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Which has the better FM engine -- Kronos or Montage/MODX ?
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Which FM engine is better: Kronos or Montage/MODX?
Kronos MOD-7 by a mile
46%
 46%  [ 13 ]
MOD-7 is a little better
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
MOD-7 and FM-X are about the same
7%
 7%  [ 2 ]
FM-X is slightly better
14%
 14%  [ 4 ]
Montage/MODX wins because it is Yamaha
10%
 10%  [ 3 ]
I have another opinion
17%
 17%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 28

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Poseidon
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Right now I have 2 weeks left before I have to decide whether to return or keep a MODX7. I'm no expert at FM, but I can get my way around to make basic sounds. I was expecting FM-X to be at least slightly better than the Kronos' MOD-7, but to my surprise, FM-X is very limited.

I'm curious to hear what others think, especially if you have both a Kronos and a Montage or MODX.


Follow your needs, and your own research, polls might do just opposite.
In Korg forum you get MOD-7 as a winner.
In Yamaha you will get FM-X.
There is a logic to that.
Do not let polls ruin your life. Treat it as an entertainment only.
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mikeyd
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poseidon wrote:
psionic311 wrote:
Right now I have 2 weeks left before I have to decide whether to return or keep a MODX7. I'm no expert at FM, but I can get my way around to make basic sounds. I was expecting FM-X to be at least slightly better than the Kronos' MOD-7, but to my surprise, FM-X is very limited.

I'm curious to hear what others think, especially if you have both a Kronos and a Montage or MODX.


Follow your needs, and your own research, polls might do just opposite.
In Korg forum you get MOD-7 as a winner.
In Yamaha you will get FM-X.
There is a logic to that.
Do not let polls ruin your life. Treat it as an entertainment only.



Exactly! I have both now. Just got a MODX 8 last week and each are excellent at what they do. Love both engines on both boards. I think each has a certain quality and is unique.
I returned a NORD 6D and got the Yamaha due to the ease of use, FM engine, and how they compliment each other. But honestly, like everything, research on your own as Poseidon suggests. I have returned one keyboard in all of my years of playing (a Roland) and I did a ton of research on the NORD and still didn't like it. When I played the Yamaha, I was sold. So you'll always know if a keyboard is for you. Unfortunately you can't always take them for a test drive due to availability.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. This poll is part of my research. Typically I will watch various YouTube videos for sound demos and user comments. I also have a PDF library of dozens of synths I'm interested in. I have specific MIDI needs, so that's one of the first things I research in any board.

Informed opinions on various forums is a good source of info.

And of course, getting good hands on time with a synth is the best research you can do. As I was exploring the MODX7 and its FM-X engine, I found myself wanting to specific things like make the attack quicker based on velocity, that can be done on the Kronos but has no equivalent on the MODX7.

This is one reason why I created the poll. But it was also because I wanted to get a sense of how many people are actually interested in FM programming. My initial guess is that power users are a very small minority, and those into FM programming even smaller. This means that most people will not likely dive deep into FM programming on either board, and at most just tweak presets.

It's all about sound and music anyway, and what you personally like and respond to.
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:

This is one reason why I created the poll. But it was also because I wanted to get a sense of how many people are actually interested in FM programming. My initial guess is that power users are a very small minority, and those into FM programming even smaller. This means that most people will not likely dive deep into FM programming on either board, and at most just tweak presets.


I didn't respond to the poll because I have no experience with the Yamaha offering.

However I'm very interested in FM programming (beyond tweaking presets) and think it would be great to see more discussion about programming MOD7 here. I would participate. I'm not an FM master but I'm not afraid to start from an init patch, and understand the concepts. Would like to become a master someday.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightbringer wrote:
However I'm very interested in FM programming (beyond tweaking presets) and think it would be great to see more discussion about programming MOD7 here. I would participate. I'm not an FM master but I'm not afraid to start from an init patch, and understand the concepts. Would like to become a master someday.


Today I emulated a trombone FM-X patch in MOD-7. It only used 2 operators. I'm going to reverse engineer the classic DX7 electric tine piano now.

For starters, you could take a look at the Kronos Parameter Guide on page 341. The chapter is called "Synthesis with the MOD-7: a guided tour." They walk you step by step with several examples.

The first one "Layering six saw oscillators" just familiarizes you with the structure of the MOD-7 engine: 6 operators/OSC and the patch panel. You set each OSC to a saw wave, then slightly detune them, to get a classic supersaw sound.

The next tutorial "Basic VPM" demonstrates the fundamentals of frequency modulation. You also get a taste for the hands-on control using the knobs and sliders to change ratios and volumes.

If you go through these tutorials and have any questions, feel free to post here and I'm sure we can get the ball rolling. Unfortunately I don't do videos or audio atm but as you know I often answer technical questions.
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've been through the walk throughs in the manual - a couple of times actually, they're really good! I actually wish they had done something like that for each synth in the Kronos but that seems to be the only one.

From the poll and discussion it seems like there is at least some subset of the user base here interested in programming MOD-7. So yeah, it would be great to compare notes with others!

For what it's worth, I don't see much need to look to another synth for phase modulation capabilities. MOD-7 seems to have a lifetime worth of exploration in it if you're willing to program it, and I'm sure you can create patches with plenty of "sparkle" or whatever attribute you're looking for. If I were looking at the MODX, I'd prob be doing so as more of an inexpensive/lightweight board for gigs (which I'm not currently doing, so not looking!)
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Moved comment over to new MOD-7 thread).
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted that they are about the same, as it is horses for courses. They both sound great, but can give different results as the same core architecture is there, but then you have more flexibility in MOD-7 in terms of patching, modulation, whereas FM-X is a little more modern, with 8 operators and the one thing I still love about Yamaha ever since the SY77 is the sound of their filters.

Both the Montage 7 and Kronos X 61 that I own are fantastic synths in their own rights, and go together splendidly, so I have the best of both worlds. Very Happy
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek Cook wrote:
I voted that they are about the same, as it is horses for courses. They both sound great, but can give different results as the same core architecture is there, but then you have more flexibility in MOD-7 in terms of patching, modulation, whereas FM-X is a little more modern, with 8 operators and the one thing I still love about Yamaha ever since the SY77 is the sound of their filters.

Both the Montage 7 and Kronos X 61 that I own are fantastic synths in their own rights, and go together splendidly, so I have the best of both worlds. Very Happy


Thx, Derek, having both synths does provide good perspective. They do indeed have somewhat different character in their FM engines. Being the engineering nerd I am, I'm going to bring the Kronos MOD7 character closer to FM-X territory, since it has the flexibility to do that rather than the other way around.

I'm curious about the praise for the MODX filter, will have to check that out in more detail. Now that I know how to use the dual filters in Kronos, time to experiment with some filter emulation. Going to see if I can simulate the filter responses not only in the MODX7, but also TB303, Jupiter 4p, ARP, etc.

How?

The Moog One lets you control the spacing between the dual elements in its State Variable Filter. Amazingly this changes the filter and resonance responses such that you can emulate other filter characteristics. Going to use this same principle with dual multimode filters in the Kronos.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, regarding the differences between FM operators and algorithms:

FM-X: 8 operators
MOD7: 16 operators Shocked
* audio in also available as a modulator

FM-X: no PCM operators
MOD-7: PCM operators, 4-velocity layers*
* includes streaming GB samples from disk

FM-X: sine wave, and 6 other choices
MOD-7: sine wave, and unlimited other choices (PCM)


I guess I'll have to head over to the VAST forums to defend MOD-7 as the reigning FM champ. Will be interesting to see what possibilities FM has within VAST once they release the new OS4...
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
For the record, regarding the differences between FM operators and algorithms:

FM-X: 8 operators
MOD7: 16 operators Shocked
* audio in also available as a modulator


How do you get to 16? (6 VPM + 1 PCM + 1 Noise) x 2 EXi instances per program? I guess I could see that counting, if you are able to route one MOD-7 instance output into the other on the same program. I have not tried that yet. Still figuring out what I can do with 8 operators. Smile
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:

FM-X: sine wave, and 6 other choices
MOD-7: sine wave, and unlimited other choices (PCM)


Might be worth mentioning the Adventure Kid Waveforms (AKWF) in case anyone doesn't know about these. I've used them other places, but haven't tried them on the Kronos yet. They are a nice, categorized collection of interesting single-cycle waveforms. I imagine they'd plug in really well with your use case here.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightbringer wrote:
psionic311 wrote:
For the record, regarding the differences between FM operators and algorithms:

FM-X: 8 operators
MOD7: 16 operators Shocked
* audio in also available as a modulator


How do you get to 16? (6 VPM + 1 PCM + 1 Noise) x 2 EXi instances per program? I guess I could see that counting, if you are able to route one MOD-7 instance output into the other on the same program. I have not tried that yet. Still figuring out what I can do with 8 operators. Smile


Yamaha Marketing may claim that the Montage/MODX has 8 operators, but in reality, 83 of its 88 algorithms are 6-op or less!

In fact, if you set the PCM operator to sine wave, then a single instance of a MOD-7 engine has 7 useful operators (exclude the noise operator).

This means the Kronos can do 87 out of 88 of FM-X algorithms with a basic INIT MOD-7 program.

If you *really* wanted to chain 16 operators (or even more!), you would use the Kronos super-flexible output routing to go back into Audio IN, which can then be used to continue an FM modulation chain.

In theory, with a Combi you could create a 256 operator FM algorithm! Applause
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightbringer wrote:
psionic311 wrote:

FM-X: sine wave, and 6 other choices
MOD-7: sine wave, and unlimited other choices (PCM)


Might be worth mentioning the Adventure Kid Waveforms (AKWF) in case anyone doesn't know about these. I've used them other places, but haven't tried them on the Kronos yet. They are a nice, categorized collection of interesting single-cycle waveforms. I imagine they'd plug in really well with your use case here.


Cool, thanks for the link. I think I downloaded those somewhere on my computer, for use with the synths on the Caustic app. Can't hurt to stock up on samples.

And don't forget the Kronos has a nice selection of tri/saw/pulse/DWGS Single Cycle waves from various synths as well.
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Lightbringer
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:

Cool, thanks for the link. I think I downloaded those somewhere on my computer, for use with the synths on the Caustic app. Can't hurt to stock up on samples.

And don't forget the Kronos has a nice selection of tri/saw/pulse/DWGS Single Cycle waves from various synths as well.


Ooh, good point - I had forgotten there were single cycles in the ROM banks. Really, between phase modulation, waveshaping, AM and ring mod, there are so many ways to create different wave forms in MOD-7 that you would probably never need to bother with sampled single cycles.

But never hurts to have them, I suppose. They don't take up a lot of space. Though I suppose you'd have to convert them to multisamples to use them in the MOD-7. That might be a lot of work to do that, one by one. I assume one of the 3rd party sample software tools out there might be able to do it more automatically but I haven't tried those out.
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