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Sounds on the Motif


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I haven't been around here all that long, but it seems like at least half the active threads need to be about the frontliners from Roland/Yamaha/Nord, so in keeping with what looks to be standard protocol, I'm adding yet another to the mix. :)


Actually, I just wanted to offer some observations and ask some questions from those who I'm sure have a much longer history with Yamaha products.


I was in the store today both killing time and trying to do some research for a potential future purchase of a new controler/synth. There was a Motif ES6 there (whoops! On review, it looks like I was playing on a Motif6, not the ES6, so maybe all of this is pointless. But I wrote it all out, so I sure as heck am going to post it!) , and even though it doesn't have the keyboard of the S90ES I'm considering, it's at least got the same sound engine, right? So I sat down for a half hour-ish and played around.


First, the pianos. They were ok. That's all I've got to say about them. They were all right, but didn't really excite me too much. I admit that part of that could be from not having the subtler control of a weighted board, but still, I give it the 'all right' seal of approval.


Electric pianos and such? Wowza. This is one place where my current (alesis) lacks in richness and variety, and the Motif delivered in spades. The Rhodes and Clav sounds were spectacular. Being a youngun' who's never played on the real deal for a lot of these emulated instruments, the synth versions here certainly met my expectations of what I thought they should sound like, and then some. Definitely an a+ in this regard.


Organs, were also ok. Some nice presets, but I admit to having some trouble figuring out, not just how to adjust patches, but where to find them, which brings me to a very important point, namely:


who in Og's name came up with the infrastructure/interface for this thing? A less intuitive set-up I have never seen. The banks were labled by instrument group, and yet each bank held different instrument groups. The scroll wheel gets you through x-number of sounds in all instrument groups (yet under the piano bank), then you've got to hit the next bank button (for another instrument) and scroll through another set of sounds of all varieties. So, for example, all your organs are not together. Which, I guess, thinking of it, is true with other instruments as well, but somehow this one was much more confusing.


I do admit to not having preped myself with the manual ahead of time as it was a sort of last minute thing I did today. Aaanyway, back on track:


As I was saying, the organs were ok. They didn't really excite me, but were quite adequate I thought.


Strings were also good. At this point some kids came in the store and felt like banging out chords as loud as they could on different boards, so my ability to listen critically goes downhill from here on out.


Brass was really really disapointing. Almost every single patch sounded horribly electronic; they had audible, regular pulses if you held the notes for anything longer than a quick 8th note, and the attacks were very... synthy. I was really turned off by the brass. The winds were a bit better, but also, just too rich and deep and... electronically full sounding to my ears.


I didn't really get to play much with the leads/pads and such. There didn't seem to be that large a variety of synth sounds, and a lot of the ones on the board sounded kind of the same. Good, but similar.


Anything beyond the basics I didn't have time for. When I showed up the board was transposed down an octave. It took me a while to try to figure out how to fix that, and I ended up doing so, but the display still said it was tuned down one octave. I must have changed one global setting to make up for a different global setting. But, that again brings me to my main beef about my initial impression; a very un-intuitive interface. Definitely not user friendly.


Awesome electric piano/keys sounds, good strings and pads, and everything else was ok or sub-par.


*sigh* As I noted up above, this was actually the Motif6, not the ES6. Can anyone maybe speak to my impressions here and maybe talk a little about what kinds of differences there are between the Motif and the Motif ES?

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The ES improves the soundset in every catagory. The improvements to the filters and the subsequent programming tweaks audibly improve the 'classic' Motif sounds that remain. The 'new' samples/sounds are killer. If you can wrap your brain around the Motif UI - and after a while you can - it can be a serious addition to your arsenal.


That said - the 'calssic' Motif boards are powerful in their own right and can still hang. And right now the price is right on many of these boards.

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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Those instrument names by the patch buttons are for searching by category not for changing to a piano bank or sound effect bank. You hit the favorites button and then one of the instrument buttons and it will list all the patches in that category. Pretty intuitive I'd say.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6



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I have to agree with much of what you have said BluMonk. I have owned the Motif6 for a little over a year.


There is a Category Search button on the upper right that allows you to search all the individual banks. That way you can easily check the piano's, EP's, Strings etc.


I spent about two hours searching for a workable horn sound last week. I found that the effects more troublesome than the actual sounds. I did find a decent one and it recorded well this weekend.


Also if you want to program sounds it does get confusing. I am not a techno wiz, but even following the owners manual I have yet to get what I want.


I do like the vox sounds and some of the synth stuff is cool but I am basically a R&B Blues player and don't use the synth sounds live.


The Motif ES may be better but I was looking for specific Vox sounds that the Motif6 had.



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




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