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Re: Motif 6 (was curves)

Hi Jeff,
I use a Motif 6 and I'm very happy with it, though I don't regard it as an especially 'intuitive' instrument (as in easy to manipulate and navigate its ample capabilities in a live setting) - but probably Andre's excellent current theme of instrument intimacy is likely to apply here.
I should note that my background is not that of the synthesizer/sequencer adept (I do play keys but guitar is my primary instrument). In that regard, it is mainly the user interface part of its operating system that I dislike, particularly its functional hierarchy (there's probably a supreme logic to it that I have yet to fully grasp). I sometimes get frustrated trying to do something when I find out I've 'navigated the functional tree' down the wrong branch and there's a different, 'proper' approach to what I want to do. Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don't. Spending more of my copious spare time with it and its user manual would probably help. Its manual, like most manuals, is documentary in nature, I.e., not especially helpful at providing insight into its underlying concepts and architecture (thereby promoting understanding of the user interface). Frequenting the available Motif user groups would seem like a good idea...
That being said, I really LOVE (caps for emphasis) its sound quality and tonal capability. I'm not ashamed to use a few very nice factory sounds (with minor manipulations as I generally drive it from my guitar synth) in my music. Its sequencer is more than capable of what I need from it (composition on one hand, scratch pad and some rudimentary MIDI looping on the other). The sampler is great although it's accessible via said user interface and takes a while to get the hang of completely (in my future).
I don't know if the new version is any different with regard to functional menus and user interface design. I have experienced occasionally running out of polyphony when sequencing complete songs (it seems drum voices are the main culprit for that), so it seems the latest version would offer an advantage there. Polyphony overrun is only a problem when auditioning heavy sequences on the Motif itself - I generally work around it by overhauling and committing finished MIDI tracks onto Protools and driving them individually.
I hope this helps give you an idea. I'd be happy to try and answer specific questions if any.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 4:59 AM
Subject: Re: Dangerous (learning) curves (was Fast & Trashy, Slow and Chaste)

>The main impetus for having the big rigs tends to be a desire for lots
>of different sounds, and wanting to be able to access a wide variety of
>different textures.
>But isn't it interesting how some people will spend decades playing
>"just" a piano, or a tabla, or their own voice, and find ongoing
>inspiration and freedom within the confines of "one sound"?

Excellent points. I'm struggling with a related question, if anyone
cares to offer some advice.

I'd like to add a nice synth to my rig--and I don't even play
keys--but I'd like to learn. In the meantime, I'd use its rather
massive sequencing capabilities of by employing it as a kind of
musical scratch pad--both for practice with my guitar and for
composing tunes.

I wanted to get a Yamaha Motif 6. But then I found out that there is
a newer, bigger, better, more powerful version, the Motif ES 6, that
will be available shortly. I figured that surely the regular Motif 6
would do all that I wanted from a synth and then some. But after
looking over the ES 6's specs, I have a nagging feeling that I would
regret not getting the latest, greatest upgraded product. For one
thing, it has 128 note polyphony. The regular Motif has 62 poly. The
ES has new(er), upgraded voices, and a host of other features.

Does anyone here use a Motif? If so, would you care to advise me on
which one to purchase?