Author Topic: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?  (Read 1847 times)

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Offline SciNote

I guess this topic is really "neither hear nor there", as the MX series is more of a synthesizer than an arranger.  But I was in a music store today and there just happened to be an MX61 there, and while some of the sounds were nice, there were a few disappointing surprises.

First of all, the keyboard feel did not seem any better than the PSR-E463, which the store also had on display, so I could compare them.  Now, the E463 key feel is not bad, but there has been some discussion on this forum about how the key feel of the E400 series seems to have degraded after the E433.  I would have expected a synth like the MX61 to be better.

And secondly, I tried some of the choir sounds, and these sounded like they were sampled from an '80's Casiotone!  I really would have expected more, and I bet a keyboard like the PSR-S670, which doesn't cost that much more, has a better choir sound.  I say this because my PSR-E433 has a better choir sound!

Maybe I was doing something wrong, or something just wasn't set properly?  Anyone else have experience with these MX keyboards?
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433, Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 

Offline DerekA

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2021, 10:44:39 AM »
I don't think the actual sounds are "better" than the more recent PSRs, since it's using the same sound engine and probably the same samples.

But the MX has more flexibility around layering, arpeggios and integration with Cubase. So it's aimed at a different market than the arrangers I suppose.

This is quite an interesting demo showing some "performances". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFjbU1xkAIw

And Dom shows the Cubase integration here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5ghpWbFka8
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 11:17:40 AM by DerekA »
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Offline pjd

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2021, 05:12:17 PM »
Hi --

The MX series -- from the sound perspective -- is long in the tooth. It's sounds are from the Motif XS. Higher end Yamaha synths have gone through the Motif XF generation to Montage/MODX. Not to throw too much shade, but MX is in the distant past.

On the upside, MX is amazingly small (especially the 49), light and inexpensive. The downside, of course, is cheaper and lighter build quality and keybed. For the price, I wouldn't expect too much of the MX series.

This isn't meant to dis the MX series per se. There are times when I wished that I had the MX49 -- when I'm tired of carrying stuff and when I'm playing in a cramped space.  :)

All the best -- pj

Offline danand

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2021, 07:36:45 PM »
The MX series -- from the sound perspective -- is long in the tooth. It's sounds are from the Motif XS. Higher end Yamaha synths have gone through the Motif XF generation to Montage/MODX. Not to throw too much shade, but MX is in the distant past.

Yamaha promote the MX as a small ModX wiyhout the FM-X engine (at least on the sounds part of the keyboard - I'm sure that also effects, EQ, filter etc. are also different).
But Yamaha mention on promote materila, that MX use samples from Montage/ModX and not from Motif...
 

Offline overover

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2021, 08:19:29 PM »
Yamaha promote the MX as a small ModX wiyhout the FM-X engine (at least on the sounds part of the keyboard - I'm sure that also effects, EQ, filter etc. are also different).
But Yamaha mention on promote materila, that MX use samples from Montage/ModX and not from Motif...

Hi danand,

the Yamaha MX product page says: "The MX series contains more than 1000 Voices derived directly from the world famous Yamaha MOTIF XS series."
>>> https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/music_production/synthesizers/mx_bk_bu/features.html#product-tabs
(See also the attached picture.)

I can't find any information that the MX would contain voices from Motif XF / MOXF or MODX / Montage. Where did you get this information from?


Best regards,
Chris
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 08:21:48 PM by overover »
Everyone always said: "This is not possible!" - Then someone came and ... just did it!
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2021, 01:25:59 AM »
The MX series has been out for quite a while -- in fact, I'm surprised that it still shows as a current model on Yamaha's website.  I'm almost positive it predated the MODX, and pretty sure it predated the Montage.  But even so, I expected a better sound.  Granted, I did not go through all thousand sounds, but those choir sounds I tried were really bad.  They just sounded like the kind of "synth-choir" sounds that were found on inexpensive portable keyboards of the 1980's and early 1990's (I'm not exaggerating!  I used to work for an electronics store back then that sold keyboards -- you know, when you could actually buy a variety of products at an electronics store and not just phones and computers -- and I would always try to learn about the Yamahas and Casios we would get) where they were just a certain combination of sine wave type sounds that sort of sounded like a female singer humming.

For a keyboard that bases its sounds on a what was once a high-end professional synthesizer, I really would've expected a more realistic, full-bodied "AHHHHH" type choir sound.  And I am also not exaggerating when I say that I believe that the choir sound on my PSR-E433 -- released in 2012 -- sounds significantly better than the one I heard on the MX-61.

But, I admit I am focusing on just one sound, or set of sounds.  I'm sure that the MX has plenty of other sounds that are of high quality, and it does have filter and envelope controls to help tweak those sounds, as well.
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433, Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2021, 10:10:11 PM »
Correct on all counts; Here in Canada the MX61/88 debuted in 2012. The MotifXF (after the XS) debuted in 2010, but the mx88 is based on the Motifxs... from 2007 in Canada.

The Modx debuted in 2018, which was derived from the Montage (2016), which *itself* uses a lot of Tyros 4 (2010) and T5 (2013) sounds, but with a much, much better piano.

The mx series predates them all, and was released at about the same time as the PSRs950/s750; there have been 3 generations (ok, technically 2.5 since the 970/975 were essentially the same ) of PSR since.

So yes, the MX was an impressive bang for the buck at the time; and the MX88 is *still* Yamaha's entry level 88 key weighted synth with 5 pin midi out (There are similarly priced kb's from Roland and Korg that both offer 88 weighted keys and 5 pin midi out as well). But the MX still does great synths & Mega Voice guitars, but yes the current PSRsx series are *generations* newer and better... but also weigh a lot more! The MX61 is 10.6 lbs. The sx900? 25.4 lbs

Offline pjd

Re: Yamaha MX-series -- Surprising disappointments -- Any other opinions?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 06:45:40 PM »
And secondly, I tried some of the choir sounds, and these sounded like they were sampled from an '80's Casiotone!  I really would have expected more, and I bet a keyboard like the PSR-S670, which doesn't cost that much more, has a better choir sound.  I say this because my PSR-E433 has a better choir sound!

Hi Bob --

I never did get to the point.  :)

I owned and played the heck out of an MOX6 and PSR-S950 contemporaneously. The MOX6 is the same sound generation as the MX series: Motif XS. I compared the MOX6/S950 extensively and swapped voice/effect programming between the two. Sonically, they were roughly on par with each other. The MX should be the same as the MOX6.

Choir sounds on MOX6 were really weak. The synths and arrangers are targeted for different markets and the synth voice programmers must not have considered choir sounds to be very important back then. El-wrongo, because folks like me want to use such sounds in liturgical music. I used the "Nativity" patch quite a bit. Overall, I really missed the old Roland Vocal expansion board with its choirs. That was an Eric Pershing masterpiece!

Montage/MODX added a lot of vocal waveforms from the arranger side. I'm still not that satisfied, but if it was truly a big deal, I'd import some 3rd party samples.

All the best -- pj