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Just snagged a Yamaha Motif ES for $295
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StephenWiley
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Just snagged a Yamaha Motif ES for $295

Everything looks great except no powercord.

Anyone have or ever use the Motif ES RACK (sorry i didnt say it was a rack in the title)? Would love to hear your opinions. I bought it mostly for bread and butter sounds, but hoping it also brings more to the table.
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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I used to own a Motif ES7 keyboard. The Motif ES-Rack is pretty much the same sound engine. I think the biggest difference (besides the keys ), is that the Rack does not have sampling/sample RAM option.

You have just purchased a fantastic sounding sound module. for a fraction of its original price. Now that's a fantastic deal.

The Motif ES-Rack goes way beyond providing just bread and butter sounds, you can use the software editor to program some great sounds.

The limit is the sky as far as what you can get out of this baby.

Congratulations !

Oh... don't forget the power-cord
StephenWiley
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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thanks for the reply

so glad to hear there is a software editor. not a fan of programming racked synths usually....


curious as to how the USB-MIDI function operates. I have never used a multi-timbral instrument as well, although I am assuming each MIDI channel is one part.

Anything I need to expect out of the ordinary? right now I am using UAD-2, Roland GAIA, Saffire Pro 40, Launchpad, Korg Nanocontrol and various soft synths/fx
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
thanks for the reply

so glad to hear there is a software editor. not a fan of programming racked synths usually....


curious as to how the USB-MIDI function operates. I have never used a multi-timbral instrument as well, although I am assuming each MIDI channel is one part.

Anything I need to expect out of the ordinary? right now I am using UAD-2, Roland GAIA, Saffire Pro 40, Launchpad, Korg Nanocontrol and various soft synths/fx
The Motif ES is 16 part multi-timbral. Each part can be assigned to its unique midi channel, you can also assign multiple parts to the same midi channel to layer parts. The USB-MIDI function operates just as a normal midi port. You connect the USB to your computer's USB port, and download the MOTIF ES USB driver software from YAMAHA's website. (Depending if you are on a Mac OSX or PC Windows) system, download the appropriate USB driver. You will then be able to select the Motif ES midi ports from your DAW.

The Motif ES- VST editor is a must. Especially for a module. The Motif ES VST editor can be opened from your DAW on a track as a VST plug-in (i.e. in Cubase, I'm not sure if it works the same way with other DAWS, but the integration of the Motif line with Cubase is pretty cool), the editor will display the guts of the Motif ES, in a visually logical manner, so you can edit your Motif ES-RACK sounds with ease, and then name and save your custom voice. You can download the editor manual (pdf) from the Yamahasynth.com website.

You might want to check the Motifator.com forums, here is a link to the forum section related to the Motif Rack http://www.motifator.com/index.php/f...viewforum/136/

Hope this is helpful.
Have Fun
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
thanks for the reply

so glad to hear there is a software editor. not a fan of programming racked synths usually....


curious as to how the USB-MIDI function operates. I have never used a multi-timbral instrument as well, although I am assuming each MIDI channel is one part.

Anything I need to expect out of the ordinary? right now I am using UAD-2, Roland GAIA, Saffire Pro 40, Launchpad, Korg Nanocontrol and various soft synths/fx
I cant talk about the rack cause I dont own it, but I can about the es keybaord which people say is more or less the same.

I own a Motif Es6 which is the keyboard version of you rack. Its solid as a rock, the presets are the backbone of my workflow. Its extremely rare not to use the es in my tracks.

The usually complain about es , is that the sounds are overly bright , synth sounds that is. The problem with accoustic sounds is that yamaha thought it a good idea to use tremolo to many strings included that is not controllable at all. Brasses are ok but nothing great, organs too.

Suprisingly the pad on es are extrodinary, it has many bread a butter electronic sounds, while its ideal for any ambient / atmospheric genre as it has many sounscapes and ethnic instruments.

The accoustic guitar is pure heaven. Especially when used together with the appregiator.

Talking of apreggiator, only one appregiator is not enough for this beast.

Usb port is too slow for big samples, it can take up to 30 minutes to load very big sample because its usb1. But it has a smartcard port that is faster.

Sequencer is actually quite easy to use, and very powerful. Resampling on motif is also very easy.

The engine is pretty powerful, only the 6 slot modulation matrix is more than enough to build even the most demanding sounds and if you add the fact that the waveforms are top notch and the fact that they are layers. So you could take the bottom end of violin and layer it with the top end of a synth.

Filters are pretty weak, but because the samples already have alot of warmth inside them, it wont be a problem emulating an analogue.

Pianos are very good. Leads are extremely good. Sound effects are exceptional. EPs are quite good.

Performance mode has only 4 parts available which is not enough for complex setups. However you can use song mode that will give 16 parts and all parts can be layer and keyboard split to note and velocity.

But the amazing thing about ES and motif in general is its forum at motifator.com , there really some top notch sound designers there lurking the forums, while yamaha has hired people that will even get you by the hand and explain you the manual page by page. You will find there unthikable , tips and trick and great free sounds, that will require no new samples as they use the factory samples. Actually you will be amazed how many diffirent sounds people are making using only the factory samples.

And because I cannot escape the curse of self promotion here is a track I made using ONLY (apart from some reverb in garageband ) my Yamaha motif es6

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StephenWiley
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17th March 2011
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two quick questions.....

If I use USB-MIDI do I still get 16 parts in the same fashion that I would get with just MIDI?

Would the latency be better with USB-MIDI?

And finally, since I already have a GAIA running through midi, will this cause even more delay. And last question! When should I start looking at midi clocks. I'm guessing im ok with just the motif ES and GAIA?
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17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
two quick questions.....

If I use USB-MIDI do I still get 16 parts in the same fashion that I would get with just MIDI?

Would the latency be better with USB-MIDI?

And finally, since I already have a GAIA running through midi, will this cause even more delay. And last question! When should I start looking at midi clocks. I'm guessing im ok with just the motif ES and GAIA?
I have good news for you. Not only you will get 16 parts , or more corectly 16 midi channels but actually 64 channels!!!

The reason for that at least the keyboard version I am using when it sends midi through usb it sends it via 4 port each one capable of transiting to 16 channels at the same time .

Actually in the sequencere , you can set the port the midi is transmited to/from.

There should be no latency through midi usb, but then there should not be latency through regular midi aswell, as the standard latency for a midi message is 1 millisecond, which is more than enough.

I have being using motif with my blofeld , with no problems what so ever.

Motif even has a special mode called master mode , capable of controlling multiple external synths so I will be extremely suprised if it has any problem to control your synths.
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17th March 2011
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sounds great. can't wait to get the tracking number. looking at other auctions, $295 is a steal. Just ordered the powercord for it. Was $25 shipped. So that's 320 for a Motif ES rack.

Any ideas why my latency is 28ms? Whenever I play my GAIA using the actual GAIA keys, it sounds perfect. If I try to trigger the GAIA using an internal MIDI clip, there is a very noticeable delay that I can't seem to get under control. Really hoping I don't have this problem with the Motif
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17th March 2011
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The Motifs ES range sounds great. I love the tone of the whole range, but I think the presets on the MO6 are the best.
They all are very affordable second hand too.

Congratulations on your new synth man!
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17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post

Any ideas why my latency is 28ms? Whenever I play my GAIA using the actual GAIA keys, it sounds perfect. If I try to trigger the GAIA using an internal MIDI clip, there is a very noticeable delay that I can't seem to get under control. Really hoping I don't have this problem with the Motif
MAybe its a bug, ask this in a GAIA forum . Makes sure you have the latest update is installed in your GAIA
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17th March 2011
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gonna have to check with ableton / ASIO actually. my delay compensation in ableton has to be set at 28ms at 512 samples. if you're saying it should be closer to 1, then i have definately got a problem
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17th March 2011
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my delay compensation in ableton has to be set at 28ms at 512 samples
That's pretty high for Live. I'm running at 32 samples!
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18th March 2011
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does that not rape your cpu
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18th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
The Motif ES- VST editor is a must. Especially for a module. The Motif ES VST editor can be opened from your DAW on a track as a VST plug-in (i.e. in Cubase, I'm not sure if it works the same way with other DAWS, but the integration of the Motif line with Cubase is pretty cool), the editor will display the guts of the Motif ES, in a visually logical manner, so you can edit your Motif ES-RACK sounds with ease, and then name and save your custom voice.
I have an ES6 kb, i wasn't aware they had a VST editor for the ES, thought it was XS only. Are they backwards compatible?

I also run Cubase 4.5, so this would be awesome. I had a look on motifator but couldn't find anything in the ES section
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18th March 2011
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Yea...I only see a voice editor and multi part editor at the Yamaha site. The XS has the vst editor. Wonder if they are compitable, like you said.
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18th March 2011
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I reallllllllly hope this has a vst editor. can anyone with a motif ES confirm that one exists/works with it?
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19th March 2011
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The more I read about this, the more excited I get. Can't wait for it to arrive. Hoping the sound quality is as good or better than Ableton's EIC expansions.

Anyone here care to comment on the sound quality?
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19th March 2011
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Ah...its actually a first generation Motif, so it's not an ES. I think I still got a good deal? Not much of a difference from the ES other than MB;s/Waveforms.

Original has 84mb and 1309 waveforms
ES has 175mb and 1859 waveforms

Arn't there cards I can buy to expand the data on the module? Like a Vintage Keyboards or whatever type card like the Roland JV series.
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19th March 2011
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Ah...its actually a first generation Motif, so it's not an ES. I think I still got a good deal? Not much of a difference from the ES other than MB;s/Waveforms.

Original has 84mb and 1309 waveforms
ES has 175mb and 1859 waveforms

Arn't there cards I can buy to expand the data on the module? Like a Vintage Keyboards or whatever type card like the Roland JV series.
Here some more editors

Sound Quest Inc. Yamaha Motif ES Rack Editor/Librarian and Virtualizer

John Melas Motif Site

From the photos I see in yamaha website, there is usb on the back. So you should able to expand it with Voice libraries. Voice libraries use the factory sounds and you will find loads of them in motifator shop.

Also it says in the yammy website that it takes the plugin boards, which add new engine to synth. There is a FM engine, PM (physical modeling), piano expansion and va expansion, if my memory serves me. Those expansion are not rom expansion, they are engine expansion, but of course this means they bring new sounds for motif.

Compared to huge software rompler, motif is destined to lose, nothing can beat those , GBs count especially in the accoustic department. If you are dead serious about accoustic sound, then software should be your ONLY choice.

Saying that, motif has certainly loads of very good sounds electronic or accoustic, you wont be disappointed. And its engine is very powerful for creating new ones. So its completely up to you. Nothing absolutely NOTHING beats hand made sounds. Thats the hard truth.
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19th March 2011
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Quote:
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Here some more editors

Nothing absolutely NOTHING beats hand made sounds. Thats the hard truth.
I have really started to realize this since getting my GAIA and making sounds from scratch. Before I just edited presets. I have learned so much with the GAIA.....not just to make things from scratch, but also I have learned how to manipulate a preset much better to get it sounding where I want it.
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19th March 2011
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I have really started to realize this since getting my GAIA and making sounds from scratch. Before I just edited presets. I have learned so much with the GAIA.....not just to make things from scratch, but also I have learned how to manipulate a preset much better to get it sounding where I want it.
Then my friend you are already in a very good road. I think you will like motif because it will bring timbres that gaia cannot since its strictly va. And making new sounds with motif because already the factory sounds are very good is very easy.

The motif engine offers 4 layers for each of its voice sounds, now each layer is like in GAIA a completely seperately engine. But unlike GAIA the engine spec are quite impressive. There are many thing to tap , like dual filter, a huge selection of filter, an impressive 6 slot matrix, which can assign complex modulation to knobs. EQ in element level (an element is 1 of the 4 available layer for each sound (sound = Voice, not to confused with voices in polyphony). Now the Voice also has an eq , and of course there is also a Global EQ.

Now imagine 4*eq +1 +1 = 6 eq to shape a single sound , now add 1 dual filters that almost makes for 8 eqs. I am talkig eqs here because you could be extremely specific of what you boost and what you cut.

Lfos have phase, that alone can help you create insane modulation. And if my memorie serves me corectly there is even the ability to edit the shape of the lfo to create even a substitute for a multipoint envelope like the ones offered by Absynth.

And what I could say about the effects. No they are not top notch, the wont compare with a Harmoniser , still however they are quite good. Besides the obvious choice of reverb and chorus which by the way you dont have to use and take up effect slots because they are already offered as global, there is Ringmodulator which as you probably know can play a pivot role in sound synthesis itself with very weird nice results, and many many other effects. I think they are 150 in total, each with its own parameters. Of course most of them do similar things but there some that are rather unique.

I wont even talk about the sequencer, dont know if rack has one, but if it does and its the same as es6, oh boys get ready for some insane workflow enhancement. A brief example is a loop function that lets you take an already available midi loop and change abit his rythm and melody very easily but that alone can end up offering a completely new midi loop.

All in all motif, is an Iceberg, there is a huge world hidden underneath water surface . I can write hundrends of pages explaining its huge potential. But I will leave it up to you to explore it , in your own pace and rythm.

If you need any assistance, dont be afraid to ask. I own my ES for 4 years now and I am still learning. Its a shame that people see it as a mere romplel, even the tile "synthesizer" is not enough for this monster .
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