Yamaha MX61 Saving and calling up performances instantly.


Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
In Yamaha MX61, how can I save split/layered performances and call them up instantly during a live performance? As far as I know, only individual voices can be called up using part select button. I'm planning to buy MX61. I'll be using it mostly for live. Also thought of buying Korg Kross 2, but I'm worried about its sounds (esp Piano) and keybed quality. Please give your thoughts on these two boards.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
1,324
Location
Lancashire, UK.
Welcome.

I cannot comment on the Yamaha, I am not a fan of the marque I do have a look and play of them in my local music stores, where generally I find their sounds shrill and harsh.

I much prefer the smoother richer Korg sounds to those of Yamaha but that is my preference, Korg build quality and quality of materials is superior imo. In a Korg Kross 2 layering individual voices into what Korg call a Combi is very easy and can be saved and once saved can also be added to one of the Favourites locations where a single touch will call up the Combi although this depends upon which of the eight user banks is active, each user bank btw has sixteen locations available, so scrolling through the user banks to access a specific bank of sixteen can require multiple button presses.

Additionally in Program mode individual Programs can remain a Program and yet have other instrument voices added, the routine to do this is a little convoluted but the result dies save on system resources.

The downside of the Kross 2 is changing Programs or Combis on the fly, in that whatever you are playing stops when you change. This does not happen in the Roland Juno DS where the sound is maintained as long as the note(s) are held down and only change when the keys are released and the next note(s) are played. Hence you may wish to include a Juno DS in your selection.

If you can do go to a Music Store for direct comparison, I am lucky in having many Music Stores (c20) within sixty minutes drive so it has been very easy for me to go into a store to checkout kit and it makes a tremendous difference for me in deciding my likes or otherwise.

Both Korg via their Video Manual series and Roland via their Product Support have on their respective Youtube Channel a series of video tutorials which are designed to get you started with the features of their keyboards. I found that by watching them a few time that I new my way around the menu systems when in store doing a comparative play.

As it was it was a close call between the Kross and Juno with the Kross only being my choice on size and weight.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
195
Reaction score
142
Location
Chester-le-street. County Durham . U.K.
Hi George,

I had a Yamaha MX 49 and to me there was nothing easy about doing things especially in a live situation so it would not be my choice of a live instrument, I have just changed to a Roland Juno DS61 and have to say the keybed is great compared to the MX the voices are also great and you can save favorites for a quick selection plus there is also built in sequencer too, may be worth a look


Brian
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
Thanks for your time in giving your thoughts. I own a Roland Juno-Gi and to me the piano sound doesn't sound good to me, as it feels 'dry'. Same is the case with strings and a bunch of other sounds. I am actually selling my Juno-Gi to make way for either MX61 or the Kross 2. I played MX61 at a store, and felt good with the sounds, almost all of them. Kross 2, I never had a chance because not even one music store in my locality keeps a demo piece of Kross 2. Of course, Juno-Gi has a superior build and strong keybed, but I don't know whether Kross 2 would come somewhere near it. Korg PA-50 has a weak keybed (that's the only Korg keyboard I have played). So the question is whether I should go with superior sound + decent keybed, but less features (Yamaha MX61) or take a risk by getting the Kross 2 for its features without even getting to touch the instrument before I make the payment. Huge confusion. Korg Kross 2 users please reply. By the way, I'm a fan of Yamaha piano and EP sounds, so was figuring out if MX61 has just enough to help me with my live performance wherein I can save layered/split patches (performances in MX61) and cycle through them seamlessly.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
1,324
Location
Lancashire, UK.
The Korg PA50 is older than the Ark so hardly compares to the current line of PA’s one of which I have.

In direct side by side playing which is now my PA the equivalent Yamaha model was rubbish with poor quality sound, cheap plastic construction and a Menu system so complicated it would need an 8 year old to understand it. I then played the next PA model against the equivalent Yamaha and that Korg was vastly superior to the Yamaha.

As Brian and I both suggest the Juno is probably by far a better keyboard than the MX and when I played an MODX that did not inspire me either and again it was the cheap build and terrible Menu.

BTW this is an international forum so do make allowances for time zone differences in waiting for responses.

Good luck with whatever you decide to buy.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
370
Reaction score
157
In Yamaha MX61, how can I save split/layered performances and call them up instantly during a live performance?
To instantly call up split/layered Performances, OS version 1.01 introduced this feature:
Added a "Performance Direct Select" function in which you can switch the Performance number directly by pressing the [SHIFT] button and the Voice Category button simultaneously in the Performance Select display. While this function is enabled, you can change the performance number simply by pressing the Voice Category button, without needing to press the [SHIFT] button.
As far as I know, only individual voices can be called up using part select button.
In addition to the above, using the free VycroMX editor (Mac or PC) I believe you can change the default MIDI channels of the 16 sounds in a Performance (which are usually set up so that part 1 is channel 1, part 2 is channel 2, up through part 16 being channel 16), so that any part can be placed on any MIDI channel, and also lets you adjust what keys they are assigned to. Parts 1 and 2 are the ones that the MX reserves for its internal split/layer function, so you should leave those as is, but you can do what you want with the other 14. So although I never tried it, I think you could, for example, put parts 3, 4, and 5 all on channel 3 (splitting and/or layering them depending on what key range you assign to each of those three parts). Then, whenever you recall Part 3 or Part 4 or Part 5 using the part select buttons, all 3 parts will play. So a single Performance can have as many recallable split/layered combinations as you want, up to the limit of 16 voices in total.

The downside of the Kross 2 is changing Programs or Combis on the fly, in that whatever you are playing stops when you change. This does not happen in the Roland Juno DS where the sound is maintained as long as the note(s) are held down and only change when the keys are released and the next note(s) are played.
The MX is in-between the Kross 2 and the Juno DS in this respect. The way the MX works is

...each Performance has 16 user-assignable sounds, and you can freely switch among those sounds (using the 16 part select buttons) without any sounds cutting off (and as mentioned in the previous paragraph, while out of the box 14 of these 16 sounds can only be recalled individually, I believe you can also use the computer based editor to set up Performances that allow those 14 sounds to be recalled in split/layered combinations). So within user-defined combinations of up to 16 sounds, the MX behaves like the Juno DS. HOWEVER...

...when you switch from one Performance (one set of up-to 16 sounds) to another as described in the first part of this post, held/decaying notes WILL cut off when you switch, so in that case the MX behaves like the Kross 2.

This approach, of seamlessly switching sounds WITHIN a group of 16 sounds but not BETWEEN groups of 16 sound is also the method employed by the Roland FA.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
Thanks Biggles, the VycroMX part seems to give me some hope, but do you mean to say that I can layer 5-6 sounds at once using VycroMX (by allowing the same midi channel) and save that setting in the keyboard itself? Or do I have to take VycroMX along with me for the gig? That was not very clear to me.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
1,354
Location
Adelaide, Australia
I own a Roland Juno-Gi and to me the piano sound doesn't sound good to me, as it feels 'dry'. Same is the case with strings and a bunch of other sounds. I am actually selling my Juno-Gi to make way for either MX61 or the Kross 2. I played MX61 at a store, and felt good with the sounds, almost all of them. Kross 2, I never had a chance because not even one music store in my locality keeps a demo piece of Kross 2. Of course, Juno-Gi has a superior build and strong keybed, but I don't know whether Kross 2 would come somewhere near it.
I also own a Juno-Gi, I use it as a practice keyboard - it's a pretty cool little instrument.

However don't write off the Juno DS based on the sounds of the Gi. Not in the same ballpark - the Gi is significantly inferior. I can also tell you that the Kross 2 has the Gi well and truly covered for sound quality (in my opinion).

I, like you, quite like the Gi's keybed, but in this regard I find myself in the minority amongst my keys-playing brethren. As far as build quality goes, I wouldn't put the Gi ahead of any of the Korg 'boards I own. Nor would I necessarily put it behind.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,682
Reaction score
1,105
The Vycro MX software is just for setting up and editing the performances. Once you save the performances in the MX's memory, they can be recalled on the MX without needing to use the software.

You can set up each part to be limited to a specific range of notes, which lets you split, layer, or partially overlap the parts as desired. For instance, if you wanted to you could layer four parts together on the left side of the keyboard, layer another four parts together in the center of the keyboard, and layer another four parts together on the right side of the keyboard.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
The Vycro MX software is just for setting up and editing the performances. Once you save the performances in the MX's memory, they can be recalled on the MX without needing to use the software.

You can set up each part to be limited to a specific range of notes, which lets you split, layer, or partially overlap the parts as desired. For instance, if you wanted to you could layer four parts together on the left side of the keyboard, layer another four parts together in the center of the keyboard, and layer another four parts together on the right side of the keyboard.
Thanks brother. That is a huge plus point I believe, considering Yamaha's sound quality. I don't have any problem spending some time in doing homework setting up the sounds I need. So, finally, what would you recommend? MX61 or Kross 2? Juno DS costs more here in India. Kross 2 is Rs.47,000, MX61 is Rs. 50,000 and Juno DS is around Rs. 62,000.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
370
Reaction score
157
Sounds are subjective, but I think most acoustic instrument sounds are better on the Yamaha than the Korg (piano, strings, brass, winds). Actions are also subjective, but I think Yamaha responds more evenly from front to back than the Korg keys do. And as I alluded to earlier, you can do seamless sound switching on the MX, to some extent. I also found that polyphony can go surprisingly quickly on the Kross, though that will depend on what sounds you pick. I was probably bit by the fact that the main Korg piano uses 4 instances of polyphony per note.

Kross has its own advantages... lighter weight, sample trigger pads, on-board editing (instead of having to connect a computer), full sequencer, more complete MIDI controller function (combis can send up to 16 definable MIDI Program Changes), and more... it's really pretty feature-packed. In terms of sounds, Yamaha's Voices and Korg's Programs can be combined into what they call Performances and Combis respectively, but Korg Combis tend to sound a lot more impressive because they may include combinations of many Programs, whereas MX factory-provided Performances only contain 1 or 2 Voices (you can create Performances with more than 2 Voices yourself, with VycroMX).
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
Sounds are subjective, but I think most acoustic instrument sounds are better on the Yamaha than the Korg (piano, strings, brass, winds). Actions are also subjective, but I think Yamaha responds more evenly from front to back than the Korg keys do. And as I alluded to earlier, you can do seamless sound switching on the MX, to some extent. I also found that polyphony can go surprisingly quickly on the Kross, though that will depend on what sounds you pick. I was probably bit by the fact that the main Korg piano uses 4 instances of polyphony per note.

Kross has its own advantages... lighter weight, sample trigger pads, on-board editing (instead of having to connect a computer), full sequencer, more complete MIDI controller function (combis can send up to 16 definable MIDI Program Changes), and more... it's really pretty feature-packed. In terms of sounds, Yamaha's Voices and Korg's Programs can be combined into what they call Performances and Combis respectively, but Korg Combis tend to sound a lot more impressive because they may include combinations of many Programs, whereas MX factory-provided Performances only contain 1 or 2 Voices (you can create Performances with more than 2 Voices yourself, with VycroMX).
Thank you. Things have become highly subjective.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
1,324
Location
Lancashire, UK.
For live play it is a close call in my opinion.

For Combination of layered sounds you will be hard pushed to beat the Kross 2, this image is of one Combi out of hundreds.

image.jpg


BTW
The Tabs you see in the image are but a few of about 20 Tabs which means the degree of control and customisation if the Programs and Combi’s is very extensive and very easy to access. There is no having to delve down layer after layer in a complex Menu system.

Also the K2 keyboard can be readily split into two zones but by adjusting operating ranges it is very easy to achieve what is essentially multiple splits along the keyboard. I only have the 61 key version yet I have 4 zones or splits in a couple of Combi’s that I have set up for specific songs. Not sure how readily the Yammy or Roly can achieve this functionality if at all.

That said I still think the Juno should be at the top of your list.

Do you research and watch the video tutorials to gain a knowledge of each keyboards Menu, system and in particular good luck with the Yamaha I sort of think you will need it.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
For live play it is a close call in my opinion.

For Combination of layered sounds you will be hard pushed to beat the Kross 2, this image is of one Combi out of hundreds.

View attachment 1583

BTW
The Tabs you see in the image are but a few of about 20 Tabs which means the degree of control and customisation if the Programs and Combi’s is very extensive and very easy to access. There is no having to delve down layer after layer in a complex Menu system.

Also the K2 keyboard can be readily split into two zones but by adjusting operating ranges it is very easy to achieve what is essentially multiple splits along the keyboard. I only have the 61 key version yet I have 4 zones or splits in a couple of Combi’s that I have set up for specific songs. Not sure how readily the Yammy or Roly can achieve this functionality if at all.

That said I still think the Juno should be at the top of your list.

Do you research and watch the video tutorials to gain a knowledge of each keyboards Menu, system and in particular good luck with the Yamaha I sort of think you will need it.

Good luck.
One question though. Won't the polyphony drop drastically if I layer too much? How's the polyphony in Kross 2? Heard that one note itself takes multiple polyphony to process. Is it true?
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
For live play it is a close call in my opinion.

For Combination of layered sounds you will be hard pushed to beat the Kross 2, this image is of one Combi out of hundreds.

View attachment 1583

BTW
The Tabs you see in the image are but a few of about 20 Tabs which means the degree of control and customisation if the Programs and Combi’s is very extensive and very easy to access. There is no having to delve down layer after layer in a complex Menu system.

Also the K2 keyboard can be readily split into two zones but by adjusting operating ranges it is very easy to achieve what is essentially multiple splits along the keyboard. I only have the 61 key version yet I have 4 zones or splits in a couple of Combi’s that I have set up for specific songs. Not sure how readily the Yammy or Roly can achieve this functionality if at all.

That said I still think the Juno should be at the top of your list.

Do you research and watch the video tutorials to gain a knowledge of each keyboards Menu, system and in particular good luck with the Yamaha I sort of think you will need it.

Good luck.
In Kross 2, won't the sound get cut off when switching to another combi using the favorites function?
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
1,324
Location
Lancashire, UK.
Yes the Program or Combi playing cuts off when you change and hence it is why I have stressed that it happens.

From the manual
120 voices (120 oscillators), single mode
60 voices (60 oscillators), single mode
* The actual maximum polyphony will vary depending on oscillator settings such as stereo multisamples and velocity crossfading
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
1
Yes the Program or Combi playing cuts off when you change and hence it is why I have stressed that it happens.

From the manual
120 voices (120 oscillators), single mode
60 voices (60 oscillators), single mode
* The actual maximum polyphony will vary depending on oscillator settings such as stereo multisamples and velocity crossfading
Thanks. Will the MX61 perform better in this case?
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
370
Reaction score
157
Will Kross 2 sounds (or combis) assigned to favorite pads get cut off in case of sustained notes while switching to another favorite? Some people say yes, some people say no.
Where did you see some people say no? Yes, switching Favorites will cut off held/decaying notes (regardless of whether the sounds are Programs of Combis).

For Combination of layered sounds you will be hard pushed to beat the Kross 2, this image is of one Combi out of hundreds.
I think that gets back to where I said, "Korg {factory} Combis tend to sound a lot more impressive because they may include combinations of many Programs." I guess I'd probably give the MX the edge for the sounds of single acoustic instruments, but Kross the edge for big combinations and lush soundscapes.

Also the K2 keyboard can be readily split into two zones but by adjusting operating ranges it is very easy to achieve what is essentially multiple splits along the keyboard. I only have the 61 key version yet I have 4 zones or splits in a couple of Combi’s that I have set up for specific songs. Not sure how readily the Yammy or Roly can achieve this functionality if at all.
Yes, MX and Juno DS both do this as well, though the MX does it via the computer editor, whereas the Kross and DS can do it from the front panel.

How's the polyphony in Kross 2? Heard that one note itself takes multiple polyphony to process. Is it true?
I mentioned that earlier. Having one note take multiple instances of polyphony is not unusual... on most boards, a stereo instrument takes two notes of polyphony. Korg uses an unusual architecture where many programs use "double mode" which use dual oscillators, and I think that's why a stereo piano sound can essentially use the equivalent of four instances of single polyphony. If you download the Kross VNL (Voice Name list) document. you can see which programs are single mode vs. double.

From the manual
120 voices (120 oscillators), single mode
60 voices (60 oscillators), single mode
* The actual maximum polyphony will vary depending on oscillator settings such as stereo multisamples and velocity crossfading
...which I believe is a typo. Unless Korg managed to change something for the Kross 2, the way Korgs work is that polyphony is half in double mode. So it was probably supposed to say:
"120 voices (120 oscillators), single mode
60 voices (60 oscillators), double mode"
...and if you play the main piano sound, you will probably have polyphony of 30 notes before something drops out.

Will the MX61 perform better in this case?
It will depend on the exact sound (or combination of sounds) that you are using. But I think MX piano uses 2 instances of polyphony per note, and it has 128 polyphony overall, so the piano would support 64 simultaneous notes. Even the Korg's 30 is usually enough, but it can become more of an issue if you layer another sound with the piano, which will then make it upse up the polyphony that much faster.
 
Ad

Advertisements

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,682
Reaction score
1,105
As far as which keyboard would be best, the only one I have any personal experience with is the MX49 (same as MX61 but for the keyboard having 1 less octave), so I have no basis for comparing the sounds and keybed feel of the MX61 with any other brands. I can say that the display screen on the MX synths is very small and that the menu system can be cumbersome to use for setting everything up, but that's where the Vycro MX software helps.

The MX synths do not have the ability to add new sound samples, as can be done on other Yamaha synths (MOXF, MODX, Motif, Montage, etc.), and as I assume can be done on the other brands and models you asked about. But you can load "new voices" which are defined with the existing sound samples by combining samples as desired and modifying the parameters that control how the samples are played. The Vycro MX software won't let you do that, but the software from John Melas will; plus, there are free voice and performance packs available.

As far as notes cutting off when you change patches, I believe this was explained by @anotherscott in one of his earlier posts. If you change the program that's being used for a particular part, any sustained notes being played by that part will get cut off when the part's program changes. To get around that, leave that particular part as is and make the program changes to one of the other parts that isn't being actively used, so the sustained notes can continue to play but new notes can also be played with the newly-selected program. When those sustained notes are finally released naturally, you will then be free to change the program on the particular part that they were being played with.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top