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Motif XS & Synfire or HN


Hi There

I've got a Motif XS and I have the demo HN (but wouild probably be looking into getting Synfire)

I've hooked it up so that the Motif XS sound comes out of Ableton Live, but seem to be having a few probs with HN which I cant figure out?

Under the Audio & Midi setup I 've chosen the Motif XS Midi in & outs (and also the Microsoft GS wavesynth, which I cant get sound thru for some reason? - My audio output is a Yamaha N12 Digital Mixer) and switched the external sync port and other settings on (which differ from the ones in the manual?)

When I press play on the main palette, midi output and program change info sends the wrong channels and wrong sounds...

It setups the first channel (piano) to Midi channel 4 and so on, leaving the drums on midi channel 9?

Also, even though its synced, it does not 'play' the Motif XS or match tempo (and my motif IS swtiched to receive tempo syncing)

The only way it syncs is when I go into: Playback > Accompaniment > Edit current accompaniment then press the play button in there, and even then the dont channels dont line up?

Can anyone tell me what I doing wrong as I'm mad keen on getting one of these packages but not ready to spend the dough til I fully know (hey, that last bit that rhymed!)


Tom :roll:

Thu, 2008-12-25 - 16:44 Permalink

Hi Tom,

[quote]Under the Audio & Midi setup I 've chosen the Motif XS Midi in & outs Does this mean the XS appears as a midi driver on the "Drivers" tab? I didn't know it works this way. Seems to be a cool feature.

[quote]Microsoft GS wavesynth, which I cant get sound thru for some reason?Probably the GM synth doesn't send to the N12. You should check if that is possible. Usually it sends to default computer audio output.

[quote]midi output and program change info sends the wrong channels and wrong sounds Be sure you have the Yamaha Motif device description set up correctly. There is a Motif 6/7/8 device available for download from the Cognitone site, but we were unable to test this contribution with XS hardware. It was imported from XML. Let us know if it has bugs. Possibly channel numbers and midi channels are 1 off? Some XML might be 1-based, others 0-based.

Midi channels are allocated dynamically as need. If you want a sound to always use the same channel, you must use the "fixed channel" option for it. However, I would not recommend that, It seems the XS is perfectly able to select any sound on any channel and that's fine for HN and Synfire.

Re tempo sync: Be sure you send the midi clock to the same port that you use for the XS device.

AFAIK, midi clock is not sent in chords-only mode, because there is no running clock. HN can not guess a clock or tempo from random chord clicks. I will test if HN sends a clock in real-time accompaniment mode (it should) when I'm back home.


Fri, 2008-12-26 - 03:40 Permalink

Cheers afor the heads-up

After a bit of messing around, I found the best way to run it was to use the 'simple midi cable' choice, which also works with the USB, for any Motif users out there...

the Motif XS device thing resets midi channels and other weird...

Only downside is when you go to the library selection under 'figure' all sounds are played on midi channel 1 regardless, also it resets swap-overs and new instrument to channel to 1 too...

Funny enough, you can control many of the mixing parameter from HN, which is cool, but like I said before all that stuff only works in > Edit Current Accompaniment mode...

I have to say I'm tinkering on the edge of getting this or going full blast for the synfire, but I'm curious...

What happens if you play in a melody with bum notes or clashing chords , how does the synfire or HN respond? - I'll have a look at the vids and boards again just in case its been already answered...

But I will say this you can make tunes in a minute and this stuff!

Though I'm yet to find the cycle button so I can work more precisely...

I know doubt will be a bit of a pain, the more in-depth I look into this thing, but almost ready to break my piggybank!


Sat, 2008-12-27 - 18:36 Permalink

Hi Tom,

the Simple MIDI Cable device description is not optimal for the Motif synthesizer. It has no knowledege as to which sounds the XS actually can provide and hence the patterns don't know how to select them when they are needed.

I guess, as you are playing with the demo, that you simply have too many devices active on too few ports, so they might interfere. Please try if the following helps:

* Disable all devices but the Motif XS

* Check whether the sound banks in the device description are actually installed on the hardware - remove those banks that are not

* Under the "Devices" tab, connect it to port 1

* Under the "Drivers" tab, connect port 1 to the MIDI driver of the synth

Note that the patterns that come with HN assume that at least one GM device is available. The accompaniment patterns are designed to work on most hardware out of the box, so if you are using non-GM sound generators, you might need to tweak the patterns to use your individual sounds instead.

The XS however has a GM bank, so that should be not a problem.

Let me know if that did it.

Sat, 2008-12-27 - 22:32 Permalink

Hi Christian

Did that as soon as I DL'ed it... and even added the 'Motif XS' device thing, and it still goes haywire?...

So I've followed your instructions and here are the results:

HN - Ballad Piano Ensemble 80bpm

Motif XS - Pattern mode (multi-timbral)

HN (channel - Motif XS prog change):

1 Piano (midi channel 2 - Concert piano)
2 Fills (midi channel 2 - Concert piano)
3 Guitar (midi channel 3 - Jazz Guitar)
4 Bass ((midi channel 4 - Finger bass)
5 Pad (midi channel 5 - Warm Pad)
6 Drums (midi channel 6 - Electirc piano 2)

I then was able to double click into 6 and select a drum kit which has resolve the issue, additionally I went back and set up default instruments for piano, bass,etc... which is miles better for audioning stuff!

But for some strange reason the drums will still not work under the phrase list, it still comes out on midi channel 5 as Electric Piano 2? (which it changed from warm pad) I was able to fixed this by changing the sound on the channel on the motif...

I am now off to shut it down and see if it has kept the settings... just a mo...

I reloaded the HN and all the settings on the accompaniment have gone...

Infact, it's now like this....

1 Piano (midi channel 5 - Concert piano)
2 Fills (midi channel 5 - Concert piano)
3 Guitar (midi channel 6 - Jazz Guitar)
4 Bass ((midi channel 7 - Finger bass)
5 Pad (midi channel 8 - Warm Pad)
6 Drums (midi channel 9 - Electirc piano 2)

I changed the drums, which worked, but now that midi channel setting is 14???

The phrase list section appears to be intact, except the drums respond to midi channel 13 now which starts off as Electric piano 2, and program changes back, after I try to audtion another drum phrase?....

I have to admit I'm completely lost, as program changes are sent from the HN not vice-versa?

I really hope its me, but I cant see how?...

Tom :?:

Sat, 2008-12-27 - 23:10 Permalink

Hi Tom,

thanks for the detailed information. I guess your changes were lost because you didn't save the accompaniment pattern before quitting. That's only natural, because the demo has saving disabled. The Audio & MIDI Setup however can be saved also with the demo. If you configure the XS device correctly, your settings will be retained.

You must ensure the Motif hardware is set to multi-timbral mode, i.e. it responds to program change messages on all 16 channels.

As a general rule of thumb: Never switch anything manually on your hardware if it can be controlled via midi (yes, program changes are sent only). That is, try to find out the appropriate bank select message and program number that selects the drum kit. If the drum kit requires a fixed channel (GM: 10), use that fixed channel also in the device description.

I guess your drum kit is not setup correctly in the XS device. Find the correct program number for it and edit the device accordingly. That will fix it.

Once you can select all sounds from inside HN, all patterns will work automatically.


Sat, 2008-12-27 - 23:37 Permalink

Just a quick add on...

I've just gone back and uninstalled the program to start with a clean install...


Its as crazy as ever regardless of what I do 'Shenai 2' plays as drums...

If I make the drum channel 'fixed' it changes the sound to a different channel as 'Shenai' (it appears to like midi channel 5 the 'phrase list' for some reason, no matter whatt I do..)

I even went into the the GM preset bank and pasted 'GM Kit' there instead of its normal place under 'preset drum bank 2'

And that made it chnage to a piano sound????

So I deleted it, and I'm back to the previous...

Plus, Still havent got the foggiest about the rest of the other stuff though?...


Sun, 2008-12-28 - 00:17 Permalink

After some testing it appears that the 'Motif XS device program' on your site doesent have enough info to run properly

I went to the 'GM preset bank, and there's no drum kits there, thats why it plays the 'shenai'

Just to make sure I resorted the 'drums' section stuff into alphabetical order and it now plays the agogo instead...

Copy and pasting a kit into the GM Bank doesent work either as it cant be read there... Think it might have to do with number range as there all in the 100's and the 'GM Kit' is 50?

I even deleted all the stuff there and it ended up playing a string?

Its just a little part of the jigsaw missng...

Since I'm just a keyboard pleb with a limited knowledge of midi protocol stuff, I dont know how to fix it...

But atleast I worked on where the prob is...

Any ideas??...

Mon, 2008-12-29 - 00:39 Permalink

After some testing it appears that the 'Motif XS device program' on your site doesent have enough info to run properly

Yes, that's probably the case; at least with the drumkit. I wish we had the Motif hardware at hand to test.

Tom, I've attached a new version of the Yamaha Motif XS device description for you that has a drumkit properly defined. Download that and replace your current one in the "Config" folder with it. To test, please disable all other devices.

Let me know if it works now.

(Attachment deleted - see update below)

Mon, 2008-12-29 - 07:17 Permalink

Thats ace! thanks for that :D

Unfortunately it says it was created on a higher version and cannot be opened close :cry:

Mon, 2008-12-29 - 15:19 Permalink

Cheers again, but unforutnately it has come back with the same reply...

Funny enough, in the description panel it states the date and time the file was created and says its:

System - Harmony Navigator 1.6.1
Version - 1


While I'm here, I was wondering how do I get alternate inversions on a chord, I played a chord in and it kept giving me a version higher up the keyboard which sounded... well, to be honest...
a bit lame...

This also occurs in the opposite direction, when I play back preset accompaniments, where some chords sound too low...

The 'tranpose' button in Edit Accompaniment helps but only on figures already present...

Which, if I'm thinking right, means you'd already have to have something played or imported in, and know what type of riff or groove you were going to use before doing it... if you kinda know what I mean?

But sometimes I want to just use 'Chords-Only' and let the motif xs do the riff, and Ive not found a way of making this happen.

For example, the guitar articulation on the motif converts incoming chords to strums...

Plus, I cant play for scrap so being able to hear inversions, would be vastly inspiring to creating good compositions...

Sorry for being a beta-tester best/worst nightmare but I really want to like this program and addition be able to justify getting the Synfire Pro, if I've read it right, it has all HN functions and more...

Also, without trying to come off corny I'm known for quite a few chart remixes and productions over here in the UK, and get asked a bit for computer music advice from a few UK (and sometimes even US, not much!) magazines, so would love to do a reverse 'Just Blaze talks about the MPC-5000' on your products, maybe even on MTV 2

If they ever get round to arranging it!...



Tue, 2008-12-30 - 01:20 Permalink

Hi Tom,

unforutnately it has come back with the same reply

(sigh) You can easily apply the same changes to your XS device as I did:
1) Locate the bank "PRESET DRUM BANK 2"
2) Drag the sound "Stereo GM" onto the category "Drum Kits"
3) Locate bank "PRESET DRUM BANK"
4) Drag all sounds onto "Drums" (caution: not drum kits!)
5) Do the same with "USER DRUM BANK"
6) Save the device
That will do it!

[quote]The 'tranpose' button in Edit Accompaniment helps but only on figures already present... Don't use Transpose just to change the playing range -- use the playing range of the instrument. You can adjust that either in the device/sound, or in the accompaniment pattern directly. Moving the "Typical Pitch" does the trick. This will make HN play other inversions.

[quote]If I've read it right, it has all HN functions and more... Yes. Synfire = HN * 12 (at least).

Let me know if the XS finally works for you.

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 04:42 Permalink

Hi Again

I'm pretty sure I tried that, on all the banks before I started trhe topic, maybe I put em in drum kits?...

I'd do it again just to make sure but the original file on here has gone, and I replaced the one I had with your new versions...

Could you send us the old one back to double-check I didnt miss anything?

Thanks again

Tom :)

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 15:20 Permalink

Oops! my bad...

The device file is now in the edited section of downloads...

I will now unistall the previous HN, dowload another copy of the HN demo fresh install and see if that will let me add the new Motif678.device

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 15:31 Permalink

Nope it wont have any of it...

This file was created by a higher software version.
Harmony Navigator Demo 1.6.1 can not open this format.

Could it have something to do with it being created in Harmony Navigator 1.6.1 - The registered version as opposed to the demo one?

Eitherway, I'm in a worst predicament than the initial problem of it not seeing Drum Kits

Tom :cry:

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 18:09 Permalink

Tom, I'm sorry for this hassle. There must be some krank old paranoia code left in the demo that attempts to prevent users from loading files that were created with the full versions Synfire or HN. This code will be eliminated in the next version.

Meanwhile I'll try to patch the devices with a demo signature. Wait a moment ...

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 19:51 Permalink

Thanks Andre, that would be ace...

I'd love to get this program up and running properly before the Euro overtakes UK Pound! :lol:

Tue, 2008-12-30 - 23:20 Permalink


Its all working, thanks to you and Christian...Now time to run it throught its paces...

I have to say you got me sold anyway by your helpful responces

Cheers :D :D :D

Wed, 2008-12-31 - 00:11 Permalink

Just one last thing...

How do you cycle or put it into loop mode?

Each time I'm working on stuff it plays then stops, the only way I've found out to get it going is by copying it several times, which is pretty awkward...

Is the loop button disabled or missing on the demo version?

Thu, 2009-01-01 - 21:52 Permalink

There is no loop mode. You can however enter a very long duration for the length of an accompaniment pattern (e.g. 64 bars). That will effectively "loop" it for a while.