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Programming Motif XS-XF for dummies


Written on Sunday, 11 January 2015 20:23
Written by  fabio

Programming Motif XS-XF for dummies

Who hasn't ever heard the sentence "Programming in Motif is fairly a mess!”?

Yamaha Motif could be considered less intuitive than other workstations, but as some matters are set straight, you will quickly change your mind.

On the workstation right part, there are so many buttons: this mustn't upset you, because they are mainly shortcuts to select a certain voice or perform in a certain bank, without switching around in all the different menus, or they could rather be used to keep silent a certain element. As far as Elements are concerned, it must be clear that I'm talking about waveform. Therefore: 1 Element = 1 Waveform.

In Voice mode, we have up to 8 elements.

In Perform mode, we have up to 4 voices. Once this matters are clear, let's try to understand how to program a patch in the easiest way, or rather, in the way I consider it so.

First of all, it is necessary to know perfectly the factory preset voices along with the elements they are made-up of. The quickest way is to search for the voice or those voice similar to the sound we want to obtain. Once you have detected the voice(s) that sound closer to the result we want to obtain, then it is necessary to find out which are those elements we are interested in, those to discard, and which waveform (element) to add in order to obtain the wanted result. Then, it is very important to know how to copy in our voice all those elements already programmed on another voice. In voice mode let's select that voice on which we are working, push the button "job" and choose "copy" among the different options. Then let's just detect the voice from which the element has to be copied, and let's copy it in our new voice, indicating the element on which to go for positioning... And that's all, folks!

This function makes us able to save our time and obtain an almost ready element, without programming and modifying tons of values.

To modify the voice, push the button "edit" and select the element to work on using the right side buttons. In this way, we are able to modify everything concerning every single element: velocity, pitch, note limit, filters, equalization, and everything comes up in your mind. If you want to modify all the voice global settings, for instance, the effects, the functions assigned to the controllers, or the arpeggios, let's go for "Edit" and then "Common Edit".

All this procedure is applicable on Motif XS, and in my opinion, on other similar workstations, in particular, on the most recent ones.

I hope that this short tutorial could help those who are approaching Motif for the first time, or those who want to, but are frightened of such an apparently complicated workstation. If you have patience and passion enough, and you also have the manual in your hand (even if it is too vague, sometimes), you will have a nice try!

Fabio Piras


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Last modified on Sunday, 11 January 2015 21:19