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  1. Scott
  2. MOXF
  3. Monday, 21 August 2017
I've already emailed Yamaha support about this, so I'm pretty sure this isn't a feature, but if I'm wrong, please let me know:

Is there any way to store which track or part is muted within each section of a pattern (in PATTERN mode)?

For example: Let's say I have pattern 01.A open, and have written drum parts on tracks 1,2,3 bass on track 4 and a melodic part on track 5. If I want to bring everything down to just the kick drum and bass when I switch to a new section --pattern 1.B, then I need to write the kick drum part on track 1, and the bass part to track 4 and leave tracks 2,3 & 5 blank(no midi note info) for pattern 1.B. Right?

To bring in more tracks, I will have to copy the midi note info from 1.B on tracks 1 & 5 to Pattern 1.C and then add the next element on one of the other tracks, and so on.

That's all doable, but a modest breakdown consumes 3 of my 16 sub sections for that pattern. Granted, 16 sub sections is more than ample for most songs, but this also creates a bit of a house-keeping issue:
If you want to change the melodic content after you've set up the breakdown, like, if you decide to change the bass part in your bridge which spans sections B,C and D, to better compliment something you wrote in D, you then have to do a JOB->Track->Copy from 1.D to 1.B & 1.D to 1.C. for all relevant tracks. Which again, is doable, but somewhat cumbersome. (says the guy insisting on hardware sequencers in the age of the computer)

Pattern based music often starts with just a few elements and is made interesting by bringing in other layers. The expected behavior for most groove-boxes is that when you switch to your next pattern your mutes will be remembered so that you can build the song up by UN-muting the tracks as you see fit. However, most grooveboxes expect you to compose in "steps" of 128 to 64 which I find extremely restrictive.

My dream version of the MOXF firmware would have a "remember mutes in pattern mode?" option somewhere in the global settings and then when you switched sections, your mutes would be remembered for each track and new elements could be brought in without switching to a new section.

I know that Yamaha is moving away from hardware sequencing as a focus, but for table-top/modular synthesis folks like myself, it is really nice to be able to write subtle nuanced compositions without having to bring a temperamental laptop into the picture, and in my opinion the MOXF/MOTIF have unrivaled sequencing architecture.

What are the chances that there will be another MOXF firmware update? And would a mute recall function be feasible?
Responses (3)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My dream version of the MOXF firmware would have a "remember mutes in pattern mode?" option somewhere in the global settings and then when you switched sections, your mutes would be remembered for each track and new elements could be brought in without switching to a new section.

Just FYI, the way the MOXF memorizes TRACK MUTES is by recording the Event to a dedicated Scene Track. You may know that you can store 5 Scenes but you can store an unlimited number of Track Mutes to the dedicated Scene Track.

If you think through your request, say Pattern 01, Section A is 8 measures in Length. You execute and record a Mute at measure 5... the Track stops playing its data, the Track will remain Muted from that point on, until you reactive the Track by UnMuting it... but how's that going to work on playback (I'm assuming you want to perform in realtime...) you go to playback ...you realize unless you record an unMute command, you manually have to deactivate the Track, and every time it gets to measure 5 ...and I mean *every time* it cycles around, your recorded MUTE will turn OFF your Track... Mutes in looping Sections is not logical, Automation of any kind winds up being counterproductive almost immediately.

If you let Section A (8 Measures) loop around 4 times for 32 bars, you cannot record a MUTE at measure 17... do you understand why?
Because there is no Measure 17, there is only measures 1-8, 1-8, 1-8, 1-8
If you placed your mute event the third time it cycled, because that is where the 17th measure would be, you realize that the MUTE command is actually in Measure 1, four times... make sense? every time it cycled it would Mute.

That is why you only find the SCENE TRACK (and its ability to document unlimited Mute events) in the MOXF's linear modes:
Pattern Chain - yes you can record mutes in Pattern mode, but logically to make them work, you need to lay the composition out linearly (hope that is making sense to you)
Song Mode you can record Mutes in real time or enter them in Edit mode... your choice.

I know that Yamaha is moving away from hardware sequencing as a focus, but for table-top/modular synthesis folks like myself, it is really nice to be able to write subtle nuanced compositions without having to bring a temperamental laptop into the picture, and in my opinion the MOXF/MOTIF have unrivaled sequencing architecture
The day of the hardware sequencer is over, the age of the orcs begins... :) the computer, the tablet, the laptop is taking over and has been growing steadily for 25 years... we agree that the mature sequencer in the MOXF has evolved to a very nice point... as hardware sequencers go... but unfortunately, the market for hardware sequencer devices has dwindled. Even among MOXF owners, most use a computer, ... but as to what's possible in the future: you never know...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOXF
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed and considered response, and thanks in advance for reading the following :)


Mutes in looping Sections is not logical, Automation of any kind winds up being counterproductive almost immediately.


I understand the limitations of recording a "mute" in the way you described and I don't know the exact way to make the solution happen within the Yamaha schema, but that doesn't negate the possible utility of the feature.

I guess what I'm talking about is some kind of metadata wrapped around the pattern that is only checked when the pattern is loaded and not actually written in the pattern itself. While it isn't logical to record a mute message inside a pattern as an automation, what I'm talking about is some kind of "track loads as muted" value, true or false, which is only checked if the user moves from one pattern to another and is not actually stored in the pattern data itself.

Not an option?
What about this:
What if you when you hit "store all data" in pattern mode, the MOXF checked to see which tracks were muted, and then wrote a "mute" command at the very beginning of the loop for each relevant track. Then on playback, that message is there muting every revolution until the user presses "unmute" manually. Then the MOXF deletes any mute information present in the first measure of the loop.

Too hacky?
Perhaps I'm approaching this completely wrong:
What if there was a concept of "Mute templates" just as you can store and recall different arpeggios for each track, what if you could store and recall 5 different mute templates. So you could construct your tracks in such a way that if you want to just drop down to tracks 1 and 2 for any section, trigger the next section and also the change to the appropriate mute template. Again, these "mute" messages would not be stored in the pattern, but instead sent to the internal sequencer any time the user switches templates.


the computer, the tablet, the laptop is taking over and has been growing steadily for 25 years...

I guess I just feel like there is room for both in my life :) I love computers and I use them in my workflow as well, but I also love hardware midi/cv sequencers.
I'm definitely not alone on this as evidenced by the Arturia's beatstep and keystep, Roland's A01, Social Entropy's Engine, Pyramid squarp, Akai MPC Live, not to mention the wealth of modular sequencers, etc. etc.

More importantly, there have recently been a lot of small synthesizers (Roland Boitique, Korg Volca, and Yamaha Reface to name the major players) which need some brains to make them all work together. Roland has the A01, Korg has the Electribe, and it seems like there could be a Yamaha equivalent. One Sequencer to rule them all! :D

...but, at the scale that a company like Yamaha works I suppose an enclave of synth weirdos who like hardware but prefer more than a 64 step palette doesn't necessarily describe a viable market.

To hear that Yamaha feels there isn't enough demand to warrant a new product in this area is disappointing because all of the sequencers I mentioned above are built with a more "DJ" mindset. To me it seems like Yamaha sequencers are less stylistically opinionated.

As you've said on other threads there are many many yamaha products that are still out there and you can bet I will continue collecting them.

BUT...
What is the best way to lobby for a QY/RS/RMX Reface that might speak to this need? Is there a better channel for this kind of discussion at Yamaha? What if I started a petition and got a bunch of signatures proving there was a market?

Again, thanks again for your time.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOXF
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi, I think the point your making can be addressed by using pattern phrases.

The option to mute a track inside a pattern could be as easy as not assigning any phrase on a track.

https://www.yamahasynth.com/images/MOXF/DrumKitVoice/PATCH.png


In this particular pattern, the 3 tracks were assigned with different phrases. If track 3 is to be muted, you set it to blank.

You may want to read it here for the detailed explanation:

Pattern Phrase
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MOXF
  3. # 3
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