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Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

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Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby DanielBeach » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:45 pm

Is it me...?

I've linked a sound file below. Since switching keyboard and using a Yamaha MODX over the last few days (in this case as my Logic midi controller), the sounds in the EW library have started sounding very odd. Hear the strings below..... They do NOT sound normal, and have a strange swell at the end of notes. It's the same odd "artefacts" sound on short articulations as well.

Does this sound odd to anybody else? Any ideas what's causing it? I've been through the MIDI and AUDIO settings and can't find anything out of the ordinary. Of course, I sold my old keyboard, so can't check if it's some strange modulation message being sent by the Yamaha....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ykIsm7 ... sp=sharing

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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:50 pm

I can't access the file, but you need to simplify and troubleshoot.

Switch the Yamaha keyboard off. Use Logic's software keyboard to play the sounds. Do they sound normal, or do they sound "wrong".

If they sound normal, then it's something that's happening with the controller keyboard.
If they still sound "wrong", it's nothing at all to do with the keyboard.
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby DanielBeach » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:35 pm

Thanks, Desmond.

It seems it IS a Yamaha keyboard issue, as triggering sounds using Logic itself doesn't result in these strange effects. It's like the keyboard is sending out varying/evolving modulation effects, and strange velocity changes on note off. I've done a factory reset on the keyboard, and there are no other controllers plugged in.
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:44 pm

Ok, you should be able to see MIDI activity on the transport display (choose "Custom" if you've got one of the standard displays active).

When you play notes, is there any activity there that looks suspicious?

You could also open the Environment, go to the Clicks & ports layer, there should be MIDI monitor object in between the physical MIDI input ports and the Sequencer Input, which will also display incoming MIDI activity. (If it's not there, you can cable one up quickly).

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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby DanielBeach » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:22 pm

Desmond,

Right - Midi environment shows that the Yamaha is sending/Logic is receiving two of the same note, at the same velocity for one press of a key. Every note, each time.

I'm assuming this isn't correct? It would also account for the strange "phase"-type sound I'm hearing.
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:45 pm

You probably have the keyboard in some kind of Layer mode, where it's transmitting two layers (this is common on eg master keyboards, so you can layer two different sounds/synths). You'll probably find they are on MIDI channels 1 and 2, or at least different MIDI channels.

Turn this off on your keyboard.
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:07 pm

This sounds suspiciously like you have 'Local MIDI control' set to On - have a read of this FAQ I wrote for a recent SOS Q&A, which should explain why it happens and how to remove the 'phased' double notes:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... y-computer


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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:33 pm

Not if he’s playing a software instrument though, his notes won’t be routed back to the keyboard, so local control is not an issue (as long as he’s not hearing the Yamaha while playing.)

Yes, of course local should be off in general when working with sequencers but I don’t think that’s the problem in this case...
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby DanielBeach » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:03 pm

So, thanks to Desmond I narrowed it down to a midi problem - the MODX sending double note on and note off for each key depress. But why?

I did discover in the synth settings Midi I/O options - it has single, multi and hybrid. The synth seems to default to the multi setting, and when I changed it to single it solved the problem.

It does leave my brain with a few questions, though:

- What exactly is this I/O mode feature? I can’t see how sending out midi on all midi channels would cause this double note issue.

- Will I ever need the multi mode?

- What are the different used for the single and multi modes?

As I’ve never used a sound-generating synth to trigger a VST instrument before (I’ve always used dummy midi controllers) I’m new to this - is it possible that whichever patch you have the synth set to at the time could affect the midi note on and off and velocity data it sends to Logic? Should I be seeing if there’s some kind of controller mode, or even using a blank/initialised patch when I’m just using it as a midi controller? Or should the loaded patch/performance have no bearing on how it controls another instrument (whether a Logic instrument or another connected hardware synth/module?)

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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:10 pm

DanielBeach wrote:I did discover in the synth settings Midi I/O options - it has single, multi and hybrid. The synth seems to default to the multi setting, and when I changed it to single it solved the problem.

Hmm, I thought I explained this above?

DanielBeach wrote:- What exactly is this I/O mode feature? I can’t see how sending out midi on all midi channels would cause this double note issue.

- Will I ever need the multi mode?

- What are the different used for the single and multi modes?

Generally, with synths, most of them work this way:

Single mode - play a single sound across the keyboard

Multi mode - play a combination of sounds across the keyboard. This could be a layer, say a piano sound, plus a string sound. Or it could be a split, say a bass in the left hand, a brass sound in the right. Or any combination of layers, velocity layers, splits with a range of sounds.

This extends to MIDI transmission, because you may want to be playing sounds from other instruments. Let's say I have my Jupiter 8 responding on MIDI channel 5, my Prophet 5 on MIDI channel 6, and my Oberheim Matrix 12 on channel 7.

To play a layer of those from my keyboard, I would have to send the same notes on channels 5, 6 and 7, to have all three play. So each note press will generate three note-ons, because I'm layering three sounds/synths.

DanielBeach wrote:As I’ve never used a sound-generating synth to trigger a VST instrument before (I’ve always used dummy midi controllers) I’m new to this - is it possible that whichever patch you have the synth set to at the time could affect the midi note on and off and velocity data it sends to Logic? Should I be seeing if there’s some kind of controller mode, or even using a blank/initialised patch when I’m just using it as a midi controller? Or should the loaded patch/performance have no bearing on how it controls another instrument (whether a Logic instrument or another connected hardware synth/module?)

To keep it simple, you should be in single mode, and ideally you should turn MIDI Local "off" (see your manual"), so that when you play a note, it *doesn't* play a sound in the synth directly. This is so you can play any other instrument without the sound in your synth being heard. When you select a track that sends MIDI back to the Yamaha, then it will responds to the incoming MIDI notes, *not* directly from the keyboard, because otherwise you'd also hear two sounds for every note you played - one when you play the note and it triggers the synth internally, and another when thet note gets sent to the sequencer, then back out to the synth again.

it may seem complex at first, but once you learn these fundamentals, you won't give them much of a second thought again. Most of us oldies here learnt this stuff in the actual 80s, when MIDI was new!
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby DanielBeach » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:29 pm

Thank you.

I’ve had local off all the time, and understand the concept of this as I’ve seen it on other synths before.

I’m also happy with the multi mode idea and how it relates to mapping different zones to different sounds/external synths etc.

I think what I’m still not quite understanding here is how and why it’s a problem in this particular situation. (Also, the Multi and Single thing seems to be a global setting on this Yamaha and not a per patch/performance thing). I’ve also just been watching a youtube video explaining the setup of this synth with a DAW (albeit Cubase in that case), where he emphasises the importance of keeping I/O set to multi so that each part of a performance can have its own discreet midi channel.

I realise this is probably where I’m getting confused. If I put it on single for when I’m using the Yamaha as a controller for soft synths, won’t I want to change it back to multi for later in the project when I want Logic to be sending back to the Yamaha on several different channels for when I’m using the synth’s own sounds multitimbrally?

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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:41 pm

DanielBeach wrote:I think what I’m still not quite understanding here is how and why it’s a problem in this particular situation. (Also, the Multi and Single thing seems to be a global setting on this Yamaha and not a per patch/performance thing).

I've no idea offhand, as I don't have or have used that synth.

DanielBeach wrote:I’ve also just been watching a youtube video explaining the setup of this synth with a DAW (albeit Cubase in that case), where he emphasises the importance of keeping I/O set to multi so that each part of a performance can have its own discreet midi channel.

Yes. I did say above I was trying to "keep it simple". You can of course use your synth multitimbrally with Logic, but there's more factors involved here to get into.

DanielBeach wrote:I realise this is probably where I’m getting confused. If I put it on single for when I’m using the Yamaha as a controller for soft synths, won’t I want to change it back to multi for later in the project when I want Logic to be sending back to the Yamaha on several different channels for when I’m using the synth’s own sounds multitimbrally?

*If* you want to use your synth that way, then yes, you'll need to use it in multi mode. But usually in these synths you have to set a mode, or choose a patch, with a multitimbral setup that works for your needs. For example, just picking any old multi patch won't do, because you might choose a patch that has a string patch on one layer, with an orchestra stab that comes in on the same channel with velocities for 125+. That's not that useful with a sequencer!

What you'll want to choose, set up (and synths usually come with patches to do this) is some kind of "Sequencer" template or mode, where you have say 8 layers/parts, each responding to MIDI channels 1 to 8, set to respond full across the range of keys and velocities.

Now, you just choose which of those 8 tracks to record to in Logic, and your notes get sent, via the selected track, and rechannelised back to the keyboard to play the correct sound. I'm sure the Yamaha manual will have more on how to use it with a sequencer, but this is turning into more about "How to use the Yamaha MODX" and in that case, I can't really help you much specifically, unless I can really be bothered to read the manual for you - which is not really my job, here... ;)

Anyway, what seems to be happening is for the multipatch (or whatever this is called on your synth) you had chosen, it was transmitting on two MIDI channels simultaneously. You likely need to choose or create a multi patch that is set up in a more typical way for sequencing use. Which means back to the manual...
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:08 am

desmond wrote:Anyway, what seems to be happening is for the multipatch (or whatever this is called on your synth) you had chosen, it was transmitting on two MIDI channels simultaneously. You likely need to choose or create a multi patch that is set up in a more typical way for sequencing use. Which means back to the manual...

Is it possible to split each midi channel to a separate track in your DAW Daniel? I'm assuming it is and of so it wouldn't matter if duplicate notes appeared as muting the second channel would be simple.
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby desmond » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:17 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Is it possible to split each midi channel to a separate track in your DAW Daniel? I'm assuming it is and of so it wouldn't matter if duplicate notes appeared as muting the second channel would be simple.

There are many ways of handling this in Logic, but it's always better to get this right at source and eliminate undesirable behaviour than it is to construct a tower of hacks and workarounds...
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Re: Strange/odd sound with EW Play Strings Gold

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm

Yup, makes sense :thumbup:
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