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  • #91
    Craig,
    Thanks for a great review- good to hear the ins and outs of actually getting things hooked up and running! I’ve got the XS7, and while hooking it up the computer has not been a nightmare (motifator.com keeps me sane and in the game), there still is a lot of looking everywhich where in pdf manuals and the forum for getting things hooked up (so far I’ve got the Editor going, and am working on getting all the MIDI channels to be automatically configured when I import a Song from the XS).

    Having “graduated” from a high end Yamaha arranger keyboard to the XS, one thing I’ve really been looking forward to is all the controller possibilities: the ribbon, Assign 1&2 knobs, the Assignable Function buttons, footpedals, etc.

    I’ve gotten stalled somewhat in this- it’s reasonably straightforward in Voice mode to establish the 6 “Controller Sets” (modulation source, destination and depth), but Performance mode is where I want to be- why play 1 Voice when a Performance can orchestrate 4?

    For the most part the Performances inherit the Voice modulation control settings, but they also have a “Controller Assign” page where you can have an impact on the settings you made in Voice mode.

    I’m sure I’ll understand the workings of this better over time (it’s very confusing to me now- I wish there was a Template or examples to follow). However, my question for you is as an end user who would want the possibilities this set-up has to offer (and having read your articles for many years, I know you’re also into creative control).

    For your uses, how well does this set-up work for you? And most importantly, what are some of the settings so that your performances will be fully controlled/modulated to your liking, taking advantage of the XS architecture?

    Thanks,
    Randelph

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    • #92
      I'm getting into the articulation options, which are really quite cool. I'm recording examples now (I had a few computer issues not related to the Motif that set me back a day), and will upload over the weekend as there's quite a lot to cover here...so stay tuned, and check back for coverage of what's a very important part of the Motif XS6.
      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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      • #93
        Have song and patch save/load functions been updatd from the ES. One thing that bothers me on my ES is inability to save and load individual patches without using a computer. I also wish there was a way to load songs without having to overwrite all patches in the process. It would be nice to have a storage area for 16 patches dedicated to sequencer channels that would load with the song.
        My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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        • #94
          First, let's clear up saving and loading on the Motif ES.

          You can save all voices, all songs and all patterns and everything in the keyboard.

          But you CAN load individual voices and songs on the ES. You save everything, but then can load individual pieces so it is easy it compile what you want without using a computer.

          The Motif XS works the same way. You can save an All file , All Voice, All arpeggios, All Songs , All Patterns , SMF, All Waveforms, Wav and AIFF files.

          You can load all of those things plus you can load individual Voices, Performances, Songs, Patterns, and Waves from within those files.

          If you have questions on the specifics of how to do that on the ES , pop over to Motifator.com as that question has been answered several times over on the forums.

          Regarding "It would be nice to have a storage area for 16 patches dedicated to sequencer channels that would load with the song."

          That 's exactly what Mix voices are. This is from the Motif XS manual ( but the Motif ES had Mix Voices as well).
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Mixing Voices are Normal Voices that have been specially edited for and saved to specific Song/Pattern Mixs. Up to 16
          Mixing Voices can be stored to each Song/Pattern Mix. In this mode, you can edit the Voices assigned to Mix Parts 1 –
          16 respectively and store them as Mix Voices.

          Keep in mind that Drum Voices cannot be edited in the Mixing Voice Edit mode.

          Press the [F6] Vce Edit button to enter the Mixing Voice Edit mode.
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          First , on any Motif you have Part offset parameters. You can offset the Voices filter cutoff, resonance, Amp and Filter EGs, etc, for each Part in a Mix. Many times that is enough to tailor the sound to the Song you are working on. These Part setting get saved with Mix.

          But if that isn't enough, you can Press the Mixing Voice edit button and do complete Voice editing of every parameter available in Voice mode for each of the 16 Parts ( with the exception of Drum Voices which are huge in parameter size). These Mix Voices are also stored with the Mix data that is a part of each Song/Pattern. After saving an All, All Song or All Pattern file, you can load individual songs or patterns from those All files and the Part Offsets and Mix Voices for the Song will load without effecting anything else in your Motif.

          So to be clear on both the Motif ES and XS , you can fully edit each Voice in a 16 Part Mix ( with the exception of Drum Voices) , save an All Song, All Pattern or All file to external memory and then load just that individual Song or Pattern and it will load the Mix Voices associated with that song/pattern.

          If you've got an ES , you just got two major requests answered immediately. If you are looking at the XS , it works just as you described that you wanted it to.
          Athan Billias
          Director of Marketing
          Pro Audio and Combo Division
          Yamaha Corporation Of America

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          • #95
            Athan, first, let me just say, thank you. I asked that very question at Motifator long ago when I first got my ES and the answer I got was "when you save/load a song file you also save/load all patches". That was right after the ES hit the market. In early 2006 I bought the large patch collection from Motifator.com that had 8 different patch sets. (Bs Knees, Air, Pulse, Regenerator, etc...) After that purchase I posted a question asking if individual patches could be loaded and saved. The answer I got that time was that I have to use the software to manage patches and create my custom patch banks using patches from all those collections. No one mentioned what you just said, and no one corrected the person that posted that reply. I assumed it to be correct and gave up. Maybe they were literally corrects in that I cannot "load AND save" individual patches. Wow. I wish I had known at that time that I could load individual patches.

            I will dig in and try to figure this out. Thanks again.
            My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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            • #96
              ...and thanks, Athan, for answering the question while I was still thumbing through the manual I was sure Rabid was under the wrong impression, but he's right a lot so I figured I'd better check!

              In case anyone's wondering where the Articulation patches went that I said I'd post this weekend, as you may have heard (we made the national news!) New Mexico had some pretty wild weather yesterday, and power was an issue. I was willing to turn on my computer from time to time because the data's backed up anyway, but I wasn't about to subject an "Expensive Yamaha Keyboard On Loan" to the elements. So I'm basically running a day late.

              However, I did get some fabulous pictures of nascent tornado cells hovering over my house...maybe I'll go post 'em on SSS. Thankfully none of them struck!!! Man, I thought I left that stuff behind when I moved outta Florida...
              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #97
                As mentioned before, an individual voice can consist of 8 possible elements, which gives lots of leeway for velocity or pitch split elements that add expressiveness; the Motif XS6 has several ways to exploit those elements.

                It seems that the voice names usually let you know if the assignable expression functions do something special. For example, referring to the display for voice name Classical AF1&2, the AF1&2 part (outlined in violet on the picture) indicates that Assignable Function switch options are built into the patch. However, note that just about all the patches seem to have something built in...it's worth checking the controller info strip to see what's shakin.'

                Again referring to the image, the lower strip just above the tab indicates what the various controllers affect. In this case, toward the left, you can see that the Mod Wheel (MW) affects LFO depth, and Ribbon controller (RB) alters coarse tuning.

                AS1 and AS2, which represent the Assignable knobs AS1 and AS2 in the control surface section (circled in red), also show their functions. I'm not sure why AF1 and AF2 don't show anything; maybe it's considered redundant due to the title. Athan?

                In any event, let's here the switches in action...here's an audio example of the Classical voice. AF1 adds an upward slide - but what's really helpful is that it's different for different notes, which adds considerably to the realism. Toward the end, you'll hear the harmonics added by pressing AF2 (the lower function button).

                Another really useful aspect of the buttons is that they can have a momentary or latched action. In a case like adding a slide or harmonic, you'd likely want momentary buttons so you can add a dash of spice if desired. But some AF options are almost like selecting a different sound, as if you'd hit the button on a stomp box. For these cases, the latching action is preferable.
                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #98
                  The Assignable Knobs, AS1 and AS2, are the two upper right knobs when Tone 1 bank is selected (the three Tone banks change the functions of the eight knobs).

                  The audio example using the voice shown in the image starts off with both latching AF switches off. For the second repeat of the figure, AF1 is latched on, changing the timbre. For the third repeat, AF2 is latched on, sending a portion of the voice through a chorus effect.

                  On the sustained chord following the repeat, you'll hear the tone change as I vary the EQ peak controlled by AS2. For the following, and final, sustained chord, I'm turning AS1. I did notice some quantization noise when turning these controls, so maybe they're more for set-and-forget tweaking, like tone, as opposed to something you'd control with a mod wheel or aftertouch.
                  CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                  • #99
                    It depends on on what parameter the knobs are assigned to. Many can be changes in real time smoothly, but some DSP parameters are will have some artifacting because delay times are being reset.

                    You can store the settings of the knobs and there is also a parameter for copying these knob offsets to a Part ina Performance or Song/Pattern Mix.
                    Athan Billias
                    Director of Marketing
                    Pro Audio and Combo Division
                    Yamaha Corporation Of America

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                    • I'm not going to go too much more nuts about the articulations, I think after hearing the next set of examples you'll get the point.

                      We'll look at bass first. The first audio example is a fuzz bass sound, but hitting an articulation switch (which latches) changes the decay and sort of "mutes" the sound.

                      The next file has two latching switch assignments. One changes the filter characteristics by making it sharper, the other adds a sound an octave higher.

                      The third one is an acoustic bass. Articulation here adds various slides, effects, slaps, and the like...pretty cool.

                      The final bass example uses electric bass with slide articulation; the second articulation buttons adds harmonics, as you'll hear at the end.
                      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • Here are five more examples of articulation in action.

                        The first one is an ethnic instrument, where the initial sound has a sharp attack; pressing on an articulation button slows the attack.

                        The second example shows some of the things you can do with the two assignable knobs. This is an organ sound with EQ and distortion on the two different knobs. The example plays a pretty constant part, with the EQ and distortion being changed in real time.

                        The next example also involves organ, but in this case, pressing an articulation button turns on a rotating speaker effect; once pressed the speed increases, and if you hit the button again, the speed slows down. This is a momentary button, so you can just hit it from time to time to play with the pseudo-rotating speaker speed. Toward the end, the other button takes away some harmonics.

                        The fourth short of example is of a sax, first plain, then with "growl" added.

                        The final example has a trumpet riff played without articulation, then played using the trumpet fall-off articulation option. What's cool about these articulations, as mentioned before, is that they aren't just a canned riff, but vary somewhat. For example, the fall-off won't happen with staccato parts, but will if you hold your fingers down. Initiating fall-off without having it actually fall changes the timbre so it "bites" more...those are a lot of changes to just one sound.

                        One other point is that many of the brass and woodwinds use articulation to switch between a monophonic/legato and polyphonic response. Using mono can give a much more realistic sound, as well as make brass/wind parts easier to play.
                        CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                        • Forgive me if you have already covered this topic -
                          I am awash in a combination of technical TMI and
                          gear lust at this point...but will you be experimenting with
                          and reporting upon the sampling features of the XS at some
                          point?

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                          • Craig, I'm new to the review pages and I just happened to see that Rainbird is asking almost what I was going to ask.

                            With me, it's more specific, though. As an RS 7000 owner, I'm worried about the XS's brainpower--if it's at all slow like the RS, it shouldn't have been implemented at all. Have you tried it yet? I think I've read all your pages (and enjoyed them quite a bit) but I didn't see reviews of the sampling/recording.

                            When you sample even twenty seconds of audio into a track on the RS, in a little while you're going to be sitting there watching it count to about 432, slowly. I was pretty disappointed--the Yamaha hype was all so positive about in-track sampling--I really like the sequencer and arps and voices on the XS, but I really want to be able to record a couple of pure audio tracks, or do some vocals and spread them out on the keys to mess with--stuff that you can't expect to do effic`iently on an RS.

                            Thanks for the work you're doing here,

                            David

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                            • Hi Craig,

                              I've really enjoyed your review on the XS and really like what I'm seeing so far. But will you do like a final overview of it? And your overal conclusion?

                              Now for my question: I'm going to buy a workstation pretty soon (somewhere in July, after the exams...) and I don't know yet whether to choose this new XS, the Fantom or the Korg M3 maybe (although i don't like the looks of that last one to be honest)

                              I'm into making Hiphop mostly, but also like pop, rock, funk,...that sort of stuff. I'm not really interested in performing with it (atleast for now) What would be my best choice to buy? Is the XS much more evolved than the Fantom technoloy-wise? (sorry if these are too many questions, lol)

                              Thanks in advance!

                              Comment


                              • Hi Craig,

                                I've really enjoyed your review on the XS and really like what I'm seeing so far. But will you do like a final overview of it? And your overal conclusion?


                                Yes, but that's still a ways off...this keyboard is so deep. I've been working with the effects section and performances, which I'll be posting about later this evening. I expect this review will probably wrap up in mid-July...unless I find out even more hidden features I didn't expect! For example, there's a whole phrase sampling aspect that deserves some attention.

                                Now for my question: I'm going to buy a workstation pretty soon (somewhere in July, after the exams...) and I don't know yet whether to choose this new XS, the Fantom or the Korg M3 maybe (although i don't like the looks of that last one to be honest)

                                I'm into making Hiphop mostly, but also like pop, rock, funk,...that sort of stuff. I'm not really interested in performing with it (atleast for now) What would be my best choice to buy? Is the XS much more evolved than the Fantom technoloy-wise? (sorry if these are too many questions, lol)

                                Thanks in advance!


                                Having ont worked with the Fantom or M3 - only seen them at trade shows - I really can't offer a meaningful comparison. The one thing I will say is that all three companies are pretty experienced at this point in creating sounds for their keyboards, but they may have slightly different characters. I would suggest going to a Guitar Center or equivalent where you play them side by side and try to get a sense of the sound's character - whether it's more warm, bright, hyped, etc. Each has its applications, but given what you want, you'll probably want a more "in your face" sound whereas someone doing soundtracks would want something more accurate.

                                After getting a sense of the sounds, compare features and see if there is any "killer app" you must have, as that will influence your decision as well.
                                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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