I assume a microphone can be plugged into the aux in jack with a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter. So I was wondering if buried inside the CP4 there is a vocoder effect and if so how is it accessed?
And irrespective of a vocoder, how can you control the volume of a mic inserted directly into the aux in port without some external device for volume control?
Welcome to Yamaha Synth!
The CP4 Stage does not have a microphone preamp built-in. You cannot plug a microphone into the AUX IN jack. The AUX IN is typically used for a tablet, pod/pad or other pocket type audio playback device that you would want to run through the same sound system as your Stage Piano. The signal that is applied to the AUX IN is directed directly to the main CP4 Stage audio Outputs. The CP4 Stage does not feature a microphone input/preamp at all. Any adjustments to the volume of that incoming signal must be handled at the source.
No mic input, therefore, it does not have a vocoder. The Vocoder is not so much an effect for a microphone; not at all, it is using a microphone's input signal to modify a synthesizer sound. You will find the Yamaha vocoder built-in the current Motif XF-series, the MOXF-series and the S-series synthesizers (all of which feature A/D INPUTS). While the CP4 Stage does feature some synthesizer sounds from the Motif sound engine, it is not a synthesizer in the same sense of the word. It's tone generating method is based on the selected sound and combination of selected sounds.
In the Motif XF-, MOXF-, and S-series all Voices are based on the same technology, in the CP4 you have a combination of things that can be going on. When you recall a CP4 Voice for a "PART", a special set of parameters that may only apply to that particular type of Voice appear. When a Voice is used in combination (PERFORMANCE) you might be combining as many as 3 PARTS (Main, Layer, and Split) - the "Main" might be an acoustic piano emulation, the "Layer" might be a physical model electric piano, and the "Split" might be an AWM2 sampled bass. The structure of the CP4 is more about macro editing - because you begin programming, by recalling a Voice... instead of, like on a synth where you may begin with a single Oscillator Waveform. And each VOICE, depending on its resident technology brings along a specific set of editable parameters for that engine. In the CP4 Stage you are building a PERFORMANCE as the fundamental program. It can have one, two or three Parts active and is instantly dynamic... Meaning you can have the Main active, and bring the Layer and/or Split in or out at any moment.
The approach to synthesis (and therefore the programming) in the CP4 Stage is quite a bit different when you get into the details.
The synthesizer instruments that feature the Vocoder do so by combining the resources of both of the synth Voice's Insertion Effects (A+B) to construct the real time number calculations to create the vocoder. They route the incoming A/D Input (mic signal) into the Oscillators of the selected VOICE - and the formants of the vocal are encoded onto the pitches determined by the synthesizer sound. The keys act as pitch control as well as they "gate" the application of the vocal to the synthesizer.
If you are looking for a vocoder - look into a Motif XF-series, MOXF-series or S-series Yamaha synth. Hope that helps.
Thank you Bad Mister for your very thorough and helpful explanation. I had no idea some CP4 voices were from a different technology than used in the Motif XF. I have a Motif XF8 and have been thinking about downsizing to the CP4 for less complexity, instant layers and splits, a better keyboard feel and, from what I have read and heard, the best piano sounds. I can use Cubasis on my iPad for sequencing and that and other apps for additional voices accessed via MIDI, I assume through Master Mode in the CP4 (which I guess works like Master Mode in the XF). I read one of your other posts that the ultimate setup would be a CP4 with XF. It seems to me the ultimate set up would be the CP4 with Tyros5 because you have a piano keyboard with the Tyros5 technology and voices. Thanks again, as always.
Well, the Tyros 5 (arranger workstation) is quite different from the Motif XF (music production synthesizer) so which of these two fits into your "ultimate" setup will vary according to your needs. Where the Motif XF is clearly a synthesizer focused in synthesis and doing the part creation yourself, the Tyros 5 focuses its power on assembling and performing music in an entirely different way.
The Master mode in the CP4 while similar to what you might understand in a Motif engine is not a separate mode in the same way. It would be incorrect to assume they are the same - they actually are not. All programs in the CP4 Stage are "Performances", so within each Performance you have the ability to activate a "Master Keyboard" setup that only addresses the external Zones from the current Performance.
The Motif XF Master mode addresses both internal and external Zones. The CP4 Performance parameters address the internal, the Master Keyboard function addresses the external devices (4 Zones). So truly the CP4 PERFORMANCE is the centerpoint of the operation. Rather than associating a Song, a Pattern, a Performance or a Voice with a Master setup, each CP4 Stage Performance can include a Master Keyboard setup. Thus when you recall a Performance it can setup your external devices as well.
While the Motif synth engine features an in depth/comprehensive Master MIDI keyboard control function, the Tyros 5 is focused on controlling itself via its 32-Part engine. And while they both have Vocoders, the Tyros 5 has an in depth/comprehensive vocal harmony function, including Lyrics and Score features.
A weighted action Tyros is currently called the "Yamaha CVP609-series", by the way. At Yamaha there is a method to the product lines. "Arrangers" are quite different from the Music Production Synthesizers, in focus, in approach and in their feature sets. Assuming any of these products are the same would not be doing your homework, the differences are profound.
Bad Mister, your explanations really are fantastic. They are about technology, but expressed in a way that I understand. From listening to all the Tyros5 demos, I felt this was a must have keyboard. But then I listened to your (I assume you are the same "Bad Mister" from the Motifator site- although you seem to have mellowed out) demos on the CP4 and I am impressed and now want it. So from reading the above and thinking about it, I am glad I kept the MotifXF. I am very comfortable and familiar with its features. Thanks for your help.
One suggestion for Yamaha concerning 2 keyboards, there needs to be a good 2 tier keyboard stand in a table top like design, with elevated arms for the upper board, with enough clearance between the top and bottom boards so you can access the controls on the bottom board. The only current product I know of and I have researched this, will only clear about 6" between the bottom of the top and top of the bottom boards. Given the height of the Yamaha keyboards mentioned, it will not work. The Apex is an alternative, but I am not comfortable with its design or stability while playing. Therefore, my suggestion is to make it easier for us to have, control and play 2 stacked Yamaha keyboards by producing this type of product. That's it for me. Great forum! Thanks again!
Regardless of the fact that there is no A/D input converter, the audio input is an excellent feature. If I ever replace my powered mixer and wedges with a pair of powered speakers, that'll allow me to omit a mixer, making for simpler setup, with my two-keyboard rig. Every keyboard should have this feature!