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Viewing topic "quick quesiton about recording with the spdif output of the motif xs"

     
Posted on: January 18, 2020 @ 02:38 PM
tradivoro
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I’ve researched the manual and forum and found out the sample rate and how to maximize the output from the motif xs.  I just need to know, is the motif xs automatically set to internal clock when using the spdif out?

Reason I ask is that the focusrite device (which I am considering buying) says “to record via spdif, make sure that the external device is set to its internal clock.” Any info appreciated, thanks.

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Posted on: January 18, 2020 @ 04:34 PM
5pinDIN
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S/PDIF is self-clocking - the clock is integrated into the data stream along with the digital audio.

The signal at the DIGITAL OUT connector of the XS is S/PDIF, 44.1kHz/24-bit.

The receiving device input should be set to that sample rate and bit depth. If a receiver is incapable of 24-bit depth then the less significant bits can be ignored if necessary. Red Book audio (CDs) is 44.1kHz/16-bit.

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Posted on: January 18, 2020 @ 10:04 PM
tradivoro
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Thanks 5pin.  The focusrite definitely has that sample rate, so that’s not a problem. Glad to know that if in the match it doesn’t have 24 bit, that it’s not the end of the world. 

I imagine that the maximum output of the motif xs is probably going to be about -12db, which is the same that I was able to get out of the moxf8 from the usb digital out of the machine. 

However, I found that any more than that and it started to distort in Sonar, which was strange.  -12db to -18db sounded nice and clear.  So, 0db is not the end all be all with these instruments.

Thanks again.  As usual, you’re a wealth of information.

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Posted on: January 19, 2020 @ 03:01 AM
5pinDIN
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tradivoro - 18 January 2020 10:04 PM

Thanks 5pin.  The focusrite definitely has that sample rate, so that’s not a problem. Glad to know that if in the match it doesn’t have 24 bit, that it’s not the end of the world.

You’re welcome.

 

tradivoro -

I imagine that the maximum output of the motif xs is probably going to be about -12db, which is the same that I was able to get out of the moxf8 from the usb digital out of the machine.

The DIGITAL OUT signal is the same as what’s available at the main analog outputs (L/MONO and R), but before it goes through D/A converters, etc. Therefore the level is set in the same manner as for analog, except that the MASTER VOLUME slider (which is an analog control) will have no effect on the digital signal.

 

tradivoro -

However, I found that any more than that and it started to distort in Sonar, which was strange.  -12db to -18db sounded nice and clear.  So, 0db is not the end all be all with these instruments.

By “0dB” I presume you’re referring to the digital level 0dBFS. (For those not familiar with that terminology, see links from http://www.google.com/search?q=0dbFS)
I’m also surprised that you found your DAW wasn’t able to handle levels closer to 0dBFS. You might want to join forums that cover Cakewalk and Focusrite products and discuss the issue.

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Posted on: January 20, 2020 @ 11:21 AM
tradivoro
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tradivoro -

However, I found that any more than that and it started to distort in Sonar, which was strange.  -12db to -18db sounded nice and clear.  So, 0db is not the end all be all with these instruments.

By “0dB” I presume you’re referring to the digital level 0dBFS. (For those not familiar with that terminology, see links from http://www.google.com/search?q=0dbFS)
I’m also surprised that you found your DAW wasn’t able to handle levels closer to 0dBFS. You might want to join forums that cover Cakewalk and Focusrite products and discuss the issue.

I was able to get the moxf8 to 0db but it definitely sounded distorted at that point.  Between -12 and -18 it sounded good and I could get it to 0 for mix purposes with the gain in Sonar.  At that time, the moxf8 was doing the digital recording heavy lifting via usb. 

However, since the Motif XS doesn’t have the digital recording capability out of the box (via usb, it seems that firewire was an option once, but you can’t get the interfaces anymore) spdif is the way I’m going, so I’m exploring possibly the focusrite as an interface that can record spdif. 

Regular recording out of audio outs sounds pretty good, but I compared digital recording and audio recording with the moxf and digital recording sounds like an exact replica whereas the audio recording always has a slight coloration and tonal difference largely due to going through the mixer.  The digital sounds better.

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Posted on: January 20, 2020 @ 01:27 PM
5pinDIN
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The XS6 and XS7 can use either an mLAN16E2 or FW16E FireWire interface. If you want to get one, check online auction sites, they do show up for sale from time to time.

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Posted on: January 21, 2020 @ 06:26 AM
philwoodmusic
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Hi tradivoro,

Instruments should be recorded with a good 12 - 15 dB of headroom so that there’s room to manoeuvre when you layer them together in your mix.  It’s not necessary to record everything near to 0dB, otherwise you can quickly run out of headroom in your DAW.

Motifs are perfectly capable of giving you a really loud output, if that’s what you want. 

You can do this with any VOICE, but if you edit (for example) a piano in Voice Mode first, increase its volume (which I guarantee will be set moderately or conservatively by default) save that edited piano to a USER location, and then use that in the sequencer modes, or just in voice mode as it is, you’ll get a much louder output.  That should always be your first step to getting much more level out of your Motif.

The reason why voices are set lower than you expect, is because Yamaha expect us to layer them together or stack them against another 15 voices in Song Mode.  If every voice was maxed out, we’d all be distorting our outputs quickly and easily when we layer them.  That is just the same thing as my first paragraph, but on the Motif itself.  By aiming to get everything at 0dB, you’re aiming for the same problem in your DAW.

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Posted on: January 22, 2020 @ 06:54 PM
tradivoro
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5pinDIN - 20 January 2020 01:27 PM

The XS6 and XS7 can use either an mLAN16E2 or FW16E FireWire interface. If you want to get one, check online auction sites, they do show up for sale from time to time.

I’ve looked around and unfortunately, everybody is price gouging these at the present.  For the money they’re charging, I think it’s better to get a new audio interface that has spdif recording capabilities that you can also use to record other sources as well.  Maybe at some point I’ll find an FW16E at a good price and pick it up.

As an aside, considering that the motifs are expensive machines when they were new, I don’t understand why Yamaha didn’t just have the firewire interface as stock with the xs6 and xs7, not just add it to the 88 note version of the synth.  But it’s water under the bridge now.

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Posted on: January 22, 2020 @ 06:58 PM
tradivoro
Total Posts:  45
Joined  12-16-2003
status: Regular
philwoodmusic - 21 January 2020 06:26 AM

Hi tradivoro,


The reason why voices are set lower than you expect, is because Yamaha expect us to layer them together or stack them against another 15 voices in Song Mode.  If every voice was maxed out, we’d all be distorting our outputs quickly and easily when we layer them.  That is just the same thing as my first paragraph, but on the Motif itself.  By aiming to get everything at 0dB, you’re aiming for the same problem in your DAW.

Hi Phil, you have verified my suspicions.  When it got that hot, I figured they were thinking that when you started to mix various sounds, things were going to get distorted real fast, unless you recorded it at a lower level.  Funny thing is that it sounded fine level wise at that level, louder than you would have expected. Thanks for the detailed info.

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Posted on: January 23, 2020 @ 06:07 AM
5pinDIN
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tradivoro - 22 January 2020 06:54 PM

I’ve looked around and unfortunately, everybody is price gouging these at the present.  For the money they’re charging, I think it’s better to get a new audio interface that has spdif recording capabilities that you can also use to record other sources as well.  Maybe at some point I’ll find an FW16E at a good price and pick it up.

I’m curious - what pricing are you seeing, and what would you consider a reasonable price to pay?

 

tradivoro -

As an aside, considering that the motifs are expensive machines when they were new, I don’t understand why Yamaha didn’t just have the firewire interface as stock with the xs6 and xs7, not just add it to the 88 note version of the synth.  But it’s water under the bridge now.

The 88-key XS8 was the top-of-the-line Motif model, and went for a premium price, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it included the built-in mLAN interface. Not that I’m trying to defend Yamaha, but not everyone wanted/needed mLAN, so making it optional allowed them to offer the XS6 and XS7 at a somewhat reduced pricing.

What’s unfortunate is that Yamaha apparently didn’t foresee future demand for the interface, or care enough about Motif XS/XF users to keep some inventory available.

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Posted on: January 24, 2020 @ 07:12 PM
tradivoro
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Joined  12-16-2003
status: Regular

I’m curious - what pricing are you seeing, and what would you consider a reasonable price to pay?

Well the prices I’ve been seeing for used units out there have ranged from $300 to $500.  It’s crazy.  I’d rather just get a new audio interface with spdif recording.  I never updated my audio interface, since I mostly used vst synths and kontakt and that got rendered to track.  so this would be a good excuse to get a new one.

If I came across a FW16E unit for $150 or so used, I’d go for it.  Inasmuch as I know that will have more versatility than one track at a time spdif, with the generic audio interface I could also record vocals and things like that as well. (I know you can technically do this with the motif as well, but I still think of it as a keyboard.)

The focusrite seems to be a good unit.  I’m also looking at some usb 3 units out there and see if there any good.

In the meantime, I’m very pleased with the XS7.  It works as a great controller, the design and layout is great.  The sounds are great.  Also, it’s not charcoal, black or another dark color.  It’s a nice light green, easy to see everything. And most importantly, the keybed is not killing my hands, like the moxf8, which was my original motivation for getting it.

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Posted on: January 24, 2020 @ 08:29 PM
5pinDIN
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tradivoro - 24 January 2020 07:12 PM

Well the prices I’ve been seeing for used units out there have ranged from $300 to $500.  It’s crazy.  I’d rather just get a new audio interface with spdif recording.  I never updated my audio interface, since I mostly used vst synths and kontakt and that got rendered to track.  so this would be a good excuse to get a new one.

The FW16E when new listed for US$299.95, and was sometimes discounted to about $269.  Considering their current rarity, a used one that’s known to be functional selling for $300 actually doesn’t seem to be unreasonable. Some users might be willing to pay more.

 

tradivoro -

If I came across a FW16E unit for $150 or so used, I’d go for it. [...]

I’d be surprised to see one at that price unless the seller was unaware of the market for them at this time.

I’ve occasionally seen a Rack XS with an FW16E installed selling for as little as $850. At that price, anyone desperate for the FW16E could purchase the Rack unit, remove the FW16E, and probably resell the Rack XS for almost what they paid. It might be worth the hassle to some.

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Posted on: January 25, 2020 @ 08:00 PM
tradivoro
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The FW16E when new listed for US$299.95, and was sometimes discounted to about $269.  Considering their current rarity, a used one that’s known to be functional selling for $300 actually doesn’t seem to be unreasonable. Some users might be willing to pay more.

Well, not knowing what these things cost originally, I see why they’re going for that price.  I am definitely going to focus on the audio interface unit, it’s not worth it to invest in something that’s only going to work on a xs7.  At $300 dollars I could pick up a used mx49 which comes with an audio interface.  No, I think I’m going to stick with the spdif route.

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Posted on: January 26, 2020 @ 04:43 AM
5pinDIN
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tradivoro - 25 January 2020 08:00 PM

[....] I am definitely going to focus on the audio interface unit, it’s not worth it to invest in something that’s only going to work on a xs7.  At $300 dollars I could pick up a used mx49 which comes with an audio interface.  No, I think I’m going to stick with the spdif route.

I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, and I have no horse in the race. However, please understand that these threads are read by many others besides yourself. For those wondering, there’s an advantage to the FireWire interfaces that’s not usually mentioned - speed. When using the Yamaha Editor, for example, data transfers are significantly faster over FW than USB.

Enjoy your XS. Although my XF6 has an FW16E, I’ve used my XS6 for several years without FW, so it’s certainly not a necessity.

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Posted on: January 28, 2020 @ 08:33 PM
tradivoro
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Joined  12-16-2003
status: Regular

I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, and I have no horse in the race. However, please understand that these threads are read by many others besides yourself. For those wondering, there’s an advantage to the FireWire interfaces that’s not usually mentioned - speed. When using the Yamaha Editor, for example, data transfers are significantly faster over FW than USB.

Enjoy your XS. Although my XF6 has an FW16E, I’ve used my XS6 for several years without FW, so it’s certainly not a necessity.

Oh believe me, I understand completely that these posts are meant to educate others in the future who may find themselves in the same position, and show that there are options and that even if you go the interface route, you get these benefits as a result.  So, I understand perfectly. 

I’m sure that this is a subject that perhaps is not spoken much about, in the light of the time that has passed since this keyboard was issued, and people should know, hey you have this option available to you.

In a perfect world, I would have gotten a montage 7, but I could not afford that, and I got this for a third of the price, it gave me a keyboard I could play hand wise, with sounds that I’m familiar with. 

I’ve been working with Yamaha sounds off and on for about 30 years and I definitely have Yamaha on the brain.  The other synths, Roland, Korgs, have nice sounds, but Yamaha always feels like home to me. I still have a TX802 from back in the day, which I keep for sentimental reasons. :) Only because I couldn’t keep the DX1, the TX816 and the QX1.  There was no room.  So yes, me and Yamaha go back a long way.

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