When it comes to digital pianos, keyboards, music synthesizers, and just about anything with keys, Yamaha is continually at the forefront of innovation. We were lucky enough to have Blake Angelos from Yamaha in the Sam Ash Studio to give us a crash course on one of those amazing innovative instruments, the MODX. Blake is often prided on his thoroughness and professionalism as he knows every in and out of this music synthesizer. We broke up his visit into 4 videos to show you everything you need to know about the Yamaha MODX.

MODX: An Introduction and Getting Started

Sound, Control, and Mobility! Let’s start with the features:

  • AWM2 and FM-X Engines
  • Super Knob
  • Send 10 and Receive 4 Audio Channels
  • 16 Channels of MIDI via USB Cable
  • Great Effects
  • Audio Beat-Sync
  • Envelop Follower

The MODX is characterized as being a stripped down version of the popular Yamaha Montage music synthesizer. One of the great features of MODX is that it’s content compatible with the Montage. That means a lot of the library packs you love from Montage can be loaded directly onto the MODX.

The Super Knob

Performance Mode is an incredible feature of the MODX. It utilizes the most iconic feature of Montage and MODX – the Super Knob. The super knob lets you control parameters of your music synth in real-time. You can see in Blake’s example that he layered strings and piano together, but he set the volume control of the strings onto the super knob. This way, he can play a chord and fade the strings in and out in real time as he chooses. The amount of control is incredible! And of course, because Yamaha is behind this, they made the controls even easier by allowing you to control the super knob with an optional FC-7 expression pedal.

MODX: Performances

Once again, the super knob comes in to play. As you can see from Blake’s example, he used the super knob to control delay and reverb effects on a guitar sound. Perhaps the most impressive use of the super knob is during the Seattle sections performance in which the knob controls the stereo field making the musicians sound closer to you or farther away.

 

MODX: A Powerful Synthesizer

As you can see, the MODX has incredible synth capabilities. The AWM2 features fully programmable synths in its 16 parts with amplitude, pitch, filter, LFO’s and more. The FM-X engine features an 8 operator FM architecture and 64-note polyphony for the amazing ability to design your own sounds. All of this while still being able to take full control with the super knob.

MODX: Everything Else You Should Know

  • Computer Connectivity
  • Full MIDI Connectivity
  • Lightweight
  • USB Volume Monitor Knob
  • iOS Compatible
  • Modulation/Pitch Bend Wheel
  • Multi Function Assignable Knobs
  • 7-Inch Touch Screen
  • Multi Use Faders
  • Transport Controls
  • Audition (Demo Sequence, Performance Unlock)
  • Sound, Control, Mobility

The MODX is a powerful music synthesizer that is perfect for anyone looking for great sound, mobility, and an incredible amount of control. Whether you’re a piano player, or a seasoned composer, the amount of real-time control you can get out of the MODX is what makes it a truly unique and incredible instrument.

 

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Dave Stutts
Dave Stutts is a native of the greater Hampton Roads area of Virginia. He received his Bachelors of Music degree in Theory & Composition from the prestigious Christopher Newport University music school. He is a music composer living and working in New York City. He specializes in orchestral/symphonic work as well as pop and digital music. His scoring work has ranged from Chamber Ensemble pieces (String Quartets/Brass Quintets), larger ensembles compositions (Wind Ensemble/Symphony Orchestra/String Orchestra), as well as short film and video game work.He is also a songwriter and a regular gigging musician in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. He refers to his style as Pop/Rock and Blues. His musical career began when he started playing guitar at age 5. He later progressed to Bass in middle school, Drums in High School, and finally Percussion and Piano in college. When asked, he has cited Michael Giacchino, Hans Zimmer, and John Williams as his major film and video game inspirations, and John Mayer as his primary pop inspiration.