So much of what happens behind the scenes at Yamaha I cannot not discuss with you… so in an effort to find some useful and fun things to blog about, the other Product Specialist and I were talking about something we’ll call “Tweak of the Week” - sometimes a VOICE or PERFORMANCE or effect or other function that might give you greater insight into how to approach getting more from your instrument. Hopefully, we can post at least one a week (if we don’t get too busy) and hopefully more if possible. I just recently got a question on a Motif XS PERFORMANCE - so this is as good a place to start as any…
PERFORMANCE USER 1: 025(B09): Chart Breaker
Chart Breaker is a PERFORMANCE in the Electronic/Trance Category. It has four PARTS in the Performance, each under control of an arpeggio, initially.
A PERFORMANCE can be a maximum of four Voices placed in PARTS. The concept of a PART is to allow you to apply offsets to the original Voice without destructively changing its data. The offsets will apply in the current Performance or Mix - this way a Voice can be used in multiple instances without changing it in every Performance or Mix that it is used.
There is a maximum of four simultaneous Arpeggios. Of course SubFunction buttons [SF1]-[SF5] can hold a different arpeggio type for each PART. Therefore 20 different phrases can be associated with the Performance (Five SF buttons x four Parts).
“Chart Breaker” is made from the following four VOICES:
PART 01 Drum/Percussion: “8Z Trance Basic”
PART 02 Bass: “Kick Bass Legato”
PART 03 SynLead: “Tekk Glide”
PART 04 SynComp: “Happy Hour”
Initially all four PARTS are arpeggiated, the “8Z Trance Basic” drum kit is set to “Hold” so it continues without having to hold down a finger.
Performing the PERFORMANCE:
In the [PERFORMANCE CONTROL] section of the front panel (this button when illuminated allows you to use the TRACK SELECT buttons in groups of four), the 16 Track buttons are functioning as follows:
- PART Select
- ARP On/Off (for PART 1-4)
- PART Mute (for PART 1-4)
- ARP HOLD On/Off (for PART 1-4)
In the [SELECTED PART CONTROL] section of the front panel (there are 3 LEDs and 8 Knobs;) When an LED is illuminated it selects one of the 3 rows of functions that will apply the knob parameters either to the currently “selected” PART, if Track Select button - is lit, or to the entire Performance if the [COMMON EDIT] button is lit).
So for example, if [COMMON EDIT] is lit and you select the CUTOFF knob, you will be opening/closing the filter on the entire Performance (all PARTS in common), if however, you select a PART via the Track Select  -  buttons and you move the CUTOFF knob, you will be opening/closing the filter on just the “selected Part"…
As you can see you have 24 real time parameters (8 knobs x 3 rows of parameters) that can be applied together to all four PARTS of a Performance, or you can select an individual PART and apply any of your 24 real time knobbed parameters to just that single PART. Additionally, you have your Modulation Wheel, Ribbon Controller, Foot Controller, Assignable Function buttons, etc., etc.
Also, if, for example, you want to take a lead solo over this, you can press Track Select button  which in this case is ARP On/Off for the Synth Lead sound “Tekk Glide"… now that sound will stop arpeggiating and become a “live” playable sound within your PERFORMANCE. So at anytime you are in control of the performing functions of the PERFORMANCE. You control which Parts are following the arpeggiator and which Parts you are playing “live"… and you can change this dynamically (on-the-fly).
You do not have to limit your playing to the “upper keyboard” either, if you do not want to… since the other Voices are under control of the arpeggio, you can use the entire keyboard if you wish. (Cool!)
Alternatively, you can work out musically what you want to do with this PERFORMANCE… you can swap arpeggio types, change the feel (swing) of any of the Parts and their arps, etc. When you have an idea, simply press the RECORD button - a special screen appears where you can immediately record all of this! Target a blank Song or Pattern and go for it!!!! Everything is recorded (except for your MUTES, you can make those permanent later). You would select “SONG” if you are just trying out ideas (because in SONG you can play for as long as you like); You would select PATTERN if you are sure of exactly what you want to do and need to record a set number of measures to cycle. In PATTERN you set a LENGTH parameter so that recording will end automatically at the appropriate measure.
At that point your playing performance has been transferred to the sequencer (where you can edit it), each PART is recorded to its own individual tracks. Now you can add 12 more tracks to it.