Synth Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Background on GEX key technology

26 Posts
9 Users
0 Likes
683 Views
 Paul
Posts: 0
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi folks --

I posted a small article about the Yamaha key sensing technology used in Silent Piano, NU1XA and GEX:

https://sandsoftwaresound.net/montage-m8x-key-notes/

Enjoy -- pj

 
Posted : 13/10/2023 10:32 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

I posted a small article about the Yamaha key sensing technology used in Silent Piano, NU1XA and GEX:

I don't understand how you reached your conclusion in that article:

GEX has its origins in the Yamaha hybrid and Silent Piano product lines. This might explain why Yamaha brought out Polyphonic Aftertouch (PAT) in the 88-key version of the Montage M series and not M6/M7 Quite simply, Yamaha could use components and a keybed that were already sitting in the pantry.

Your quote from the Music Production Guide says this:

The model MONTAGE M8x features a newly developed, special keyboard called “GEX”,

I'm having trouble linking up 'sitting in the pantry' with 'newly developed'.

I could understand it if they could LITERALLY take 88 note keybeds in their pantry and just drop them into the Montage M8X chassis. In that scenario they don't actually have any 61 or 73 note pantry items with PAT.

But if the keybed was actually 'newly developed' then it seems to me they could have 'newly developed' the 61 and 73 key versions as well.

So I'm not sure that all the fog has dissipated quite yet, for me anyway.

I'm waiting for someone to test using a tablet or touchscreen computer as a display/control device.
Not sure I see how that would work given the new small parameter display on the M.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 12:06 am
Jason
Posts: 7909
Illustrious Member
 

Makes sense to me. Heavily leveraged from another premium keyboard with some adjustments (not total redesign) to come up with GEX.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 3:22 am
Dragos
Posts: 0
Eminent Member
 

[quotePost id=123781]Hi folks --

I posted a small article about the Yamaha key sensing technology used in Silent Piano, NU1XA and GEX:

https://sandsoftwaresound.net/montage-m8x-key-notes/

Enjoy -- pj[/quotePost]

From the article:
Yamaha have been working to simulate the interplay between a pianists fingers (and pedals) in order to “craft changes in timbre according to the speed and depth with which the keys are pressed.” Yamaha calls these proprietary algorithms and software “Grand Expression Modeling.”

That's a pretty clear source of the GEX naming, I would say.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 10:54 am
VintageKlavier1980s
Posts: 0
New Member
 

That's a very interesting article. At some point I almost thought that the "G" comes from the word "Graded".. but I have since come to understand that this is not the case. I have a Montage 8 and, since it may take some time until I can get my hands on the new M8X, I thought I would ask, is there anybody who could tell, whether the action of the new M8X is lighter or heavier than that of the Montage 8, or is there any significant difference?

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 12:04 pm
 John
Posts: 136
Estimable Member
 

I was watching the Bonners video about the Montage M on Youtube and they talk about the keybed being lighter. From about 20 minutes in when Tony starts playing they discuss the keybed a couple of times.

https://youtu.be/oP427ZJLiUo?si=D4-4KfjwzgZT5K4q

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 2:47 pm
 Paul
Posts: 0
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi folks --

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for reading the postings on my site.

I write this stuff as a hobby and generally without any direct support, financial assistance, review units, etc. from Yamaha. If you do encounter errors, you know the forums where I lurk. 🙂 I keep the number of forums small because time is limited.

Your readership is greatly appreciated!

All the best -- pj

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 4:58 pm
Darryl
Posts: 783
Prominent Member
 

Excellent article Paul!

I personally Iove the part (as @VintageKlavier1980s already pointed out above) where you reveal Yamaha calls these proprietary algorithms and software “Grand Expression Modeling.”

I too thought the G in GEX might have stood for "Graded", which could have been a negative thing seeing as how the GHS keybed on the MODX8(+) is not great for playing pianos IMHO... but it sounds like Yamaha got this one right for their new 88 key Flagship synth, especially for keyboardists who value pianos most ... like me!! 😀

Keep em comin' !! 😉

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 5:10 pm
 Paul
Posts: 0
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi Andrew --

I get what you're saying.

The second picture shows the metal sensor strip beneath the keys. This thing requires more precise manufacturing than the 2- or 3-contact rubber strips which are so familiar to us. The pitch distance between keys is manufactured for Yamaha piano-width keys.

So, hear's what I think (speculate). Yamaha take the same sensor strip(s) out of the pantry. They take the balanced hammer key assembly (frame plus keys) out of the pantry. They modify the balanced hammer key design, removing the protruding "Actuate Rubber Portion" that normally strike rubber contacts. In its place, they install a grey-scale shutter that actuates the sensors.

I would call that "newly developed" even though it reuses the precision sensor strip.

The pitch distance is appropriate for piano-width keys, not FSX (for example). Yamaha is set up to manufacture 88-key piano keybeds with the new sensor system. Thus, it's a relatively cheap path to M8x GEX.

Could Yamaha make 61- and 73-key versions? Yes. I suspect someone ran the numbers including the manufacturing cost of synth-pitch sensor systems and the suits didn't like the numbers. Plus, some suit might have set a Fall 2023 release date. Ship or die. 😮 🙂

Hope this exposes a bit more of my reasoning -- pj

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 5:15 pm
Dragos
Posts: 0
Eminent Member
 

[quotePost id=123804]Could Yamaha make 61- and 73-key versions? Yes. I suspect someone ran the numbers including the manufacturing cost of synth-pitch sensor systems and the suits didn't like the numbers. Plus, some suit might have set a Fall 2023 release date. [/quotePost]
They can also afford this approach, for the time being.
2-3 years from now there might be competition, while they would have had time to adapt the tech to FSX.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 5:40 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

is there anybody who could tell, whether the action of the new M8X is lighter or heavier than that of the Montage 8, or is there any significant difference?

The action is definitely lighter than on the Modx8 I had before. And, amazingly to me, I can now use my pinky and press keys at the far back of the keybed with only a little more pressure than pressing at the tip of the key. On the Modx the farthest back I could use my pinky was about an inch+ from the back of the keybed.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 6:14 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

I get what you're saying.

I'm glad you do. Because too often people read things into printed words that simply aren't intended at all. So when I said

I don't understand how you reached your conclusion in that article:

I LITERALLY meant I don't understand it. I also mean 'I would like to understand it - could you help me with that'.

Specifically I did not mean 'you idiot, how could anyone possibly have reached that asinine conclusion'. Unfortunately, we have a troll on the forums that has a propensity to apply their own interpretations to things.

But I digress -

The pitch distance is appropriate for piano-width keys, not FSX (for example). Yamaha is set up to manufacture 88-key piano keybeds with the new sensor system. Thus, it's a relatively cheap path to M8x GEX.

Interesting that you should use that term 'piano-width keys'. As far as I can tell there doesn't seem to be any standard at all for 'width between keys'. Seems to vary quite a bit.

The FIRST thing I noticed when I put fingers to keyboard was that my fat fingers fit EASILY between any two of the black keys with room to spare. The gap is definitely larger, and therefore more comfortable, than it was on my Modx.

It is 48 13/16 (not 84 13/16 - thanks Fernando) inches from the two outermost (low A, high C) key edge.

And, as I just mentioned in my reply to 'Vintage' the action is lighter than it was on my Modx with the result that I can depress any key clear at the back of the keybed with my pinky. The lighter action helps with that but they could have made the keys longer I suppose.

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 6:31 pm
Posts: 801
Prominent Member
 

[quotePost id=123809]Interesting that you should use that term 'piano-width keys'. As far as I can tell there doesn't seem to be any standard at all for 'width between keys'. Seems to vary quite a bit.
[/quotePost]
While the relative width of the space between black keys may vary (it's nothing I've ever paid attention to), for decades, I've been able to stack any two (non-mini-key) keyboards (including combinations of different sizes and types like a 61 synth action over an 88 hammer action), and the lowest and highest C notes would line up... unless the non-hammer action was a Yamaha, and then it wouldn't line up because Yamaha's non-hammer keys are narrower. So yes, a device that was manufactured to fit across Yamaha keys with hammer action spacing would have to be redesigned/refabricated/remanufactured to work on their non-hammer designs. Or they would have to re-work their non-hammer designs to have the same key widths as on their hammer actions.

As it happens, a few days ago, in a discussion in another forum about the lack of polyAT on anything but the 88, I posted this:

I have had this thought that it would be kind of ironic if the the thing that complicated putting their new optical mechanism into any variation of their existing semi-weighted designs is that it wouldn't fit properly into the darn narrower-than-everyone-else's keys that they keep insisting on using. ?

Based on this new post from Paul, I may have actually been on to something there!

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 8:23 pm
Dragos
Posts: 0
Eminent Member
 

[quotePost id=123813]Or they would have to re-work their non-hammer designs to have the same key widths as on their hammer actions.[/quotePost]
Here's hoping!

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 8:36 pm
 Paul
Posts: 0
Active Member
Topic starter
 

[quotePost id=123809]

I get what you're saying.

I'm glad you do. Because too often people read things into printed words that simply aren't intended at all.
[/quotePost]

Hi Andrew --

No problem, I didn't take any offense. Life is too short and there's enough strife in the world. 😉

Wish I could get out to try an M8x, but won't have a chance until Wednesday at the earliest. In addition to the overall feel, I'd like to see how the PAT feels at the bottom end of key travel (squishy, whatever, I don't know). And I want to listen for the infamous fan. 😀 Bet I can't hear anything over my tinnitus...

Have a good weekend -- pj

 
Posted : 14/10/2023 10:43 pm
Page 1 / 2
Share:

© 2024 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved.    Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us