Yamaha MODX8 88-Key GHS Action Synthesizer - Long & McQuade Music Educator Site
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Yamaha MODX8 88-Key GHS Action Synthesizer

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For the piano player needing a piano-focused instrument with a huge variety of sound, MODX is a synthesizer with an 88-note, weighted keyboard action. MODX has over 125 years of Yamaha piano-making craftsmanship coupled with over 40 years of creating industry-leading synthesizers.

Sound is the most important aspect of any instrument. The power of the MODX synthesis engine allows unlimited potential to create your own unique sound demanded by any artist. The MODX uses the same technology powering the flagship MONTAGE with two Iconic Sound Engines modernized for amazing sound playback and complex sound design:

  • AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) sample and synthesis engine for stunning emulative acoustic instruments, synth sounds and drums.

  • FM-X (Frequency Modulation) a unique, expressive, highly-programmable synthesis technology for dynamic, electro-modern music creation.

MODX features 128-note stereo AWM2 polyphony and 64-notes of FM-X polyphony. Due to the unique architecture of MODX and MONTAGE, this polyphony is always available without latency or compromising other features.

MODX includes 1 GB of non-volatile user flash memory with high speed reading/writing for your own custom samples or synth libraries from yamahamusicsoft.com.

From high definition reverbs to incredibly detailed Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) effects, MODX is loaded with DSP innovation, power and, most importantly, sound quality. Use effects like Beat Repeat, Vinyl Break or Bit Crusher to get EDM sound. The Spiralizer effect creates the auditory illusion of a tone continually rising or falling in pitch without getting higher or lower. You can even add a compressor with sidechain for a modern "ducking" effect. Or go retro with vintage effects like Analog Delay, VCM Phaser or a variety of Amp Simulators. Piano players will appreciate piano-focused effects like Damper Resonance for a super-realistic piano experience and the HD reverbs that let you put yourself in any performance space.

Coupled with two A/D inputs, MODX is a perfect centerpiece for any professional recording studio or live computer rig.

As expected for modern computer-based music production, MODX features a professional 4-in/10-out, multi-channel USB audio interface. A single-cable connection replaces the need for an external audio interface. iOS compatible.

Every artist wants to sound unique. Take control and stand out from the crowd. Bring the sophistication of music production automation to realtime live performance with Motion Control. The Motion Control System is a completely new feature for variably controlling Motions (rhythmical, multidimensional sound changes) in real time. This amazingly powerful feature dramatically and dynamically alters the sounds of the instrument in new, never-heard-before ways - changing texturally, rhythmically with the beats, providing cool, colorful lighting effects, and responding expressively to your creative passion.

The Motion Control System has three main functions:
  • Super Knob - The Super Knob allows simultaneous control of up to 128 parameters in a single Performance. This means you can control nearly anything from mix functions like volume, pan and effect sends to detailed synth parameters like filters, LFOs and Operators.

  • Motion Sequences - Motion Sequences are tempo-synchronized, completely customizable control sequences that can be assigned to virtually any synthesizer parameter and provide incredible new ways of creating sound. Motion Sequences also have dedicated controls on the front panel making it easy to manipulate and change in real-time, providing incredible interactivity and expression.

  • Envelope Follower - The Envelope Follower converts audio into a control source for control of virtually any synthesizer parameter. For example, a drum loop could drive effects parameters for a cool rhythm or a vocal recording could control multiple parameters for a "talking" synthesizer. The audio can even be a "live" source through the A/D input.

ABS (Audio Beat Sync) detects the beat of and external device like an electronic drum kit, drum machine or audio player plugged into the A/D input and synchronizes the MODX Arpeggiator, Motion Sequencer or Songs to the tempo of the external input. The MODX synthesizer "listens" to live music and plays in time.

MODX is bundled with Cubase AI, Steinberg's professional music production application that offers integrated recording and editing.

The 88-note weighted Graded Hammer Action MODX8 comes in at a svelte 30.4 lbs.


Keyboard: 88 key GHS (graded hammer standard) with initial touch
Aftertouch: No

Tone Generator: Motion Control Synthesis Engine AMW2: 8 Elements FM-X: 8 Operators, 88 Algorithms

Maximum Polyphony:
AWM2: 128 (max.; stereo/mono waveforms)
FM-X: 64 (max.)

Multi Timbral Capacity: 16 Parts (internal), Audio Input Parts (A/D*, USB*) *stereo Part
Wave: Preset: 5.67 GB (when converted to 16 bit linear format), User: 1.00 GB
Performance: Approx. 2,000

Filters: 18 types

Reverb: 12 types
Variation: 76 types
Insertion (A, B): 76 types (71 types of A/D part insertion effects)
Master Effect: 15 types
Master EQ: 5 bands
1st Part EQ: 3 bands
2nd Part EQ: 2 bands

Master Volume
AD Input Gain knob
USB Volume
Pitch Bend wheel
Modulation wheel
Control Sliders x 4
Knobs x 4
Super Knob
Data dial

Display: 7" TFT Color Wide VGA LCD touch screen

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)
[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)
A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

Power Consumption: 16 W (when using PA-150B AC adaptor)

Accessories: AC adaptor (PA-150B or an equivalent recommended by Yamaha), Owner's Manual (this book), Cubase AI Download Information

Live Sets: Preset: 256 and more, User: 2,048

Tracks: 16 Sequence tracks, Tempo track, Scene track

Recording type: Real time replace, Real time overdub, Real time punch in/out

Note Capacity: Approx. 130,000 notes

Note Resolution: 480 ppq (parts per quarter note)

Tempo (BPM): 5 300

Songs: 128 songs

Arpeggio: Parts: 8 Parts simultaneous (max.), Preset: 10,239 types User: 256 types

Sequence formats: MODX original format, SMF formats 0, 1

Dimensions (W x H x D): 1,333mm (52-1/2") x 160mm (6-1/16") x 404mm (15-7/8")
Weight: 13.8 kg (30 lbs 7 oz)

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreEdmonton Whyte, Alberta
After some long hours of research over weeks I decided that the MODX was the best for value and features It is a geat piano, but also comes with some very imaginative instruments and can be connected to a DAW with no latency and great interoperability. I purchased this at the beginning of the Pandemic when it hadn't reached Canada with the intention of channeling my creativity as my career is slowing down after 39 years. Little did I know what magical connections to music the MODX88 would enable. I play it every day and I love the weighted keyboard and look forward to learning the huge range of parameters that are part of this very customizable synthesizer.
Posted by Alan Booth on Dec 1, 2020
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Yamaha MODX Overview Video