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Posted on: July 16, 2009 @ 10:14 PM
midinut
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I just finished watching my Get Motifated! Volume 2 DVD and noticed in the lessons on PLG boards that they showed a retail box for a PLG150-VH. I thought it was only available as the PLG100-VH. If a 150 model does exist what are the differences between the two? Are they similar to the differences between the DX boards (100 vs 150)? Thanks in advance.

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Posted on: July 17, 2009 @ 07:52 AM
nbadesign
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midinut - 16 July 2009 10:14 PM

I just finished watching my Get Motifated! Volume 2 DVD and noticed in the lessons on PLG boards that they showed a retail box for a PLG150-VH. I thought it was only available as the PLG100-VH. If a 150 model does exist what are the differences between the two? Are they similar to the differences between the DX boards (100 vs 150)? Thanks in advance.

It was mistake. Only PLG100-VH exists. On the other side, there are two DX boards (PLG100 and PLG150), but if you have plans to buy it, consider only PLG150-DX, since PLG100 doesn’t have RAM so you could not create User board voices and also some presets would not work. See more explanation from Bad Mister in this archive thread.
I’m using PLG150DX and its like you have DX7 with powerfull effect processor under your fingers. Highly recomended!

Alex

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Posted on: July 18, 2009 @ 01:03 PM
midinut
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Thanks again Alex. I had already made up my mind to put a DX board in my third slot. I already have the VL and AN boards. It was after watching that DVD that I thought the VH board would be cool to have as well. They seem to be pretty cheap when they do appear on ebay so I may grab one anyway and swap it out from time to time.

... if only there was ONE MORE SLOT ... right?

(I know .. the gear slut in me is already considering a used ES rack just in case I like the other PLG boards as well.)

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Posted on: July 18, 2009 @ 06:05 PM
PeterS
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I just bought a new one on ebay for $102.00 plus $10 shipping. I know Sweetwater still has them in stock for $149.00 w/ free shipping.

Pete

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Posted on: July 19, 2009 @ 01:52 PM
nbadesign
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midinut - 18 July 2009 01:03 PM

Thanks again Alex. I had already made up my mind to put a DX board in my third slot. I already have the VL and AN boards. It was after watching that DVD that I thought the VH board would be cool to have as well. They seem to be pretty cheap when they do appear on ebay so I may grab one anyway and swap it out from time to time.

… if only there was ONE MORE SLOT ... right?

(I know .. the gear slut in me is already considering a used ES rack just in case I like the other PLG boards as well.)

I agree with you about number of slots. When I bought my ES I didn’t think about slots. But, I’ve heard demos for VL with BC3 and bought it. Then I saw very cheap AN board at my local store and say, OK why not. Voices are really amazing, also reminds me to some ages when I was to young :). Finally, I bought DX board. Maybe just because I should buy DX7 that 1984, but didn’t for some other reasons. I also consider VH board, so maybe Rack would be a nice solution. Then XS or XS rack, then… It’s neverending story!!

Alex

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Posted on: August 04, 2009 @ 12:13 AM
midinut
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So for those of you that have now or have owned in the past a VH board ... can you get vocal harmonies similar to what you can do with the Digitech Vocalist Live 2 or 4? What I mean is 2 or 4 part harmonies? And if so, how does it follow the pitch? Is there any programming involved, as in telling it what key and what intervals, or does it just follow the notes you play on the keyboard? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I think I may have found my answer by digging a little deeper ...

This was posted in a reply by Bad_Mister on page 2 of this thread. It appears it handled notes manually and not “automatically” based on the notes you play into it:

Re: Motif XS Vocoder

There is a huge difference. The PLG100-VH, which does not work in the Motif XS, is a vocal harmony board (thus the VH). It is a harmonizer and can add three voices to your Voice to make as many as four part hamony. You can instruct it by feeding it particular chords that it recognizes… it will then according to the “mode”, add three Voices above you in pitch, below you or around you. So you can be the lead, the bass or the alto or tenor Voice… and the VH boards will add (generate) the other 3 voices qualities.

You can use a “Pitch Correct” function which lets you control three ‘synthesized’ Voices (generated by the PLG100-VH) and it will strictly follow the MIDI note(s) you play - this is the so-called “Vocoder effect” that the PLG100-VH does. (MIDI) Notes you play on the keyboard will determine the pitch of the synthesized vocal sound. Three note poly!

In a strict sense this is not a real vocoder - which works differently. A ‘true’ vocoder allows a microphone input to modify a synth sound. Letting your vocal articulations (from the mic input) shape the result… but the pitch and tone comes strictly from the synth sound you have assigned to the synthesizer - the more harmonics (toward noise) in the sound, the more intelligible it will be. No pitch comes from your voice input, all pitch is determined by the sound of the notes you play on the synthesizer… The Vocoder in the XS is a true vocoder and is therefore 128 note poly!!!

That said, the PLG100-VH sounds more like humans singing, or can.
The Vocoder in the XS sounds, well, like a “traditional” Vocoder.

The PLG100-VH is not a real vocoder because it does not marry your vocal articulations to a sound coming from a synthesizer tone engine. It simply takes your vocal input and forces it to follow pitches from the keybed (MIDI info only) - the actual sound (VOICE) you have selected on the synth has no influence whatever. The VH board totally “synthesizes” the resulting voice.

Tuned just right the PLG100-VH can sound like a group of people singing - that is when it is doing its “Chordal” function - in “Vocoder” mode you can change the gender of the voice from male to female or vice versa… or make it more or less robotic, you can even make yourself sound like Barry White, etc., because it has formant control… remember the “pitch correct” function is used so that the VH created Voice is depending on the MIDI key press for pitch - that makes it sort of “like” a vocoder… but not really.

The Vocoder in the XS (a true vocoder) is what has been described as robot-voices and always has its characteristic tone. And although you have Formant shifting capability - the character of a Vocoder is its own sound.  Less likely to fool someone but very much its own sound… since the actual sound of the synth tone engine is what is being ‘effected"… polyphony is a function of the tone engine of the synth. The Vocoder here (XS) is an Insertion Effect applied to the synth sound.

While the PLG100-VH is an Insertion Effect applied to the microphone (AD) input…

Hope that is clear (or at least is somewhat clearer).

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Posted on: August 04, 2009 @ 11:24 AM
Wastrel
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midinut - 04 August 2009 12:13 AM

So for those of you that have now or have owned in the past a VH board ... can you get vocal harmonies similar to what you can do with the Digitech Vocalist Live 2 or 4? What I mean is 2 or 4 part harmonies? And if so, how does it follow the pitch? Is there any programming involved, as in telling it what key and what intervals, or does it just follow the notes you play on the keyboard? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
.

I have never used the Digitech unit so cannot comment, but the VH does indeed generate 2 to 4 part harmony (your voice plus up to 3 additional parts). It somehow (miraculously) calculates the proper intervals from the notes you play on the keyboard and produces very convincing vocal harmony. I find it absolutely transparent to use. In other words, once I set it up, I just play and sing into the microphone and the VH does the rest. I don’t know if my style of playing lends itself to this sort of effect or if I subconsciously adapt my playing to support harmonizing. In any event, I find it very easy and intuitive to use. I don’t use the vocoder type effect since I can’t stand robotic sounding music, but it seems to work well enough for that purpose too.

Bob

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Posted on: August 04, 2009 @ 09:16 PM
midinut
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Thanks Bob.

That’s exactly the info I was looking for. I suppose there is no other way to see if it will do what I want except for trying it. I’ll keep my eyes open for a used VH card and try it out. If it doesn’t do what I need or my playing style doesn’t adapt well to controlling the harmony voices, then I can always re-sell it and grab the Digitech. Thanks again.

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Posted on: August 04, 2009 @ 09:44 PM
PeterS
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I recently got one. It is a lot of fun and sounds good. I heard a demo from the TC Helicon and I heard no difference in the quality. It can be used in several manners as BM described. You can sequence midi data or choose chords for it to replicate which follows what you play on the keyboard. I use it in the simplest of ways. I put the board in an set some parameters in the A/D section and I was off.

I sing into the mic and whatever 3 note chord I play, it repeats in 3 voices with no other sound coming from the ES. I don’t need it for a live situation but rather to record background vocals so I don’t need the ES to play another instrument simultaneously which is where the sequencer is used. I simply use the keyboard to give me the notes that the VH will reproduce. You can sing a single note and hold it and in the meantime change the notes you play on the keyboard and the harmonies will follow the keyboard even though you are not changing the note you are singing. For example you can play a triad and go to a suspended chord or add a maj7.

Of course it doesn’t sound as real as with 3 singers, but if you put it in the mix correctly with the right EQ and effects, you probably could fool most of the people most of the time.

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Posted on: August 05, 2009 @ 11:27 PM
PeterS
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Just another thought. Instead of getting a DX board, you could pick up a TX7 module like I did which resolves your problem of needing a 4th slot. I got it for $20. And I just came across a DX manager that someone (Jon Morgan) created almost 20 years ago. He has updated it a few times with the most recent update this year for XP & I believe Vista. It contains 8000 DX patches that are organized in category of sounds, and the program is laid out better than most I have seen. It is extremely intuitive and well thought out. It used to be free but now it is free for 30 days and only costs $15.00 which includes all future updates for free. It’s worth 4 times that much. Check it out.

http://fm-alive.com

PeterS

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Posted on: August 05, 2009 @ 11:59 PM
PeterS
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Here is some more info from the site:( I highlighted one feature in particular...the Patch Generator)

Edits any Yamaha DX series voice patch data file : compressed/uncompressed, with/without wrappers.

Powerful MIDI engine - send/receive and edit patches, banks and files. Monitor, send and edit MIDI messages.

Works with multiple patch files open simultaneously. Rapid patch auditioning with on-board MIDI file player.

Organises patches in simple tree structures - drag & drop patches within/between files. Versatile patch find, sort and group tools .

Prints voice lists and patch parameters with full Print Preview formatting. Saves to rtf file.

Comprehensive patch editing - work on several voices simultaneously - drag & drop voice elements and parameters between patches in the same voice, file or to a different file.

All voice parameters displayed in a single patch editor window or switch to tabbed display. Full graphical, “hear as you go” editing.

Powerful patch generator tool (6-Operator DXxx only) - automates creation of totally new patches from existing voices using a simple tree structure to manage patch/parameter selections.

DX to SY file converter - sonically accurate conversions from DXx to 1AFM file SY series synth file formats.

For DX7II users, four tool editors covering Performance, Microtuning, Fractional Scaling and System Setup settings.
For DX7I users a system based Function Editor.

For TX81Z/DX11 users, six tool editors covering Performance, Microtuning(Octave and keyboard), Effects, Program Change and System Setup settings.

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Posted on: August 10, 2009 @ 05:35 PM
midinut
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Thanks Peter:

I’m looking at the web site now. That is an option I hadn’t considered before. I think an added benefit to having the PLG card would be the ability to use the host internal effects on the DX sounds, which IIRC don’t have any effects on them - nor the TX7. You are correct that it would conserve a slot. I’ll take it under advisement. And thanks again!

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Posted on: August 11, 2009 @ 01:50 PM
nbadesign
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midinut - 10 August 2009 05:35 PM

Thanks Peter:

I’m looking at the web site now. That is an option I hadn’t considered before. I think an added benefit to having the PLG card would be the ability to use the host internal effects on the DX sounds, which IIRC don’t have any effects on them - nor the TX7. You are correct that it would conserve a slot. I’ll take it under advisement. And thanks again!

I agree with you midinut. TX7 has the same sounds indeed, but haveing those sounds going through Motif’s powerfull effect processors and beter keyboard velocity tuning (velocity could go from 1 to 127 instead from 1 to 100 in original DX). So, in that case you have upgraded DX instrument!

Alex

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Posted on: August 18, 2009 @ 09:39 AM
PeterS
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Actually there is a work around. I plugged the TX7 into the A/D input and set it to line. In Performance I lowered the volume of the Motif to 0. In the Audio In section I have access to the system effects. I am still trying to find a way to access the insert effects which I have switched on for the A/D input but can’t find access to them.

Pete

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Posted on: August 18, 2009 @ 10:19 AM
PeterS
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Ok I got it. I don’t know how I missed it the first time. After you turn on the insert switch for A/D in Effect, go back to Audio In and hit Ins Type. You now have insert & system effects set up for any external device.

PeterS

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Posted on: August 20, 2009 @ 06:59 AM
midinut
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May be worth giving a whirl ... I mean how much is it gonna cost you to try this path? Not much I’d say. Thanks Peter for all the legwork!

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