A stunning bank of Voices from Yamaha synth guru Dave Bristow initially produced to coincide with the S90 Under Control DVD as a ‘toolset' but now available for all Motif family instruments.
The collection comprises new electric pianos, organs, pads, percussive elements and more with which to create and compile your own polyphony-mindful Performances for both live and recording applications.
The concept behind Mix ‘n' Match Essentials was to produce a set of voices that can be taken as raw material for the creation of your own Performances (although the S90 version does also come with 32 Performances of its own). As such very careful attention has been paid to polyphony; using skilled programming – as opposed to Element layering or FX – to produce these subtle and highly playable voices.
This bank is from the man who programmed the original Yamaha DX7 synth so it's hardly surprising that these electric pianos, organs, and plucked and percussive elements are of course superb individual Voices in their own right.
Many Voices are set up to automatically respond to controllers:
F4 WarmOrch – means a pad that will fade in using the foot controller (in socket 2)
BC BigBrax – means a pad that will fade in using the breath controller
2E SoftGrnd – means a voice that uses 2 elements
1E Sticky – means a voice that uses 1 element
An accompanying PDF contains a full chart of all Voices, and Performances (S90 version only) detailing not only control assignments but also keyboard mapping and a brief application description.
If you have the DVD - or even if you don't - this is an invaluable collection for people who have run through the presets and are looking for some fresh material to keep the flame alive.
And the best thing about Mix ‘n' Match Essentials is that it will help you create your own material in the future!
A message from Dave Bristow about the demos:
"Especially for live performance, sounds need to be alive; to have dynamics, and to be able to change or develop throughout the course of the performance.
"Dynamic comping sounds mixed with pads (as in "piano & strings") are a stock in trade for keyboard players but with a simple combination sound the problem is that the "pad" is a permanent fixture.
"One solution is to control the pad with a panel slider so you can at least adjust the pad's volume and presence within the overall sound. A better (and hands-free) solution is to control the pad with a foot controller like the FC3.
"But the best and most 'natural' solution is to make sure that the foot controller also adjusts the brightness and harmonic content of the pad as it fades in and out.
"This solution, together with some slick foot work on your part, can then not only compliment but enhance the musical expressivity of all those nice touch-sensitive keyboard sounds.
"The Mix 'n' Match Essentials voice library provides you with 64 touch sensitive keyboard sounds together with 64 "foot control" sensitive pads suitable for fading in and out. In addition to foot control for fade in and out, sliders are used to adjust other parameters of the sounds such as reverb, chorus, rotary speeds etc., in a consistent way.
"These Demos will show you how the set works. Personally, I find that having a pad "in reserve" is always a bonus and somehow increases the musical value of any standard keyboard sound. Interestingly, the "fade out" is often just as effective as the "fade in" and I've made sure that these snippets of my oldish-newish-age improvised ramblings have a bit of both so you can feel how these sound combinations work. "