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Welcome to the support section.

Motif XS/XF Recording Arpeggios to an external sequencer

We should sub-title this “The Hard Way.” We will start by saying the following two things:
1) the Motif XS/XF can record its own arpeggio data without any complex setup or configuration. You can then transfer the data from the XS/XF to your DAW by simply synchronizing clocks and sending the data over as regular MIDI data
2) the only reason to record the arpeggio as MIDI data to your external sequencer is if you are going to edit it - recording it as audio is much simpler.

That said, if you insist on transferring the data as MIDI to your external sequencer, please read on. We only state the above because this is at the deeper end of the pool. Here’s why:
First, in order for the Motif XS/XF to generate arpeggio data, key presses must go from the Motif XS/XF keybed directly into the Arpeggiator, that data then creates the arpeggio pattern. The key presses (we’ll refer to them as “trigger notes") themselves are of little importance to your external sequencer. After all you may be holding down an E7#9 chord for four measures - that is not what you want to record to your sequencer, you want to record the really cool guitar strumming pattern that the XS arpeggio pattern is generating (we’ll refer to this as the “arpeggio pattern").

When you are working with an external sequencer you normally work with LOCAL CONTROL = OFF… your key presses travel out via MIDI first and then are ‘echoed’ or ‘thru-ed’ back to the specific tone generator. Well that will not work for recording arpeggios. You need to work with LOCAL CONTROL = ON so that your key presses first travel to the arpeggiator, as mentioned above. You will want to record the arpeggio pattern without recording the trigger notes. Now fortunately the XS/XF provides a quick setup template that will make these settings for you in one selection.

There are four different QUICK SEQUENCER SETUPS - setup number 4: Recording arpeggio to computer is designed for this task.
When in PERFORMANCE or SONG/PATTERN mode you can access the [SEQ SETUP] button > [F3] QUICK > select Sequencer Setup #4 > press [ENTER]

For more on Quick Sequencer Setups and basic setup functions please see the following article:
Quick Sequencer Setups Explained

What we will be doing is: Setting up to work with Local Control ON, setting the Motif XS/XF so it can slave to external MIDI clock, setting Cubase to be the MASTER MIDI clock and send that clock to the Motif XS/XF, set Cubase to record the arpeggio pattern data.

Let’s record the following VOICE PRE 8: 082(F02) MEGA Steel and its associated arpeggios.
Press [SONG]
Select a blank SONG
Press [MIXING]
Press [EDIT]
Press Track Select [1] to view PART parameters
Press [F1] VOICE
Press [SF1] VOICE
Turn the “Param. with Voice” = ON
Move the cursor up and select BANK = PRE 8
Select NUMBER = 082 Mega Steel
By turning “Parameter with Voice” to ON prior to selecting the Voice, the arpeggios assigned to the VOICE will automatically be copied to the SONG MIXING program

Press [F3] QUICK
The QUICK SETUP we use will set all the rest of the XS parameters necessary to transmit the arpeggio data to Cubase.
Select Setup #4: Recording arpeggio to computer. * Turn DAW echo off
Press [ENTER] to execute these settings.


In order to turn DAW Echo Off: This parameter in Cubase is called “MIDI THRU”
Uncheck the “MIDI THRU ACTIVE” option
*note: When finished recording arpeggios you will need to check this option


Cubase must be the Master clock:
Go to TRANSPORT on the main menu bar
Select “Project Synchronization Setup...”
Under MIDI CLOCK OUT check the Motif XS as the Clock Destination.


Create a MIDI Track that is set to receive MIDI data from the Motif XS/XF… and make sure the MIDI channel matches the PART number you are transmitting from the XS/XF. In our example, we put the Mega Steel Guitar in PART 1, which defaults to MIDI channel 1. So the MIDI data generated by the arpeggio is set to transmit on MIDI channel 1. The MIDI channel of the Track should match the MIDI channel - so when you playback it triggers the correct sound (PART).

In Cubase make sure your transport is available press [F2] on your QWERTY - set the PRE COUNT to ON so you hear the click count-off. Alternatively you can go to TRANSPORT on the menu part and check PRE COUNT ON

It is up to you but I recommend that when recording guitars that you turn the ARP HOLD to OFF (but this is up to you)
In the Motif XS navigate to the following page:
Press [MIXING]
Press [EDIT]
Press Track [1] to view PART parameters
Press [F2] ARP MAIN
On this screen you will be able to change the ARP1 - ARP5 functions as you require during record

If you look on [F3] ARP OTHER _ you will see where the ARP OUT SWITCH is set to ON and the MIDI channel for the ARP data is set.

Turn the ARPEGGIO ON/OFF main switch to ON

Start Recording in Cubase by hitting the RED record button… you will get the count in… usually it is set for a 2 measure count-in. Begin to play on the downbeat....

Make changes using the [SF1]-[SF5] buttons as you desire.

When finished press STOP.
Turn the Motif XS/XF main ARPEGGIO ON/OFF switch to OFF before you attempt to playback your data.

Once you have finished recording arpeggios don’t forget to set the FILE > PREFERENCES > MIDI > so that MIDI THRU ACTIVE is checked.
Also don’t forget to select the appropriate SEQ SETUP for what you want to do next.