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Viewing topic "Motif Still has the Greatest Sequencer of all Workstation Keyboards!"

     
Posted on: November 26, 2020 @ 11:06 AM
JOHN GARGANI
Total Posts:  21
Joined  01-09-2012
status: Regular

For all those out there who still use their Keyboard Sequencer, instead of DAW, there is simply NOTHING like the Motif sequencer.

Currently, I am working on a difficult Pink Floyd song, MONEY, and in this particularly unusual construction, the main verses of the song are in a rare 7/4 timing. Then, to make things more dramatic, after the Sax Solo, it slips into a steady 4/4 timing, giving the guitar soloes a more driving feel to them....

However, in this case, and very rare, it does not abruptly go from one timing to the other, rather, there are two “countdown” measures before the guitar 4/4 solo, in which the first measure is in 8/4 and the second in 6/4!! 

Now:  the beauty of the Motif sequencer, is that it’s logic and operations are so suited to this type of difficult endeavor:  since each “section” is independent of the other, you can make a separate section, only one measure long, for both the 8/4 and 6/4 respectfully, before then falling into the 4/4 in the next section. And with the Motif sequencer and it’s hierarchy of operations, such a task ends up with a seamless result that when daisy chained together, as long as you strictly follow the proper timing with the beat, you end up with a finished product where no one would ever be able to tell that it wasn’t played in one continuous arch, as in a live performance.

Of course, the mere fact that ALL of the possible timings are available alone is unique, and for the counterpoint of that, look into Roland’s current flagship Keyboard, Fantom, and read up on their sequencer which is limited to a mere 2 or 3 possible timings. Further, on the Fantom, there are only 8 sections of 16 instruments, as compared to the 16 by 16 format of the Motif.

If you want to really see a drastic difference, read up on the nightmarish sequencer operations of Korg’s flagship Kronos keyboard....again, mission impossible to undertake a difficult song like this.

Also, using the Motif as a master keyboard to drive all my other keyboards and voice modules , is a dream, and I have perfected a method where I do NOT use Master mode, but just run everything from the Pattern mode. If there is anyone out there having trouble triggering and recording external sources with the Motif I would be glad to explain, as many years ago, someone on this very same forum took the time to help me out in that category.

Naturally, it is still up to us, the keyboard “emulators” of other instruments, to put in the time to get better and better mastering the art of capturing the subtleties and nuances of the other instruments, but that is a learning process that we have to work on constantly, as we may never fully master it in one lifetime!

But, I , for one, am very thankful, for this fantastic sequencer, that allows me to make the seemingly impossible, possible, on this, and other complicated pieces.

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Posted on: December 01, 2020 @ 12:39 AM
Jim Shoe
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Total Posts:  66
Joined  06-18-2014
status: Experienced

I haven’t written to the forum for a very, very long time.
But when I saw this post I just had to say, you are so right.
Back when the Montage was introduced, I thought it was a cool concept since it included an FM synthesis module. I have a DX7 and a TX81Z from back in the day I can MID up, but it is cool to have in the box.
But, when it was announced that the sequencer was ripped out and you’d have to rely on a DAW I was like, what?
Very nice post.  Not everyone likes a DAW.  Not saying they are bad, they do a lot of cool stuff, but it is just so less cumbersome to have the sequencer on board for live gigs.  And, as you say in your post, the sequencer in the Motif XF series is one heck of a powerful sequencer.  And back in the day I thought my Ensoniq SQ 80’s sequencer was the bomb!
Again, thanks for the post.  Keep the faith for the Motif XF sequencer!  It does more than we’ll ever learn before we take the eternal nap!  ;)

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Posted on: December 01, 2020 @ 03:36 AM
JOHN GARGANI
Total Posts:  21
Joined  01-09-2012
status: Regular

Jim:  I know fully well the logic and power of the old Ensoniq keyboards, as, I owned almost everyone of them....

these days, the only one I still have, is the TS-12, because I can’t find myself to give up certain sounds on that board that are still superior to much of the stuff out there nowadays.

but yes, the Ensoniq sequencer operations were very similar to the MOTIF in which case, instead of patterns, you would daisy chain “sequences” together to make a song, but in logic, it was very similar.....

I was always hoping the Ensoniq would return and blow everyone out of the water, but it obviously never happened.

Another great thing about the Ensoniq days, was that, when I went into my local SAM ASH store, the guys working the keyboard department knew EVERYTHING about all the boards they were selling, especially, Ensoniq, so if I had any problems, they would take the time to sit down and show me what to do...it was a fantastic resource, that, today, has totally disappeared:  in today’s market, most musical stores do NOT even carry the high end keyboards, and even if they do, the staff is usually equally lost in understanding them. Instead, they expect us to order 4,000 dollar keyboards based upon you tube videos and without ever getting a chance to sit down and actually play them.

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Posted on: December 01, 2020 @ 06:48 AM
Jim Shoe
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Total Posts:  66
Joined  06-18-2014
status: Experienced

Hi John,
You are completely right about the music store situation. Back in the 70’s and 80’s when most of my equipment came out there were a wide variety of music stores to go to with expert keyboard salesmen.
Like you said, it’s just crazy to have to plunk down thousands of dollars without live demonstrations and hands on time with a keyboard.
It doesn’t matter what a YouTube video shows, it falls completely short to a real live demonstration. Before I purchased my DX7, the guy who made the first original (and often used and imitated) sounds even gave a demonstration of the DX7 at a music store in the area.
Then, in my area the last music store left was Guitar Center. It was there that they still had the latest gear and very good knowledge and I fell in love with the Motif XF8. After some demonstrations and playing this wonderful instrument, I plunked down my money and muscled this beast home.
I guess Guitar Center started having trouble some time ago because a few years ago they stopped displaying the high end keyboards and only showed the stuff for families to have a starter electronic piano.
Now, I’ve read Guitar Center may be joining many other businesses and close their stores.  If (and it looks like they will) they close their store, there will be no place to actually touch and feel any equipment before you buy it.
I feel fortunate to have been able to have seen the stores back in the day when they were loaded with all of the latest keyboards.  In the 70’s there was even a music store in downtown Chicago I used to frequent called “The Electric Keyboard” that was dedicated to only synthesizers. I saw all of the original Oberheimms there, the Synclaviar, and I was lucky enough to be there on the day they received one of the first Sequential Prophet 5s.
Ahh, those memories are very fond indeed.  I just wish it could still be that way.  I’m sure it is a glorious instrument, but very few people can just plunk down over $8,000.00 on a Moog One, especially without playing it first!  Ouch!

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Posted on: December 04, 2020 @ 04:03 PM
JOHN GARGANI
Total Posts:  21
Joined  01-09-2012
status: Regular

so true, everything you said: a sort of local Sam Ash store that used to be a bustling gigantic center of activity, has just sold off 3/4 of it’s store and now, displays only guitars!!!  imagine?

I have a Guitar Center near me that is similarly truncated...a waste of time to go in there.....

but I hang in there and faithfully research all of the newer keyboards, read the manuals online, sometimes print parts of them up, just so that I can be a little knowledgeable about other boards that I don’t have.

BTW:  my setup has 4 keyboards:  the Motif, the TS-12, a 61 key Kronos, and an FA-08.....I also have 5 or 6 modules, including the amazing Integra.......

as mentioned before, the Motif sequencer starts the framework of all my songs, and then I record into a vintage Korg DX32, that is a beast!  The Korg recorder doubles as my mixer....I use headphones all the time.

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Posted on: December 25, 2020 @ 02:37 PM
richie1027
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Total Posts:  644
Joined  10-14-2008
status: Guru

Been quite a while since I visited the forum and appreciated this post by John.  My history parallels the above, beginning with a farfisa in 70’s, then a die-hard ensoniq fan with an ESQ-1 and SD-1 32 voice....both primarily for the sequencer.  I tried DAW’s when cakewalk was on three 51/4’ floppies and also 2 3.5’ disks.  When the motif came out, I stuck with the workstation and the xf has been my go-to and main board since it was released.  I tried cubebase, reaper, and a couple other DAW’s, and it wasnt until I tried FL Studio that I began to interface with the motif via firewire.  FL studio’s platform is intuitively compatible with my brain and unlike all the other big-name DAW’s out there. I love it, mostly because of the many tools and options available to me, but I’ve always used the XF in tandem. I bought it with the FW card, but never used until I bought the DAW, and it’s phenomenal.  at 67 yrs i still feel like a young rocker when i’m on the board and PC.  thanks fellows, and Merry Christmas to all and a safe New Year.

ps:  a special thanks to 5PIN for all his help over the years

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Posted on: December 26, 2020 @ 07:03 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11772
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
richie1027 - 25 December 2020 02:37 PM

Been quite a while since I visited the forum and appreciated this post by John.

It’s good to see you here, Rich.

 

richie1027 -

My history parallels the above, beginning with a farfisa in 70’s, then a die-hard ensoniq fan with an ESQ-1 and SD-1 32 voice....both primarily for the sequencer.  I tried DAW’s when cakewalk was on three 51/4’ floppies and also 2 3.5’ disks.  When the motif came out, I stuck with the workstation and the xf has been my go-to and main board since it was released.  I tried cubebase, reaper, and a couple other DAW’s, and it wasnt until I tried FL Studio that I began to interface with the motif via firewire.  FL studio’s platform is intuitively compatible with my brain and unlike all the other big-name DAW’s out there. I love it, mostly because of the many tools and options available to me, but I’ve always used the XF in tandem. I bought it with the FW card, but never used until I bought the DAW, and it’s phenomenal.

I’ve also been through a range of MIDI gear over the years, and I hadn’t been particularly delighted with aspects of much of it. That changed when I got my Motif XS, and later the XF. I often find that I can do what I want to mostly on the XF itself. However, I’ve never discouraged use of a DAW - I consider the decision to do so, or not, a personal one. Some owners find using a DAW more to their liking than dealing with the XF’s interface, but indeed certain DAWs can present just as much of a challenge as the XF might be at times.

 

richie1027 -

at 67 yrs i still feel like a young rocker when i’m on the board and PC.

I hear you, although at my current age (72) I’m not sure that “rocker” applies to me.  :-)

 

richie1027 -

thanks fellows, and Merry Christmas to all and a safe New Year.

Yes, best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year.

 

richie1027 -

ps:  a special thanks to 5PIN for all his help over the years

Thanks for that, Rich - it’s certainly appreciated after 2020 has made things less fun. I’m hoping that 2021 will eventually see the need for masks, etc., diminish or end.

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Posted on: December 26, 2020 @ 01:37 PM
Mark.V.Cafeo
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Total Posts:  728
Joined  09-20-2011
status: Guru

Hoping you all had a wonderful (and survivable) Christmas 2020 as we did in Tampa, FL.

Wishing for You All, and Us, and Everyone, a safe and vaccine-filled, and a relieved celebration with our recovery from, and the end of, this pandemic that has plagued the world long enough!

ℍ𝔸ℙℙ𝕐 ℕ𝔼𝕎 𝕐𝔼𝔸ℝ 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟙 !
peace

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Posted on: January 17, 2021 @ 10:22 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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Total Posts:  643
Joined  09-05-2011
status: Guru

I just came by on a random whim. It’s good to see you all still around. This 74 year old Deadhead always appreciated the good vibes around here…

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Posted on: January 18, 2021 @ 02:40 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11772
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
Michael Trigoboff - 17 January 2021 10:22 PM

I just came by on a random whim. It’s good to see you all still around. This 74 year old Deadhead always appreciated the good vibes around here…

Hi Michael - it’s good to see a post from you. I know you’ve moved on (synth-wise), but do pop in on occasion.

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Posted on: January 29, 2021 @ 02:15 PM
Mlg4ever
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Total Posts:  866
Joined  07-27-2003
status: Guru

The xf is amazing.
Hello 5pinDIN. Just wanted to say hi.

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Posted on: January 29, 2021 @ 02:35 PM
Mlg4ever
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Total Posts:  866
Joined  07-27-2003
status: Guru

Hi 5SpinDIN

I have a concern along the lines of the xf sequencer. Can you help.

I wrote a song on my motif XF and finished it. At the end I wanted to use the above mentioned features to create a fade-out as the smooth end of the song. It worked.
But I came about this warning:

Executing this Job changes velocities of the note on events in the specified range to produce the crescendo/decrescendo. Note that this Job cannot apply the crescendo/decrescendo to long sustained note having a long gate time. If you wish to do this, use the “Create Continuous Data” Job with the Event Type set to “Control Change 11.”
Changes the pitch of the notes in semitones.

I did follow the warning and it worked. However to my surprise when I go back to the beginning of the song the whole thing sounds very diminished in volume and at times the sequencer plays but there is no sound at all.
If I forward up to the point where the fading starts, meaning almost at the end of the song then the volume comes up suddenly and very loud. Just the way it was before I applied fade. After song is over it goes back to same silence again.
I tried to remedy by adding 2 measures at the beginning of the song but no difference. Right now I’m at this point and I don’t know how to fix it. Am I stuck or is there a solution. What did I do wrong? Please help.

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Posted on: January 29, 2021 @ 04:18 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11772
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
Mlg4ever - 29 January 2021 02:35 PM

Hi 5SpinDIN

I have a concern along the lines of the xf sequencer. Can you help.

I wrote a song on my motif XF and finished it. At the end I wanted to use the above mentioned features to create a fade-out as the smooth end of the song. It worked.
But I came about this warning:

Executing this Job changes velocities of the note on events in the specified range to produce the crescendo/decrescendo. Note that this Job cannot apply the crescendo/decrescendo to long sustained note having a long gate time. If you wish to do this, use the “Create Continuous Data” Job with the Event Type set to “Control Change 11.”
Changes the pitch of the notes in semitones.

I did follow the warning and it worked. However to my surprise when I go back to the beginning of the song the whole thing sounds very diminished in volume and at times the sequencer plays but there is no sound at all.
If I forward up to the point where the fading starts, meaning almost at the end of the song then the volume comes up suddenly and very loud. Just the way it was before I applied fade. After song is over it goes back to same silence again.
I tried to remedy by adding 2 measures at the beginning of the song but no difference. Right now I’m at this point and I don’t know how to fix it. Am I stuck or is there a solution. What did I do wrong? Please help.

Replied to here:
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/482086/

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