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Cakewalk 9 & Yamaha Motif


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We (the band) just bought a new sound module -> the Yamaha Motif ES Rack. We've been using a Roland Sound Canvas circa 1985 and a sequencer to generate our backing tracks (horns, strings, keyboards), which usually about 12 tracks of midi.


All our sequencing is done in Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.


My hope was that, since everything is general midi, the sequence would sound roughly the same through the Yamaha, and then I could tweak it later.


This was not the case. While the Motif supports general midi, Cakewalk seems to be sending select codes that through it into performance channels based on the first instrument selected. The bank select code I need doesn't seem to exist. I didn't program and selection events into Cakewalk, it just seems to do it.


I know that my Midi skills need to be improved a bit to get out of this thing what I wanted, but I'm curious if Cakewalk 9 is capable of working well with this instrument, or if I should upgrade.


My midi skills are fairly basic. My hope was to create a performance program that assigned the sixteen channels to certain sounds (which I've done in the motif), set the motif to that performance, then have the sequencer (Cakewalk) play. But Cakewalk keeps changing the program in the Motif even though I have nothing but NOTE events in my midi file, and then it changes the instruments in that program. Can someone tell me if I've outgrown Cakewalk 9 or there settings I need to change?




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Based on my understanding (which could be wrong), you SHOULD be able to do what you want with Cakewalk 9. My guess is that it has to do with certain parameters that need to be adjusted in the ES rack. I have Cakewalk 9 (my first DAW), although I've since moved up to Sonar. One of the things I do using Sonar and my Yamaha S-80 is to make SMF's and run them through a chain as I accompany them with a piano sound. This doesn't sound too far off from what you're looking to do. The only difference I see is that you're looking to run the MIDI file directly from your computer rather than loading the SMF onto a SmartMedia card and play it from there. (Actually, I don't even know if the ES rack has a SM card interface.) Still, they should run the same regardless of whethere they're being played internally, using the ES rack's playback sequencer, or externally, from CW9.


I think I ran into your problem, or something similar when I started using SMF's. I don't think this part of the S-80 and the ES rack are too different. My problem was essentially that there was...hold on...let me look this up. (It figures...I usually ave the S-80 set up about 10 feet from where I am now to practice, but I've got 2 gigs this weekend about 200 miles and a boat ride apart, so everything's broken down and ready for shipping...let's see if I can find what I'm thinking of in my manual...)


Utility Mode....MIDI...yeah, I think it was here. Under the MIDI Sw (This is the MIDI Receive Switch parameters on the S-80), there's a couple parameters that were driving me nuts. The BankSel (Bank Select) parameter needed to be changed from the default. It tended to switch my Performance to something I didn't want. The S-80 offers 4 parameters. I'd like to say that 'off' worked, but I remember (rightly or wrongly) needing to play with it before I got it to do what I want. Then there's the PGMChng (program change) parmeter. Essentially, I didn't need it, so I turned it off. But I don't think that this affects Performance mode. In Performance mode, there's individual control over whether or not the track will accept a program change. Because program changes are sent when a file starts playing, if your tracks are set up to accept them, they'll change right when the file starts playing. Disable it if you don't want them to play.


I'm sure the ES rack offers control over these parameters, you'll just have to find out where. It might be similar to how I described. (Or not!) But as I said above, I can't imagine that CW9 won't do for you what you're looking to do. I think it's all in the ES Rack, and you just need to find the parameters to tweak.

Check out my band's site at:

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Thanks! I'll look for those parameters. Sounds like that will solve everything left I need to take care of.


I was also able to find an instrument definition for using the MotifESRack in Cakewalk that solved most of my problems.




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Check out motifator.com . There should be tons of good info for you there.


That said, you will most probably have to tweak your Cakewalk MIDI files to send the proper control bytes to the ES.


Check out the ES documentation (MIDI section) for info.





Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina


My Professional Websites

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