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#170287 - 04/14/07 07:35 AM What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4704
Loc: West Virginia
Folks sorry if this is a bit off topic, but it also involves arrangers a bit too. My question is "What the hell is Yamaha doing?"

Its really no secret that a up until a few years ago arranger keyboards often had better acoustic or "bread and butter" sounds than the synths. It has been said for years that if you want good acoustic sounds and are into traditional styles of music, get yourself a good quality arranger keyboard, and if you're into electroncia get your paws on a synth/workstation.

Yamaha realized the pontential in carrying over those good PSR acoustic voices to the synth line. Which was clearly seen with the release of the Motif Classic. It was a smart move, and widely accepted with synth owners.

However, thoughout the developement of the Motif series Yamaha has really pushed away the electronica market. With the release of each Motif series it seems more and more "synth power" is being taken away. The Motif series has been an "acoustically orientated" series of synths from Yamaha. They've gone completely soft in this area. Look at the expansion options that have been dropped too.

The Motif XS is a clear example of Yamaha's new "softer" synth. Most of its marketing as been towards "acoustic emulation". Did you guys know that Yamaha dropped the "breath controller", and even "step recording" on the Motif XS????

I was planning on buying a new keyboard here in a few months (gotta re-model the bathroom first), but man I really feel let down by Yamaha here. The other makers have focused a great deal on the acoustic voices too, but Korg, and Roland at least are still holding on to the electronica market way better than Yamaha.

Anywho sorry to rant. Just feel like Yammie's shafting the synth line and has pushed away a whole market.

**Nigel if you feel this should be in the bar go ahead and move it...
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GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170288 - 04/14/07 07:48 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43635
Loc: USA
Synths are Synths ....Arrangers are Arrangers.....I really dont feel the real closeness any time soon if at all especially as Pc based music progresses day by day......manufacturers are not stupid there is a reason for this. You might have a very long wait.

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#170289 - 04/14/07 08:10 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4704
Loc: West Virginia
That's the thing though Dnj, With these new synth/workstations it's hard to say a "synth is a synth" anymore. How would you guys feel if Yamaha went the other way with arrangers. People have been complaining for years that synth sounds in arrangers are extremely weak. What if the tides changed there, and Yamaha started focusing the attention on the synth sounds, and arrangers became more synth orientated? I imagine that wouldn't sit well with many.
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170290 - 04/14/07 12:19 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
TommyF Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 648
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Squeak, I can understand your frustration. Personally I don't mind the trend towards more acoustic sounds in synths; actually I will be one of the first to write a check when Yamaha releases a Motif XS Rack. In case you haven't heard them yet here are some amazing Motif XS demos:

Motif XS Demos

Kind regards,
Tommy


[This message has been edited by TommyF (edited 04-14-2007).]
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Yamaha PSR-S770, Korg Krome 61

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#170291 - 04/14/07 01:34 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43635
Loc: USA
Squeak be it as it may....but always remember no matter what you may think of keyboard sounds it will NEVER replace the real instruments played by real musicians....here in is where the problem will always lie.....we may imitate but we will never replace.

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#170292 - 04/14/07 02:37 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4704
Loc: West Virginia
Dnj,
Trust me I know that no keyboard will ever replace any acoustic instrument. It's just depressing to see that the synth/workstation is heading in the other direction in terms of sounds used for electronica. I never thought I'd be saying "Gee this synth has great acoustic sounds, but the synth sounds just suck". I never dreamed I say that about a synth...

Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170293 - 04/14/07 06:12 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Squeak,

I would agree that for me, of the big "3" the Motif series has the weakest synth sounds. I would even rate the PA80 better than the my ES in this area.

Remember though, we're talking samples in the first place. Donny said " synths are synths, but really, you can run with that and say "workstations are workstations, not synths". Although sample based synths allow us to create many new synth sounds that were not possible in analog machines, the digital filters used in most of the current workstations are quite limited, and don't seem to stack up well against the analog filtering schemes of yesteryear.

Then again, these workstations are not trying to emulate a pure synth. I think they are trying to offer an "all in one" solution instead, a sort of hardware sample based DAW / Instrument.

You can get very close with digital filters, as witnessed by some of today's vitual analogs, but often you don't get the exact sounds in part at least because digital filters don't drift like the older analogs did. There are however, newer software synths that have a variable drift function. Even one of the freeware minimoogs has it, and with just a hair of drift applied it really does remind me of the real thing.

The cure for the Motif series is an easy one though. I added an analog modeling AN150 plug in that makes it a vitual AN1X or AN200. These were hardware Yamaha Analog modeled synths that did a very faithful Prophet 5 emulation.

AJ
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AJ

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#170294 - 04/14/07 08:40 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12910
Loc: NW Florida
Donny, what's a 'real' synthesizer? Acoustic emulation is only one small part of keyboard playing. They've been using strong synth sounds on records since the 60s (and before if you want to get academic!)

In fact, there's barely any need for acoustic emulation for most modern electronica and dance musics. Squeak's kind of pointing out the move BACK towards acoustic emulation as more specialized 'virtual' synths get popular.

When it comes to keyboard emulation, well, that's a little bit different that, say, sax emulation or strings.... First of all, there are very few players using the 'real thing' to replace. And if a Rhodes sound or clavinet sits in the mix indistinguishably from a real one, well, job well done! No need to get worked up about that...

And as to emulation of other, non-keyboard sounds, it all kind of depends on how much time and attention you can put into phrasing, bending, blowing, etc., while you are still trying to input chords with your left hand. If you don't have to deal with all that (by using SMFs, mp3's, or Chord Sequencers), it's pretty amazing how close you can get to fooling the discerning listener.

I guarantee there's a ton of TV scores and even film scores that you have no idea that's a keyboard player you are listening to. You're thinking, nice oboist, or flautist, but it's all these Giga sized orchestral libraries. The SA technology has been around for quite a while in some of the Giga 'triggers', and the only thing you have to do to make it really authentic is to make sure you get inside the head of the player you are trying to emulate, just make sure that your lines are idiomatic.

After that, don't be surprised that no-one can tell the difference....!

I think sax is the final frontier.... It's definitely the last instrument to get really close by emulation. It just has such an enormous timbral range, and some VERY non-linear things that happen as you go from one note to another. Yammie's SA sax is the first thing I've ever heard that gets the inter-note transitions well, but it still can't quite get the full range of timbre. But a huge step in the right direction, and given that it is VERY new technology, I expect we'll see it get better and better over the years.

Getting inside the head of a sax player, now THAT's the really hard part. These guys spend their entire lives thinking ONLY about the line, the melody, one note at a time. It's a real challenge as a keyboard player to get THAT focused on just one note at a time!

As to ROMplers getting back to more 'acoustic' sounds, squeak, I think that's hardly surprising, as 'virtual' analog synths do a FAR better job of synthesis emulation, now the bar is so high that good samples just don't cut it. The new MotifXS unfortunately doesn't have the slots for the 'virtual analog' board any more, do they? So it's ROM wave sample emulation, nowhere near as good as virtual analog....

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#170295 - 04/15/07 12:08 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Nick G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1056
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by squeak_D:

However, thoughout the developement of the Motif series Yamaha has really pushed away the electronica market. With the release of each Motif series it seems more and more "synth power" is being taken away. The Motif series has been an "acoustically orientated" series of synths from Yamaha. They've gone completely soft in this area.



The reason why Yamaha are moving to a more realistic / acoustic sound if because alot of those electronic poxy synth noises are stuck in the 80s and we have moved on...

The Motif ES or XS still has enough power and sound quality to create any style of dance/trance/electronica/RnB/HipHop/Rap music that you want and it definitely sounds like the real stuff u hear big popular artists using...

the demos alone are enough to blow u away and thats just demos from the internet!

Old features get dropped as new features come in and replace them, thats just natural. If a company doesn't follow these trends then they will fall behind...

Don't let pen and paper statistics throw you in doubt, let your ears be the judge. Synths / work stations are all about being creative - the motif has sampling anyways and syncs with Cakewalk / Cubase so anything u can make on a Roland or Korg you can definitely make on the Yamaha...
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Korg PA4x / Yamaha PSR SX900 / Roland G70 / Roland BK9

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#170296 - 04/15/07 07:22 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Nick,

I agree that one can emulate a lot of today's popular music with the Motif series boards, but for quite a few players and songwriters, a lot of the allure in certain areas of the electronica genres is in trying to come up with and blend new soundscapes. Workstations can do the "been there done that" stuff very well, but for me, for cutting edge sounds, it makes more sense to have a dedicated synth with sampling and analog or analog modeled filters.

This is not a strength of the Motif ES, or any other workstation for that matter.
You can add your own samples, a tedious task at best in the Motif ES, but quite doable. Still, the filtering scheme just isn't there. Add to that the fact that you have to scroll through menus to change a lot of the parameters that are there. There isn't enough real time control to satisfy me when I want to warp a sound or create a new one.

The ES is a great instrument for what it does, and it does a lot of things quite well. I'm still happy with mine. It just isn't my first ( or 2d or 3rd ..etc ) choice when I am looking for fat analog sounds or for more modern cutting edge sample based sounds. If I had bought it with the mindset that it was going to be the equivalent of a dedicated synth, I would have walked away quite disappointed.

AJ



[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 04-15-2007).]
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AJ

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