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  1. Markus
  3. Thursday, 10 June 2021
My setup:

Motif XF wh
Apogee Quartet (USB audio interface with analogue inputs and USB MIDI IO)
Monitor Speakers

What I want to do:
Record audio and MIDI from the Motif through the Apogee Quartet into Cubase.
Play the Motif over the monitor speakers.
Listen to the DAW mix of Motif voices (played by Motif), VST (played by the DAW) and audio tracks through the monitor speakers.

How I would like to do it:

Connect Main Out of the Motif to the monitor speakers.
Connect the output of the Apogee Quartet to the analogue input of the XF.
Connect the assignable outputs of the Motif to the input of the Apogee Quartet.The assignable outputs should carry the full mix of the Motif includingd effects, but without the signal of the A/D input. This is the signal I want to record in my DAW.

My questions:

Is that possible? If so - how do I need to configure the assignable outputs of the Motif XF?

If it is not possible - how can I achieve my goal?

Thank you!!
Responses (3)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Welcome to the forum.

The other option "Motif Main Out into the DAW and Apogee Quartet to speakers" is not viable for me, because the Apogee Quartet needs a PC connection to power on. And then I would have to power on the PC every time I wanted to just play the Motif over the monitors.

Yeah, I wasn't sure about that one. I did look at the Apogee manual but didn't want to invest more than a cursory look's worth of time trying to sort that out. I'm fortunate that my, arguably lesser "quality", audio interface (Behringer) has the feature to monitor without requiring any computer connection (past or present) in order to work as a local monitor. I've got knobs that let me dial in sending all the audio-in channels straight to the audio-out channels (monitors). What I think I compromise on is the quality (noise floor, etc) of the ADC/DAC. And software too - this didn't come with much to speak of except for drivers. I don't really do "studio work" - so the audio interface is more for quick-and-dirty than pristine. And that's what I'm able to achieve. That's likely the opposite for you - so recommending this particular model probably wouldn't do you any good.

A mixer is a way around this since a small mixer will have what it takes to not need any computer and provide the monitoring duties and still send a good clean signal on to your audio interface when using it. The cables impact your Motif's signal too - but you have to have them. If you need the mixer to get this to work the way you want it to - then I'm not sure the difference will be something that is dissatisfactory unless there's a problem with the mixer. There would be some mixers I'd have more concerns about than that one. Use short cables to the mixer if you're worried about interference or "IR" drop. It's a bit of paranoia possibly - but Motif's outputs are unbalanced so shortening those runs can help reign in any downsides there. Coming out of your VLZ3 (MAIN OUT) can be balanced with 1/4" TRS to the Apogee's combo XLR/TRS inputs. Going balanced can help with immunity to interference. Depending on your previous cabling - and what it routed across - and .. (quality of cables, etc) - this configuration may be "better". Liberal use of quotes here because you may not like (or you may really prefer) any "color" the Mackie ins and outs add to the sound (or whatever your old cable configuration "did" to the sound). The mixer's impact to the sound may be close to transparent (as it should be) - I haven't had experience with that particular mixer.

Hopefully you have what you need to try a few options and choose one that best fits your ears, setup arms, and workflow needs.
  1. 1 day ago
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Since this was my first post on this forum, I maybe had an inkling, but certainly wasn't sure what to expect....

But wow. This level of expertise and commitment to the Yamaha community really impresses me. Also I didn't expect to receive an answer so soon.

Your answer is spot on and crystal clear, even though I was admittedly unspecific in my requirements.

And yeah, wine included really could mean anything, from a sip to a barrell full.

I should have written "full mix including all voice and master effects". But you answered all my questions anyway and offered helpful solutions.

Thank you very much!!

I think, I will take the route via the assignable outputs into the DAW, forgoing the master effects when recording.

The other option "Motif Main Out into the DAW and Apogee Quartet to speakers" is not viable for me, because the Apogee Quartet needs a PC connection to power on. And then I would have to power on the PC every time I wanted to just play the Motif over the monitors.

I also have a small Mackie mixer (402 VLZ3) sitting in my closet, but I think this wouldn't help with my use case. Because if I would put it into the middle of the signal chain between Motif and Quartet, it would lead to a degradation of the Motifs signal when recording.
  1. 1 day ago
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The assignable outputs should carry the full mix of the Motif including effects, but without the signal of the A/D input.

You can get half way there. Anything you route to the assignable output will not have the reverb/chorus/master effects. They will carry the insertion effects and that is all.

If that is ok then ...

If you are planning on using assignable outputs as the input to the Apogee then you can set the A/D input to route OUT to a different location so that this does not wind up back as in input into the DAW.

Assuming Performance Mode ...

Performance Mode - Audio In Settings - [F4] Audio In, [SF1] Output - set line #4 (Output Select) to "L&R" which means Main L&R - just to your monitor speakers.

Then, each Part can have its audio output selected.

[PERFORM] -> Performance selection -> [EDIT] -> Part selection (Press part selection buttons 1-4, or you can press [SF5] to see all 4 Parts on the screen at once)

Press [SF2] for (Voice) Output. Then set line 4 (Output Select) to "asL&R" which is shorthand for Assignable Output L&R. You'll need to do this for all of the Parts.

There are other modes apart from Performance mode with similar setups in different locations.

... on the other hand:

If you are not OK with the system/master effects being stripped when using the isolated assignable output - then use Motif's Main L&R output instead routed to the Apogee input. The Apogee has balanced analog outputs that can route to your monitors. You wouldn't have to do anything drastic to your audio routing on Motif - except for ensuring the A/D Output Selection is set to something other than "L&R" (main L&R). And you may not need this for times when you do not want to add Motif XF effects to the VST. If you were planning on only using the Motif XF with the original routing plan as a way to get your VST instruments to the monitors - then you may, in this configuration, not need the A/D input connection at all. That's another choice - flexibility is gained by making it - but you might not end up "needing" it with your planned usage.

I don't have experience with the Apogee - but perhaps it would have a direct monitoring mode where an input can route straight to the output (on the Apogee side). My audio interface has this feature and I use it even without a computer connected for direct monitoring. This would be nearly "the same" as having the monitors connected directly to the Main L&R outputs of the Motif.

Main L&R is the only output which carries the full range of effects including reverb/chorus/master.

BTW: it wasn't clear to me what exactly you meant by "full mix of the Motif including effects" -- "including effects" is what I wasn't clear on. InsA+InsB of every voice satisfies "including effects". It does not satisfy "including all effects" or "including insertion, system, and master effects". Part of the reason why it wasn't clear goes to a recent visit to Brazilian steak house. It's all you can eat meat of relatively high quality. The meal included wine. I wasn't sure if that meant all the wine (any bottle they carry - so they have probably lower quality stuff), just a short-list of wine they select but still all I can drink, or the minimal just-one-glass. Turns out it was a single glass coming from a choice of red or white. So even when the context implies "everything", the word "including" tends to be ambiguous unless what comes after is adequately descriptive.
  1. 2 days ago
  3. # 3
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