Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Yamaha Motif Classic/ES/XS Series

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Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:40 pm

Hi all,

I am about to take a look to a good condition (at least on pictures!) Motif Rack ES, sold locally for 300 EUR, including its power supply.

On my Synth room I have now a Yamaha SY77 connected to a PC with Cubase 10 Elements and an M-AUDIO Oxygen 49 MIDI controller (which I plan to upgrade soon) hooked to a Mac Pro with Garage Band.

I planned to replace the M-AUDIO with a MODX7 but, by now, I will wait a bit to see how the MODX7 keybed problems evolve, as I am not in a big hurry.

So, when I saw that Motif Rack ES for sale, I was tempted to add it to the setup. But I wonder if it is a wise investment or perhaps it is better to invest on VSTs or any other gear I may not be aware of.

Please, let me know your opinion, as I am just 4 hours from looking at it :think:

Thanks!

Jose
Jose Gavila

Yamaha SY77+SPX990, DGX660, Genos
Steinberg Cubase Elements 10, The Grand 3
Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Pigments, Analog Lab 3
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by Saul » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Hi Jose

I am always looking at old gear and often find myself just about to press the button and buy but..something always holds me back. Probably just as well or I would be both broke and have no room to move! ;)

Really the only thing you need to ask yourself about the Motif ES Rack is "Do I need what it offers?".

You already have quite a gear list and from what I can tell there really isn't anything in terms of sounds and sonic performance that you do not already own. What does the Motif add to your setup that you cannot already recreate in hardware and software?

If it were me I would probably spend my €300 on a new midi keyboard like the Arturia Keylab MKII and not only have a great MIDI controller keyboard but also get the bonus of all the software it comes with. That's just me though and I am not saying the Motif Rack is a bad buy for the money but, do you need it?
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by Derek » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:32 pm

Hi,

I have a Motif Rack ES myself, and I would not divert from saving for a MODX7.

Why?

The Motif Rack ES is capable of some find sounds, but you cannot add your own waves/samples to it. You can add two PLG cards to it (AN, VL, DX, etc.) but they are fiddly to use and the editors (essential for loading content and editing it are all from the WIN XP era.

The MODX7 gives you the latest in AWM2 and FM-X, and it has all of the Motif ES waveforms in its WAVE ROM. I have successfully importing Motif ES Patch sets into my Montage.

But you also have a fine AWM engine (although less programmable) in the Genos, and of course the SY77 - very limited AWM2, but a fine FM engine and the overall combination still sounds marvellous today.

Out of all the items in my studio, if I had to sell one thing it would be the Motif Rack ES, as it is the one thing I no longer use any more, and of course I can now get the sounds out of the Montage, so it is redundant, and that final point is usually what makes me shift gear. I sold my CS15 (my first synth) when I got an EX5 and the AN in it could nail the CS perfectly. I sold my DX7II when I could get 95% of its sounds out of my FS1r and SY77. If by the end of this year I have not used the Motif Rack ES, I will probably be selling it and the two PLG cards I have (AN and VL). It would give me 1U of rack space for something else.....
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:38 pm

Saul wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:45 pm
Hi Jose

I am always looking at old gear and often find myself just about to press the button and buy but..something always holds me back. Probably just as well or I would be both broke and have no room to move! ;)

Really the only thing you need to ask yourself about the Motif ES Rack is "Do I need what it offers?".

You already have quite a gear list and from what I can tell there really isn't anything in terms of sounds and sonic performance that you do not already own. What does the Motif add to your setup that you cannot already recreate in hardware and software?

If it were me I would probably spend my €300 on a new midi keyboard like the Arturia Keylab MKII and not only have a great MIDI controller keyboard but also get the bonus of all the software it comes with. That's just me though and I am not saying the Motif Rack is a bad buy for the money but, do you need it?
Hi Saul,

Many thanks for your message, you have probably saved me of doing something which I would have regretted :wink:

I feel really identified with your comments of being just about to press the button. I should admit that I have done that button pressing for years (30 or so)... and that took me to have a huge amount of radio and test equipment related items on storage. Some of them have been sold to fund my music gear setup, which is OK. But some are too old or too big to pack and ship or both things, so I have lots of space filled with things which I don't know what to do with, as they are not trashable items but either saleable ones... So I don't want to get to same point with music gear! :naughty:

Yes, the Arturia Keylab MkII on it 61 key version seems to fill the gap I have now, as I wanted more sounds and a better MIDI controller... With that unit I would cover both things at a reasonable price. And, as I didn't buy the MODX7, I was still without any new toy for this Christmas season, and that is a definite no-no :lol:

So I will pull the trigger and buy the Arturia keyboard. For sure, it will be a good and needed improvement over my toy-like M-AUDIO Oxygen 49! :clap:

Thanks again, my friend!

Jose
Jose Gavila

Yamaha SY77+SPX990, DGX660, Genos
Steinberg Cubase Elements 10, The Grand 3
Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Pigments, Analog Lab 3
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:58 pm

Derek wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:32 pm
Hi,

I have a Motif Rack ES myself, and I would not divert from saving for a MODX7.

Why?

The Motif Rack ES is capable of some find sounds, but you cannot add your own waves/samples to it. You can add two PLG cards to it (AN, VL, DX, etc.) but they are fiddly to use and the editors (essential for loading content and editing it are all from the WIN XP era.

The MODX7 gives you the latest in AWM2 and FM-X, and it has all of the Motif ES waveforms in its WAVE ROM. I have successfully importing Motif ES Patch sets into my Montage.

But you also have a fine AWM engine (although less programmable) in the Genos, and of course the SY77 - very limited AWM2, but a fine FM engine and the overall combination still sounds marvellous today.

Out of all the items in my studio, if I had to sell one thing it would be the Motif Rack ES, as it is the one thing I no longer use any more, and of course I can now get the sounds out of the Montage, so it is redundant, and that final point is usually what makes me shift gear. I sold my CS15 (my first synth) when I got an EX5 and the AN in it could nail the CS perfectly. I sold my DX7II when I could get 95% of its sounds out of my FS1r and SY77. If by the end of this year I have not used the Motif Rack ES, I will probably be selling it and the two PLG cards I have (AN and VL). It would give me 1U of rack space for something else.....
Hi Derek,

Thanks for your message!

I was writing my answer to Saul post when you have written your message so, once I have published it, I have seen yours.

All in all, as you can see, I have decided not to buy the Motif Rack ES and go for a good MIDI controller, so that is on line with your thoughts (regarding NOT to buy the Motif)

The MODX7 question for me has some more rough edges than just its sound generating ability and the keybed problem (which I guess and hope it is not a big deal). My Synth room is small, and I can only fit comfortably two 61-key units (in a K&M 18810 plus 18811 setup). Now I have the SY77 and, over it, the M-AUDIO Oxygen49. I could barely fit the MODX7 on the top shelf, which was my first idea.

But, as a beginner, the MODX7 is perhaps too much for me right now, so the 61 key MIDI controller can fit better, both by size and functionality (Y)

My idea is to keep the SY77 and MIDI keyboard setup until I find I could benefit from a MODX7 or similar upgrade. That could be in a year, two, ... who knows!. I am still on my 9th month of keyboard playing :D

Best regards,

Jose
Jose Gavila

Yamaha SY77+SPX990, DGX660, Genos
Steinberg Cubase Elements 10, The Grand 3
Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Pigments, Analog Lab 3
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by Derek » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:07 pm

No worries. You will not regret the Keylab, and you get a great collection of sounds via Analog Lab.
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by EB5AGV » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:28 pm

Done! :D

An Arturia Keylab 61 MkII is going to arrive to my Synth room in short time ((i))

There is currently (up to 31st January) an offer of free VSTs, called ART OF KEYS, which includes Mini V, Stage-73 V and B-3 V so that tops the cake! :mrgreen:

I will let you know my experience once I receive it.

Thank you!

Jose
Jose Gavila

Yamaha SY77+SPX990, DGX660, Genos
Steinberg Cubase Elements 10, The Grand 3
Arturia Keylab 61 MkII, Pigments, Analog Lab 3
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:38 pm

I have the Arturia Keylab 61 MKII here, the black one and I can attest to the build quality and of course the fantastic software that comes with it. I think this is probably my favourite controller keyboard so far. It just oozes quality but you will see what I mean when it arrives :)
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Re: Help: is a Motif Rack ES still a good idea in 2019?

Unread post by Derek » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:44 pm

Mini V is excellent. Haven’t played much with the others you mention as they did not compare well against other things I have for Rhodes and Organ, but Arturia have a reputation for getting there eventually on their emulations if they are not not right from the outset. And of course if it’s free, what’s not to like? :D
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
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