2 so notes above C2 do not trigger the superknob - but you set to match your needs)
2) Under "Arpeggio" -> "Individual" set the arpeggio for slot 1 (or the slot(s) you use) to be any non-control arpeggio. I set it to "MA_70s Rock _N". Since I chose "Direct" - no notes will be played by the arpeggiator. You may want to use "Mute 4/4" as the arpeggio. It's a "do nothing" Arp already.

Under Super Knob Auto, sync to Part 1 and also set the Arp/MS Grid to 60 (you already show these).

Note: in above change "Part 1" to match whichever Part you end up using for your chords or "extra" Part you add just for the arpeggio to define the note limits.

Posted : 16/02/2022 9:10 pm
Posts: 94
Estimable Member

Jason, I've really tried to do as you explain, but the Superknob keeps on responding to keys that are outside of the chords part keys area. I think that you were right when you wrote "The instrument wasn't optimized to do what you're asking". In case you still want to have another look, I've included some screenshots, but I'm afraid that I have to give up on this solution, and use 2 and 4 beats hold-arpeggios in songs where chords duration is constant, and otherwise use the sustain pedal. And hope that this hold/latch functionality will be added πŸ˜‰ It's time to move onto new challenges. Many thanks for your time and efforts to help on this!

Attached files

Posted : 17/02/2022 7:04 pm
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member

You need to sync to Arp. The last picture you have shows sync is Off. The initial solution didn't sync to an arp, but to limit the keys you need to change the sync from "Off" to "Arp".

I see you changed the Part to 6 - which is fine - but just didn't update the "Sync" source.

I've got a feeling magic will happen when you change that one parameter.

Posted : 17/02/2022 10:01 pm
Posts: 94
Estimable Member

YES, you nailed it Jason, thank you so much!! Thanks to you, I and all other MODX/Montage users can control modulation, rotary speed or pitch, change settings and scenes, turn pages or whatever, while playing chords AND keep their right foot availabe to control the expression pedal at the same time! Without your help and patience, I would have never achieved this.

As a small thank you, I will bring together all elements of your explanation and feedback in this thread, so that other users can also benefit from your solution to hold/latch chords.

Posted : 18/02/2022 4:39 pm
Posts: 7905
Illustrious Member

No problem - this is actually something I already had laying around from a previous request probably a year or so ago.

Now if you wanted to move from Super Knob - you can. You would have to modify how you handle stopping the chord on demand. There are difficult and easy ways. The easy way would be to have a scene mute the chord Part to "chop" it off. Or, slightly more difficult, you could assign one of the [ASSIGN 1/2] buttons to a 2nd AEG Release destination using unipolar threshold with the left side at 0 (no offset) and right side at maximum negative offset (maximum negative ratio). Set the assign button mode from momentary to toggle (latch). Pressing the button will pull back the release time back down and stop the sustain. While the button is on, chords won't sustain anymore. If all you want to do is stop the chords one time and allow for the sustain to resume right away the next time you press the next chords in the note range - then you could set the button as momentary instead of toggle.

There are many more increasingly exotic ways to handle the "turning off the held chords" goal.

What you've (hopefully) learned about Super Knob auto transfers to MS Lanes inside each Part. Here you have virtual "semi-superknobs" inside each Part you can automate using the same mechanism. The big difference being, unlike Super Knob, MS Lane "semi-superknobs" cannot be forced to a value using scenes. The purist would have some argument about how I phrased that (MS Lane forced values) - but for simplicity's sake, I won't give the more verbose description of what this really means.

Posted : 18/02/2022 5:22 pm
Posts: 94
Estimable Member

How to hold/latch chords without using the sustain pedal

In some songs you may want to constantly hold chords, e.g. using organ string or pad sounds, possibly in combination with an arpeggio - without keeping your fingers on the keys constantly. This allows your left hand to multi-task while playing chords, e.g. controlling modulation, pitch or rotary speed, changing settings or switching scenes.

You can achieve this using your sustain pedal, but then your right foot is constantly occupied with a very simple and repetitive task, while you may actually want to use your right foot to control your expression pedal. So I was looking for a way to hold notes/chords until you change notes, not using the sustain pedal for this.

While Hold Arp On does exactly this on the MODX, this only works for holding arpeggios, not for normal notes/chords. Jason kindly shared a way to achieve this. Because elements of his solution are spread out all over this thread, I now list the steps below (only the steps, for explanation see this thread):

Changes to the Part that you want to hold

  • Select Part that you want to hold
  • Select Edit - Element 1 – Amplitude – Amp EG
  • The [CONTROL ASSIGN] switch should illuminate (unless you're using up 16 all of your destinations)
  • Assuming the button is lit, press it. A menu pops up - spin the super knob.
  • Touch the "Edit User Curve" button and fill in the following input/output and curve settings:
    * Input1=0 Output1=82
    * Input2=11 Output2=30
    * Input3=18 Output3=127
    * Input4=54 Output4=127
    * Input5=72 Output5=127
    * Input6=90 Output6=127
    * Input7=108 Output7=127
    * Input8=127 Output8=127

  • Curve Type: Step
  • You will now have a new user curve (User # - like User 3).
  • Press Exit to go back to the Part know edit screen
  • Change the curve from "Standard" to the "User #" curve you just created
  • Set Polarity to Bi
  • Set ratio to +63 (maximum)

Define or create Arpeggio Part setting note limits for holding chords

  • If you have an arpeggio part that uses the same key range that you also want to use for holding notes, select this Part. Otherwise, add a silent part (Volume 0) and select it.
  • Select Edit – Arpeggio - Common
    * Arp Part and Arp Master: ON
    * Sync Quantize: 60
    * Hold: Off
    * Key Mode: Direct
    * Change Timing: Real-time
    * Loop:: OFF
    * Apr Play only: OFF
    * ARP/MS Grid 60
    * Set Note Limit Set to your desired limit for the knob auto trigger (to prevent non-chord notes triggering this hold function) (e.g. C-2 to G1)

  • Select Edit – Arpeggio - Individual
    * Set an arpeggio for slot 1 (or the slot(s) you use) to be any non-control arpeggio), e.g. "Mute 4/4" (tap Name in row Arp 1, select Category Search, type β€˜Mute 4/4’, return)
    * Arp Part and Arp Master: ON
    * Sync Quantize: 60

Set the Superknob

  • Navigate to Performance – Motion Control – Superknob
  • Set the Superknob to any value between 11 and 17 (including 11 and 17) (lower right in the screen).

Automate the Superknob

  • Navigate to Performance – Motion Control – Knob Auto
  • Turn on "MS Master" and "Super Knob MS" buttons
  • MS FX: On
  • Trigger: OFF
  • Sync Part: select that Part number that you use/created for holding chords (arpeggio),
  • Arps/MS Grid: 60
  • Sync: Arp
  • Cycle: 1
  • Loop: OFF
  • If you edit the sequence, the next screen should show amplitude as 64. Ensure Polarity is set to Unipolar
  • Press e.g. Performance Home and you are done

Check Superknob assignment for Part that you want to hold

  • Select Part that you want to hold
  • Select Edit – Mod / Control – Control Assign (Part, Common)
  • Check if Superknob (Display Filter field) is set AEG Release, if not: do so

When you now play a chord, you should see the Superknob sweep from 0 to around 9 o'clock. Lift off all keys. Press another chord and look at the Superknob, it should re-sweep through. When not holding any notes the Superknob will stay at 9 o'clock.

Turn the Superknob to the left to stop a held chord. If you want a more sophisticated way to stop the holding chords, you can e.g.

  • Have Scenes in which this chords part is muted
  • Assign one of the [ASSIGN 1/2] buttons to a 2nd AEG Release destination using unipolar threshold with the left side at 0 (no offset) and right side at maximum negative offset (maximum negative ratio). Set the assign button mode from momentary to toggle (latch).

That’s it!

Disclaimer: please note that I have put together these how to steps based on Jason’s guidance and what I found to work in my case, with limited synth knowledge. Surely, I will have included things that are irrelevant of even odd. Also, there are more – and maybe even better – ways to achieve this, as Jason also pointed out himself. But this is at least one way that actually works, the first one that I found on the internet, so please forgive me for my ignorance, and enjoy this additional functionality to auto-hold notes!

Posted : 18/02/2022 7:37 pm
Posts: 48
Trusted Member


I cannot believe this would be achievable, many many thanks to Jason for this marvelous trick.

Maybe you would be interested in knowing I managed to reach the same effect using a Motion Sequence instead of the Superknob.

Β I had to set those parameters in the relevant Lane (edit sequence page) :

- Amplitude at least to 86: otherwise the sound won't last at all

- Cycle amplitude to 27 instead of 64 otherwise sound won't be stopped on each new key played.

I'd love to understand how mechanically the curve for AEG Release functions but I think I never will 😊

Thanks again for supporting newbies 👍



Posted : 24/02/2024 11:34 am
Posts: 773
Prominent Member

I'd love to understand how mechanically the curve for AEG Release functions but I think I never will

Yamaha doesn't publish the shape/formula for the curves it uses for the envelope generators. They don't appear to be linear so they could be exponential. Don't know if this will help but I'll try anyway

1. create a new INIT NORMAL (AWM2) performance

2. edit element 1 and go to the Amplitude -> AMP EG screen

3. notice the LAST (rightmost) position of the curve and the one before it. See the steep fall?

That 'fall' begins when you release the key. The TIME it takes to fall all the way is the release time. The HIGHEST positions are the HIGHEST volumes. The lowest positions are the lowest volumes. The LEFT side is when you press a key and the further right you go the more time has elapsed.

4. select the 'release' parameter - see what it's value is

5. play and release a note and hear how long the note lasts

6. increase the 'release' value to 127 - notice how it changes the shape of the curve

7. play and release a note and hear that it lasts MUCH longer than before. That is because the new release time is much larger (farther right) than it was before. That 'steep' fall is not so steep anymore. It takes longer and longer

to fall to the low value.

This is what the reference doc says about Release time

Determines how fast the volume falls from the sustain level to zero when a note is released. This
parameter determines the offset value of the AEG (page 123, page 143, page 157) for the Element/
Drum Key/Operator.

Except Yamaha doesn't tell you what those time values actually are. The only thing you know for sure is that TIME=0 is the leftmost value and as you move right the value increases. What they don't tell you is the a value of 42 or 57 really means. And even if the difference between values is 10 a difference of 10 on the left of the curve is usually NOT the same as a difference of 10 on the right.

The examples in the thread are using the superknob to change the value of that release parameter to MAX when you play a key so that, as you saw above, the slope of that curve is long and shallow to keep the note sounding.



Posted : 24/02/2024 6:34 pm
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