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Viewing topic "XS8 and the Outs"

     
Posted on: June 19, 2014 @ 10:11 PM
MMahadeen
Total Posts:  22
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

Bit of a newbie question here....

I’m working on getting my first real home studio hooked up.  I’ve got a Motif XS8, a pair of Yamaha HS8 monitors, and an Mbox 3 Pro between them.  In addition to the FireWire interface (to get audio and midi into ProTools or any other DAW, assuming the latest Steinberg driver will allow for that capability in Windows 8.1, haven’t tried it yet), I would like to have a direct link between the Motif and the monitors.  While I could simply run another set of cables from the Motif to the 2nd input on the monitors, I would like to avoid the inevitable scenario of me using my Motif as a tone generator in my DAW while said direct input to the monitors is active so that my monitors are not receiving the input twice with both inputs being active simultaneously.

I’m intrigued by the potential of the Mbox’s standalone mode.  If the Motif is connected to the Mbox via FireWire, I don’t believe the standalone mode will cut it.  I’d rather not waste any of the line or aux inputs on the Mbox to connect the outputs from the Motif because I have other use for those inputs/outputs.  I know the assignable outs will not work in voice mode, so that’s out too.  What I’m intrigued by is the digital out.  I know the S/PDIF In on the Mbox is routed to the outputs in standalone mode, but is the digital out on the Motif always active (including in voice mode)?  If not, does anyone know if the audio from the FW connection is active in the Mbox’s standalone mode?  Worst case scenario, does anyone have an idea how to accomplish this that I haven’t thought of?  Essentially I’m looking to be able to route the Motif both directly to the monitors and into the Mbox for use by itself/in a DAW respectively but not simultaneously.

Thanks everyone!

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Posted on: June 20, 2014 @ 05:43 AM
Bad_Mister
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If the Motif is connected to the Mbox via FireWire,

It will not work. Period. You cannot connect the FW of the Motif XS to anything but a computer.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: June 20, 2014 @ 07:18 AM
MMahadeen
Total Posts:  22
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

Well, that’s certainly news to me--I thought FW devices were daisy-chainable.  I guess I’ll have to rethink my signal flow a little bit; thanks!

Good news is I have a spare FW port on the computer, so I can plug in the Motif there.  Would I be incorrect in assuming the interface and the Motif, both plugged directly in to the computer into different FW ports will be able to operate simultaneously in ProTools or other DAW?

Also, any insight on the Motif’s digital out?  I have literally zero experience with S/PDIF ports.  Is that out always active like the stereo out?  The Mbox in standalone mode works as a DAC, so it could be a feasible way for me to pass an audio signal to my monitors directly without using a more “common” connector type that I could use for other purposes.

Thanks again for the help!

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Posted on: June 20, 2014 @ 11:37 AM
Bad_Mister
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Well, that’s certainly news to me--I thought FW devices were daisy-chainable.

And they are, but trouble starts when they speak different protocols with different drivers. You can daisy-chain as many as three devices that use the Yamaha Steinberg FW ASIO Driver, for example. These include the Yamaha Motif XS, Motif XF, Motif Rack XS synthesizers, the Steinberg MR816csx and MR816x - any three of these devices can co-exist in a working daisy-chain (16 audio channels out from each...)
The YSFW driver supports 48 input channels of audio in a daisy chain system, each devices basically address the computer directly… The chain is a convenient/efficient way to create this network.

Whether your other FW audio interface can even be on the same chain and communicate with your computer… well, you are writing the manual on that one. The theory is, perhaps they will coexist, but that is not what anyone was going for in the case of your mentioned devices.

The SP/DIF out is as you expect, always active, and is a digital version of the main analog Stereo output.

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Posted on: June 20, 2014 @ 08:09 PM
MMahadeen
Total Posts:  22
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

Thanks, Bad_Mister, all makes sense.

I’ve been looking online to see if anyone else has my set of hardware/software.  I expected someone to, as they’re all pretty common, standard pieces, but most info I’m finding is rather out of date.  Lots on compatibility issues with various types of hookups (most USB-related), and ProTools 8.  Unfortunately, I’m not finding anything on the XS8 in ProTools 11 with an Mbox 3 Pro.

If I use the S/PDIF or other audio out, from the Motif, I just need to get the MIDI into ProTools, so I was thinking of going USB.  Are you/is anyone else aware if there’s any compatibility issues with the MIDI over USB from the Motif into ProTools 11?  Alternatively, is anyone aware of any problems with running the Motif and Mbox simultaneously in ProTools if they are both connected directly to the computer via different FireWire ports?

I’ve reworked my signal map multiple times today, and am very open to suggestion.  Is there anyone out there who has a thought as to “the best way” to connect these devices in this software?  For what I do, the functionality I’d like is to be able to send and receive MIDI and audio data so that the Motif can act as a tone generator in ProTools, while using the Mbox for microphone/other audio input, and as my primary interface.

On a related (but somewhat separate note), in my composition software (Sibelius), I have a “soundset” designed specifically for the XS that adds it as a playback device, allowing me to access any of the internal voices and assign them to a staff for playback in the mixer.  Will I need a similar thing for ProTools to be able to recognize the Motif and take advantage of the internal voices?  Does the VST suffice for this?

I swear I’m pretty good at this stuff, I’m just going through a massive upgrade/overhaul of my setup and my experience with it is just several years out of date.  Additionally, I’ve always been much more on the notation side of things, rather than the pro audio/DAW side, so it’s just a little uncommon.  Thanks for all the help you’re providing so that I can learn a lot of new elements and get them to play nicely all at once!

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Posted on: June 21, 2014 @ 04:24 AM
Bad_Mister
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MIDI is a protocol over 30 years old, I’m confident they have figured it out now in PT :-)
Seriously, MIDI should be no problem… MIDI over FW is no different really, than MIDI via USB ... At the end of the day it is the same protocol delivered by different methods. So the only tricky part is setting up the ports in the right places (same as always).

You can connect using different FW ports on the computer. The XS’s to one, the Maudio to the other. If you are using a Mac you can actually create an Aggregate Audio device to use both FW streams. If not you will need to select one unit’s audio driver over the other. Windows will not accommodate multiple audio streams.

MIDI is handled either way and is not a taxing issue for the computer.

We see from your profile you are using a Windows computer. You would be wise to connect audio through one or the other of the FW audio streams. If you use the Maudio system, then you could connect the Motif XS via USB for MIDI and either SPDIF for audio or analog out to the Maudio interface.

If you choose to use the Motif’s FW as your audio interface, it will handle both MIDI and audio for the system through the single FW connection.

The significance of being the audio interface will be that you’ll need to connect that device to your monitoring system. That is, if you are using the Maudio box as your audio interface it follows that you monitor out from that device. When your using the Motif XS’s FW as the audio interface you would monitor from the XS’s audio outputs.

In real world use., you can switch as required. It is likely (I’m guessing) that you will build your tracks using the Motif XS’s tone engine. Make a pre-mix or “freeze” or whatever they call it in your DAW so you have an audio rendering of your basic tracks.

Switch to the Maudio system, presumable to add other instruments, phantom powered microphones, etc. Play back your basics tracks (as audio) through the Maudio setup while overdubbing through that system.

If moving your monitor connections is not an impossible situation, this is a viable workflow… Of course sometimes this is simply not possible. But use the best situation to accomplish the goal.

Audio in the early 21st century is NOT as universally dealt with as MIDI is, (not even close). You are still asked to commit to a system to deal with audio and jump through hoops to make multiple devices work… It’s just the current situation.

But when you recognize what is CPU intensive, and eliminate those situations, you find it all works fairly smoothly. By that I mean, the concept of pre-mixing the audio generated by the XS so that all you need do is playback a stereo “mixdown” when you switch to the Maudio interface, saves your computer CPU from having to actively receive unpack, and playback multiple separate audio tracks of the XS data in real time.

Anyway take your time… If we can help on the Motif XS side FW, or USB-MIDI side of things let us know.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: June 21, 2014 @ 08:51 AM
MMahadeen
Total Posts:  22
Joined  03-03-2013
status: Regular

You are the best.  Thank you as always!

Just one question; this is more a ProTools/Windows question (I keep wishing I went Mac, but too late now), say I keep my Motif hooked up via FW in addition to the Mbox so that I can switch back and forth for various programs (the Motif would probably make a fine interface in Sibelius, where I might prefer the Mbox in ProTools) if I’m in ProTools with the Mbox as my primary interface, there should be no problem still taking MIDI off the Motif through FW simultaneously, correct?  When you say Windows can’t handle 2 audio streams from different interfaces at the same time, you mean specifically audio (not midi), yes?

I’ll be trying to hook all this up in the next few days (once I have all the cables I need), and I’ll report back.  Much appreciated!!!

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Posted on: June 21, 2014 @ 01:14 PM
Bad_Mister
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When you say Windows can’t handle 2 audio streams from different interfaces at the same time, you mean specifically audio (not midi), yes?

That is correct. MIDI will be handled independently.

  [ Ignore ]