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Viewing topic "The Sampling Thread - numerous questions about XF’s capabilities"

   
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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 08:03 AM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular

I no longer own a Motif.  I moved to a Fantom G when it was released because of its sampling capabilities and user interface.  However, all keyboard workstation manufacturers seem to add sampling as an after thought. 

Is the Motif XF the sampling keyboard “we samplers” have dreamed about for years?  I want to know how extensive is the onboard sampling and sample editing.  Are there any significant improvements over the Motif XS?

1.  Does it support sample formats other than .wav and .afff?
2.  Are there any new sampling jobs?
3.  What are the possible sampling frequencies?  Can you record 8 bit or 12 bit samples?
4.  Can you insert effects or dynamics into signal path of incoming audio when sampling?
5.  When auditioning samples, is there a sample playback-head or scrolling cursor to indicate what part of the sample is playing for easy editing?
6.  If there is a sample playback-head, can it be controlled by data wheel to manually ADD or DELETE slices in a sample? (manual slicing)
7.  What is the max slice resolution?  Is it still 64 for stereo and 128 for mono?  Is there an easy way to slice without doing math? (for 64 slices, I would like to just select “64” as a Sub-Divide)
8.  Can you audition (from keyboard) and edit the start/end points of sliced samples before executing slice command?
9.  Is “Alternating” possible as a Sample Play Mode? (Plays forward-reverse-forward continuously)
10.  Is time stretch and convert pitch done in real-time or is it still an offline process?  If it is a real-time feature, can you time stretch and pitch shift incoming audio as it is being sampled?
11.  Is there a Sample Voice Edit mode?  I want to edit (truncate, normalize, etc) individual sounds of a custom drum kit assigned to a sample voice.  I want to be able to press a key and the sample editor graphically displays the sample assigned to that key for further editing.  Is this possible?
12.  Is there non-destructive editing of samples? Can I assign a sample to multiple keys then edit a sample on one key without impacting the samples on the other keys? 
13.  Can you stream/playback samples from USB devices?  Can you edit samples on a USB device?  In other words, can you use connected USB devices like XF’s flash memory?

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 08:31 AM
kday
Total Posts:  399
Joined  02-17-2004
status: Enthusiast

As I’m also hoping Yamaha have brought their sample edit capabilities and options up to par with other manufactures that make sampling keyboards. Or at least Roland who takes keyboard sampling pretty seriously.

I have the Fantom X so I know the feel of having a usable sampler built into a great workstation. But Roland AD/DA converters are crappy because you get a compressed sound which makes the sampled sound small and narrow and doesn’t give you true uncompressed sound quality. So that makes the sampler sound quality back to crappy status, that’s if you need a basic uncompressed sound quality to work with.

I tried doing background vocals with a Fantom X but their compression scheme destroyed the width of the stereo field, it was made more narrow and mono like. They have their RDAC compression scheme on the outputs or inputs or storage. You won’t get that with a Motif but in the past you might have gotten crappy sampling editing procedures in their past synthesizers they made like the ES. But with this new Motif XF the sampling procedures and edit functions I think may have been upgraded some. Don’t know if they are on par with Roland standards yet in the edit capabilities. But if not, I’m sure they are getting there if they haven’t yet already arrived. We will see when the unit hits the market. Even if it’s not yet on Fantom edit level, it’s still far better for professional use in the sound playback quality of samples department. I nearly trashed my Fantom X for the crappy RDAC compression scheme on all their sounds in those Fantom keyboards. All sounds that come out of a Fantom is thin and narrow and compressed in comparison to the uncompressed Motif sound. Sampling is one of the very reasons I still had hope in buying a motif because all the other manufactures have failed in one way or the other when it comes to including a decent uncompressed sound sampling engine that’s easy to edit and create multisamples instruments across the keyboard like dedicated samplers or keyboard samplers of the past.

In the specs I read a lot of good stuff indicating they’ve revamped the sampling UI and procedures on the Motif XF page. But I don’t know yet if they are as focused as Roland yet. In an upgrade I hope they can add an on screen sampling button option to one of the F1 - F5 buttons on top of the main page that can instantly take you to a record page bypassing the other steps that may be required for one at a time sampling.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 09:20 AM
Yamaha_US
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1.  Does it support sample formats other than .wav and .afff?

Importing on the Motif XF itself only supports .wav and AIFF.

However there are new Motif XF software tools available for sample conversion of libraries and samples into Motif XF/XS format.

John Melas’ new Motif Waveform Editor (MWE) imports both .wav and aiff files with their keybank information.  So if the samples you have already have mapping information in them, you can import them and the keybanks will be automatically mapped and assigned to a waveform.
The editor also supports the importing of SoundFont 2 files.
It also features loop editing with cross fade looping.

John Melas Waveform Editor

Chicken Systems’ new Motif Creator is both a file format convertor and a sample editing tool supports a very wide variety of sample formats ( Akai, Kontact, Kurzweill , etc).

Motif Creator Thread

2.  Are there any new sampling jobs?
Yes, please see the post in the answers thread and the section about sampling.

3.  What are the possible sampling frequencies?  Can you record 8 bit or 12 bit samples?

The Motif XS supports all sampling frequency up to 44.1K and bit rates up to 16 bit. So anything below those spec can be read by the Motif. You can’t record 8 bit samples, but you can play them back. There are actually effects like Lo-FI that do bit mashing and lower bit rates in real time.  Because of the new ability to turna Sample Voices into a User Voice. this is now much easier to do. You can also 1/2 the sampling frequency in the Sampling Jobs.

4.  Can you insert effects or dynamics into signal path of incoming audio when sampling?

Yes, you can apply effects on the input when sampling. Also as mentioned above the there is a new feature that let’s you take a sampled voice and copy it to a user voice.  This let’s you edit the sampled voice and process it with filters, insert effects , EQs , etc just like a normal user voice after the fact.  If you like messing with samples , this is actually a very powerful feature.

5.  When auditioning samples, is there a sample playback-head or scrolling cursor to indicate what part of the sample is playing for easy editing?

No, but John Melas editor has the feature.

6.  If there is a sample playback-head, can it be controlled by data wheel to manually ADD or DELETE slices in a sample? (manual slicing)

The slices appear as keybanks which can be added or deleted.
It sounds like this is also in John Melas’ editor as well.

7.  What is the max slice resolution?  Is it still 64 for stereo and 128 for mono?  Is there an easy way to slice without doing math? (for 64 slices, I would like to just select “64” as a Sub-Divide)

We believe it is 128 slices for stereo as well, but will confirm.

8.  Can you audition (from keyboard) and edit the start/end points of sliced samples before executing slice command?
No, but you can in the software editor.

9.  Is “Alternating” possible as a Sample Play Mode? (Plays forward-reverse-forward continuously)
no
10.  Is time stretch and convert pitch done in real-time or is it still an offline process?  If it is a real-time feature, can you time stretch and pitch shift incoming audio as it is being sampled?

It is an offline process..

11.  Is there a Sample Voice Edit mode?  I want to edit (truncate, normalize, etc) individual sounds of a custom drum kit assigned to a sample voice.  I want to be able to press a key and the sample editor graphically displays the sample assigned to that key for further editing.  Is this possible?

Yes, see the post in answers, you now have direct access to the functions you mentioned in Sample edit.

12.  Is there non-destructive editing of samples? Can I assign a sample to multiple keys then edit a sample on one key without impacting the samples on the other keys? 

There is no non destructive editing, but what you described is duplicating waves on different keys and editing them separately which is possible.

13.  Can you stream/playback samples from USB devices?  Can you edit samples on a USB device?  In other words, can you use connected USB devices like XF’s flash memory?

You can stream 2 channels of audio from USB devices, but this is audio playback not samples triggered from the keyboard.  USB memory devices do not have quick enough access to allow playing 128 notes of polyphony from the external memory.

Hope that helps.  You can download demos versions of some of the software tools at links in the above posts about the new software. 

The cool things about these tools is you do not have to be connected to your Motif to work on samples.  You can audition the samples from your computer and then just transfer for them at the end to the Motif.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 09:27 AM
Yamaha_US
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“In an upgrade I hope they can add an on screen sampling button option to one of the F1 - F5 buttons on top of the main page that can instantly take you to a record page bypassing the other steps that may be required for one at a time sampling. “

Please set Record Next to ON in the Rec Setup page and very close to what you requested is possible.

1.  You need to initially set up some parameters for sampling including source ( A/D, resampling) , the type of sampling ( Sample, Sample with note, etc) and destination.  However once you have done this once, the Motif remembers your settings.

2. Setting Record Next to on, will (after you sample something) return you to the Record Ready page , not the record setup page.
This means you just have to select the destination (note) where you want the next sample to be placed and go ahead and sample.  Repast as necessary until you’re done.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 03:28 PM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular

Yamaha US, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.  Outstanding support!

I think John Melas should be added to the Motif XF’s programming team.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 04:29 PM
Needlz
Total Posts:  13
Joined  06-26-2010
status: Regular
jahrome - 02 August 2010 03:28 PM


I think John Melas should be added to the Motif XF’s programming team.

I agree!!! Will John Melas Waveform Editor be available for Mac anytime soon?

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 05:03 PM
Yamaha_US
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Yes, John is working on a MAC version which is the same code base and will be available soon.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 05:10 PM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular
Needlz - 02 August 2010 04:29 PM
jahrome - 02 August 2010 03:28 PM


I think John Melas should be added to the Motif XF’s programming team.

I agree!!! Will John Melas Waveform Editor be available for Mac anytime soon?

Needlz as in Khari Cain?

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 05:12 PM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular
kday - 02 August 2010 08:31 AM

As I’m also hoping Yamaha have brought their sample edit capabilities and options up to par with other manufactures that make sampling keyboards. Or at least Roland who takes keyboard sampling pretty seriously.

I hope there is a possibility of Yamaha expanding the sampling capabilities in future OS upgrades?  As I wrote earlier, it doesn’t seem any manufacturer is doing this on keyboard workstations.

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Posted on: August 02, 2010 @ 07:44 PM
Needlz
Total Posts:  13
Joined  06-26-2010
status: Regular
jahrome - 02 August 2010 05:12 PM
kday - 02 August 2010 08:31 AM

As I’m also hoping Yamaha have brought their sample edit capabilities and options up to par with other manufactures that make sampling keyboards. Or at least Roland who takes keyboard sampling pretty seriously.

I hope there is a possibility of Yamaha expanding the sampling capabilities in future OS upgrades?  As I wrote earlier, it doesn’t seem any manufacturer is doing this on keyboard workstations.

Yup Jahrome, it’s me… totally agree with you bro.  It seems as if real sampling is an afterthought a lot of times these days.  I’m really looking for a go to hardware sampler that is fast and easy.  I could care less about importing sample libraries.  I just want something where I can sample, manually make my slices fast, and then navigate through the slices quickly to edit. 

Most companies think that slicing samples up in 8th/16th/32nd notes or reading transients is the solution when it’s not.  I usually end up with a whole bunch of unnecessary slices. When I’m sampling I know exactly where I want to go to make my slices and I just need to be able to get there fast...so from there I can make a different beat out of the slices.  I really don’t understand why we can’t have a simple playhead to know where we are. A simple forward-reverse or some sort of smoothing function would help also.  I shouldn’t have to use an ASR-10 or use software to do these simple things in 2010.  I love the sounds in the Motif and I really want to make it my go to board. Just really wish they would rethink the sampling function a little bit. Any Hip Hop producers using the Motif as a go to sampler?

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Posted on: August 03, 2010 @ 02:54 AM
kday
Total Posts:  399
Joined  02-17-2004
status: Enthusiast
jahrome - 02 August 2010 05:12 PM
kday - 02 August 2010 08:31 AM

As I’m also hoping Yamaha have brought their sample edit capabilities and options up to par with other manufactures that make sampling keyboards. Or at least Roland who takes keyboard sampling pretty seriously.

I hope there is a possibility of Yamaha expanding the sampling capabilities in future OS upgrades?  As I wrote earlier, it doesn’t seem any manufacturer is doing this on keyboard workstations.

As I wrote earlier there are maybe one or two that is said to do sampling on workstation keyboards better than their competition. Roland’s Fantom X & G specifically seems to do sample editing pretty well and I heard assigning multi-samples across the board have gotten much easier then before. I heard Korg’s M3 does sampling and editing pretty easy or almost as easy as dedicated sampler unit. For me personally easily creating and assigning multi-sample instruments is the most important thing in a sampling process. I’m sorta used to dedicated sampler units that allow you to sample a sound with two button pushes and assign it to a piano key or a pad in another one or two key or pad pushes. I’m not used to have to having to fill out two pages of info just to assign a random one off sampled sound to a key or pad on a keyboard times 61. I do like where the Motif XF is said to be newly headed in their sampling department though. We’ll have to wait and see when it’s released otherwise keep coming with the ideas and suggestions for them to consider the possibilities in a future OS upgrade.

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Posted on: August 03, 2010 @ 04:02 AM
meatballfulton
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It seems to me the suggested approach going forward is to do the editing offline on a computer and import the results. Certainly between the display on my ES and the one in Audacity I know which one I would do my slicing in!

The Motif Classic ES came with bundled TinyWave Editor, a Win XP/Mac OS9 program for doing detailed sample editing. I’m not sure why Yamaha stopped development on that.

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Posted on: August 03, 2010 @ 11:20 PM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular

The Fantom G is a little more cumbersome when it comes to sampling compared to the Fantom X.  Roland removed the Fantom X’s quick assign to keys.  One of the biggest complaints I have about the Fantom G is that you can only chop samples into 16 slices and Pitch Shift is not an option in the same editing menu.

I think I am not asking for much.  The improvements to sampling I am talking about are possible with samplers created years..years ago.  Probaly over a decade even.  Personally I don’t enjoy using software to edit.  Its just more fun using hardware.

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Posted on: August 04, 2010 @ 03:52 PM
kday
Total Posts:  399
Joined  02-17-2004
status: Enthusiast
jahrome - 03 August 2010 11:20 PM

The Fantom G is a little more cumbersome when it comes to sampling compared to the Fantom X.  Roland removed the Fantom X’s quick assign to keys.  One of the biggest complaints I have about the Fantom G is that you can only chop samples into 16 slices and Pitch Shift is not an option in the same editing menu.

So the Fantom G did go backwards! Just what I thought according to the complaints.

Dear Yamaha

Can JOB shortcuts be made to short cut some of the sampling steps?

You know how certain favorite keyboard functions can be programmed into a JOB key, is it possible to program shortcuts to any of the sampling procedures?

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Posted on: August 04, 2010 @ 06:11 PM
Needlz
Total Posts:  13
Joined  06-26-2010
status: Regular
jahrome - 02 August 2010 08:03 AM




8.  Can you audition (from keyboard) and edit the start/end points of sliced samples before executing slice command?

9.  Is “Alternating” possible as a Sample Play Mode? (Plays forward-reverse-forward continuously)
1

Anybody know the answer to the above questions?

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Posted on: August 04, 2010 @ 10:47 PM
jahrome
Total Posts:  27
Joined  01-02-2005
status: Regular
Needlz - 04 August 2010 06:11 PM
jahrome - 02 August 2010 08:03 AM




8.  Can you audition (from keyboard) and edit the start/end points of sliced samples before executing slice command?

9.  Is “Alternating” possible as a Sample Play Mode? (Plays forward-reverse-forward continuously)

Anybody know the answer to the above questions?

The answer was no for both questions.  #8 would be really handy.

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