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Better Sounding Acoustic Guitar Jammin’ on Motif …it’s true

Okay, so maybe holding your MOTIF like it was a guitar isn’t going to make those sounds better. After all, the Motif series already has some of the finest guitar sampled sounds ever to grace to a keyboard, hands down. However, they serve no purpose if they’re just lying dormant in your keyboard. Below I’ve compiled some techniques you can use so you can bring those sounds to life within your music and make them your own!

1. First, create a New Performance, and then select a Guitar Voice as the first sound of your performance. You can pick just an individual voice; I personally like combining Guitars from the Acoustic Guitar Category, for example: STRUMS with BRIGHTSTEEL and/or NYLON JAM.

2. Next add a Strum Arpeggiation to it, any of the Strum Presets in the bank PRE2 should do fine. (i.e. Strum B at around a tempo of 126).

3. Now that we’ve got our voices picked, we need to get a more realistic flow of strumming out of the preset arpeggiation. Use the real-time control knobs to your left to select and turn the Release EG up to so the guitar voice bleeds over into the next struck note. Set the Release EG somewhere in the mid-teens to start, this way after the initial strum you’re hearing a little bit of the string ringing out bleeding over. Already you should notice a difference in the improvement of the strumming.

4. Also change the Attack EG to round out the strike more. Again, somewhere in the low teens is a good place to start your initial adjustment, and then change more to your own liking.

5. I personally like I never like to tell anyone how much Reverb or Chorus to add to your voices because it’s a personal thing (within reason of course) however I would suggest a Room Reverb and a little touch of Chorus effect (especially if you are only using a single guitar voice). Another possible option, use your Variation Effect to add the slightest amount of AmpSimulation. You have to be careful, the idea is not to distort or overdrive it, just to add more cut, as if it were really being played through an amp. The key with effects, let your ears tell you what sounds good, don’t get caught up in specs, numbers, and percentages.

6. Now you should store this Performance and copy it over to the Pattern Mode. After recording it into your Pattern, it’s time to talk about the often-overlooked GROOVE function.

7. The GROOVE function is located at the F2 Button in Pattern Mode. (I’ll bet for most of you, this is your first time even using that button, but I’ll make sure it’s not your last!) This is such a powerful, yet under used tool. Hit play and let you’re looped strum repeat over and over and go to the GROOVE section. You’ll see a grid broken into 16 parts (kind of looks like a measure, doesn’t it? – now you’re getting it!).

8. Now, go down to Velocity Offset, and experiment with randomly changing the velocities higher or lower to your liking. (Remember, the Guitar samples in Motif are velocity layered, so you will get a different striking sound when you change these.) You can now round out the strumming so it doesn’t sound like it coming from 50-Gauge strings (Ha-ha-ha.) You can also use Clock Shift in the Groove section, it’s a great tool to offset some notes or “un-quantize” that stiff strumming arpeggiation.

9. Finally, don’t overlook the awesome sampling & ISS capabilities Motif gives you. Many of these guitar voices sound great mixed in with a live guitar. You can use all the above effects processing on your guitar in conjuncture with the internal guitar samples to get a thick, rich, dynamic recording.