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Viewing topic "MOTIF RACK ES Seemingly stopping sound at random? At particularly inopportune moments."

     
Posted on: February 01, 2020 @ 07:06 AM
Rex Vendetta
Total Posts:  4
Joined  01-31-2020
status: Newcomer

Hullo Motifators!

Looking for some help with a problem that has simply appeared out of nowhere.

I have two separate keyboard setups which have both suddenly presented the same problem--I can’t get the piano sound out of them!

Set up 1--Yamaha U1 Silent midi out to midi in on MOTIF Rack ES

Set up 2--Yamaha Avant Grand NU1X midi out to MOTIF Rack ES

I’m plugging them in and getting the sounds I want, but then when I come back in an hour the piano sound is not appearing at the output jacks on the back.

My voice lights are flickering when the controllers are played.

MIDI Monitor shows a steady stream of messages which seem good, notes on, notes off, etc. (Although to add to the confusion, at first there was simply a steady stream of"note off” and I thought I found my issue--but I resolved that, am seeing proper midi again, and still no sound)

Oddly, if I use the front panel buttons to do the “audition” mode--I hear that piano sound just fine.

Initially the set up was reasonably complex and involved midi amplifiers at either end of a long cable run, but I have set up the pieces as directly as possible, and still had this intermittent problem.

A very frustrating aspect is that at the moment it seems power cycling the MOTIF brings back full functionality--but two nights ago I powered cycled them, and performed the factory reset from the Utility menu to both units and couldn’t get my audio back.

I’m trying to add tools beyond midi monitor and system manager to try and help me track the issue down, but my computer (2017 MacBook Pro OSX 10.14.6 mojave) is perhaps too new to use the Multi Part Editor anymore--I had both Studio Manager and Multi Part Editor on the previous machine with which I did some very simple configurations of settings (turned the chorus and reverb off on the Full Grand sound)

I’m super stumped at this point and certainly frustrated, if anyone has any ideas I’d be most grateful.

Many thanks!

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Posted on: February 01, 2020 @ 12:57 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11531
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend

Welcome to the forum.

Just to be sure I understand the situation…
Are you saying that the identical problem is occurring with two Rack ES units? That is, the problem appeared simultaneously on both, and it takes exactly the same amount of time for the audio to be silenced on both?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 02, 2020 @ 08:47 PM
Rex Vendetta
Total Posts:  4
Joined  01-31-2020
status: Newcomer

Dear 5pin, (and all Motifators!)

Thank you for the kind welcome--I’ve been dipping my eyes in the water here for awhile, but finally took the sign up plunge yesterday as the Motif Midi waters closed over my head.

To hopefully helpfully clarify, I have four total ES units split between two controllers.

I have a main ES and back up ES for each controller.

I split the midi signal from the controller before the units (via a midi solutions thru box) and run both ESs at the same time, so if one were to fail I should be able to switch immediately to the other and continue the show. As part of my set up each day I usually, mostly, test both main and spare to make sure they are both making sound and have similar levels.

I mirrored the U1 set up exactly for the newer controller (The Avant Grand). And it worked exactly the same for four days of rehearsals--but on the fifth day it all went south…

It was the newer set up which presented the issue first, but now they have both done it on multiple occasions in the past four days.

When the issue presents both main and spare for each controller go soundless.

This seems a good place to mention the following point--this issue presents itself AFTER we have unplugged the midi line in the middle while both Controller, ES, and MIDI amplifiers are powered on.

More detail: we are sound checking, unplugging the midi line, the controller, and usually the rack the MOTIFs are in, striking them, and then replacing them for the performance.

I have set this system up and torn it down for probably 200 performances in such a manner without ever having any specific order for making the connections or powering things up. I seemingly simply connect and power things willy nilly, and the whole system has simply worked.

I suppose it is possible that by random chance I have done the reset in the exact same order 200 times in a row without thinking, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps I have simply been extremely lucky and getting away with things that “should” have never worked in the first place?

In any event, my experience has been these units are rock solid and can deal with almost all manner of discrepancies--low voltage, random connect and power order, all that.

I am just at this moment realizing in my recent set up and tear down I have been able to leave the MOTIFs powered on the entire time. (For a moment I was wondering if they were overheating from being on all the time and this was causing the error...) so the controller, the stage end of the MIDI amp, and the MIDI data line itself are being attached while the MOTIF is already powered up.

Which means I am attaching the stage end of things, to a unit that is already on.  I see flickering “midi moving” tell tale lights, I am seeing actual MIDI data being transmitted and received via the thru port on the back of the MOTIF to Midi Monitor, and yet no sound.

Still, if the MOTIF was “confused” by having MIDI hot patched to it, I would expect the power cycling of the MOTIF to “clear” that confusion.

My best inference in the moment is this has to be a MIDI issue--I suppose it possible all four ES units have some kind of internal physical issue which happens to be presenting at exactly the same moment, that seems pretty far fetched, but I want to be open to any solution…

I’d be intrigued now to test the system by leaving the spares off line, trying to get the mains to lock up, and then moving the midi feed directly to the spare from the controller--rather than running both ESs in parallel with each other.

The issue reappeared last night in the U1 set up, but frustratingly power cycling both ESs did NOT get my audio back.

I had my full set up going with midi amps on either end of a long cable run and various splits and velocity mappers in the midi chain before hitting midi in on the ES--I power cycled the midi amp at the rack side of the chain and the ESs sang like birds the rest of the evening.

So I have one example of the Avant Grand causing both units to lock when plugged directly from MIDI out on the Avant to the MIDI in on the ES (Power cycle ES seems to return audio here)

And another example where the U1 plugged through a series of boxes locks up and power cycling the ES does nothing.

I’m back with the whole set up tomorrow and will have some more time to dig into various combinations and connections and with any luck can narrow my search for the problem some. Perhaps even find it!

Again, thanks to Motifator community for listening to my tale of woe.

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Posted on: February 02, 2020 @ 08:53 PM
Rex Vendetta
Total Posts:  4
Joined  01-31-2020
status: Newcomer
5pinDIN - 01 February 2020 12:57 PM

Welcome to the forum.

Just to be sure I understand the situation…
Are you saying that the identical problem is occurring with two Rack ES units? That is, the problem appeared simultaneously on both, and it takes exactly the same amount of time for the audio to be silenced on both?

Oh man.

I thought I was posting a concise reply to an excellent question, but instead I think fatigue made me run on way too much.

Here is the succinct answer:

I have two ES units attached to one controller which present the same no sound issue at seemingly the same moment.

Thank you all for your patience and help.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 02, 2020 @ 11:37 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11531
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
Rex Vendetta - 02 February 2020 08:53 PM

Oh man.

I thought I was posting a concise reply to an excellent question, but instead I think fatigue made me run on way too much.

Here is the succinct answer:

I have two ES units attached to one controller which present the same no sound issue at seemingly the same moment.

Thank you all for your patience and help.

I’m actually glad that you went into such detail. With all the gear you’re using, and disconnecting/connecting MIDI, I can see why it would be difficult to pin down the cause of the problem. Given all of the variables, I’m not sure that I can be of assistance, but I’ll try. I have some more questions/comments…

Do you know whether the Yamaha controllers’ MIDI is based on the older 5 volt standard, or the more recent 3.3 volts? Are the MIDI Solutions Thru boxes the newer MultiVoltage type? Non-MultiVoltage Thru units might require an external power supply if the controllers run 3.3 volt MIDI-out.

Do the Yamaha controllers output the MIDI Active Sensing FE message? There are sometimes strange issues related to that, should the data stream become unreliable. For those not familiar with that MIDI message:
http://www.planetoftunes.com/midi-sequencing/MIDI-active-sensing.html

Is AC power reliable at the venue? Intermittent problems can sometimes be attributed to low/varying/dirty AC voltage. (I realize that you stated it hadn’t previously been an issue.)

I tend to agree that simultaneous internal failure of all the Rack ES units, while not impossible, is a remote possibility.

Best of luck in resolving the issue.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 06, 2020 @ 11:47 AM
Rex Vendetta
Total Posts:  4
Joined  01-31-2020
status: Newcomer

Dear Motifactors,

Get ready to open up a can of “Duh” on my tired brain...:)

Finally had a chance to really go through my set up with midi monitor running and discovered if I had power to the controller and to the MOTIF going and the MIDI line connected, when I unplugged the Controller side of the chain it was blowing all kinds of crazy MIDI messages down the line!

Sometimes it would result in all note off messages, sometimes in Program Changes to seemingly random programs. I never saw a message that was obviously “Don’t make any more sound no matter how many times you turn the MOTIF off and on again” but it must be in there…

So my work around now is to simply disconnect MIDI first and then power down the controller. This simple step seems to preserve data everywhere and I can leave the MOTIF powered up when reconnecting the controller if I make certain to reconnect the MIDI last.

I’m excited to dig a little deeper and try to discover why my receiving power adapter box AND the MOTIF would need to be cycled to restore function--in my mind it seems one or the other would be the cause so that powering off and on again on either should fix the issue, but what seems to happen is sometimes powering the MOTIF fixed it, sometimes cycling the adapter fixed it, and sometimes I needed to do both.

As I said, I will have some time to do some deeper investigation soon, and I may discover there is only one set of circumstances causing my problem, but I’m simply so relieved to have at least this handle on what is going on.

Thanks again to everyone here who helped, or viewed, or spared me a good thought.

Anyone want to comment on whether they think I should move to the XS version of the unit for any reason?

Given the age of my units, it’s hard not to want to jump all the way into the future of 2007 so I’m only 13 years behind the times rather than my current 16...:)

  [ Ignore ]