Author Topic: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on  (Read 2775 times)

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Offline p$manK32

muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« on: May 25, 2023, 07:36:46 PM »
The SX900 has been great for me so far. I have one issue that I donít see many other users complaining about. When I occasionally want to play the keyboard ďpiano styleĒ(accompaniment turned off) the single or layered voices in the two lowest octaves sound quite muddy & bassy to me. This is not an issue with the concert grand piano voice because I suspect Yamaha has worked hard to make that patch playable without accompaniment. I am also not concerned with the solo instruments such as sax, trumpet, flutes, as they do work fine as RH only instruments. I am specifically referring to sustaining voices, such as choir, strings, brass pads & some organs when I play something Classical or orchestral. Sure I can turn on an Ethereal Movie or Cinema style in the LH and it sounds great, but once in a while I want to play without it.

My comparison here is to a MODX synth, which I previously owned. Some of you may not be aware that Yamaha arrangers and MODX/Montage share many of the same or similar waveforms, yet MODX right out of the box handles these voices better without the muddiness and bass in the lower octaves, or shrill screams in the higher registers. Obviously Yamaha has done something to optimize its arranger voices for RH playing vs. their MODX voices which sound better across the whole keyboard.

Regarding fixes to this issue. I spent several hours changing low and high EQ settings in the mixer or voice edit without much difference. Going one octave up, or transposing the whole key helps in the lower octaves but is too high in the upper octaves. Assigning a duplicate voice to the LH part works (Yamaha seems to automatically makes this voice one octave higher than RH) however itís not a rich combo sound and it of course splits the keyboard, which I donít want.

Would a particular insert effect help? Any other thoughts?

Rich
« Last Edit: May 28, 2023, 07:18:47 PM by p$manK32 »
 

Offline NativeAngels

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2023, 08:02:02 PM »
Have you tried adjusting the Brightness (Cut Off) this can sometimes stop sound from being muddy.

Also in the master Eq cutting the low and mid frequencies can help

Offline p$manK32

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2023, 10:01:19 PM »
Thank you Native. I was playing around with cutoff in voice edit and it helps a little but that affects the character of the voice too much. But I will take a second look at that.

I think the problem is how Yamaha set up the voices/samples. Itís not a dealbreaker for me, I love what the arranger keyboard can do and I can still play the piano and layered pianos.

I have not played with Master EQ, good suggestion!

Rich
« Last Edit: May 25, 2023, 10:08:24 PM by p$manK32 »
 

Offline NativeAngels

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2023, 10:36:59 PM »
Sometimes layering two piano sounds in octaves or unison, even panning slightly helps.

It is a shame that you can only change the hi and low Eq bands, when itís usually the mid frequencies than need adjusting but in small amounts.

In voice set you can adjust the frequencies for the low and high, you could be clever and change the low / high to mid range frequencies.

Offline p$manK32

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2023, 10:58:52 PM »
OK. Will try the octave trick too. I wonít be able to do an organ/string/choir combo with that method but it might sound good anyway.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2023, 09:08:55 AM by p$manK32 »
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2023, 11:02:15 PM »
The SX900 has been great for me so far. I have one issue that I donít see many other users complaining about. When I occasionally want to play the keyboard ďpiano styleĒ(accompaniment turned off) the single or layered voices in the two lowest octaves sound quite muddy & bassy to me. This is not an issue with the concert grand piano voice because I suspect Yamaha has worked hard to make that patch playable without accompaniment. I am also not concerned with the solo instruments such as sax, trumpet, flutes, as they do work fine as RH only instruments. I am specifically referring to sustaining voices, such as choir, strings, brass pads & some organs when I play something Classical or orchestral. Sure I can turn on an Ethereal Movie or Cinema style in the LH and it sounds great, but once in a while I want to play without it.

My comparison here is to a MODX synth, which I previously owned. Some of you may not be aware that Yamaha arrangers and MODX/Montage share many of the same or similar waveforms, yet MODX right out of the box handles these voices better without the muddiness and bass in the lower octaves. Obviously Yamaha has done something to optimize its arranger voices for RH playing vs. their MODX voices which sound better across the whole keyboard.

Regarding fixes to this issue. I spent several hours changing low and high EQ settings in the mixer or voice edit without much difference. Going one octave up, or transposing the whole key helps in the lower octaves but is too high in the upper octaves. Assigning a duplicate voice to the LH part works (Yamaha seems to automatically makes this voice one octave higher than RH) however itís not a rich combo sound and it of course splits the keyboard, which I donít want.

Would a particular insert effect help? Any other thoughts?

Rich

That's because you're playing outside of the instrument range. The modx handles it 'better' by fading it off outside the actual real range. A saxophone's note range is about 2.5 octaves. That's it. There are no real samples above and below that range; they *can* swapout to a different sax (Tenor to Alto to Soprano as you go up or Baritone as you go down) but that's about it. The lowest note on a Baritone sax is C2, anything below that and it's the same sample being played back slower. So yeah, you're going to get 'weird' instrument sounds. You have to learn from trial and error where the 'correct sounding' ranges are.

And yes most of the sounds (except the pianos) are shared... in fact, that S.Art Tenor sax that's driving Bogdan crazy with the spitty legato (the sound of the condensation comes in at low velocities after about 1 second) is on the Modx and Montage. I just tried it. The patch is called "Tenor Max". Same exact patch.

Mark

Offline p$manK32

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2023, 11:16:41 PM »
That's because you're playing outside of the instrument range. The modx handles it 'better' by fading it off outside the actual real range.

Mark,
Good explanation. As you can see in my initial post I am not expecting instruments like sax, flute, trumpet to play well out of their ranges.

On the other hand, MODX does handle choir/strings/tutti type of combos really well in those lower registers. For example, playing 2 or 3 notes of a chord on MODX in the lower octaves to thicken the overall sound works nicely. So there is quite a difference on the SX900 in comparison to it. Your comment that Yamaha ďfadesĒ them off better on MODX is probably the answer I was looking for, though not sure how they accomplished that and why they couldnít apply this to their arranger keyboards. Maybe Iím the only one that wants it.

Rich
« Last Edit: May 25, 2023, 11:51:27 PM by p$manK32 »
 

Offline Amwilburn

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2023, 01:09:21 AM »
No, it definitely feels like they just didn't bother on arrangers; so if you hit a *really* high note, it can squeal and hurt your ears. I guess they figured why bother? But yeah, a rolloff /fade past the real note ranges would have been appreciated everywhere.

Offline mikf

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2023, 07:13:00 AM »
I think there can be several reasons for this, and the sample limitation may be one. But editing or adding effects to the voice can also do it. I nearly always hear this same thing in those ďimprovedĒ piano samples that people post. They thicken up the voice so it sounds good to them played as a one note melody over lh accompaniment, but played as a full piano keyboard it usually sounds muddy in lower registers, or when chords are played.
Mike
 
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Offline p$manK32

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2023, 05:28:18 PM »
They thicken up the voice so it sounds good to them played as a one note melody over lh accompaniment, but played as a full piano keyboard it usually sounds muddy in lower registers, or when chords are played.
Mike

I have heard several of those piano voices with the muddy lower registers as you describe. But I am able to get my piano & piano combos sounding quite acceptable to me across the whole keyboard. String and organ voices are not too bad, but not great in the lower registers. The glaring example seems to be the choir voices. Playing the piece Agnes Dei for example, using only choir voices on SX900 with both hands, sounds awful compared to playing this with similar choirs on MODX.

Rich
« Last Edit: May 26, 2023, 05:34:35 PM by p$manK32 »
 

Offline pjd

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2023, 06:06:56 PM »
I own and play both MODX and Genos. I've also crawled through the voice programming on both.

There are genuine differences between the two instruments. Sometimes the sound designer added samples from a related instrument to fill out the bottom (or top) range. One example may be double reeds where bassoon fills out the bottom below the natural range for an oboe. (Cello and violin -- the same.) I'd like to say that Yamaha does this consistently, but they do not!

The MODX "Bassoon 3" voice has bassoon, oboe, clarinet and flute waveforms! The blend can be made using the AWM2 Amplitude Scale parameters which breaks the note range into five subranges and assigns an amplitude level offset to each subrange.

Yes, you get the ability to edit Amplitude Scale on a synth. YEM, nope.

Hope this helps -- pj

 
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Offline p$manK32

Re: muddy voices in lower octaves with no accompaniment on
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2023, 07:27:46 PM »
pj,

That sounds like it explains a lot. I just figured something was different with the 2 instruments. Both SX and MODX are really cool but I couldnít afford to keep both. The arranger is just more versatile and fun for me personally. The synths are just too technical to program myself. Interesting that even the Genos at itís price range is no better with this issue.

In the end, my fix for these voices mentioned in my original post is to simply apply a voice such as the choir to the LH (Yamaha gives you a default higher octave that works well) and then turn on a simple freeplay style like OnBroadway for a nice rich strings with the choir over it. Accompaniment style is required but at least no muddyness in lower register.

Rich
« Last Edit: May 28, 2023, 07:27:44 PM by p$manK32 »