Yamaha MODX: Multi-track recording/editing with Ableton

While the Yamaha MODX comes with a Cubase license, I still prefer to use Ableton Live. (A fox never gets rid of his old tricks) All info on the internet, youtube and the Yamaha website and forum, all relates to Cubase. (except one, which is a tutorial for doing single track recording in Ableton)

So I was more or less on my own on this one … I wrote this tutorial not only for you, my dear readers, but also for myself, as a “remember howto” 🙂

This tutorial is divided into 3 main pieces:
1. Setup the Yamaha ModX
2. Setup Ableton Live
3. Save your ModX settings for further reference

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Right-click on such a thumbnail, and click “open in new tab”, to get a full-resolution picture

1. Setup the Yamaha MODX
Luckely I discovered a way to make screenshots on the ModX 🙂
First of all, make sure your settings are as like in the following screenshots.

Next, initialise your performance, and start adding instruments to midi-channels.
Assign audio channels to every part, as needed (select the midi channel, and click “edit”). If you want to have all audio on one output-pair, then set it for every midi channel, to always the same Part Output. If you want to have different instruments on different audio outputs, then choose different audio channels in Part Output.
The ModX has 10 output audio channels. L&R are the main audio output channels, they are not separable.
They are input 1/2 on your computer.
Output 1 till 8 can be used as stereo pairs or as mono outputs.
(This gives you the possibility to output 8 midi channels to 8 different audio outputs)
Output 1 till 8 are linked to input 3 till 10 on your computer.
Make sure you disable Keyboard control for every midi channel.
Afterwards, you find your complete midi channel and instrument settings under the performances list, with the name you provided earlier.

2. Setup Ableton Live
Depending on what you want to record (Midi, Audio or both), your Ableton Live settings looks a little different.
The following picture gives you an idea on how to setup Ableton to record the first 4 midi channels (instruments) from ModX to separate Midi tracks. It also gives you the possibility to records all 4 instruments onto separate stereo audio tracks into Ableton.
(Make sure you did set the “part output” for every midi channel to separate audio parts)

The next picture, shows you how to record the 4 midi channels, and record the audio of all 4 channels into 1 audio track.
(Make sure you did set the “part output” for every midi channel to the same audio parts)
If you only want to record audio, you only need to put audio channel(s) for the corresponding audio channel(s) from the ModX.
(Midi channel in this picture is for reference only)

3. Save your ModX settings for further reference
Like saving your Ableton project for later modification, it is also possible to save your ModX settings. I advise you to use the same name in ModX and Ableton, so you would find things back easily.

You can also save your performance to a USB stick, so when you re-initialise your ModX, you can re-load your settings.
This is done via the “User File” option, and selecting the USB stick as source/destination.
In general, data that is loaded to the MODX User Bank can be saved to your USB stick as a .X8U File
Touch “Contents” > “Store/Save”
Set the “Content Type” = User File
Tap the box “Save as New User File”
Give the File a name that will remind you of what data you are saving.
Touch “Done” the MODX will create the file with this name and it will add the extension .X8U
This file type can be used to restore the contents to your MODX or any other MODX. This file will represent all data currently in your User Bank which remains in the User Memory (data in your User Bank will remain in your User Bank until you Initialize the User settings or you load a different .X8U File)…
If later you create additional Performances you will want to update this .X8U File adding your new creations to it… you can do so by going to [UTILITY] > “Contents” > “Store/Save” > Set “Content Type” = User File, but this time find the previous File by Name and tap that box… you will be asked if you want to Overwrite the existing file…. doing so will update the file.

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