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?