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Viewing topic "S90XS Strange Polyphony"

Posted on: March 03, 2013 @ 03:04 PM
Total Posts:  36
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

Greetings, I’m new to this forum but have been reading it for awhile.  Thanks to everyone for the good information on here.

I have owned my s90XS for less than a year and really like it and am still learning.  I have noticed something strange about the polyphony.  I understand that the 128 polyphony is counting the ELEMENTS not the VOICES.  And I understand as with all my keyboards that when you exceed the amount of polyphony the notes having previously been played will drop out and the new notes will sound.  However it seems to work a bit differently on my s90XS.  I use it mainly in PERFORMANCE MODE with several layers at a time.  When I max out the polyphony it will actually delay the next chord or notes that I play.  Very irritating and distracting.  Also it does something else I find very strange.  If I have three to four ORGAN voices layered together and I do a gliss the notes are delayed and then try to catch up and actually play after my hands have left the keyboard.  To duplicate this, layer four organ voices and starting from the lower end of the keyboard smear as many notes as you can all the way up the keyboard.  You must do it very fast.  The notes will not keep up with you and will finish playing AFTER your hand has left the keyboard.

Has anyone else experienced this.  It would be interesting for some others to try this and see if you get the same results. 
Thanks for any help you can offer.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 03, 2013 @ 06:17 PM
Total Posts:  36620
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

Welcome to the forums!

When you run the instrument out of polyphony you have convinced yourself, incorrectly by the way, that something logical will happen, when you run the instrument out of polyphony the behavior is likely to seem completely irrational and iratic. When in fact It is the equivalent of poor musicianship or making a mistake while playing.

You can blame the technology if you wish, and many do, but if you are aware of how polyphony works you should be able to create Voices and Performances within the working specification of the instrument, if not, it is really YOUR choice not to do so.

There is no equivalent or analogy I can draw you that would be exactly the same on acoustic instruments… but let’s say you are a guitarists, you have six notes of polyphony, period. You cannot create a setting that is going to run the guitar out of polyphony… You are not going to play an eight or ten note chord by mistake! Right?

But that is what you are doing… And because the architecture of electronic instruments is what it is you can exceed its limit with an unfortunate assignment of resources. But it is your choice.

Layering some times (most times in my opinion) is NOT the best way to get a bigger, thicker, richer sound, not when you can use Effect processing to do the job within the specification of the instrument. And certainly, running out of polyphony can be avoided ... with the ability to switch Elements dynamically (XA CONTROL) during play.

Like a guitarists that hits that seven note chord (by mistake), you have to learn how to better use the resources of the instrument. View all things that exceed the spec as playing that seventh string on the six string guitar!

Layering Voices that are already layered Elements and using the sustain pedal, or doing a gliss well, if those musical gestures are going to be apart of your performing, a wise use of the technology would be to prepare the Voices you select for those gestures.

You wouldn’t just use the sustain pedal on a Voice not set to respond to sustain, so why would you use the sustain pedal, unedited, on a Voice that responds incorrectly to the sustain pedal, or causes a problem? Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question… You wouldn’t.

Why would you layer sounds that behave poorly when executing a gliss?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 03, 2013 @ 07:24 PM
Total Posts:  36
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

Thanks for responding to my post.  You are right, it would be poor musicianship and a mistake to keep trying to force an instrument (or anything) to do something it was not meant to do or that causes a problem.  I’ve actually been able to work with it very well by making sure that the voices I layer do not contain too many elements as to be a problem for the song I am programing.  As for organ I have found it best to only use one or two at the most layered at a time depending on the part to be played.  As you said if I know the song will contain a gliss I prepare in advance and only use one voice.

I was mainly inquiring to make sure this was as expected.  It’s just been something I keep wondering if it is normal or should I have it looked at.

Thank you for explaining and putting my mind at ease.

  [ Ignore ]