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Legato single voice

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I'm trying to set up a performance with a single voice (mono w/portamento) with a smooth attack and no re-trigger when moving to a new note. Mono/Poly switch is set to Mono, Key assign is set to Single (Multi doesn't seem to make any difference), Portamento Master SW & Part SW with no filter envelope and a slow attack and release on the amp envelope. It re-triggers no matter what I do. (I'm trying to get the behavior of an old single voice synth like the Mini Moog.)

Posted : 08/06/2017 12:49 am
Posts: 7943
Illustrious Member

If you're starting with an AWM2 (sampled) PART, there may be artifacts in the sample that sound like re-attacks on the note when changing from one note to another - even when playing legato. An easy way to get rid of these artifacts is to start with an FM-X PART (try starting from an initialized FM-X performance) which is a pure sine wave.

I tried to get something going using an AWM2 performance preset "Fat Sine" - did lots of editing - and couldn't get rid of the artifacts. When I used the FM-X Init performance, there were no extra "noises" when pressing different notes to target new pitches in a slide.

Portamento Master and Part Sw: ON
Mode: Fingered
Time: 48 (suit to taste)
Time Mode: Time 2 (choose your favorite)

I was also able to simulate analog drift using motion sequence and a very slow pulse feeding into a curve controlling pitch. At first I tried an LFO using S&H (for the "random" nature) but there is not a smoothing feature - so the steps were too obvious (abrupt) vs. the motion sequence which has lots of flexibility over the shape, "slope" (amount of points between target changes), and timing.

Posted : 08/06/2017 1:31 am
Posts: 7943
Illustrious Member

Searching around for another answer - I ran into this old thread which gives some background on why the AWM2 re-triggers. I touched on this when speaking about the "artifacts" of AWM2 - but the below thread goes into more detail, some historical context, some "wishes" from users about how AWM2 should be different, and competitive analysis (how other brands do not do the same thing). I'm not defending one side or the other - but there is some legacy in how this works and why we had to "jump ship" out of AWM2 onto FM-X to get this feature to work as requested.

Posted : 16/06/2017 11:21 am
Posts: 0
New Member

Hello Mr. Jason I read very carefully all the discussions on Portamento of MOTIF and MONTAGE but I do not understand how to achieve the desired articulation in which tones will pass to each other via portamento in MONO mode. From my work with many other synthesizer, what I want to have, and this is a MONO LEGATO function that prevents tones from being destroyed, and the stretching of the tone itself arises from the time of adhesion we have set, the interesting fact that such a function with the same effect I want to get on to me MONTAGE I saw in the YAMAHA PSR 970,975, tyros5, genos AND MONTAG models E No one, I'm trying to set this smooth overflow for more than a year now Portamento by key to key, but there is always a break. I am referring to you specifically because, as I said very carefully, I have read the discussions and your answers seem most sincere to me, so I will be very grateful if you can tell me that it may or may not do this good sound If, Yamaha finally solves this long-standing problem, how does that work? Thanks 🙂

Attached files

Posted : 08/02/2018 12:18 am
Posts: 7943
Illustrious Member

If the arranger keyboards handle this situation better - it's because that's a different division, a different development path, different target audience, and different priorities. I have no "real" experience with the Yamaha arranger series of keyboards - so I'm not sure how those fair with respect to portamento. I'll take your word that there's a big difference between the two.

... as outlined in the previous links:

AWM in the EX5/EX7 has the same "problem" with smooth portamento as the Motif series (original through XF) and Montage is part of that AWM legacy.

How smooth portamento ends up in AWM2 is a function of the sample. Keeping in mind there's underlying architecture here - if Yamaha modified the sample to create smooth portamento - the non-portamento sound would no longer sound "right". Yamaha has been provided feedback what the portamento expectations are - and have not evolved AWM2 to the point where portamento has a mode where you get "silky smooth" as an option.

Part of this is backwards compatibility and legacy -- which is a great feature of the Motif/Montage series. However, I do think that legacy can be preserved while still offering "dials" which expand the feature set to satisfy long-standing user requests.

The EX5 had engines that used modeling vs. sample playback that allowed for those silky-smooth portamento sounds. Likewise, Montage has FM-X which can be used.

If you still want to use AWM2 - you'll have to "cover up" any artifacts by using effects and possibly mixing in FM-X to detract from the artifacts present in AWM2 portamento for many waveforms (samples).

If you have a specific preset you want to sound more smooth - perhaps post this as a challenge to the group to provide X7B files to demonstrate how to modify the parameters or add different PARTs to get a better portamento response.

You may want to experiment with this parameter:

Portamento Legato Slope
-- Determines the speed of the attack of legato notes, when "Mono/Poly" is set to "Mono." (Legato notes"overlap" each other, the next being played before the previous is released.) Settings:0 – 7

When I was working with portamento samples with artifacts - I could not use Portamento Legato Slope to completely fix the issue.

Here's a thread where users are complaining about the Tyros series not having the expected portamento response:

... so I'm not sure there are many examples of "top tier" Yamaha keyboards which implement portamento as many keyboardist would prefer.

Lower end keyboards do not leverage the same architecture that the higher ones use (similar chipset/components) - so they (the lower end stuff) stand a chance of acting differently. Or every once in a while a keyboard is experimental and breaks away from the traditional chipset and internal standards.

Posted : 08/02/2018 2:13 am
Posts: 0
Estimable Member

My apologies if I'm running into this discussion. I had a discussion with Phil previously about this matter and playing middle-eastern music, I might be able to help Mr. Mihail a bit too. So I'm sharing my thoughts and experience.

There is no way to have smooth transition in legato mode in sample synthesis without ignoring the key bank samples (correct me if I'm wrong). The scenario which Mr. Mihail is discussing here is the capability which Yamaha has enabled (AWM already has this feature) for its arranger keyboards to ignore the re-triggering of samples. Here is a the example:

PSR A3000 Mono/Legato example

I don't understand a single word, BUT my ears can clearly recognize the stretching of the samples and the unnatural tones of the string section. This mode of operation exists in MOTIF (and I guess in Montage). Why am I saying so? Because you can do it in the sequencer! There is a function to create such glides but it only operates on the sequenced notes. It uses pitch bend to carry on this operation (obviously has the same artifacts).

To do mono/legato (the non-smooth version) on MOTIF and perhaps Montage:
-You can sequence it and use the glide function of the sequencer (Don't know how to do it in Montage).
-Use the non-smooth version, which I very much prefer it over the smooth version!

Here is an example of the mono/legato/portamento technique which is audible in 00:48
Please go to 00:48 second to hear it

I doubt that Genos can beat what you can do with MOTIF XF :p and Montage, can't even get close 😀 😀 😀

Joking aside, it is impossible for a violinist to stretch and perform a true legato articulation arbitrarily like in the PSR A3000 video. Legato with portamento on a violin can be performed only on certain notes. True legato/portamento is impossible from one string to the other string on a violin(obviously). As you can see, Mono/Legato is a limited articulation. So if you're playing a melody on a 4 string violin, you probably have a 25% chance of playing something legato and 75% of the times you can't play legato with portamento.

Hope it helps. Let me know if you're interested in the string section's legato/portamento settings. I can share it with you if you're interested.

It should be cool to have the pitch bend legato/portamento enabled though!!! I'm not against it. But I highly doubt that it happens.
I should also add that the portamento on MOTIF XF works a bit mysteriously. When you hit a higher key, it triggers the original sample of that specific key but when you hit a key lower, it uses the pitch bend method and you can hear the stretching of the sample. If you remove your finger and hit that lower key again you can hear a totally different sample (original one).

I really don't know why it is implemented this way?!

Posted : 08/02/2018 3:24 am
Posts: 7943
Illustrious Member

Yes, A - you outline the issue discussed here and in the links. Not all arrangers are created equal - according to the last link I posted with an arranger focus - there was one arranger flagged as being "acceptable" and the rest not.

Other manufacturers' keyboards have a similar problem to tackle - instruments that are multi-sampled and how to deal with portamento that spans multiple samples. The feedback in the motifator forum was that other manufacturers with the same set of circumstances deal with the problem in a more pleasing way (to those posters). I believe the focus was on getting slippery analog bass type sounds for the poster.

I'm not expecting anything here - so, for now, I suggest using FM-X which has even portamento response because it is modeled and not sampled.

I do believe there is "critical mass" in user feedback over the years that something is done to "shore up" portamento. Although wished for, I don't see the same support for a related feature - glissando (DX7) which I think would take a backseat to portamento in terms of priority.

Montage may be painted in a corner in terms of what can be done - not sure. I believe our wishes have been registered through previous forum posts and it's good to see different people latch on and provide their perspectives.

Posted : 08/02/2018 6:31 am
Posts: 0
New Member

thanks. I mean to understand that what I want at this stage can not be done if the basic sound is not from FM.but did they have the option to load sounds from Yamaha DX11,Yamaha DX 21,Yamaha DX100,Yamaha V50

Posted : 08/02/2018 4:20 pm

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