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Garritan and Yamaha Motif

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Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby Motif » Fri May 30, 2014 2:51 pm

Hi:

I am planning to add Garritan IO and GPO standalone to my studio. Currently I just have two hardware synths. A Yamaha Tyros 3 and Motif XF6. I would like to use the Motif as a controller for the Garritan libraries. My plan is to get an appropriate PC for he Garritan software and connect MIDI out from the Motif to MIDI in via USB to the laptop. Then I will take the audio out of the laptop back into my Motif were it's converted to digital and mixed and recorded. My question is what else is needed or recommend? I am new to using a PC so not sure.

Thanks
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby SysExJohn » Sat May 31, 2014 3:58 am

Hi Motif,

Welcome to the forum.
Two issues come to mind.
Firstly, that MIDI via USB has some inbuilt latency and jitter.
This means that the keystrokes from the Motif can take a few milliseconds to arrive in the PC (latency) and that the delay is irregular (jitter). This is due to master/slave relationship, over USB, between PC and connected device. Nothing to do with MIDI.

Secondly, and a potentially greater problem, is that audio generated within the PC takes a little time to be 'streamed out' via the audio interface (latency again). Please note that within the PC the sound generated is already digital, so what you're proposing to do is undertake multiple conversions of the audio signal along the way.

These problems can be overcome to a great degree by buying a high quality interface with its own ASIO drivers. Windows drivers will exacerbate the issues, ASIO drivers go a long way to solving it. The idea is get the latency down to a sub 10 millisecond response, and this always means 'tweaking' buffer sizes and numbers even with the ASIO drivers.

With delays of 10 milliseconds or more you will notice that when you play a note on the keyboard, there is an unacceptable noticeable delay before it sounds through the speakers.

A better option than using USB is to purchase a dedicated audio interface that mounts within the PC itself, if possible. I use a Creative/E-MU 1616m (purchased used via ebay at considerable saving) that plugs directly into a socket on the motherboard. With this it means I can get latency down to around 3 or 4 milliseconds (for live playing) which is unnoticeable.

Hope that helps a bit?
Regards,
John.
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby Motif » Sat May 31, 2014 7:23 am

John:

Thank you for responding. I was hoping to use a laptop. So are you saying that would not work? I thought a a new powerful laptop with USB 3.0 would be OK. I could connect an external USB Sound Card to bypass the internal one. Would a Mac Book with a Thunderbolt connect be better? I see many others using laptops so they must be using external cards. What's your opinion on that approach?

Joe
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby drumroll » Sat May 31, 2014 12:04 pm

Hello Joe,

This probably a stupid question but why are you mixing down on your workstation? Did your Yamaha come with Cubase? I used to own a Yamaha workstation and found it to be a bear to work with and I was overjoyed when I was able to use it with a DAW.

I wish I had some info to offer. I have a Motif Rack and use a Midisport 4x4 and the Motu 828 into my iMac. My keyboard is a M-Audio 88 keys. I have two more rack synths and what I love is that they take no CPU power. The Midisport is not expensive. I have had mine for years with no issues. The 828 is pricey but it is the best thing we ever bought for the studio. Ours is also several years old but it is really a workhorse.

John's advice is spot on. I would just add that the various latency settings also crank your CPU and things can get pretty hot. The ARIA is an excellent player and really is light on the processor. Some of the other players offered can be hogs.

I am curious what you end up doing. Please post something when you have a solution and/or have questions for the gurus here. (BTW - I'm not talking about me.)

Cheers,
Paula
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby Motif » Sat May 31, 2014 2:21 pm

Paula:

I am probably working in a different mode than most. I do not sequence or multi-track and do not use a DAW. I play and record my works live to a digital recorder. Currently my connections are:

Motif XF6 MIDI out to a Tyros 3.
Tyros 3 Audio Out to the Motif A/D Input where it is converted back to Digital.
This allows me to use the excellent Tyros Acoustic voices with the Motif voices and performances.
Then the Tyros and Motif sounds are combined live using the Motif's mixing and effects capabilities.
The resulting output is digital via the Motif Sp/dif to an external Digital recorder and then on the an external DAC, AMP and Passive Monitors.

Sounds weird and convoluted but works extremely well.

So now I would like to use a laptop for orchestral voices (Garritan IO and GPO). When using those I would disconnect the Tyros and substitute the Laptop in the same way as I have used the Tyros.

Hope that helps explain my intent.

Joe
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby drumroll » Sat May 31, 2014 3:37 pm

Gotcha. I used to do a similar setup. You may already know this but you will need something akin to what John mentioned - Creative/EMU 1616m which is an internal PCI card for the laptop but, you can also get an external one like this TASCAM interface. I am not a TASCAM rep, nor do I have this product, nor do I endorse it but I'm just sending you a sample of what you might need to connect to your laptop.

http://tascam.com/product/us-122mkii/

It says it is zero latency monitoring. I don't know if anyone else here is using it but, if so, they may be able to vouch (or not) for it.

Hope this helps.

Paula
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby Motif » Sat May 31, 2014 4:00 pm

Thanks Paula. Focusrite has some nice models as well. I also have the option of using the Motif Firewire Expansion board for the Motif which is about the same price but gives me MIDI and Audio I/O with a single cable. I just need to understand how to use it properly. If I go that route I would get a Macbook Air or Pro with a SSD.

Joe
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby SysExJohn » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:00 am

Motif wrote:John:

Thank you for responding. I was hoping to use a laptop. So are you saying that would not work? I thought a a new powerful laptop with USB 3.0 would be OK. I could connect an external USB Sound Card to bypass the internal one. Would a Mac Book with a Thunderbolt connect be better? I see many others using laptops so they must be using external cards. What's your opinion on that approach?

Joe


Hi Joe,

No, a laptop can be a fine workhorse, I use one almost exclusively these days, it's just so convenient.

However, I have what is known a 'cardbus' version of the E-MU 1616m. In other words it's a slim card that plugs into the computer's 'bus' and essentially is the same as as plugging in the more conventional computer card. It then has an external connection to its breakout box. But, E-MU haven't produced this cardbus version for many years.

I acquired both of mine (one is an insurance policy in case the one in use breaks down) via ebay, again for a fraction of the original price. They may be old in design, but there's nothing on the market today that can beat them for price and performance. There's a review here: SoS E-MU 1616m review. The 1616m drivers have been updated since that ancient review.

USB 3 is a different kettle of fish to earlier versions. The protocol used isn't a master/slave relationship any more, unless it's working in USB 2 or 1 mode. I don't know if any audio interface manufacturers have produced USB 3 products to date. USB 3 is much nearer to Firewire implementation in this respect. (Sorry, I was a datacomms, telecomms, satcomms, protocol specialist in an earlier life!)

Paula is also quite right, a good MIDI interface can work quite successfully if the drivers are well written. But for MIDI in and audio out simultaneously, it's considered better to have an integrated MIDI and audio product, much research by the experts at SoS have concluded. It's a question of considering the timing issues for both audio and MIDI in one driver, rather than having separate drivers vie for CPU and interrupt precedence.

I guess it's just trying to make you aware that just buying a generic MIDI/USB interface, which may use USB 1, even if plugged into a USB 3 port (is that physically possible, I haven't looked at that issue yet?) won't magically work at USB 3 speeds. But the main issue is that the generic MIDI/USB device uses the MS drivers that don't work at all well (IMHO).

Paula is also quite correct to query whether or not the use of DAW software might make the process easier.

Just some thoughts.
Regards,
John.
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby SysExJohn » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:17 am

drumroll wrote:It says it is zero latency monitoring. I don't know if anyone else here is using it but, if so, they may be able to vouch (or not) for it.

Hope this helps.

Paula


Zero latency monitoring just means that audio flowing into the interface is rerouted directly to the monitor output through the hardware, not into the computer and then back out. There is no way of doing this for a MIDI signal. It must enter ARIA, trigger the sample, then the audio be routed back out again.

Regards,
John
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Re: Garritan and Yamaha Motif

Postby Motif » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:34 pm

Thanks again John. Will have to give this more thought and do more reading.

Joe
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