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Viewing topic "How to successfully play a live performance with more than 4 voices in the XF"

     
Posted on: October 07, 2013 @ 04:54 PM
sammyhunk
Total Posts:  13
Joined  10-07-2013
status: Regular

Hi Everyone,

I am the proud owner of a new MOTIF XF6...and so far I am loving the sounds and features. However, I am stumped in one area - I do a lot of gigging where my keyboard is the only master instrument. I owned a PSR 550 earlier where I had Voice L, R1, R2 which I could play live along with an arrangement which consisted of upto 16 (I think) instruments. However, what I have found in the MOTIF is the PERFORMANCE mode which only plays 4 voices!! And the PATTERN/SONG modes do not allow me to change chords on the fly for live playing!

Now, I have done a lot of research on forums, and have heard some comments that the MASTER or MIXING mode can take care of that limitation, but my biggest concern is: can I use these modes to play live (i.e. use my left hand to change chords for all my arrangements and my right hand for lead notes) for more than 4 voices, and if so, HOW??

I have a gig this weekend, and I am desperately trying to figure this out...so any help will be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
Sammyhunk.

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Posted on: October 07, 2013 @ 05:08 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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There are a number of ways to do what you want.

Here’s one:

Set up a Song (up to 16 parts can be specified via the Mixing). Then set up a Master to control that Song.

If you do a forum search, you’ll find a thread where an extremely knowledgable and helpful local expert named Bad_Mister told me in detail how to do this.

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Posted on: October 07, 2013 @ 11:09 PM
Bad_Mister
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First thing we should say to you is: Welcome to the forums!

Answer in two parts....below

But next we want to say the Motif XF is not an arranger keyboard? Yamaha made your PSR-550, we know what arranger/accompaniment keyboards are all about. Trust us, we wrote the book on them. The Motif XF’s is the top of the line “Music Production” synthesizer. This is an entirely different focus of product features.

Do not transfer the functions and terminology of the PSR to your Motif XF, you will be frustrated and confused if you do. The PSR had three “panel Voices” L, R1, R2… Left, Right lead 1 Right lead 2… And eight ( not sixteen) instruments doing the accompaniment… A Percussionist on part 9, a Drummer on Part 10, Bass on Part 11, rhythmic Chordal instrument 1 in Part 12, rhythmic Chordal instrument 2 in Part 13, a Pad Voice in Part 14, a riff Phrase 1 in Part 15, a riff Phrase 2 in Part 16.

You don’t have much say about these instruments in the PSR… They are all pre-selected and fixed by the STYLE you select. They occupy those Part numbers and tracks and much of what you pay for is the assembly of these instruments and the pre- recorded data that they play… (albeit chord intelligently for Parts 11-16).

When you press RECORD on a PSR all 16 tracks go into record and record your playing and your control over the ‘backing band’ all in one pass, to the instruments SONG RECORDER.

The Motif XF’s has a SEQUENCER and while it can record a Song it is designed to do it sequentially… One Part at a time. You don’t have a STYLE engine, per se. The sixteen instruments in the Multi-timbral setup are selected individually by you, the music they play is played by you (not the pre-arranged Style engine.

Now that said, can the PSR record one track at a time, yes it can
Can the PSR allow you to select each instrument in the backing accompaniment, yes it can
Can the Motif XF record all sixteen tracks simultaneously, yes it can
Can the Motif XF respond to chord intelligent control, yes it can

But the point I’m making is the PSR is optimized to be a Style engine player for accompaniment in real time.
The Motif XF is optimized to be a music construction engine for the composer to write music.

One is focused on being a Song performance keyboard, the other is focused on composing original music.
One is designed to do cover material, the other is focused on recording your own original music.

Is their overlap, of course, the subject is music. So let’s focus on what you understand from your PSR experience that will actually be useful in learning the Motif XF. But I highly recommend that you don’t go into this trying to make your XF’s a 550. You will have trust us that we know how to build the STYLE-based arranger keyboards, we are world’s leader in selling those. We are also the world’s leader in music Production Workstations, as well. We know the difference!!!

The one big difference you will notice is the CHOICES you now have.
You get to choose what each of the sixteen musical Parts are. In your PSR when you select a STYLE you basically hiring eight musicians to be your backing band.

In the XF’s when you go to Song or Pattern mode, you hire sixteen individual musicians, and you decide what they are going to do. You can for example decide to play one or more of them across the keyboard as you desire. You want to play 15 sounds simultaneously along with a drummer… You can ( don’t recommend it). If you want to play three sounds across the keyboard while the other 13 playback a musical sequence… You can. Any combination is possible.

While the PSRs focus is real time live, the focus of the Motif XF’s is for recording (sequencing).

In your PSR, Yamaha engineers compiled hundreds and hundreds of STYLE combinations so that you can use these as backing, they are grouped into musical Styles so you can conveniently recall a Bossa Nova. When you do the backing band all know what to play!

The PERFORMANCE mode is the closest thing akin to what you’d know as a “STYLE”, but the difference is subtle but very important to understand. If an XF Performance program is appropriate for a Bossa Nova it is because the programmer selected, individually, arpeggio Phrases that are appropriate. There are no pre arranged Styles in the XF… The data is accessible as individual phrases.

On the XF there are no Automatic Fill-in buttons, there are no Intros, or Endings, or any of that… If you want that you could build that but the INTRO does not automatically go to a main section. You could assemble a fill-in but it will not automatically go to a main section… Everything is constructed by you the composer.

In the Motif you have Arpeggiators, your PSR did not have any arpeggiators. Yamaha has broadened the definition of “arpeggio” with the Motif-series. Instead of note up, note down, up/down and random flourishes, we’ve broken down the individual phrases you might find in an arranger, and transferred the note data to these chord intelligent arpeggio phrases. These phrases, some 7,981 of them are data, played by musicians, stored as MIDI data are individually selectable.

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Posted on: October 07, 2013 @ 11:09 PM
Bad_Mister
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You want to choose a Drum n Bass drum groove, combine it with a reggae bass line! and a funk rhythm guitar! and play over it with a B3 organ voice… You can. The Performance can have four PARTs, all of them or none of them or any combination can be under your control, or under arpeggio phrase control.

You don’t get eight because that’s not the purpose here. The purpose of the four Part (Arpeggio) performance is to “jump start” your recording efforts to the sequencer.

The first Motif (Classic, 2001) you could only record one Part at a time to the sequencer… Traditional workstation workflow… But interaction with customers led the evolution of this feature to where we feel is the most useful for our target customer. They don’t want the whole composition automated by the STYLE engine, they find playing along with drums, better than just playing the initial tracks one at a time.

Instead of laying down the drums, alone to the click, what if you could play both the Drums and your main sound together… This evolved into… Wouldn’t it be cool to also have a chord relevant bass line follow along while I’m laying down the chords and drum… Four seems to be enough to create a decent rhythm section… Just to “jump start” the sequencing…

You can create you small ensemble as a way to get several tracks down simultaneously… But more than just a speed shortcut was in the concept. Arpeggios you will find are extremely flexible when it comes to controlling the feel, swing and attitude of the phrase data…

So take the hundreds of styles in the PSR, break down the data into individual phrases (remove those that are to corny, or that don’t seem appropriate) and you have thousands of music motifs, if you will, that can be used to build YOUR composition. They are optimized for recording to the sequencer… Because you can adjust the feel and timing of these Phrases via the ARP PLAY FX, you can ultimately make them do your bidding.

Can you use these to perform live… Sure I guess, and many do… But that is not their focus, they are focused for those wanting some assistance in creating/recording original music. A really good rhythm guitar arpeggio phase comes to life when you feed it your chord progression… It is very much like handing a chart to a seasoned player!

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Posted on: October 08, 2013 @ 12:27 AM
sammyhunk
Total Posts:  13
Joined  10-07-2013
status: Regular

Wow...I love thigh forum!! Thanks Michael and Bad_Mister for your replies!! One thing that Bad_Mister mentioned is

“The one big difference you will notice is the CHOICES you now have.
You get to choose what each of the sixteen musical Parts are. In your PSR when you select a STYLE you basically hiring eight musicians to be your backing band.

In the XF’s when you go to Song or Pattern mode, you hire sixteen individual musicians, and you decide what they are going to do. You can for example decide to play one or more of them across the keyboard as you desire. You want to play 15 sounds simultaneously along with a drummer… You can ( don’t recommend it). If you want to play three sounds across the keyboard while the other 13 playback a musical sequence… You can. Any combination is possible.”

I have been playing around with these modes, but the challenge I am facing is that I am not able to change the chords in real time live playing for a 4-measure pattern sequence (Say drum, base and backing strings) that I record. Is there a way to do that other than in performance mode? If someone can help me figure this out then I am golden! :)

P.S. I do love the composition possibilities of the Motif and that is one of the reasons I bought this, but I am also a live gigger, and am feeling rather limited till I can figure out the above.

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Posted on: October 08, 2013 @ 12:35 AM
sammyhunk
Total Posts:  13
Joined  10-07-2013
status: Regular

“If you want to play three sounds across the keyboard while the other 13 playback a musical sequence… You can. Any combination is possible.”

How can I play multiple sounds simultaneously in pattern/song mode? Sorry - maybe a basic question, but am still getting to know my MOTIF!! :)

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Posted on: October 09, 2013 @ 02:43 AM
sammyhunk
Total Posts:  13
Joined  10-07-2013
status: Regular

“The one big difference you will notice is the CHOICES you now have.
You get to choose what each of the sixteen musical Parts are. In your PSR when you select a STYLE you basically hiring eight musicians to be your backing band.

In the XF’s when you go to Song or Pattern mode, you hire sixteen individual musicians, and you decide what they are going to do. You can for example decide to play one or more of them across the keyboard as you desire. You want to play 15 sounds simultaneously along with a drummer… You can ( don’t recommend it). If you want to play three sounds across the keyboard while the other 13 playback a musical sequence… You can. Any combination is possible.”

Any advice on how I can play live using Song/Pattern mode and change chords of the base/pad/guitar arpeggios with my left hand and play leads with my right? So far, when I have created a pattern/song I have not been able to change the base chords in real time!!! PLEASE HELP!!! :)

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Posted on: October 09, 2013 @ 05:28 AM
Bad_Mister
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I have been playing around with these modes, but the challenge I am facing is that I am not able to change the chords in real time live playing for a 4-measure pattern sequence (Say drum, base and backing strings) that I record. Is there a way to do that other than in performance mode?

No, is the short answer.

What’s wrong with PERFORMANCE mode?  that is the mode you do it in. Setup your PERFORMANCE, then press [RECORD]
Direct the record to either a Song or a Pattern Section. Use the Performance to “jump start “ the process, from that point on add track, by track, in traditional sequencer recording fashion.

A Sequencer, again, is unlike a Song Recorder that you were familiar with. A sequencer is designed to record tracks sequentially, one track at a time, one after the other.

Yamaha invented direct Performance Record to allow the sequencer to divide the four Parts of the Performance out to four separate Tracks of the sequencer… This very, very complex function works from Performance mode >> either Song or Pattern mode.

Once you move into the sequencer your option to record is a single track at a time.

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Posted on: October 09, 2013 @ 04:28 PM
sammyhunk
Total Posts:  13
Joined  10-07-2013
status: Regular

The challenge I am facing is that I need more than 4 voices and I need to play them in a Chord-intelligent way for live gigs. E.g. for almost all my performances, I use drums, base arp, guitar arp, strings (use up all 4 of my performance voices) to be played in a chord-intelligent manner with my left hand + 1 lead voice (Piano/Organ/Flute, etc.) with my right hand. I also want to be able to change the lead voice in real-time depending on the part of the song I am playing.

Is there a way to do the above? My understanding is that in Song/Pattern mode, if I use the sequencer, then the chords are fixed and cannot be changed in real time while playing live.

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Posted on: October 11, 2013 @ 01:51 PM
mikebengel
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status: Experienced

Try a search on the forum for “ scenes “.  Those can be like the different [arp]’s in performance mode.

PRESS [MIXER] [EDIT] TRACK[1]
Top left is Receive(midi) channel.  Set tracks[1] [2] [3] to Receive Channel 1
When you select that track to play, it will play every track that’s set to Receive Channel=1

Different tracks can then be set up from here using [F2] page button to change arp settings.

SAVE AS SCENE

Change arp setting for tracks then press and hold store button and scene2.  Now you can have different arps play for each scene.  Tracks can be muted and saved for that scene.

Iv’e got a 7 track pattern that all plays on Receive Channel=1.

Three different tracks play arps that are controlled by the lower half of the keyboard.

one of the tracks has a drum arp that is set to trigger on/off by pressing a specific key in the upper range.

Three other tracks are set up to play voices only.  1 on the lower half. The two others play lead on the upper end while one of them is triggered to mute when pressing [ASSINGABLE FUNCTION 1]

Nothing is recorded with the sequencer.  Just make sure Arppegio On/Off button is on.

So much more......

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Posted on: October 11, 2013 @ 04:51 PM
Bad_Mister
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The challenge I am facing is that I need more than 4 voices and I need to play them in a Chord-intelligent way for live gigs. E.g. for almost all my performances, I use drums, base arp, guitar arp, strings (use up all 4 of my performance voices) to be played in a chord-intelligent manner with my left hand + 1 lead voice (Piano/Organ/Flute, etc.) with my right hand. I also want to be able to change the lead voice in real-time depending on the part of the song I am playing.

Is there a way to do the above?

The Motif XF is not an arranger.

My understanding is that in Song/Pattern mode, if I use the sequencer, then the chords are fixed and cannot be changed in real time while playing live.

Arpeggios can be used in Song/Pattern mode, and while the arps are designed primarily to be recorded to the sequencer one track at a time in these modes, you can certainly use them for live performing.

Arpeggios can indeed be stored to the Scene buttons -as correctly stated in the post above. This means you can assign not only the arps that are recalled by the [SF] buttons but as we’ll see, you can automate which lead sound is active.

You can setup four sounds under “ARP PLAY ONLY” and then setup three sounds that you switch between as lead sounds. The XF is not an arranger, but it is a highly programmable synth.

What is easy on an arranger can be done here on the XF, even if it seems less like it was meant to work this way. Setting it up manually is a matter of understanding several different functions.

Create your four Part PERFORMANCE
Use the MIXING mode COPY Job to copy the Performance to a Song/Pattern Mixing setup.
Make sure that the region of the keyboard controlling the arps is set so your right hand region is clear for your right hand lead sounds. ARP Note Limits must be set carefully so only the left hand can influence the chord qualities.

Setup you three right hand sounds in three PARTs assigned to MIDI receive channel 1, using the PART Note Limit parameters to prevent these leads from sounding with your left hand.

You can either manually manipulate which right hand lead sound is playing (by manipulating the MUTE buttons) or you can automate which right hand lead will sound with each of the arpeggios stored to the SF buttons. What ou can do is STORE the volume setting for each of your lead sounds to correspond with the arpeggio stored to the SCENE.

In other words, [SF1] Scene 1 might contain the Arpeggios that make the first four Parts play the main groove, while it sets the Volume for lead 1 to playable, while setting the volume of lead 2 and 3 to zero… And so on. In this fashion you can automate what the arps are playing and which lead sound is active by Storing this to a SCENE (hold [STORE] + [SFn])

if you understand what is going on you can program most anything with an XF! As you can see with the post above, as you get to know the tools available there are going to be several ways to be creative. Programming custom Voices that do your bidding is another way to accomplish this. The AF1/AF2 buttons (Assignable Function) buttons can be used to toggle on/off your custom Voices. Or you can use different Controllers to bring in different combinations of instruments. You will need to discover what works best for you. But the degree of programmability is astounding.

And no these all will not be in the manual, oh, they tell you what the parameters are and how to work them, but how you apply them is really YOUR art. And that some times is a good thing. You can blaze new trails in how you setup to use your Motif XF. As you can see it is flexible and there is not going to be just one way to accomplish things. Take your time, it can be a lot of fun.

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Posted on: November 15, 2018 @ 04:07 PM
Alexander90
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Joined  11-15-2018
status: Newcomer

Hello there. I have a question . I hope someone can help me . I have an motif xf7 and I wanna use / play 16 tracks simultaneously. I heard about that is possible. I know that must be in pattern or song mixing and all 16 tracks to be set on midi channel 1. Here my problem is beginning. Example: I have track1 - piano s6, track 2- strings, track 3 - organ , track 4 - pad and blah blah blah until track 16.  When I’m trying to set track 2 on midi channel 1 , I lose my strings and is automatically comes piano s6 on track 2 also. Is someone who know how can I solve that?

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Posted on: November 15, 2018 @ 05:01 PM
5pinDIN
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Alexander90 - 15 November 2018 04:07 PM

Hello there.

Welcome to the forum.

 

Alexander90 -

I have a question . I hope someone can help me . I have an motif xf7 and I wanna use / play 16 tracks simultaneously. I heard about that is possible. I know that must be in pattern or song mixing and all 16 tracks to be set on midi channel 1. Here my problem is beginning. Example: I have track1 - piano s6, track 2- strings, track 3 - organ , track 4 - pad and blah blah blah until track 16.  When I’m trying to set track 2 on midi channel 1 , I lose my strings and is automatically comes piano s6 on track 2 also. Is someone who know how can I solve that?

First, I have a question for you. When you say “simultaneously”, are you trying to have all the sounds layered, such as they can be in Performance mode, but with 16 Parts instead of four? That is, do you want all 16 Parts to play at once when a single key is depressed?

If not, please explain in some detail what you mean by “simultaneously”.

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Posted on: November 15, 2018 @ 05:22 PM
Alexander90
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status: Newcomer

Yes exactly. I wanna play 16 sounds at ones . I heard is possible but I can’t find any relevant information about that

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Posted on: November 16, 2018 @ 12:21 AM
5pinDIN
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Alexander90 - 15 November 2018 05:22 PM

Yes exactly. I wanna play 16 sounds at ones . I heard is possible but I can’t find any relevant information about that

From Song/Pattern Mixing mode, edit the Receive Channel - set each Part (1~16) to “1”. When playing, press button [1].

See page 194 of the XF Reference Manual (http://download.yamaha.com/file/48531).

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Posted on: November 16, 2018 @ 04:00 PM
Alexander90
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Joined  11-15-2018
status: Newcomer

Thanks a lot for info . Is working now. 👍

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