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Motifator turned me off of Yamaha...


TommyBoy

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You know, I've been doing a bit of thinking about why the Motif ES just doesn't do it for me. I love the sounds, have demo'd the board a number of times, read the reviews, etc.

 

I have had a Yamaha AW16G for a number of years and really like it. I know it fairly well now and only occasionally refer to the manual.

 

I used to belong to Motifator and posted several questions there. I read through the questions and answers daily. I even ordered the Motif ES Instructional DVD and watched it - twice.

 

I guess what happened is I got tired of reading Brad and Bad Mister's repetitive answers to simple questions. They are so helpful but at some point I obviously became bummed out. I mean somebody would say "I can't sequence" and the answer would invariably be "It's actually quite simple. Hit pattern mode, go two menus to the right, select the pattern select delimiter, exit out of pattern mode, enter song mode, one submenu to the left, hit arm twice, exit out of song mode, now enter performance mode and hit arm once more, exit out, back into pattern mode and three sub menus to the left hit record and then exit out and play notes."

 

It just left a bad taste in my mouth. I think I finally thought of Motifator in the same regard as a car maufacturer with the BEST SERVICE GARAGES in the world! Yeah, they have the best service because their cars are ALWAYS IN THE GARAGE!

 

Even with my AW16G Yamaha had to come out with a separate 50 page paper called "Introduction to basics" or something like that. It actually saved me from tossing my 16G, though, as I read through it a couple of times and it started making sense.

 

My Fantom XR was easy to use but just didn't do it for me. And now I want to buy an A6 or PEK? I read both of those manuals a couple of times and hey, they made sense!

 

Maybe I'm getting somewhere after all...

 

TommyBoy

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Good post that sums up my feelings as well. Doesn't sound like you tried using mLan with the Motif... that's yet another chapter in frustration. I suffered with mLan most of this year until I uninstalled it from my studio PC to stop beating myself up. Add all of above to the fact that you are working through a green display that is more suited to a synth from the 80's.

 

I want to get back to a place where making music is fun again, and that probably means putting my Motif ES 8 on eBay.

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It's always like this with workstations - they're complicated! My Korg Karma came with 4 instruction books, total of ~500 pages. Although Karma does have some super-useful shortcuts (like setting up the seq with all the settings by pressing one button), and the Karma-Lab forum is extremely useful (Stephen Kay himself answers questions, and he knows the right way to explain stuff)

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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Yes, workstations are complicated... at one time we didn't have a choice but to deal with the technology in whatever way it came to us, but that's not true today. Computers have given us GUI's that make complicated processes much easier. That's what's missing from the Motif. If you look at devices like the Muse Receptor, it too has a limited green display like the Motif's but it also features the ability to plug up a standard monitor/mouse/keyboard and let's you work with a full GUI.

 

Also the Motif features a "whopping 185 MB wave ROM" (that's from Motifator.com) but these days you can get the Colossus sound set for well under $1000 that features 32 GB of wave samples (approx 173 x larger than Motif's). It comes as a complex and feature-rich softsynth with a great GUI. The word is that Colossus is coming out for the Muse Receptor (called Colossus Live) and when combined with a good controller I think this will be more cost-effective, better sounding and easier to use than the Motif or any other hardware-based workstation. And that goes for stage or studio.

 

Instruments like the Motif are going to have to improve to keep their customer base. There's just too many alternatives.

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An external VGA output would have been killer for the MOTIF.

 

I have mixed opinions on the MOTIF.. on the one hand I agree its overly complex, but on the other its sounds are damn good. The guys at motifator are cool guys but remember they are Yamaha employees so they are bound to be biased or at least reticent about saying anything negative about their products. If it wasn't for those guys I would have no idea about anything in the MOTIF past turning it on and dialing up a sound...

 

I still have no idea why Yamaha released a cut down VL board like those VL70ms when they could have easily put amore capable engine in there a'la VL 1.. to me that would be my ideal keyboard...

 

The point about the ROM is debatable... does more ROM bring you higher quality sounds? My experience has been that people often fill large amounts of ROM with useless sounds or poor piano sounds that take up large amounts of memory. I remember the day I bought the KOrg SGX Pro Rack which had something like a 15MB piano (which was a lot at the time).. yet something like Yamaha's P80 piano sounds vastly superior and has something like 4-8MB

 

I actually like William Coakleys view on these monster memory sounds...

 

http://www.williamcoakley.com/articles.php?article=bigger.php

 

But in essence you are right, the MOTIF is too hard to use as a workstation. I use it as an ideas machine... but I do record in Ableton Live with it all the time... I could never use the MOTIF on its own for a whole track.. that would drive me mad...

 

I bought those Motif DVDs thinking that they would simplify things.. but really they emphasised how ludicrous the procedures were...

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I am a Motif ES owner, and I must admit that you guys are correct. It took me forever to feel comfortable with the Motif as far as its user interface. I do love the sounds. I have the mlan interface which also is ridiculously hard to figure out. I totally agree with what "The Pro" wrote about there being too many alternatives. I posted that same question on Motifator and one of Korg's forums. On the Korg forum, I asked why someone would pay $8000 for a workstation (OASYS) when they can spend $3000 on a NEKO and put whatever software they want into it. I feel that with all of the advancements in software, that NEKO is actually the way to go if you need something that is portable.
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Originally posted by orangefunk:

The point about the ROM is debatable... does more ROM bring you higher quality sounds? My experience has been that people often fill large amounts of ROM with useless sounds or poor piano sounds that take up large amounts of memory. I remember the day I bought the KOrg SGX Pro Rack which had something like a 15MB piano (which was a lot at the time).. yet something like Yamaha's P80 piano sounds vastly superior and has something like 4-8MB.

I bought the PLG150-AP (29 MB piano) for the Motif ES thinking it would be an improvement over the stock "Full Grand" Motif ES piano that I don't like. Well I don't like the AP card either and felt like an idiot for buying it. I recently bought Colossus and tried it's 99MB "Steinway B" piano sample and it floored me - it was clear and natural and it's now my favorite piano sound. There are larger piano samples in the collection that don't sound as good as the Steinway sample to my ears (and they were also sampled with room acoustics that I didn't like). So the point is valid: sample size alone doesn't guarantee quality.
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I like my Ensoniq MR76.

 

Very difficult: Press a track button. While holding RECORD, press PLAY. Play your part. Hit STOP.

 

And best of all, the manual was written by someone who actually spoke English!

 

Too bad Ensoniq was bought & the synth division shut down by Creative. I hope the employees all did well in the buyout, though! They sure made great products.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I like my Ensoniq MR76.

 

Very difficult: Press a track button. While holding RECORD, press PLAY. Play your part. Hit STOP.

+1. Simplest most immediate songwriting keyboard probably ever. I'm really hoping this is where the Fusion has its act together. Erik the viking made it look pretty easy.

Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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I recently bought Colossus and tried it's 99MB "Steinway B" piano sample and it floored me - it was clear and natural and it's now my favorite piano sound.

 

 

Yep me too! I just got to upgrade my ram so it doesn't use all my memory. When I load it and use it in a midi file, it use a whole lot of the CPU and I have 1 gb. Sometimes I run out of memory and it won't load if I got to much going on.

 

As for the Motif issues,It definately isn't the most user friendly machine out there. I have a S90 and frequent the S90/Motifator site. I can understand that it bums you out but once I learned the interface and I was able to get around alot easier and see the logic (although somewhat distorted) as to what they were thinking when they set it up. I know the S90 is a different beast that the Motif ES but they are somewhat comparable. One fo the things that frustrates me on that site is how many people that say they've read the manuals and done the searches when they really haven't. I don't think this is the case with you Tommyboy. I do think they are things which need clarification and understand your frustration.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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I recently bought Colossus and tried it's 99MB "Steinway B" piano sample and it floored me - it was clear and natural and it's now my favorite piano sound.

 

 

Yep me too! I just got to upgrade my ram so it doesn't use all my memory. When I load it and use it in a midi file, it use a whole lot of the CPU and I have 1 gb. Sometimes I run out of memory and it won't load if I got to much going on.

 

As for the Motif issues,It definately isn't the most user friendly machine out there. I have a S90 and frequent the S90/Motifator site. I can understand that it bums you out but once I learned the interface and I was able to get around alot easier and see the logic (although somewhat distorted) as to what they were thinking when they set it up. I know the S90 is a different beast that the Motif ES but they are somewhat comparable. One of the things that frustrates me on that site is how many people that say they've read the manuals and done the searches when they really haven't. I don't think this is the case with you Tommyboy. I do think they are things which need clarification and understand your frustration.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I like my Ensoniq MR76.

 

Very difficult: Press a track button. While holding RECORD, press PLAY. Play your part. Hit STOP.

 

....

Even better, if you played something that you really liked while not recording, you could still put it to a track because the keyboard remembered what you played. :thu:

 

It was one of my favorite keyboards, and the first with drums that I liked.

 

Robert

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I love the sound of my motif, but argh is it a bugger to work with. I was trying to sequence some stuff on the fly without the manual. I would lay a track down and then start to layer over it and it wouldn't play back. Then I tried another way and recorded over the first part.

 

I have an Ensonic KS32 and that sequncer was a breeze use.

==================================================

Quote Learjeff

Too bad Ensoniq was bought & the synth division shut down by Creative. I hope the employees all did well in the buyout, though! They sure made great products.

--------------------------------------------------

You are right Jeff the manual made since. The Motif is a convaluted mess. I was trying to layer some horns for a patch and the manual had you going from page 86 to 175 to 210 I mean it was ridiculous. Did they even do a DVD for the first Motif? I saw one for the ES and wasn't sure it would be any help.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Originally posted by dream:

... Did they even do a DVD for the first Motif? I saw one for the ES and wasn't sure it would be any help.

There is a set of three DVD's for the first Motif, and a fourth for the ES.

 

Robert

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Quote Rabid,

There is a set of three DVD's for the first Motif, and a fourth for the ES.

 

Robert

--------------------------------------------------

Thanks Robert, I guess I missed them on the web site. I only saw the ES version.

 

Next question ... Do they help? My gosh 3 DVD's for the first one. I ordered a small audio cassette to help me a with my Ensonic. I hate manuals and try to hands on figure things out.

 

No way with the Motif.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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They help, but more with letting you know what you can do rather than exactly how to do it. Topics are covered pretty fast. For sequencing I got the downloadable book which is pretty good. It is step by step guide on the right way to do things without getting your self in trouble. IMHO it was worth the price.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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QUOTE Rabid

For sequencing I got the downloadable book which is pretty good. It is step by step guide on the right way to do things without getting your self in trouble. IMHO it was worth the price.

 

Robert

---------------------------------------------------

Thanks Robert, I just don't know if I want to waste time that trying to learn that OS. I have a DAW that I can hook to and go which is likely what I will do. Makes me sick I spent money for something I'll never use. (sequncer)

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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