Yamaha have announced the release of the MODX6+, MODX7+, and MODX8+, three new synthesizers that improve upon their original MODX range of instruments and incorporate technology from the company’s flagship Montage instruments.
The new instruments come in 61, 76, and 88-key variants, each featuring a central touchscreen along with a wealth of front panel controls. All three are equipped with 128 notes of AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) sample and synthesis polyphony, which Yamaha say allows for stunning emulative acoustic instrument, synth and drum sounds. The MODX+ range also features 128 notes of FM-X (Frequency Modulation) polyphony — an expressive, highly programmable synthesis technology well suited to modern music creation.
AWM2 & FM-X
Exclusive to Yamaha synthesizers, the AWM2 engine equips the MODX+ series with 16 parts, each of which feature eight programmable synthesizers with 18 different filter types, amplitude, pitch and filter envelope generators, nine LFOs, a three-band EQ and a dedicated dual insert effect slot that hosts a wide range Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM) effects.
The inclusion of FM-X allows the MODX+ to provide the sounds associated with the iconic DX7, but goes well beyond the capability of the original instrument with an eight-operator FM architecture and 128-note polyphony. Yamaha say that the unique architecture of the instruments mean that the full polyphony of both AWM2 and FM-X are always available, allowing the MODX+ to offer an overall total of 256 notes of polyphony.
A Super Knob on the instrument’s front panel allows the simultaneous control of up to 128 parameters, allowing users to control mix functions such as volume, pan and effects sends as well as synth parameters like filters, LFOs and Operators. The knob can also be controlled with an FC7 foot controller, offering an easy way to continue to manipulate sounds whilst playing with both hands.
A new way to create sounds is provided in the form of Motion Sequences — customisable, tempo-synced control sequences that can be assigned to virtually any of the synthesizer parameters. These sequences feature dedicated front panel controls, making it easy to manipulate sounds in real-time, allowing for expressive performances.
An Envelope Follower converts audio into a control source, allowing sounds such as drum loops or vocal lines to modulate the instrument’s synthesizer parameters, whilst an Auto Beat Sync (ABS) function detects the tempo of an external sound source, and synchronises the on-board Arpeggiator, Motion Sequencer and Songs.
A Smart Morph feature enables users to blend between FM-X sounds, using an AI algorithm to create an interactive map from up to eight FM-X sounds. The resulting map can then be manipulated from the touchscreen or by using the Super Knob to move between two points, offering an interactive way to create interesting new sounds.
Compatibility & Connectivity
The MODX+ gives users access to a wide range of sounds, and is directly compatible with MOTIF XS/XF Voices and Performances. A free FM converter web application also makes it possible to load content from the DX7, DX7II, TX802 and TX816 synthesizers.
A stereo A/D input allows users to route external sources into the MODX+ and process them within the instrument. There is also an on-board multi-channel audio interface, which provides four inputs and 10 outputs over USB to a host computer or iOS device.
Pricing & Availability
The MODX+ series is available now, with pricing as follows:
MODX6+ — £1680 including VAT
MODX7+ — £1959 including VAT
MODX8+ — £2239 including VAT