Last year I picked up a used Yamaha Rack Motif ES here in Japan. I’m quite fond of it but one of the things I always wished it had was dual arpeggiators. It’s been fun and challenging at times to work with just one arp, but last week that all changed when I found a second Motif Rack ES used for a really cheap price.
I brought it home and hooked both up to my Roland A-90 which has four Midi outputs. You can sync one Motif ES rack with the other via midi directly, but I thought it would be just as good using two midi outs on my keyboard controller.
WOW! What a difference it is having dual arpeggiators on the Motif ES Rack now. I can dial in a layered drum groove and then create a soundscape or bass oriented groove using the second MOtif ES Rack. There’s endless possibilities now.
In addition, the polyphony is doubled having two racks (when used separately of course), plus I can now use four expansion cards instead of two. I can also now layer in performance mode better with two racks. The main thing though is it’s really fantastic having the dual arps much like found on the Korg Triton Rack for example. Not all performances will go together well, so you do need to edit patches and performances accordingly. However, that’s really fun because you can now really create some new and interesting sequences even though you can’t program them directly in the Motif Rack ES. By simply mixing different arps in dual mode, you can really create some new and interesting grooves. It’s simply fantastic. I have also found that using two Yamaha Motif ES Racks sync perfectly and have no timing issues at all.
In Japan, Yamaha Motif ES Racks are getting really cheap. I would love to have an MOtif XS rack someday, but I paid $300 for my second Motif Rack ES in mint condition. I don’t think I’ll be able to find an XS for that price anytime soon. In fact, I’ve never seen a used XS in Japan thus far.
Dual arps are the way to go with the Yamaha Motif ES Rack and there will be no turning back I’m afraid…laugh. No way!