With the Motif XS
Introducing Motif XS EFFECTS
Phil Clendeninn
Senior Product Specialist
Technology Products
©Yamaha Corporation of America
Understanding Motif XS Effects
The focus of this article will be to introduce you to
the Motif XS effects. “A picture is worth a
thousand words”, some great mind said. Please
refer to the Motif XS Owner’s Manual pages 69-70
for the full graphic story on the Effects routing in
the Motif XS for VOICE mode, PERFORMANCE
mode and for SONG/PATTERN MIXING modes.
This makes it very clear where the Effects blocks
are and when they are available via a left-to-right
flow chart. We will try and make clear how this
impacts you using the XS to its fullest.
Parts when the VOICE is used in a multi-timbral
setup in SONG/PATTERN mode and all 4 Parts of a
PERFORMANCE plus the AD INPUT can recall their
two Insertion Effects …more on this point in a
minute. There is one AD INPUT PART for all of
Voice mode – it can be routed to its own two
Insertion Effects.
In VOICE mode:
What this means in simple terms is: A Motif XS
Voice can be very complex in terms of how it
deals with Effects. Each component that makes up
a Voice can be routed to one or the other or both
or neither of the INSERTION processors. These
are the effects that you can control in real time –
by assigning important parameters to physical
controllers like your Mod Wheel, Foot Pedals,
Assignable Knobs or Assignable Function buttons,
etc. The INSERTION Effect often gives the Voice
its personality. The Rotary Speaker for a B3
sound, the soundboard Damper Resonance for the
piano, and the Overdrive Distortion for the electric
guitar are all examples of effects that give a
sound its identity/personality.
The SYSTEM EFFECTS (Chorus and Reverb) are
overall effects – they are shared by all the
Elements together. They provide the outer
environment for the sound. That is, the room
acoustics. Reverb is the size and shape of the
room in which the instrument is played. The
Chorus processor can be thought of as a “time
delay” effect. Its principal function is from
extremely short time delays (Flanging and
Chorusing) to long multiple repeat delays (like
There are up to 8 Elements1 in a normal XS Voice.
They can be individually assigned (starting at the
top left side of the screen above) to the
INSERTION EFFECT block, which is a dual block
(Insertion A and Insertion B) that can be routed in
series2 or in parallel3 (see the routing as A-to-B,
B-to-A or parallel). Each Element has a signal
path to the Insertion block – they can be routed
to “ins A” to “ins B” or to neither (“thru”). The
two System Effects (Reverb and Chorus) each
have their own send levels for the entire Voice
(that is, all Elements together). And there is an
independent RETURN level and PAN position
control for each System effect – mixing the signal
back into the main flow; and a PAN position
control. Next, (shown in the screen shot below)
the entire signal then goes on through the Master
EFFECT, the Master EQ (a 5-band EQ) then on to
the main stereo output.
When the VOICE is placed in an ensemble (either
program) it does not take along the SYSTEM
EFFECTS. The SYSTEM Effects are shared by all of
the PARTS. This makes sense because, remember,
System Effects are the OUTER environment. It
would be analogous to the musicians all being in
the same room acoustics.
An important thing to understand about these
VOICE mode effects is that the Insertion Effect
assignment can be recalled for up to 8 of the 16
We have mentioned this before, and it’s worth
repeating in this article, the VOICE is the basic
fundamental playable entity in the Motif XS. The
other modes we will discuss (Performance, Song
and Pattern) use VOICES but place them in an
entity called a PART. Knowing what a PART is very
important because what it allows us to do is to
Element – is a multi-sampled instrument or part of and
instrument sound.
Series – is one after the other
Parallel – is one besides the other
The Full Concert Grand piano will automatically
bring along its Damper Resonance – because
INSERTION EFFECTS can be considered a part of
the VOICE. Of course, any assigned controllers are
also automatically recalled as well.
address the same VOICE differently when we
combine it with other Voices. Say you want to use
the FULL CONCERT GRAND combined with a Bass
sound to create a split – you would do this by
placing the Full Concert Grand in PART 1 of a
Performance and your favorite Bass in PART 2.
Part parameters would allow you to play the piano
above a particular note and the Bass below a
particular note. Those would be PART parameters.
You do not have to destructively edit the original
VOICES to use them in combination.
Each Voice in a Performance is called a ‘PART’.
And each Part has an individual send level to the
System Effects so that you can control how much
is applied individually. There is a return level from
each System effects. The total signal is delivered
to the Master EFFECT, then to the Master EQ and
then on to the stereo outputs.
Later you decide to use the Full Concert Grand
piano in combination with a String sound to create
a layered sound. Again, you would place the Full
Concert Grand piano in PART 1 of a Performance,
and your favorite String sound in PART 2 to create
a layered sound without destructively editing the
original Voice data.
In PERFORM mode:
The Tone Generator block can have up to 16 Parts
activated on any eight Parts from the internal XS
(1-16). Each Part will have an individual send to
the System effects. And finally, all signal goes
through the Master EFFECT, the Master EQ and
then on to the main stereo outputs.
There can be up to 4 Voices plus an AD INPUT in a
available for all four Parts of the Performance.
That is, Voices in a Performance can recall their
original Dual Insertion Effect routing and control
while in a Performance. What actually happens is
you are activating the Dual Insertion effects that
are programmed in at Voice level. This is why you
do not see what Voice Insertion or what A/D
Insertion Effects are active. You would have to
look at the VOICE edit parameters to find that
out. Insertion Effects are applied at the VOICE
Edit level.
Again you do not see what Voice Insertion Effects
or what A/D Insertion Effects are active as you
would have to see the Voice parameters to know…
The algorithms (a fancy word for ‘recipe’ or
specific arrangement) in the XS Effects are deep.
Please refer to the DATA LIST booklet to see the
individual parameters and effect types. On page
35-42 of the DATA LIST you will see a list of the
different Effect Categories and Effect Names. It
will list the parameters available in a convenient
form to see them all and the ranges of control.
This is worth a look. The TABLE Number heading
is for those that need to know the exact value of
each setting – refer to the charts on pages 43-50
for exact values for each parameter setting.
Basically settings are made to taste (by ear).
However, knowing what is subjective and what is
What this means: An organ sound that has a
Rotary Speaker and Amp Simulator effect back in
Voice mode will automatically recall these
(personality) effects when you place it in a PART
of a PERFORMANCE. The guitar sound that has an
Overdrive Distortion and Wah-Wah effect back in
Voice mode will automatically recall these effects
when you place it in a PART of a PERFORMANCE.
objective is what separates a bogus mix from a
brilliant mix.
SIMULATOR. Then from there you can tweak it to
match your specific needs.
So much of working with sound is subjective
(meaning it is up to you) but some of it is very
objective (meaning there actually is a right and
wrong). It’s true. Knowing the difference between
these two concepts is the key to greatness in the
audio business. For example, when routing signal
to an effect, do you return more than you send or
send more than you return? Gain staging is the
objective part of audio. Making sure that you work
on the side of SIGNAL when dealing with the
SIGNAL-to-NOISE ratio. The rule of thumb: Send
up to the limit of clean audio and return just
enough to taste.
Yamaha was the first company to introduce DSP
effects that were based on the actual dimensions
of the great concert halls of the world. A “HALL” is
typically a large concert environment. The REV-X
is the most recent development in a long line of
Yamaha reverberation chamber algorithms and is
the same effect found in the SPX2000 processor
and in the high-end digital touring consoles from
Yamaha. The Pro R3 was one of the first highresolution digital studio reverbs and enjoys a
stellar reputation in the field. The Yamaha SPX
introduced the project studio digital reverb back in
the 1980’s.
If you are sending signal to an effect processor
that you have configured as an EQ, how much
signal do you send? Again this is not subjective,
there is a right and wrong. Send all the signal
through the EQ. If you were to return dry signal
from certain routing scenarios you can cause
phase cancellation – a situation where you will
be adversely affecting the signals integrity.
Knowing what you are doing with effects can
mean confident utilization with stunning results.
Just experimenting willy-nilly can lead to bogus
results. Of course, you could eventually wind up
with something useable but the old saying:
“Knowledge is power” does apply here. In most
instances the XS will not let you get into too much
trouble – sometimes you are prevented from
controlling certain things because it would be
illogical or lead to bogus results …those decisions
are made by the designers. For example, you will
see where a subjective return is allowable a
DRY/WET balance so that you can mix your
amount of effect return, but from a device like an
EQ there is no balance control, because the design
will not let you make that “mistake”. This is a
good thing.
“ROOMS” have a definite size factor to the space.
A “STAGE” is usually a loud reverberant
environment. A “PLATE” is a brilliant emulation of
the old 10-foot boxes that used to contain these
reverb chambers that used a transducer (driver)
at one end and second transducer (microphone)
at the other…in between was a large aluminum
plate. You sent signal from the mixing board’s aux
sends and returned up to a maximum of 5
seconds of cool reverb. This was the standard for
drums and percussion “back in the day”. The
SPACE SIMULATOR will help you design your own
environment and can teach you about how the
other presets where made. It allows you set
width-height-depth of the walls and the ‘wall vary’
lets you set the reflective texture of the surface
from rug to steel. A rug absorbs sound, while the
steel would be highly reflective. Under the SPACE
SIMULATOR you will find several presets that will
give you an idea of just what type of spaces you
can simulate: Tunnel, Basement, Canyon, White
Room, Live Room, and 3 Walls…
When you are thinking about these you must
imagine how each will sound and why. A tunnel,
for example, is long and narrow with reverberant
surface walls; while a basement has a low ceiling
and probably not much reflection of sound. A
canyon you can picture has no ceiling so it is a
wide-open space with a long reflection and bounce
back. The “white room” is a starting point – you
configure the space – but this preset is simply a
neutral start…
As you will learn, not all parameters are available
for real time control – again, a design decision is
made to prevent unfortunate illogical assignments
that would cause sonic problems.
The Processors
The Effect processors are divided into SYSTEM
INSERTION EFFECTS (applied within the Voice
architecture); MASTER Effects (applied overall just
before the output).
Also important in working with reverb is an
understanding of how it works in the real world.
In most listening situations you are hearing a
certain amount of signal, directly from the sound
source, while the rest of the signal bounces off the
environment you are standing in. If, for example,
you are 30 feet from the stage you will hear a
portion of the sound direct from the stage but
most of it will bounce off of the walls, floor and
ceiling to arrive at your position. Because we
The REVERB processor has 9 main algorithms
available and 42 Presets to use as starting points.
When working with a reverb algorithm you can
select by size environment: REV-X HALL, R3
The CHORUS processor features short time
period delays from flanging, to chorusing/phasing
and on out to multiple repeats and echoes. When
we say “short” here we are talking much larger
than the distance between reverb reflections
because these can be heard as separate events.
You even get additional Reverb algorithms for
maximum flexibility when mixing. There are also
tempo control delays that can be synchronized to
the BPM of the music.
often record and/or amplify musical signal with a
technique called “close-miking”, reverb became a
necessary evil (if you will). Close-miking allows us
to isolate a particular sound from others in the
environment but there is a trade off…we lose that
sense of distance and environment. To regain
some of the distancing we use artificial reverb to
do the trick. Recognize that when you put a
different amount of reverb on the snare than you
do on the flute this does not occur in nature. All
the musicians in the same room would naturally
have the same reverberant environment with very
subtle differences due to positioning in the room.
This gets back to the subjective part of the audio
business. SO WHAT? You can use effects to taste.
There is no rule that says everyone has to have
good taste nor do you have to exercise it.
There are six different main categories:
Reverbs (3 types) – 12 presets
Delays (7 types) – 41 presets
Chorus (5 types) – 28 presets
Flanger (3 Types) – 13 presets
Phaser (3 types) – 37 presets
Miscellaneous (1) – 5 presets
An important parameter in all the reverbs is the
INITIAL DELAY this is the time before the reverb
receives the signal and can help position the
listener near/far from the instrument source. The
initial delay in any acoustic environment is the
time it takes before the signal reaches a
significant boundary. In a large hall it could be
several hundred milliseconds before signal
bounces off the back wall.
A Flanger is a time delay effect. If two identical
signals arrive at your ear-brain, you will not be
able to perceive them as two separate signals
until one is delayed slightly. Imagine 2 turntables
in perfect synchronization playing the same record
at exactly the same speed. You would perceive
the second one as just making the first signal
louder until you delayed one of them a bit. If one
slips 1ms behind the other you will perceive what
we call flanging. The actual name comes from two
2-track reel-to-reel tape decks playing the same
material. This was used as a real time effect,
“back in the day”. You would have 2 identical 2track decks running in sync (no, there were no
protocols to sync them – you pressed the buttons
at the same time!!!) The engineer would slow one
down by placing his thumb momentarily on the
flange (reel holder). The resulting swirling sound
is called flanging. And there were no settings – it
was all done by ear.
The HPF and LPF are there to help you shape the
reverb signal itself. There is a rule of thumb here:
low frequencies reverberate less than high
frequencies. Low frequencies tend to hit a surface
like a wall and spread out while high frequencies
hit a wall and bounce back into the room. This is
why when you are sitting next door to the party
you only hear the bass through the wall – all the
high frequency content ‘reverberates’ and stays in
the source room. So use the HPF (high pass filter)
to allow the highs to pass through to the reverb
and block the lows from reverberating. Reverb on
bass just adds MUD. MUD is not a subjective term
but if it is what you want go for it (but yuck, it is
mud). Low frequencies don’t bounce back they
tend to hug the walls and spread out. If you want
cutting, punchy bass leave the bass “dry” (without
Any delay between exact sync and 4ms is
considered flanging. Delays of 4ms-20ms are
considered chorusing and somewhere beyond
30ms the ear-brain starts to perceive two
separate events, called doubling or echo. Among
the ‘time-delay’ algorithms in the Chorus
processor you will find: Cross Delay, Tempo Cross
Delay, Cross Delay Mono, Tempo Delay Stereo,
Delay L/R, Delay L/C/R, Delay L/R Stereo, G
Chorus, 2 Modulator, SPX Chorus, Ensemble
Detune, Symphonic, VCM Flanger, Classic Flanger,
Tempo Flanger, VCM Phaser Mono, VCM Phaser
additionally you will find three SPX Reverbs
available in the Chorus processor (very useful
when you want to set a lead or section of
instruments apart from the rest of your mix), a
Hall, Room and Stage reverb.
The XS Reverb processor features a brand new
effect algorithm set based on the heralded
Yamaha “Rev-X” technology. "REV-X" is a whole
new generation of Yamaha Reverb with the richest
reverberation tone and smoothest decay. There
are "Hall", "Room" and "Plate" algorithms. Newly
introduced parameters like ROOM SIZE and
DECAY envelope also bring much higher definition
and finer nuance. The number of reflective
impulses determines reverb quality it uses… the
higher the number the more definition and the
finer the quality of sound. It is processor intensive
– these are very short reflections but lots of them
to make the sound smooth.
Each of these main algorithms has their own
“Presets”. A Preset simply is a starting point.
The innovative CONTROL DELAY effect is a digital
version of the old style tape delay (Echoplex)
where you can create wild repeating effects. When
using the Control Type = Scratch you can assign a
controller to create insane echo effects.
Remember, only you can know what is working for
your particular composition. The Presets are
provided and they are meant to be tweaked by
you. They are “starting points”.
The INSERTION EFFECT is made up of two
identical units (INSERTION A and INSERTION B).
The 53 effect types and scores of preset can be
the subjects of intense study. We will try and
introduce you to some of the more unusual and
unique ones in this article. Many of the recipes
(algorithms) are repeated in the Insertion Effects
simply to allow you more options when processing
your mixes. In addition to all the reverbs, delays,
echoes, cross delays, tempo delays, etc., you get
some that are available nowhere else. Insertion
Effects can be considered a part of the Voice
itself, and can be assigned real time controllers so
that you can manipulate them while performing.
Why is it called “Insertion Effect” and what
is the difference between it and a “System
On an audio console you have a series of
channels. Channels carry input or returns from a
multi-track (we refer to them as Input Channels
or Track Channels depending on their role). Each
channel has an on/off button, EQ, a fader, and a
set of auxiliary sends. These ‘aux’ sends allow
each channel to send a portion of the signal on
what is called a bus (a group of wires carrying like
signal). That bus can then be connected to an
offsite effect processor in a rack. The return
comes back to the board and is mixed to the
stereo signal. That scenario is an example of what
happens in Motif XS with the SYSTEM EFFECTS.
That is, when you are in a Song or Pattern and on
the MIXING screens, the REVERB, and the
CHORUS Effects are arranged so that access is
just like the auxiliary sends of a console – each
channel (Part) has an individual send amount to
the system effects. There is a composite return
signal that is mixed to the stereo output.
The VCM (Virtual Circuit Modeling) Effects are
revolutionary in that they are recreations
constructed by modeling the circuit components
(transistors, capacitors, resistors) of the classic
gear they emulate. The designer then could
reconstruct the products by creating virtual circuit
boards. The VCM Flanger is a simulation of the
classic vintage flanger devices. The VCM Phasers
faithfully reproduce the response of the old mono
and stereo guitar stomp box of the ’70’s.
An Insertion Effect on an audio console is usually
accessed via ‘patch points’ (interruption points in
the channel’s signal flow) that allow you to
reroute all of the channel’s signal via a patch bay
through the desired effect or device. You are,
literally, inserting a processor on that specific
channel alone. This is how the INSERTION EFFECT
block works on the Motif XS.
Among the innovative effects from the Yamaha
Samplers A4000/5000 are the Lo-Fi, Noisy, Digital
Turntable, Auto Synth, Tech Modulation, Isolator,
Slice, Talking Modulator, Ring Modulator, Dynamic
Ring Modulator and Dynamic Filter.
There is a Multi-band Compressor algorithm that
is great for fixing and punching up specific
frequency ranges. Multi-band compressors are
used to finalize mixes and bring out (punching up)
specific frequency bands without raising overall
gain. These are ideal when importing a stereo
sample audio clip or when you are resampling
within the Motif XS.
Examples: Typically, when a reverb effect is
setup, just a portion of each sound is sent to it.
This is the perfect example of what a System
effect is about. However, things like rotary
speaker (organ) or amp simulator (guitar) are
effects that you might want to isolate on a specific
channel. Therefore these type effects are usually
accessed as an Insertion Effect. One key
advantage of the Insertion Effect is that it can be
controlled in real time, during the playing
performance. Since the Insertion Effects are
programmed at the VOICE level you can use the
Control Sets (there are 6) to route your physical
controllers to manipulate the parameters of the
Insertion effect in real time. You can change the
speed of the rotary speaker, or you can
manipulate the Guitar Amp simulation setting
while performing the guitar sound. This type of
control is beyond just the send level (you are
given access to System Effect send level only from
the Voice mode Controller assignment). In the
real world, the size of the room does not change
The Digital Turntable algorithm adds “record
surface noise” to your mix. You can program the
tone of the noise, the frequency and randomness
of the clicks and pops, and you can even program
how much dust on the stylus!!!
Slice is also the name of one of the effect
algorithms in addition to being a sample edit
process. This Slice effect can divide the audio into
musical timed packets that it can pan left and
right in tempo. You can select a quarter note,
eighth note or sixteenth note slice and there are 5
different pan envelopes and some 10 different pan
(hopefully) so System effects like reverb are
pretty much “set it/forget it”. However, changing
the speed of the rotary speaker effect is
something that you may want to perform during
the song.
Just how are you able to control certain
parameters in an Insertion Effect? …via MIDI
commands, of course. In the hierarchy of modes
in the Motif XS VOICE mode is the most important
when it comes to programming. This is where
Yamaha spent hours and hours developing the
sounds you play. The programmer’s assembled
the multi-samples into waveforms, and combined
the waveforms into the Voice and worked with the
envelopes, the response to velocity, the pitch, the
tuning, the filters and so on. Each sample in the
XS has its own EQ, the meticulous programming
goes on for months at a time. Of course part of
the arsenal available to the programmers were
the Effects.
Take a close look at a Voice and its effect
Notice the Insertion Effect blocks, the System
Effects (REVERB/CHORUS), the Master Effect
block and the Master EQ block. Contrast this to
the graphic, which shows the blocks during a MIX
in Song/Pattern mode. The Dual Insertion Effect is
available for any eight Motif XS (PARTS 1-16 or
the AD INPUT).
SONG Mode:
How do the diagrams on page 69 relate to
the EFFECT/CONNECT screen?
Navigate to the XS Effect connection screen.
Press [EDIT]
Press [F6] EFFECT
Press [MIXING]
Press [EDIT]
Press [F5] EFFECT
This screen shows you an overview of the
connections and a the signal flow (follow the
routing arrows). It pays to study the diagrams to
get a clear understanding of how signal travels.
Notice also that both the Performance and Song
Mixing screens do not have send level controls to
the Reverb and Chorus. This is because the send
level is not a ‘common’ parameter but is on a per
PART basis. Each Part will have its own control for
the amount of signal sent to the System Effect on
the Part Edit level. While in Edit, you can select
the PART to edit by touching the Track buttons 116 –corresponding to Parts 01-16.
Notice that between the Chorus processor and the
Reverb processor you have a level Send control
knob: Chorus-to-Reverb Send. This can be used
to create a situation where the System effects are
used in series (one after the other) rather than in
parallel (side by side). An example of how this can
make a difference is when you select a DELAY as
the effect for the Chorus and a HALL for the
Reverb…when parallel routing is selected, you
could send a signal independently to the delay
and to the reverb. Only the initial note will have
reverb, each repeat would be dry. By routing “0”
send to the Reverb, but send the signal through
the Chorus first, then through the Chorus-toReverb send, on to the reverb, you will now have
a signal where each repeat of the Delay will have
You can drop into edit any of these via the
associated [SF] (Sub Function) button. For
example, in the screen above [SF3] is Reverb and
[SF4] is Chorus.
So where do you edit the Insertion Effects?
Notice the VOICE INSERTION box and the A/D
INSERTION boxes are unavailable to edit from this
screen. The Insertion Effects are simply accessed
from Voice mode. When you go to this same
[CONNECT] screen in VOICE mode you will see
[SF] buttons available to access the INSERTION
EFFECT parameters. The Insertion Effects do not
appear in the MIXING CONNECT screen because
the Insertion Effects are part of the VOICE mode
edit parameters. If you need to radically change
an Insertion Effect from the original programming
then you will need to create a USER Voice with
your new Insertion Effect edits and STORE it.
The screen below shows which Parts of a MIX are
recalling their Dual Insertion Effect setups from
Voice mode. It initially defaults to the first eight
Parts of a MIX. But you can select any PART up to
a maximum of eight
As you move your cursor to the right in the [SF1]
CONNECT screen (shown below) you can move
the cursor highlight into the CHORUS or REVERB
effect and select from among the different
algorithms. A convenient Category function lets
you quickly sort through the different effect types
(“Dly”, for example, is the Delay category).
What if I want to edit a Voice’s Insertion
Effects while I’m working on a SONG or a
PATTERN? You have the ability to edit a Voice
directly while still in a Song Mixing or Pattern
Mixing program.
on the final hit of the song so that it repeats and
fades …or using a frequency Isolator to roll out all
the bass for a section of a song, then bringing it
back in for dynamic impact …or wacky panning
effects with the Slice algorithm where you can pan
signal left and right in tempo with the groove.
Also on the more normal side, you are given a
powerful Multi-band Compressor for pumping up
the frequency bands of the final mix. Awesome
tools… experiment!!!
Press [EXIT] to leave EDIT mode but press
[MIXING] to view the MIX PLAY screen shown
above. The XS allows you to drop into full Voice
Edit for any Normal (non-drum) Voice while still in
the MIXING mode.
Press the [F6] VCE EDIT (Voice Edit) button to
drop into edit (shown above circled in red).
This allows you to edit a Voice and its two
Insertion Effects (provided the INS SWITCH is
active for the PART) while you are using the
sequencer so that edits can be done in the context
of the music sequence. When you STORE this
edited Voice it will automatically replace the Voice
in your MIX in a special “MIX VOICE” bank, which
is “local” to the current Pattern or Song.
Master EQ
Although not technically an effect (EQ is an
essential utility for any mixer), the Master EQ is
the last process the signal goes through prior to
the main outputs.
In Voice mode, the Master EQ is setup and is
global for the mode (applies to all Voices). While
in Voice mode:
Press [F3] VOICE
What this means is the Mix Voice will
automatically load when you load the Pattern or
Song, even if you load just the individual Pattern
or Song. Each Pattern Mix and Song Mix has 16
Mix Voice locations total. Due to complexity, Drum
Voices cannot be stored in Mix Voice location.
Here you find the full 5-band parametric EQ.
Parametric means you can select the Frequency,
the Gain
(increase/decrease) and the Q (or
width) of the bands). Within each VOICE you will
find a three band (adjustable Mid-Frequency)
Equalizer available via the KNOB CONTROL
FUNCTIONS for quick tweaks.
In Voice Edit you have 6 Control Sets that allow
you to customize how the available effect
parameters are controlled. Choose your assigned
MIDI controls wisely, they will be available when
you go to Song or Pattern Mixing.
Master Effects
The Master Effects are “post” everything but the
Master EQ. So they are applied to the overall
System signal (stereo). These are 8 effect
algorithms that you will also find in the Dual
Insertion Effects. If you want to apply them to a
single sound, you can create a Voice and find the
algorithm within the 116 Dual Insertion Effects.
These are:
In PERFORMANCE mode or in Song/Pattern
MIXING modes you can setup the Master EQ on a
per program basis
Press [EDIT]
Press [F2] LEVEL/MEF
Conclusion and final thoughts
Signal flow is the most important thing to get a
handle on when you are seeking a better
understanding of audio. This is particularly true
when it comes to affective effect processing. The
Motif XS uses professional mixing console routing
as the basis for how signal flows through the
synthesizer. A Voice or Part is like a musician
playing an instrument. So imagine a guitar player
with a wah-wah pedal, and a combo amp. These
are like his Insertion effects… He inserts the guitar
into the wah-wah pedal and then to his combo
amp. Insertion Effects are controllable in real time
by the player – and this is an essential part of
performing. That is the guitar Voice in Voice
These are typically "DJ"-type effects, for lack of a
better term, because like a DJ would, they are
applied to the entire recording. DJ’s are either
playing back a record or CD that is a finished mix.
So the effects that they add are always post, they
cannot put a Dynamic Filter on just the snare
drum, if you get my meaning, so "DJ-style
effects". These Effects are applied to the entire
SYSTEM signal. Don’t be afraid to use your
imagination with these Master Effects – some of
them are quite radical. Things like putting a Delay
Now take that player and his rig to a recording
studio. This would be the Sequencer mode. When
you activate the INSERTION SWITCH for the PART
containing the Guitar Voice, it is like the player
brought along his wah-wah pedal and combo
amplifier from home. And they will be able to
manipulate them in real time as they perform.
In the studio (SONG MIXING) mode they are
plugged into the console, the guitar channel has
two auxiliary sends. One connects to the studio’s
reverberation chamber, the other send can be
routed to some sort of delay/chorus/flanger/delay
(as may be required by the session).
That is what you have here in the Motif XS. Real
time control over personal effects, and a
send/return situation with the System Effects.
Now to continue with this analogy, if you route a
signal to a direct out on a mixing console, you
interrupt the signal in the patchbay… this takes
that channel out of the main mix and allows you
to route it, in isolation, to some other destination.
This interruption removes that channel from the
auxiliary sends (the ones feeding the Reverb and
the Chorus processors), but you would be doing
this interruption precisely because you are going
to process the signal in isolation, separately.
When you take a PART of your MIXING program
and route it to any of the direct (assignable)
outputs, it is removed from the main stereo mix,
and it no longer is pooled with the others via the
aux sends to the studio’s effects.
More on advanced routing in our next article.
Routing a channel to a direct output is done when
you have something you want to do to it in
Phil Clendeninn
Senior Product Specialist
Product Support Group
Pro Audio & Combo Division
©Yamaha Corporation of America
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