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Still nada from Yamaha on fixing the rotary simulation?

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Jason
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Ben @ Yamaha is in the R&D group. The R&D group has hosted forums between end customers - ones that aren't "big names" - and the engineering group in Japan. For a brief moment, there was direct feedback. What this tells me is that the R&D group themselves have access to the engineering group -- the group who is at the lowest level of the product design. I'm sure the R&D group is also involved with management in terms of roadmap/strategy. A higher-level function that also determines features and what the available headcount is going to be aimed at accomplishing.

There's a youtube video where you can see Ben involved with industry-wide MIDI 2.0 collaboration. So you can see what part of his function is with your own eyes. Things like this (for Yamaha particularly) take a long time to mature -- so there still are not MIDI 2.0 offerings. But the point here is not about MIDI 2.0 -- more about you can watch Ben do part of his job function in videos.

This same highly-involved employee with far-future product features is who is also involved with Ideascale. You can see his posts. He's asked for clarification on ideas. This is truly an iterative feedback loop from the customers to Yamaha and back and forth again. I do not see ideas going into a bit bucket. I see features bubbling up and some getting implemented. The R&D team hasn't done the best job of highlighting these accomplishments (I've given that feedback - I think they're working on this) but I do see ideas presented here and there (the forum and Ideascale) getting implemented in firmware.

There's usually a long-long-long-long (did I say long?) lag time between customer feedback feedback and feature changes. There seems to be a much shorter lag time when there's a bug that Yamaha agrees is a bug (and not a feature). Therefore, depending on where your patience is -- and this is general thing, not just about Yamaha -- you may not have the tolerance for the amount of time it takes Yamaha to do things. That it takes a while isn't evidence that nothing is being done. But it can appear that way depending on where you sit on the patience continuum.

I do understand the frustration - but I have a different opinion. I am generally a skeptic but I've got "hard evidence" contrary to some of the notions floated. That Ideascale is only a way to pacify users and neglected by Yamaha. My opinion is that these notions are incorrect. An opinion based off of progress and also the R&D group's participation in the process.

You can even email the R&D group directly using Ideascale. There's a lot of access we have been given to get closer to the part of the Synth group that decides what color to paint the jog dial (or replace with your favorite, hopefully more meaningful, feature).

I'm not sure what all of this means for the rotary speaker emulation. I think the message has been received. It will take some time to see if there's a response in the way of a new DSP algorithm. I don't think Line 6 has a great rotary speaker effect either - something I would say cross-pollenate (if possible) if it was outstanding. General consensus is that it is not.

 
Posted : 10/03/2021 4:31 pm
david
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The point or question made concerning other companies don't do "it" so why expect it of Yamaha?

However, Yamaha is claiming to do "it" because of the forum and IdeaScale so if they go this far why not all the way to "Yes, we are working to replace and/or repair the rotary sim".

Why is this kept a secret in such an open communication establishment that they themselves created?

How does it harm Yamaha and not help Yamaha if they tell everyone "we're working on it"? Except that if they aren't working on it.

Why the darkness and cloaking if they intend for open communication and transparency?

It's great that they are better than the rest but one step further to complete the loop would make them look far superior.

I might can understand hiding the 73/88 from the competition even though many wanted this information beforehand but fixing some high ranking items on IdeaScale doesn't have to be a secret does it?

I think they are working on the rotary but I'm only 50% confident because the 73/88 and the OS V1.1 were released without a fix.

That's really odd UNLESS something totally badass is in the works. Perhaps only the most significant updates reserve the first digit in the index such as in V2.0 or V3.0 etc.

I'm just grasping at straws at this point being in total darkness.

 
Posted : 10/03/2021 7:47 pm
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How does it harm Yamaha and not help Yamaha if they tell everyone "we're working on it"? Except that if they aren't working on it.

It could harm them because it's not always possible to know that you'll be successful at a task until it's actually completed. If they said they were working on it, and they ultimately were unable to come up with something that worked well within the resources available to them within the existing hardware/software architecture of the YC, then at some point, they'd be stuck either having to announce that they tried but couldn't do it, or having to release something that they know is inadequate and have everyone complain that they still got it wrong, or just never again saying anything about it, leaving everyone to believe that a fix might still be in the works even though they had given up on it. Given these options, realistically, it's probably better to not say you're working on it until you're at the point of knowing you indeed have a workable solution. As it is, ideascale shows that that the request is in the assessment stage, which is further than most ideas get, and probably the best answer they could give. It's probably as close to "we're working on it" as it would be safe to say, until they're certain they have a workable solution.

 
Posted : 10/03/2021 9:09 pm
david
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I think they are looking at it or the feasibility of repairing or replacing it but because so much time has past, it's probably not an easy repair or worth the investment.

UNLESS they believe it will hurt the series but obviously not if they released the 73/88. Some Yamaha programmer is off in the corner after hours trying to figure it out.

It might take some time especially if it's by trial and error. I just think they are obviously smart but something is holding up the progress. No one has more resources than Yamaha.

 
Posted : 11/03/2021 4:38 am
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The idea that Yamaha has a lot of resources (especially in programming) is from a bygone era.

Yamaha can't even keep a constant source of referenced links organised for learning their keyboards on this website, nor sort out its login issues, in 4 years.

Just in Japan, a quick look at Korg and Roland software output over the last few years would tend to indicate they've leapfrogged Yamaha development resources, talents, leadership and management -- and that they both understand and are able to build out integration in ways Yamaha seems to not yet envisage.

The Prologue line, with their programmability, is ingenious, and sounds luscious, right down to a little mono DIY kit for devs and end users.

And now they're pumping out new synths every 9 months or so, that are hurting my wallet.

Then Roland completely upped the game with the Zen systems and their expandability and inter-relationships, despite having very recently taken a bit of a misstep in earlier efforts at creating scaling software systems across different hardware. The speed of this pivot and adjustment was astonishingly impressive.

Yamaha's contribution to this field of thought on systems integration, extensibility and expandability?

Sound Mondo.

Korg's iPolySix on the iPad, from what seems like a decade ago, was their second iPad synth to act as a production platform, with full song making AND sharing facilities built in. If Korg ever realises that the Gadget idea isn't as good as they'd hoped, and do a pivot to music production with the pace and quality of Roland's pivot to ZenCore, then every DAW should shiver.

Roland is now even getting cheeky, doing the 4x4x4x challenge, demonstrating their expandability's ability to be easily and quickly adopted, and ease of workflow in areas Yamaha simply doesn't have a contender within... right at the time when folks are all at home making stuff.

If Korg manages to make a campaign demonstrating the OpSix FM is proficient and fun for FM, and its three most recent specialist synths wind up in a new workstation with a few other goodies, then Yamaha's got two problems.

What's that mean for Yamaha's new stage keyboard?

I think whatever engineering resources it initially took are now working away on whatever Yamaha thinks it must do to respond... if it feels the need... to its Japanese counterparts.

So don't count on much coming down the pipe for the Montage/MODX or the YC series.

 
Posted : 11/03/2021 8:12 am
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The idea that Yamaha has a lot of resources (especially in programming) is from a bygone era.

Yamaha can't even keep a constant source of referenced links organised for learning their keyboards on this website, nor sort out its login issues, in 4 years.

There are a number of unfortunate issues with this site, but much (if not all) of it is not done by Yamaha, this web site development is out-sourced to mondaylovesyou. Yamaha are not web site developers. Web site programming and keyboard design are entirely different fields requiring different skill sets, even if both can involve writing code.

Roland completely upped the game with the Zen systems and their expandability and inter-relationships, despite having very recently taken a bit of a misstep in earlier efforts at creating scaling software systems across different hardware. The speed of this pivot and adjustment was astonishingly impressive.

Not to diminish what they're doing, but this was not an overnight accomplishment, they've been trying to get Roland Cloud right since it came out in 2017 so that's three years before the current implementation, and who knows how long it had been in development before that. (And honestly, IMO, it's still a bit of a confusing mess. But maybe that's just because I'm old!)

As an aside, I found the post at http://forums.rolandclan.com/viewtopic.php?p=321869#p321869 to be an unfortunate commentary: "Roland...currently aren't taking feature/enhancement requests by email at tech support, they asked me to send the suggestion to legal." Well, I guess I should at least give them points for honesty. It would be just as easy to tell the customer "I'll pass it along" and do nothing with it.

 
Posted : 11/03/2021 2:15 pm
david
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I did buy the Fantom and was amazed by its simplicity and quality and features. I never opened the user's manual.

I've often said that the Roland product development team simply went onto the Yamaha forum and gathered every wish list item & complaint on record and made it happen on the Fantom.

Brilliant really. Yamaha did all the work for them on development. I sold my Montage and Genos but I did buy the YC73 because of the organ and it's reasonably affordable.

It has a really high "X" or fun factor too it.

Yes, Yamaha needs to wake up and do more than very limited stage boards with 1970 micro screens. I can't read it and then they didn't even tilt it towards the player.

SKpro is crossing over with their stage boards and with a tilted color screen and full customization. We'll see if it sounds as good as the YC when it arrives. I don't expect it to sound better in every department however they did upgrade their sampling quality.

I did sell my Kronos, I hated the computer behavior of it. I've never liked Roland until now when they are dominating with Fantom. I've not trying anything else they offer recently.

I do have (2) Behringer DeepMind 12Ds layered with my CP1. CP1 is still a great one to keep around.

I have dreamed of something crazy like a YC1 merged with a fully expanded CP1. Yamaha's AWM2 sampling is very poor comparatively contrasted with the serious low end & high end velocity and dynamics on the CP1. Call these others "stage" if you want but the dynamics is pretty poor. Just don't ever play the CP1 and then you won't realize what you're missing.

 
Posted : 11/03/2021 8:48 pm
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I agree, Fantom looks great, from what I've been able to see online. But at 39 lbs, the 76 (the size that would interest me) is too heavy for me to think about gigging with, and I can't justify it for just home use in the context of everything else I have. I do have an AX-Edge, though! SK Pro also looks like a winner to me. Really, all these companies make some really great gear, you just have to find the pieces that fit your needs. I've also got boards from Korg, Nord, Kurzweil, and even Casio that I really like a lot. But none of them fully take the place of my MODX, either.

The YC61 ended up not being for me. So I didn't buy it, but I posted my suggestions on ideascale. I don't see where going beyond that to rag on Yamaha would be in any way productive for anyone.

 
Posted : 11/03/2021 9:51 pm
david
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So I went back to Sweetwater to read the opinions of the YC that customers have posted.

I've seen many manufacturers reply even on YouTube to product issues or problems.

Every SW poster complained about the rotary sim and said it was the worse out there.

Do we literally believe a Yamaha rep. who is extremely involved with dealer-product relations hasn't read every review and reported back to Yamaha?

These have been posted for a long while and customers might likely skip over the YC because of the primary claim of it being "organ focused" but can't simulate the Leslie properly.

It's actually pretty embarrassing for an industry leader like Yamaha. You'd have thought that was priority number one to update/improve their system.

I don't believe they didn't know from day one since I'm sure organ experts auditioned the YC even before its release.

How completely weird is it for Yamaha to almost want this to happen and stand their ground to not fix it?

Like they are trying to prove a point they can still sell faulty equipment to Yamaha fans. Like an inside bet or something.

If business is about selling products, competition and making a profit then where is the fix?

That's a business driver if there has ever been a business driver. This points to "we don't know how to fix it or can't" more than anything else.

Why release the 73/88 if they can't fix it? Maybe they are just slow as Christmas but still if profit is a factor you'd think they'd be all in for an immediate repair.

It's pretty important if not essential. I don't get it. This begs the question "who's in charge at Yamaha" and what are they thinking?

 
Posted : 17/03/2021 2:37 pm
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Do we literally believe a Yamaha rep. who is extremely involved with dealer-product relations hasn't read every review and reported back to Yamaha?...How completely weird is it for Yamaha to almost want this to happen and stand their ground to not fix it?

It's on ideascale. A Yamaha rep who is actually in the department of evaluating these things has participated in the discussion there, so of course they know about it. They also raised its categorization on ideascale to "assessment" which is farther than most ideas get. So I don't see your point here. You seem to be claiming that they either don't know about the complaints, or perhaps more to your point, don't want to admit they know about them... and that's clearly untrue.

This points to "we don't know how to fix it or can't" more than anything else.

That's certainly a possibility.

Why release the 73/88 if they can't fix it? Maybe they are just slow as Christmas but still if profit is a factor you'd think they'd be all in for an immediate repair.

First, you can't predict how long it will take you to fix something that you haven't figured out how to fix.

Second, not everyone finds the current implemetation to be so below their needs that they refuse to buy the product, as evidenced by the fact that people have indeed bought them, and there is not a 100% return rate, and Yamaha still felt it was worth releasing the 73/88 (which they probably would not have done if the 61 had proved to be a sales dog). And people are indeed buying-and-not-returning the 73/88 as well. In fact, the type of organ player who is buying a weighted action board is likely to be less critical in their eval of organ nuances than someone who buys a model with a more organ-friendly action.

So to answer the question of why release the 73/88, I think the obvious answer is, because they think people will want to buy it... and I suspect they are correct. In fact, you even bought one, right? Which would mean that you yourself are proof that the rotary is not so bad that people would refuse to buy it.

Hopefully, an improved rotary effect will come. But until then, Yamaha had a choice between (A) releasing the YC73/YC88 as it is, or (B) not releasing it at all. Considering the fact that you bought one (apparently feeling its pros outweighed its cons), aren't you glad that they went with option A? (If not, hopefully you're within your return window.) It's like the joke about the two old folks at the restaurant... the first says "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible," and the other replies, "Yeah, and the portions are so small!" 😉

 
Posted : 17/03/2021 3:47 pm
david
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I buy a lot of boards and then sell them all on Reverb etc. I only return something if it really sucks. Sold my Montage, YC61 and Genos and replaced with Fantom. Sales doesn't prove greatness but does help indicate interest. I'm way off the normal curve because I'm not a performer. It's the masses of performers that Yamaha would be most interested in. I'm more of a sound tech junkie who plays a badass trumpet and loves music.

If I had a great Leslie to compare the YC to I'd probably be even more disappointed. It's the organ gurus that say it sucks and they know better than i do. However, the rest of the board gets good reviews but it is advertised as "organ focused" so it should reflect a better organ performance.

I'm now looking toward the Korg OPsix. Yamaha charges a premium for FM that you can't program (like on YC, CP1 etc.) and even if you could program it, it's too difficult and time consuming. OPsix is the answer and it's almost free at $800. Of course we'll all use it as a source mainly like a module.

They did add the morph capability to the Montage which I tried but wasn't enough reason to keep it. That was an afterthought and response to the Fantom kicking their butt with unlimited function and massive Genos level free content.

Montage is really old now. Wonder when they will replace it? I think I ordered one back in 2016.

The SKpro might take down the YC if they'd ever get it to market.

 
Posted : 17/03/2021 7:01 pm
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I'm now looking toward the Korg OPsix. Yamaha charges a premium for FM that you can't program (like on YC, CP1 etc.) and even if you could program it, it's too difficult and time consuming. OPsix is the answer and it's almost free at $800.

That does look like a nice piece. OTOH, Yamaha also has the MODX6 at $1400 which gives you fully programmable FM, including the morph capability you liked on the Montage, and 8 operators instead of 6, and a decent interface, and a lot more in terms of splits/layers/polyphony. That's even before you get to the AWM2 engine, the sample memory, etc. It's a very flexible and high value 61, At the other end of the spectrum, they also have the 4-operator Reface DX at $300.

The SKpro might take down the YC if they'd ever get it to market.

It's not late yet, I think it was announced for March shipment. I think it will beat the YC61 at organ. But the YC will still have its own advantages, including being $500 cheaper, having more front panel effects controls, LED ring endless encoders, 4-zone MIDI control instead of 3, the built-in audio interface, and probably often better sounds once you leave the organ/VA synth categories (for example, I don't think Hammond will compete with Yamaha on piano). But the Hammond has other advantages, like full sound editability, more split/layer flexibility, assignable outs, and front panel synth controls... and then, once you leave the 61s, each board is available in sizes/actions the other is not.

 
Posted : 17/03/2021 8:55 pm
david
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Interesting point about the MODX6 for that little money and still with FM. The Montage FM-X never wowed me. Not sure what was up inside the machine.

The DX/FM on my CP1 would rattle my teeth but FM-X was missing something. Like the depth or thickness of the FM voice was missing.

My montage was extremely limited so what's the catch on a board that costs less than half the Montage?

Can it only play 4 parts instead of 8?

On Montage I'd only have 8 parts available and then I'd load a voice that occupied 5 of the 8 parts. Then I'd only have 3 remaining slots. That was annoying.

On Fantom I can load all 16 and none of them occupy more than one slot. The Montage architecture was smothering. I guess MODX6 is worse.

Nice price so there has to be a big catch or major dumbing down going on somewhere.

 
Posted : 18/03/2021 1:55 am
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what's the catch on a board that costs less than half the Montage?

Can it only play 4 parts instead of 8?
...
Nice price so there has to be a big catch or major dumbing down going on somewhere.

There are plenty of threads on the differences, But for example: It can still play 8 Parts like the Montage, but seamless switching only works on Performances of up to 4 Parts. AWM2 polyphony is the same, but FM polyphony drops from 128 to 64. Lesser action, no aftertouch. No assignable outs. No ribbon controller. Plastic chassis instead of metal, external wall wart instead of internal power supply. Space for 1 GB of custom samples instead of 1.5 GB. Removal of front panel buttons (so more reliance on touchscreen). Fewer knobs and sliders, and no LED indicators on them. And so forth. OTOH, it has the exact same 5.67 GB sample set and all the same Performances, with an identical on-screen interface that includes all the same options. I've got the MODX7 and think it's one of the best things Yamaha has ever made. But if you didn't care for the Montage, the MODX probably won't do it for you either.

On Montage I'd only have 8 parts available and then I'd load a voice that occupied 5 of the 8 parts. Then I'd only have 3 remaining slots. That was annoying.

On Fantom I can load all 16 and none of them occupy more than one slot.

OTOH, the Fantom only lets you put 1 insert effect on each part, the Montage/MODX let you put two on each part. And Fantom doesn't do FM, and has more limited support for user samples... it's always something.

Also, on the Yamaha, it's easy enough to stick with sounds that only take up one slot if you want to. Any sound that requires no more than 8 elements only takes one slot. (The Fantom sample-based sounds can only have up to 4 elements, or as Roland calls them, partials.) So this is not a Yamaha negative, if Roland sounds are limited to 4 components, and Yamaha single-part sounds are limited to 8 components, and Yamaha permits you to "gang up" more parts into a single sound for those times where you want even more than 8 elements. Roland does not support such ganging-up of parts. Put another way, on a Yamaha, if you want a sound with more than 8 components, you use another Part, whereas on the Roland, if you want a sound with more than 4 components, the answer is, buy a different keyboard, Which solution is preferable? I like Rolands too, but for lots of sounds, I think Yamaha sounds better, even if you just stick with the single part sounds. But I'd pick the Roland over the Yamaha for VA synth stuff, for example, and probably some of the "SuperNATURAL" tones for the behavior modeling. As always, each board has its strengths over the other.

 
Posted : 18/03/2021 2:49 am
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Yamaha released two new Stage Keyboards during the winter of a pandemic that prefers the cold, and that's (almost) closed every live venue for the foreseeable future.

Think about the level of reality detachment that kind of behaviour suggests.

It's the most bizarre of possible releases during this time.

Try to think of a more inappropriate keyboard release that could have been done at this time.

 
Posted : 18/03/2021 3:27 am
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