Yamaha MODX review: Everything you need to know

Yamaha has taken the brains in its flagship synth Montage, and put it in a much less expensive package. Here’s an extremely comprehensive review of every material feature of Yamaha’s MODX, including both synth engines (with a basic FM synthesis tutorial thrown in…), the arpeggiator (including how to make custom arpeggios and sequences) and MODX’s powerful mod matrix and motion sequencing features.

Want to get ALL my tips in one convenient place including those to come in the future? Check out my In-Complete Book of Electronic Music Ideas, Tips and Tricks (hint: it’s in-complete because it’s always being updated…):

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You can find the waveform editor I mention in the video here:

► http://www.jmelas.gr/montage/index.php

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Here’s a timeline of the video:
0:00 Intro
0:40 Basic concepts/Performance
1:40 Sound engines
2:10 Samples (AWM2)
3:20 Elements
7:40 Common controls
8:20 Effects
9:40 Common LFO
10:05 FM-X engine
15:00 The mod matrix
16:30 Assigning knobs
17:30 Control Assign
20:15 Envelope Follower
21:20 Motion Sequencer
23:30 Super Knob
25:00 10,000 arpeggios?!
27:05 Creating your own custom arpeggios and sequences
30:30 Mixing, layering and splitting parts
32:00 Finding content on board and online
34:00 Using scenes
34:45 Connectivity
37:00 Pros & cons

NOTE: Occasionally I’ll try out affiliate marketing and include affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via affiliate links. The content of this clip is entirely my opinion, and was not paid for or dictated in any way by the company creating the gear. Without addressing the particulars of products shown here as they might be under NDA, gear shown on this channel may be either sent by the manufacturer, on loan for review or bought at a discount.

Comments

Gustavo Elizondo says:

The arpeggiators truly blew my mind. I was considering this as my new buy, now I am pretty sure I’ll eventually own one! Just need to decide between the 6 or the 7 version…

ahol967 says:

I was immediatelly enthusiastic, when I see LARGE screen window of MODX. Bravo!

Mr. Bourne Productions says:

You really make the best product reviews. Very informative precise content. Thank you for making these videos.

jaybeetdown says:

This is great! Cant wait to try this at home!

Luke Bogacik says:

Wow,,,

Casa Belen says:

Goodnight. How does a TV connect?

Alessandro Guimarães de Andrade says:

Fantastic! Thank you for this information!

link2012 says:

Wow. This is best modx review in youtube. Thanks for your effort.
BTW, I have a question. In control assign option, is it possible to assign certain parameter to external controller like korg nanokontrol?

peter bombala says:

It looks like a iPad with keyboard

Malcolm Gregoire says:

I haven’t had a new synth in years and still have my Korg i2 workstation which can modify the preset sounds but you lose those mods once you change to a different sounds. Does the MODX allow those changes to be saved when the unit is turned off or do you have to start from scratch each time?

dean walliss says:

The synth is cool, but your demo is just the best. It’s a really clear, dispassionate, comprehensive (but appropriately concise) summary of all the key features. Thanks.

Bobin Jacob says:

How much would you rate modx out of 10?

geecen says:

But whyyyyy no aftertouch?!? The Blofeld keys has aftertouch adn is a much cheaper synth. Makes me annoyed as they hobbled it.

thisisobsolete says:

Just got my MODX8. Very helpful video before diving into the manual. Thanks! Do you really think they’ll add any kind of step/piano roll sequencing? They haven’t to the Montage. I’ve the impression it’s a deliberate decision by Yamaha to first encourage people to use Cubase (they own Steinberg) and second because their market research tells them most people don’t want it. Personally I would like to see a seqeuncer on board. Not to replace a DAW but complex enough to sketch ideas without leaving the MODX until later in the writing process.

Donny Darko says:

again the best presentation out there! keep it up!

MostlyRandom says:

is it possible to turn of the beep when you use the touchscreen?
that would drive me insane after about 10 seconds

King Zetano The Electronic Musician says:

is it just me or does the buttons on screen sound like a cricket as always great video all are great u do the best for tutorials cheers and be safe

Obwanz 1 says:

My apologies, I had been at another site, and had made a comment to Daniel Fisher at Sweetwater, bu t the video switched and put it on this one. (Although I don’t see my comment anymore)?

Herbert White says:

Great job. Best yet

Jsn Sdx says:

That’s great and all, but it just doesn’t have the style, immediacy and cool sounds of the Prophet-X. This is like the mega-church version. Still, on-point review/demo as always (the way it should be done imo). One thing though…how can you tease Tears For Fears without doing the whole thing including singing? I wanna hear you cover the whole thing and sing it! Even if it’s terrible!

Mark B says:

Well thank you loopop . Yamaha should give you some money .Because there has not been such a comprehensive demonstration of the Montage synth as you have done .Well done !This has helped me make a decision in the positive way .People do make decisions from good demonstrations .Not just advertisements .Thank you again .

Venom's Lair says:

MODX is like 4 DX7 Together. I’d Like to have one!!!

Cindy Groves says:

Good overview! BTW, you can speed up the responsiveness of the touch screen by turning off animations and blur in the Utilities menu.

WillTocaJr says:

Nah. Too much menu diving. Just bring back the Motif XF with a built in audio interface.

suga4all says:

Thanks for the great in depth review. I got my MODX 8 a couple of weeks ago and am still learning, learning, learning… Its such a monster of a synth, you have to love it 🙂 Your review helped me to even find more options, such as the user defined arps!

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