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How do you back up the data on the Motif Rack XS?

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I have looked over the owners manual and the data list and have not found a command that will allow me to back up the data (all patches for all banks, and software configuration for the unit) for my Motif Rack XS. I have 3 banks of specially programmed patches for the EWI 4000 that I would like to back up, plus I am going to experiment with changing patches via batch midi commands and want to have a backup of the unit when it is working properly before I start this experimentation. Can you provide me with the process to do this?

Posted : 05/03/2017 2:47 am
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304

There is no way to backup the entire Motif-Rack XS in a single operation.
If you are using as a tone module in a recording situation, it is designed so that you can backup the *current* MULTI setup. Store the Bulk Dump of that program with the DAW Project. If you run the Yamaha Motif-Rack XS Editor VST in the background, it can capture and recall every setting on the *current* Multi, including any custom Mixing Voices, and if you wish additionally the entire User Voice Bank structure.

But there is no way to dump all 128 MULTI locations at once. They remain in memory in the Motif-Rack XS until you Initialize them or over write them.

Alternate methods include creating individual VST PRESETS for each MULTI and storing them for instant recall in the Cubase MediaBay/Sound Browser.

Posted : 05/03/2017 1:46 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

I"m confused.... So, both my 1981 Prophet 5 rev 3.3 and my 1984 OB-8 are capable of loading/storing a bulk dump to a cassette tape; but, my 2017 Motif-Rack XS has no way of doing a complete system midi (or USB) SysEx bulk dump??

Please clarify.


Posted : 13/07/2017 3:29 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304

Thanks for the question joel.

Yes, as strange as that sounds - this is the case. Back in the nineteen-eighties synthesizers couldn't generate enough data to fill the head of pin (in way of comparing the amount of data that could be contained in the Motif-Rack XS). You were dealing with about 3 dozen parameters (after all), you are now dealing with hundreds and hundreds of parameters. You were dealing with a mono-timbral synth engine with perhaps a couple of Envelope Generators, a single filter, etc... the Rack XS is 16 PART multi-timbral where each PART can have 8 Envelope Generators, 8 Filters each with their own Envelope Generators... Its no comparison. Really.

In music technology some things grow faster than others - and memory and storage is one of those things that can get out of step with what might be considered normal parallel growth. Unfortunately, cost of storage options did not allow for a more practical solution for every scenario... so they go with what works for most users based on the anticipated use case.

That gave way to the strange situation of how the Motif-Rack XS data is stored.

The Motif Rack and the Motif Rack ES (which could bulk dump the entire USER contents - both Voices and Multis) wound up with over a MB worth of MIDI data in the bulk file. At MIDI bulk data transfer rates that was just about 8 minutes of data in the bulk file. Most users were not able to capture that amount of data and successfully restore it. Once the file size reached a certain point - a close look at how the Rack unit was going to be used became necessary - and that is what you have in the Motif Rack XS. It didn't make sense to keep enlarging the file size, if capturing and restoring was not going to be successful given current affordable means. Back in the day, external Data Filers were a common item... but went away once USB storage came into vogue.

Most often the Motif-Rack XS is going to be used as a tone module playing 16 PART multi-timbral setups in response to a computer-based sequencer. In this role, it is standard practice to bulk the *CURRENT* Multi to your DAW (you can capture it in the Motif-Rack XS Editor).... each - by - each. Each Project would have a different Multi Setup. In fact, since it so elegantly bulks the CURRENT MULTI (every parameter), it is not even necessary to store any of the MULTI setups in the Motif-Rack XS, itself, at all. You can have your DAW capture and restore the entire MULTI when you open the project. This way you can keep the entire internal USER MULTI storage as you desire - as a permanent bank of sounds.

The Rack units do not feature a USB "To Device" port, so bulking is the only option for moving data to/from the Rack XS. If you are going to ask "why, no USB port?" The answer is probably easy... it probably placed the rack unit (a niche market product to begin with) in a price point that made it not practical to do. It is a common misconception that Rack units are less expensive to make (something I learned about years ago)... it usually requires a clever redesign to capture the essence of the product - plus you have reconfigure it all to fit in 19 inches (single space, of course) - it gets complicated from a manufacturing standpoint. The customer perception is that because of its smaller in size and weight, it should therefore, automatically, cost less... most times manufacturers are hard pressed to bring it in at an anticipated lesser price than its keyboard version.So you can anticipate any features that are on the unit have been prioritized...

Perhaps a USB port meant going to a two-rack space size, (go to two spaces and your niche market gets smaller).... perhaps including the "To Device" port sent the cost over the "drop-dead" price point limit... I do not know the specifics of the Rack XS design situation but I did observe that, indeed, there is NO-WAY to bulk dump the entire RACK XS (both USER Voices, and USER Multis)... You can backup ALL USER VOICES, or a BANK of USER VOICES with the EDITOR... (And that is probably what you want to do most often)... But it only captures the *CURRENT* MULTI. You cannot capture all 128 MULTIs in one operation.

The idea is create a USER MULTI... STORE it on board the Rack XS
If you create a USER MULTI for sequencing with a DAW - capture the bulk for that singe Multi and keep it with the DAW data

Posted : 13/07/2017 6:46 pm

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