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Viewing topic "Sonar X1 & Motif XF - How?"

Posted on: October 11, 2011 @ 09:56 AM
Total Posts:  22
Joined  05-02-2011
status: Regular

I posted this under the “Recording” category of the forums, but since I was unsure if that was the proper locatation, I’m posting the question here as well. So, my appologies if this is the wrong venue…


Okay - I like the Cubase AI but am much more familiar with the Cakewalk Sonar interface, but I am at a loss as to how to record ANYTHING using my XF to Sonar X1.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:
1. I have the Firewire setup installed
2. I have the XF set to the SONAR DAW
3. I know that the proprietary Motif Extension VST3 is not compatible with Sonar as this is a marrage between Cubase and Motif.
4. However, I’ve downloaded the Studio Manager and associated Studio VST.
5. I’ve installed the Motif instrument definition files into Sonar.

Now, I’ve heard you have to get the Mackie control (controlling surface) selected and working in Sonar X1 for it to recognize the Motif. Is that true?

At first, I simply want to record MIDI via FW in Sonar from my Motif XF. Then, once that is working, I’ll jump into the audio portion of the mix.

Could someone point me to an article or offer some advice as to how to get the Motif to play nicely with Sonar X1?

Thanks in advance.


  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: October 11, 2011 @ 02:17 PM
Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

We moved your post here to the SONAR (CAKEWALK) forum heading as you are bound to have other Sonar X1 users here who can help you with some of the Sonar specific issues.

You should use whichever DAW makes you the most comfortable. No apology is necessary about liking what you like.

Now, I’ve heard you have to get the Mackie control (controlling surface) selected and working in Sonar X1 for it to recognize the Motif. Is that true?

Yes the REMOTE CONTROL protocol will work using Mackie Control, set it to PORT 2 for IN/OUT. The Motif XF’s REMOTE mode uses port 2 exclusively for REMOTE CONTROL commands (be sure to keep this port discreet from music communication ports).

At first, I simply want to record MIDI via FW in Sonar from my Motif XF.

When it comes to setting up for MIDI here is what you need to know in your XF:

Press [F5] CONTROL
Press [SF1] REMOTE (as you know): DAW = SONAR
Press [SF2] MIDI

When working with an external DAW you will want to work from either SONG or PATTERN mode and use the [MIXING] functions to setup the Motif XF multi-timbrally.

When you press [MIXING] initially there are 16 PARTS set to receive on a corresponding MIDI Channel TR 1-16 set to receive on Channels 1-16. Each set to receive one a separate channel.

While in MIXING mode you can press the [SEQ SETUP] button
Press [F3] QUICK
Select QUICK SETUP #3: Recording on Computer

The parameters that will be setup for you are on the left, the center column shows how these 6 critical parameters are currently set, and the column on the right will be how they are changed when you press [ENTER]

Press [ENTER] to select this template.

This has now prepared the Motif XF to work with an external DAW via FW MIDI.

In order to hear the Motif XF now, you will need to setup a MIDI TRACK in SONAR set to receive MIDI from the Motif XF Port 1 and set to ECHO that signal back to the Motif XF on PORT 1. Because LOCAL CONTROL will be turned OFF, you must complete the MIDI routing. Local Control = off means the XF key presses and controller movement data, travel OUT via MIDI first, and must be directed by your DAW (Sonar) Track to a target destination.

Within SONAR X1, you will need to select the Yamaha Steinberg FW ASIO driver as your audio driver. You need to allow SONAR to receive MIDI from the Motif XF on MIDI ports 1, 2 and 3
Port 1 for the XF itself
Port 2 for the REMOTE Control functions
Port 3 is the MIDI THRU port (allows you to plug in an external device to the XF’s 5-pin MIDI IN and have that arrive in Sonar on PORT 3

I’m sorry I do not know the ins and outs of Sonar any more but setting the MIDI and AUDIO should be pretty straight forward.

When you get ready to routing audio, let us know!

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 03, 2012 @ 09:17 AM
Total Posts:  27
Joined  03-04-2012
status: Regular

I’m new, just got the XF8 and have Sonar , this posting is very helpful, I’ll try exactly this in the next day or so.. thanks

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: June 27, 2012 @ 03:43 AM
Total Posts:  119
Joined  08-05-2010
status: Pro

Hi guys.  I also use Sonar X1 extensively as my DAW.  To be honest, I seldom use the Motif as my sequencer any more, mainly just because of the limited tracks and the tiny screen.  Sonar is just so much more powerful as a professional DAW.
That being said, everything Bad Mister had to say is correct and should help you to utilize the Motif with Sonar.
You may find after going back and forth between sequencers and transport devices etc, that it will be easier to just dedicate just one of them for your song production.

Start Sonar and select one of the “templates” for recording when the little screen pops up.  Sonar has quite a few of them, but the “NORMAL” template is a good place to start.

Set up Sonar as per Bad Mister’s advice concerning MIDI ports and use the Yamaha ASIO drivers, unless you have another set you prefer or which is more convenient.  (I switch between my Yamaha drivers and my Tascam ASIO USB Mixer Driver quite often, depending on the need.) You set the Input and Output Audio Drivers and the MIDI ports in the PREFERENCES tab of Sonar, under “Audio Devices” or “MIDI”.  In fact, nearly ALL your settings will be located in the PREFERENCES tab of SONAR, so spend some time scrolling through the entire section, taking time to note what each setting does.

Once you have your Audio Drivers set up, MIDI devices selected and configured, and any Control Surfaces configured in Sonar (I have only had SOME success at setting up the Motif Remote in Sonar), you are set to record a song....assuming you have correctly configured your Audio System and Studio Monitors (or headphones).

You will need to set the INPUT (source of sound) and OUTPUT (where you want the sound to go) for each Channel Strip (track) you plan to record on within Sonar.  Of course, you have to first set up each track as either: an AUDIO track, a MIDI track, or an INSTRUMENT track (using a VST Soft Synth such as Dimension Pro or the TTS-1 which come with Sonar).
Honestly, it’s just as easy to use the transport mechanism (Play/Stop/Record/Loop/Punch, etc) within Sonar as it is to try to use the Motif as your transport.  Set up your Metronome if desired, maybe with a count-in of 1-2 measures.
“Arm” the desired track for recording by clicking the little “Red Dot” button (Record) turns red.  It is near the W, R, M, and S buttons (Write, Read, Mute, and Solo buttons).  Click the Record button on the transport and wait for the count-in if selected.  Begin recording!

You may have to go inside the Utility Screen in the Motif and turn LOCAL CONTROL off in the MIDI Control screen.  In Sonar, there is a button (it turns blue) you can click to “echo” what you are playing from your keyboard, and if Local is ON, you may hear sound as though it has been doubled.  It’s odd...sometimes this happens, and sometimes not.  If you just cannot hear what you are playing, try turning LOCAL CONTROL back on.  (Also check to be sure you have your track OUTPUT in Sonar directed to a bus, such as MASTER, which has ITS Output Audio Drivers set to “send the sound” to your Studio Monitors/Audio System.)

You should see either an Audio waveform or a MIDI strip being recorded as you record.  Pressing the STOP button on the transport will suspend recording, but note your track is still “armed” for recording.  Click the Red Dot button if you are done recording to disarm the track.

Of course, there is a TON more to learn about X1 than what I wrote, but hopefully this paragraph will get you able to turn on, set up, and record a basic track in Sonar.

Let me know if this helps or if you have a specific SONAR question.

By the way, The MOTIF is the best natural-sounding, best all purpose keyboard out there in my opinion.  I love my XF7!

Good luck!!


  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: July 06, 2012 @ 09:23 AM
Total Posts:  207
Joined  09-30-2011
status: Enthusiast

I too am a Sonar X1 user.  I would LOVE to some day figure out how to still make use of the wonderful arps (especially the drum arps and pattern mode) within Sonar.  I’m sure it can be done.  It would be a matter of recording the arp midi output into a Sonar midi track and so forth.

There’s always this “chicken vs. egg” thing where you have to decide exactly how much of the Motif environment you want/need to use to get the particular song to a certain point.  Then you can get all the midi and/or audio tracks into Sonar and (in most cases) have an easier time with overall editing/fine tuning.

In my limited forays between the Motif XF and Sonar (I have the firewire option installed as well), I found that for now I can usually build up a song starting on the XF with Pattern mode, then use Pattern Chain to build up a song, then work in Song mode to finalize drum fills, cymbal crashes, melodies and solos, and finally dump all the audio on separate tracks into Sonar and simply work that way.  It seems that now that I’ve successfully gotten individual AUDIO tracks (via firewire) into Sonar, the next logical step is to figure out how to get individual MIDI tracks into Sonar for easier editing.

Yes, I know it can be done in Cubase and I’ve even imported an entire song and it was cool and all that, but my heart lies within Sonar, so naturally I’m gonna try to get all I can out of that platform.

If you want to hear examples of the XF working with Sonar, I have two songs for my new album complete at:  These two songs were sequenced completely and utterly on the XF itself (using the methods mentioned above) and I simply recorded a master stereo track within Sonar (in other words, no individual track audio within Sonar) and then simply used Boost11 mastering plugin within Sonar.

Enjoying the journey so far!

Kevin B. Selby <-- Peaceful music

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: July 06, 2012 @ 10:09 AM
Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

It seems that now that I’ve successfully gotten individual AUDIO tracks (via firewire) into Sonar, the next logical step is to figure out how to get individual MIDI tracks into Sonar for easier editing.

Yes, I know it can be done in Cubase and I’ve even imported an entire song and it was cool and all that, but my heart lies within Sonar, so naturally I’m gonna try to get all I can out of that platform.

Although Sonar cannot “read” Motif XF or Motif XS file formats, it can import MIDI track data directly from a Motif generated FILE.

On your Motif XF call up the SONG, the one you want to “get individual MIDI tracks into Sonar for easier editing”
Press [FILE]
Set the File TYPE = SMF
Set the SONG number to select your song
Press [SF2] SAVE
Give the FILE a NAME
Then press [ENTER] to execute.

The XF will give it the extension “.mid”

This will create a Standard MIDI File, Type 0, 480ppqn

This can be imported into Sonar (and most any DAW on the planet). Once you have loaded the file into Sonar you can divide it to separate Tracks by MIDI channel, as you require.

Now that the file is on your USB stick (or you if you’re connected via Ethernet - you can save it directly to your computer) you can open the file in Sonar.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: December 11, 2013 @ 12:46 PM
Total Posts:  65
Joined  04-19-2010
status: Experienced


The following is an unanswered question I placed in the XS section regarding sonar. Perhaps the Sonar users above can assist?

How does one change tracks using the remote control mode with sonar(x3) and actually play the new track? In Cubase you simply use the up/down arrows under the XS’ main dial and the track becomes activated and you can play and hear the sound on that track. When controlling sonar it seems you can only move through the tracks but not activate the sound playing on that track! So I am forced to exit remote mode and change it manually on the XS. There must be a better way.

Sorry for the duplicate post - I’m happy to delete the former post as it was probably in the wrong spot any way.

Any clues?

- Roger

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 20, 2015 @ 11:48 AM
Total Posts:  99
Joined  03-28-2004
status: Experienced

Thank God for Bad Mister and all the invaluable support he’s provided for the Motif over the years. Thank You, BM, for explaining here the important and crucial steps in setting up my XF to use with Sonar.  You made it so clear.  But without your instructions the task would have been hit and miss, and difficult.

I also have all the Instrument Definitions to simplify loading the instrument voices from my XF into empty Midi tracks in Sonar, thanks to this site.  Without guys like Bad Mister I don’t see how I could have been working with Motifs for so many years, although I miss my Ensoniq ASR-10 and Kurzweil 2500, too.  But this XF is so deep and excellent.  Viva Bad Mister, Professor Emeritus, Yamaha.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 20, 2015 @ 12:03 PM
Total Posts:  99
Joined  03-28-2004
status: Experienced


  [ Ignore ]