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Viewing topic "Improvements on XF"

   
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Posted on: December 24, 2011 @ 08:22 PM
emaruffi
Total Posts:  10
Joined  08-01-2010
status: Newcomer

I am now using my Motif XF8 regularly for live gigs and I really like it.

These are some improvements I’d like to see in the next software update:

1) More Controller assignments. I can definitely use more than 6!

2) in Performance mode the possibility of transposing voices more than +/- 24 semitones. I often put a split voice in the higher or lower octave, and I’d need at least +/ - 36.

3) A switch to decide if volume sliders respond immediately when moved, as opposed to be inactive until the value stored in memory is reached.

4) When changing a Performance or Voice, Motif should / could read the position of foot controllers and set the sound to that position. (There could be a switch for this behaviour)

5) Possibility to disable the FC3 half pedaling per patch. For example I don’t want it when playing pads with longer release. In this case, when I release the pedal I want the notes to fully release, because otherwise they tend to overlap, which muddies everything up!

6) Full alternate tunings. RIght now one can retune the octave, but it should be possible to retune the entire keyboard. This would open to quarter tone tuning, advanced tunings (such as those developed by Wendy Carlos) and assigning different notes to keys. BTW, Yamaha’s DX7 had this in 1983, and you could actually hear quarter-tones on even eight-tones scales, amazing, interesting and useful. I even used some of them (as FX) for commercial production. Also, putting different notes on keys has uses in production, things like harp tuning and much more.

7) When editing voices it would be good that disabled elements are grayed on the display when in 4-elements edit mode.

8) I know that this has been requested and there’s a workaround in Song mode, but I’d love to have 8 voices Performances.

Emanuele Ruffinengo
Mad Hatter Studios - Los Angeles

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 08:11 AM
omar17166
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Total Posts:  145
Joined  11-18-2011
status: Pro

Hi emaruffi!
I definitely agree with you on all the improvements, especially:

3) A switch to decide if volume sliders respond immediately when moved, as opposed to be inactive until the value stored in memory is reached.

but Unfortunately I do not see how this is possible without getting an ugly volume shift when it suddenly moves to the mechanical position! I think that’s why Yamaha were forced to do it this way. The ideal thing would be of course motorized sliders, putting the price very much up!

Regards, Omar

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 08:51 AM
bonivyr
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Total Posts:  141
Joined  11-15-2011
status: Pro

9)16parts performances with seamless switching

10)large touch screen

11)not narrowed keybed 61 and 76

12)full size piano samples

13)9 drawbars

14)VA and FM synthesis

15)1tb hard disk

16)higher volume output

17)free new sound banks

18)drum track

19)price no higher than Kronos
.........

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 09:42 AM
sciuriware
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Total Posts:  9999
Joined  08-17-2003
status: Guru

20) a pepsi cola holder for my drink,

21) an FM mixer with clock for the hourly news items,

22) a vacuum cleaner to wipe hairs from my beard from the white keys

23) a printer to produce sheets from my inventions

24) a stand for the newspaper while I perform my finger training

25) ...... oops, forgotten!

Nevertheless, happy 2012 and may all your dreams be ...

... eh, dreamed!

;JOOP!

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 10:12 AM
bonivyr
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Total Posts:  141
Joined  11-15-2011
status: Pro

Kronos has it all) lol

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 11:18 AM
VikasSharma
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Total Posts:  1523
Joined  10-05-2010
status: Guru
bonivyr - 25 December 2011 10:12 AM

Kronos has it all

If you want more, just wait for a few more days
http://www.casiomusicgear.com/

:-)

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 12:26 PM
Redhotpoker
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Total Posts:  3601
Joined  11-18-2010
status: Guru

Hi VikasSharma,
You Sir, are too funny…

Happy Holidays from Canada,

Ah thee Forum, Feliz Navidad!!

Chas

Image Attachments
weihnachten.jpg
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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 12:58 PM
VikasSharma
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Total Posts:  1523
Joined  10-05-2010
status: Guru

@Redhotpoker:

Thanks for the good wishes! I reciprocate the same to you and the forum at large!

I thought the link originally posted by your kind self was worth sharing with the ones eagerly looking for it :-)

No holidays or celebrations as such for me here, but the atmosphere is festive in India, nonetheless.

Enjoy your holidays but save something for NAMM 2012 ;-)

PS: The OP did have some good suggestions IMHO, but the thread took some sharp turns afterwards.

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 07:28 AM
Bad_Mister
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Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

To Emanuele: Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts based on your experience actually using the XF in a gigging situation. They are valueable.

There are a few that may, in fact, already exist:

4) When changing a Performance or Voice, Motif should / could read the position of foot controllers and set the sound to that position. (There could be a switch for this behaviour)

This parameter is called “CONTROLLER RESET” when set to HOLD, Controller positions become ‘live’, such that if you have a foot controller set to be your volume control, it does not have to RESET on each new program. This Controller Reset = HOLD function will work as long as you are moving between programs in the same mode.
Press [UTILITY]
Press [F5] CONTROL
Press [SF2] MIDI
Set the CONTROLLER RESET parameter = HOLD
Press [STORE] to write this preference to your unit’s FLASH ROM

5) Possibility to disable the FC3 half pedaling per patch. For example I don’t want it when playing pads with longer release. In this case, when I release the pedal I want the notes to fully release, because otherwise they tend to overlap, which muddies everything up!

The Half Damper function has it’s own parameter that is configurable within each VOICE. In fact, it is configurable (as it should be) per Element.
Press [EDIT]
Press a numbered button [1]-[8] to view an ELEMENT parameter
Press [F4] AMPLITUDE
Press [SF2] AEG
Here you will see the HALF DAMPER SWITCH and HALF DAMPER TIME parameters.

The magic of Half Dampering is only half in the pedal (sorry for the pun). The FC3 pedal sends all values from rest 0, through 127 as it is engaged. But unless the receiving tone generator/sound is capable of utilizing this function, it does not mean much. Plugging and FC3 into a synthesizer that does not respond is meaningless. Same goes for applying the FC3’s 0-127 to a VOICE that is not setup to respond to the Half Dampering envelope parameters, it is not going to have the same effect as when applied to say a VOICE where the parameters are engaged properly. Therefore the other half of the magic is in the receiving tone engine.

So the behvior you are describing with the sustain pedal and the Pad sound’s envelope may have little or nothing to do with the XF’s implementation of Half Dampering. Or I may have misunderstood the point you are bringing up. If you are referring to how this is implemented, please provide more information as to what you have discovered to be an issue.

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 09:31 AM
Apex
Total Posts:  683
Joined  10-21-2005
status: Guru

#26 10 Drummers Drumming
#27 and a partridge in a pear tree!!!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!!

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 12:34 PM
Redhotpoker
Avatar
Total Posts:  3601
Joined  11-18-2010
status: Guru

Hey,
The next ‘big thing’ from Yamaha? Our anticipations are set on high alert. So I truly hope the appreciation levels for whatever does come out, whether this NAMM or next, are also elevated.
http://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2012

Will there ever be a best-workstation that has it-all, for everyone?
I doubt it! But who knows? (Phil)

But with all the great suggestions, I add:
Larger capacity Lower priced Flash.

Oh, and a large red ‘OnStar noncreativity Alert’ button for ____.

Happy Boxing Day!!

Chas

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 07:39 PM
emaruffi
Total Posts:  10
Joined  08-01-2010
status: Newcomer
omar17166 - 25 December 2011 08:11 AM


Hi emaruffi!
I definitely agree with you on all the improvements, especially:

3) A switch to decide if volume sliders respond immediately when moved, as opposed to be inactive until the value stored in memory is reached.

but Unfortunately I do not see how this is possible without getting an ugly volume shift when it suddenly moves to the mechanical position! I think that’s why Yamaha were forced to do it this way. The ideal thing would be of course motorized sliders, putting the price very much up!

Regards, Omar

Hello Omar, I have heard so many times what you mention about the “ugly volume shift”, but in my experience it’s only partially true, and this is why: do you know how electric guitar players keep constantly changing their volume while playing? I feel the same with playing keyboards: no matter how much dynamics a keyboard can produce, I often change the volume of my keyboard to “mix myself in”. Maybe I want a bright and strong piano LOW in the mix so I’ll lower the volume and play strong.

I often play a Performance with of a couple of layered pianos and pads, and I adjust the individual layers’ volume as I play, which works very well to differentiate the sections of a song. Now let’s say one physical slider is at 50%, while the volume in the voice is stored as 85%. If I want to lower the volume I have first to go up and then go down which is not totally natural. Also, since each patch is different, and I don’t always look at the small red triangle which tells what the stored volume is, I end up moving the slider up and down very quickly to “touch” the stored volume and then just set the volume where I want it to be. Musicians usually know where the right volume has to be instinctively. They would set the fader position to the right position without even having to play the keyboard.

Again, I’m not saying that the Yamaha’s way of handling the volume is bad, I actually remember when they implemented, it, and I immediately thought it was a great idea. This concept was also praised a lot in the press. To make it possible Yamaha’s engineers had to program additional software (which checks the physical volume against the stored one before changing it), so it should not be complicated for them to put a preference switch to bypass this behavior, in case one doesn’t want it.

Emanuele Ruffinengo
Mad Hatter Studios - Los Angeles

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 07:39 PM
emaruffi
Total Posts:  10
Joined  08-01-2010
status: Newcomer
omar17166 - 25 December 2011 08:11 AM


Hi emaruffi!
I definitely agree with you on all the improvements, especially:

3) A switch to decide if volume sliders respond immediately when moved, as opposed to be inactive until the value stored in memory is reached.

but Unfortunately I do not see how this is possible without getting an ugly volume shift when it suddenly moves to the mechanical position! I think that’s why Yamaha were forced to do it this way. The ideal thing would be of course motorized sliders, putting the price very much up!

Regards, Omar

Hello Omar, I have heard so many times what you mention about the “ugly volume shift”, but in my experience it’s only partially true, and this is why: do you know how electric guitar players keep constantly changing their volume while playing? I feel the same with playing keyboards: no matter how much dynamics a keyboard can produce, I often change the volume of my keyboard to “mix myself in”. Maybe I want a bright and strong piano LOW in the mix so I’ll lower the volume and play strong.

I often play a Performance with of a couple of layered pianos and pads, and I adjust the individual layers’ volume as I play, which works very well to differentiate the sections of a song. Now let’s say one physical slider is at 50%, while the volume in the voice is stored as 85%. If I want to lower the volume I have first to go up and then go down which is not totally natural. Also, since each patch is different, and I don’t always look at the small red triangle which tells what the stored volume is, I end up moving the slider up and down very quickly to “touch” the stored volume and then just set the volume where I want it to be. Musicians usually know where the right volume has to be instinctively. They would set the fader position to the right position without even having to play the keyboard.

Again, I’m not saying that the Yamaha’s way of handling the volume is bad, I actually remember when they implemented, it, and I immediately thought it was a great idea. This concept was also praised a lot in the press. To make it possible Yamaha’s engineers had to program additional software (which checks the physical volume against the stored one before changing it), so it should not be complicated for them to put a preference switch to bypass this behavior, in case one doesn’t want it.

Emanuele Ruffinengo
Mad Hatter Studios - Los Angeles

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 07:39 PM
emaruffi
Total Posts:  10
Joined  08-01-2010
status: Newcomer
omar17166 - 25 December 2011 08:11 AM


Hi emaruffi!
I definitely agree with you on all the improvements, especially:

3) A switch to decide if volume sliders respond immediately when moved, as opposed to be inactive until the value stored in memory is reached.

but Unfortunately I do not see how this is possible without getting an ugly volume shift when it suddenly moves to the mechanical position! I think that’s why Yamaha were forced to do it this way. The ideal thing would be of course motorized sliders, putting the price very much up!

Regards, Omar

Hello Omar, I have heard so many times what you mention about the “ugly volume shift”, but in my experience it’s only partially true, and this is why: do you know how electric guitar players keep constantly changing their volume while playing? I feel the same with playing keyboards: no matter how much dynamics a keyboard can produce, I often change the volume of my keyboard to “mix myself in”. Maybe I want a bright and strong piano LOW in the mix so I’ll lower the volume and play strong.

I often play a Performance with of a couple of layered pianos and pads, and I adjust the individual layers’ volume as I play, which works very well to differentiate the sections of a song. Now let’s say one physical slider is at 50%, while the volume in the voice is stored as 85%. If I want to lower the volume I have first to go up and then go down which is not totally natural. Also, since each patch is different, and I don’t always look at the small red triangle which tells what the stored volume is, I end up moving the slider up and down very quickly to “touch” the stored volume and then just set the volume where I want it to be. Musicians usually know where the right volume has to be instinctively. They would set the fader position to the right position without even having to play the keyboard.

Again, I’m not saying that the Yamaha’s way of handling the volume is bad, I actually remember when they implemented, it, and I immediately thought it was a great idea. This concept was also praised a lot in the press. To make it possible Yamaha’s engineers had to program additional software (which checks the physical volume against the stored one before changing it), so it should not be complicated for them to put a preference switch to bypass this behavior, in case one doesn’t want it.

Emanuele Ruffinengo
Mad Hatter Studios - Los Angeles

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: December 27, 2011 @ 12:10 AM
emaruffi
Total Posts:  10
Joined  08-01-2010
status: Newcomer
Bad_Mister - 26 December 2011 07:28 AM

To Emanuele: Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts based on your experience actually using the XF in a gigging situation. They are valueable.

There are a few that may, in fact, already exist:

4) When changing a Performance or Voice, Motif should / could read the position of foot controllers and set the sound to that position. (There could be a switch for this behaviour)

This parameter is called “CONTROLLER RESET” when set to HOLD, Controller positions become ‘live’, such that if you have a foot controller set to be your volume control, it does not have to RESET on each new program. This Controller Reset = HOLD function will work as long as you are moving between programs in the same mode.
Press [UTILITY]
Press [F5] CONTROL
Press [SF2] MIDI
Set the CONTROLLER RESET parameter = HOLD
Press [STORE] to write this preference to your unit’s FLASH ROM

5) Possibility to disable the FC3 half pedaling per patch. For example I don’t want it when playing pads with longer release. In this case, when I release the pedal I want the notes to fully release, because otherwise they tend to overlap, which muddies everything up!

The Half Damper function has it’s own parameter that is configurable within each VOICE. In fact, it is configurable (as it should be) per Element.
Press [EDIT]
Press a numbered button [1]-[8] to view an ELEMENT parameter
Press [F4] AMPLITUDE
Press [SF2] AEG
Here you will see the HALF DAMPER SWITCH and HALF DAMPER TIME parameters.

The magic of Half Dampering is only half in the pedal (sorry for the pun). The FC3 pedal sends all values from rest 0, through 127 as it is engaged. But unless the receiving tone generator/sound is capable of utilizing this function, it does not mean much. Plugging and FC3 into a synthesizer that does not respond is meaningless. Same goes for applying the FC3’s 0-127 to a VOICE that is not setup to respond to the Half Dampering envelope parameters, it is not going to have the same effect as when applied to say a VOICE where the parameters are engaged properly. Therefore the other half of the magic is in the receiving tone engine.

So the behvior you are describing with the sustain pedal and the Pad sound’s envelope may have little or nothing to do with the XF’s implementation of Half Dampering. Or I may have misunderstood the point you are bringing up. If you are referring to how this is implemented, please provide more information as to what you have discovered to be an issue.

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

I learned something on 4) and I’m going to implement it right away!

On 5), Thanks for your detailed explanation on setting the half damper parameters. And yes, my explanation was not clear. What I am trying to avoid is this: suppose I’m playing a pad with 2 secs AEG release. I play a chord with the sustain pedal down. I release the notes, then I release the pedal. At this point the notes are in the release stage. If now I press the sustain pedal again, these released notes are sustained again. But for a musician, when you release both keys and the sustain pedal the notes are not ON anymore, they are simply in a release stage which will end independently. In other words, they have to go through this release phase, but successive sustain pedals should not hold them anymore.

Imagine you are playing a chord after another and you’re using the sustain pedal; when you play chord #2 right after chord #1 and press sustain ON, the release notes from chord #1 are hold, which clouds chord #2. The whole point is this, when on the release phase the notes are ON for the computer but OFF in the mind of a musician.

I believe Yamaha developed the algorithm of sustaining with the damper pedal notes on the release phase because this behavior works for the piano.

Emanuele Ruffinengo
Mad Hatter Studios - Los Angeles

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 @ 05:18 AM
Bad_Mister
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Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

If you have a string sound with 2 seconds of RELEASE TIME that means that after KEY OFF there will be 2 seconds of time before silence. That is true whether key off is literally you lifting your fingers from the keys or releasing the pedal (a held pedal is simply takes the place of the fingers)… If you re-engage the pedal within the RELEASE TIME (within that 2 second window, which you created with String envelope) the sound will be held at the volume level that it has reached. That is the nature of the TIME/LEVEL envelope. you need to be able to adjust that RELEASE TIME as a part of controlling your string sound.

If you actually do not want 2 seconds of RELEASE TIME on the string VOICE, it begs the question: Why is this the setting for the strings?

Seems it would be extremely difficult to play musically with that much RELEASE TIME (practically speaking that 2 seconds of release would be at the *end* of a phrase and not during playing a complete phrase, so it seems logical that you would assign a controller that you could *increase* it for the musical moment when that kind of super long release is necessary).

Am I being too practical here? I’m trying to play music with a 2 second delay on my strings and find it only useful at the end of a phrase. That being the case, I need to adjust the string release time, dynamically, when I need it… I just never found that I needed it at 2 seconds full time… only at the very end of a phrase (so I would approach this from the opposite direction: make it longer Release Time when necessary, instead of shortening it at the end of a phrase.

What you need to do is assign a convenient controller to control your strings in a way that would allow YOU to ‘perform’ them. Perhaps the sustain pedal is not the controller you want to assign to this particular task. I recommend that you use the RELEASE KNOB or assign control over the strings “Release” to a controller so you can “play” your strings properly. In the case where you need the pedal again for your piano - and the strings have not completed *your* assigned Envelope you need a way to make that moment end the strings.

Yes, the sustain pedal and Half Damper were modeled after the piano, the only real world role model for it available :-) so yes it works properly for piano. If you want to design a controller for strings this is possible.

The Motif XF is a synthesizer so even the HALF DAMPER functions provides enough values for experimentation. Try assigning AEG RELEASE to the Ribbon, or assign it to a separate Foot Switch… you will need to experiment…

There is no computer mind / musician mind here, the piano sustain pedal works for piano (percussive in nature), it obviously is a bit “science fiction” with a string section sound, because there is no real-world equivalent, nor should there be an expectation that it would work like it does on a piano… unless you adust the envelope of your string sound to respond as you desire you will inherit its current AEG LEVEL which, unless you change it, is being used to mimick strings played with bows.

Applying the Half Damper function to the strings, you can change the way they respond but if you are looking for a “real world” situation as to the STRINGS - there isn’t one, because as noted: Strings do not have a specific way in which they respond to sustain pedal because they do not have one in the real world. The “keyboard” conundrum comes when you want to sustain notes (continuously move the virtual bow) you have to maintain contact with the keys or the sustain pedal. If you want to adjust the RELEASE TIME of the strings you would do so with that parameter. It is available for real time manipulaton - MIDI even assigned it a CONTROL CHANGE number (cc072). If you need to dynamically shorten or lengthen the attack or the release, you have assignable controllers to do this, and this is what you need to do. It is like adding PB or Modulation, you need to be able to adjust the attack and release time of string sounds in the emulation of a string performance (I agree, of all keyboard-oriented physical controllers, the sustain pedal makes a very poor choice when emulating any string behaviors, I don’t know who to blame for this, seems just the way it is!) I would look for another controller.

Decide how you want this string sound to behave, then work with the AEG for the ELEMENTS in that sound. This is something you are going to have to adjust for your particular musical composition. It has to be a control gesture you will need to “invent” for yourself. (don’t blame the ‘computer’) :-) it is not at fault here. It’s the musician’s job to assign the available controllers to be able to emulate the selected instrument’s various gestures and articulations.

The Half Damper function, of course, was developed with PIANO in mind - what else has dampers of this nature? At any rate, it certainly can be turned ON or OFF in each VOICE. Experimenting with it on other sounds is practical, recommended and encouraged as you are given a range of values.

It certainly can be used to alter the string envelope’s behavior, post pedal up. By setting the HALF DAMPER = ON set the TIME to a value slightly lower than the RELEASE TIME value and work backwards (downward) from there until it is comfortable for your musical phrase.

Also you may want to look into the XA CONTROL, since this issue is an articulation issue (you need a different articulation for your strings at the end of some phrases) The Assignable Function 1 and 2 buttons can be used to switch the entire set of Elements making up the currently sounding String VOICE. They are designed for just this type of real-time access.

See: “Medium Large Section” PRE4:015(A15) Assignable Function switches between bowed articulation and pizzacato articulation

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