Motas-6 synth

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Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:42 am

The new firmware is out for anyone who's interested:

NEW user-defined custom LFO waveforms. 4 custom waveforms per patch. Each waveform can have up to 32 steps and each step can be set to hold or glide. For synced LFOs the start-position of the waveform can be set at any of the 32 steps.
new LFO waveform: sample+hold with slew
added 'sequence tempo divide' option to allow patterns to play over more than 1 bar
increased pattern maximum notes from 30 to 36
option to edit pattern note parameters using the potentiometer knobs
new 'copy-to-all' parameter pages for EG, LFO and modulations
And more! ...

I've also made a few more demos showing some aspects of this thing that I've not showed yet.





I have at least one more demo to upload showing some melodic capabilities with its PM but I still need to upload that one.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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SOPiiAC
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by SOPiiAC » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 am

Thanks for posting these! They be helpful for anyone trying to decide on a flagship monosynth like I was.

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:40 am

No worries, thanks for your kind words :)

I've got a bunch of new demos, a lot of them being generally pretty noisy / showing some of the extremes but I think that all my demos in combination now show off a good range of what it can do (although still barely scratching surface of the sounds you can get from this thing)






Going to take a break from doing demos now, I've ordered a usb isolator for my pyramid which will eliminate the slight bit of usb noise that's bleeding into my Motas and then I'll show off some of the smooth / plucky basses this thing can do!
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:54 pm

There's some more pretty interesting features coming in the next update, every time he tells me he's going to take a break from doing firmware stuff he surprises me with a bunch more features haha :) I'll be sure to post them when it's confirmed exactly what they'll be but one of them will allow the possibility of 5 LFO's / EG's to be used PER parameter as opposed to the 2 that're currently possible.. Pretty crazy! oh and they'll be able to target some menu parameters that aren't currently possible to.

I've actually put in an order for a second one as I love mine so much and realise that this thing is the core of my sound, I sold a bunch of other stuff to fund it but I'm very excited to get.. I've been able to get the best percussion samples I've ever made from one of these, will be exciting to see what I can get from two!

I asked Jon if he could send some pictures of the build process as I find it pretty interesting to see as it's something I know so little about, I thought I'd share them here as there's prob others who're into it.

Here's the panel for it, Jon mentioned that he's updated the method used for the graphics so that it's crisper
Image

And the PCB for the UI with the screen yet to be fitted
Image
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:46 am

Jon's begun posting over at GS forums, he just posted about the latest update to the Motas-6 firmware and I thought I'd share it here:

"New Motas-6 firmware v0113 is now released!

Get it from https://www.motas-synth.uk/downloads.html
Be sure to check out the updated user guide too.
I've added full patch editing during vector-morphing and those expanded modulation options (via M1--M4)... and quite a few other features and tweaks (full listing in README.txt file with the firmware).

Also MotasEdit is updated to v1.08, adding PC keyboard control of slider values and recognises latest new Motas-6 LFO waveforms (from previous firmware release)

Find out more at https://www.motas-synth.uk/news.html"

Pretty huge update, have gone from being able to have 2 lfo's per parameter to 6.. pretty insane! Also a feature not mentioned in the summary that's pretty interesting is the ability to trigger the randomise patch function via a midi message so you could use that now for some pretty interesting generative approaches, I've got some ideas for this which I'll record soon when I get a chance.. If anyone has anything else they'd like to hear from the Motas, let me know and I'll try my best!

Edit:

Got a new pic from Jon the other day of the main PCB of my second Motas that's in the process of being built, very neat.

Image

Very excited for the second one! The Motas is constantly inspiring me to try things in music that've until now been impossible for me thanks to all the unique modulation possibilities.

Really enjoying the updates to the vector morphing, very nice being able to tweak the patches while you're morphing between them and it's also so nice being able to use the internal LFO's as a modulation source for the vector morping. I've got an idea to try with this when I next get time to start working on a track.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:05 am

I’m beyond pumped to hear that my 2nd Motas is now finished and tested and ready to ship that that I’ll have it some time next week! I opted for the silver one this time as my studio’s already completely mismatched and I’m a sucker for shiny things… and imo it looks really nice!

Can’t wait to begin exploring the potential of two units, Have been reading into the psychoacoustics of stereo sounds which is very interesting, I’m curious as to what I’ll be able to do with Motas-6 in stereo!

Image

Jon also mentioned in the email that he’s going to continue work on the new firmware this weekend and that he should have it ready some time next week… He’s making it so that when a pot is selected (done by touching it) and you turn page lock and value lock on, The entirety of the modulation section will be mapped across the front panel for easy tweaking, Pretty great! Will make it a lot more intuitive to find the ton of sweet spots this thing has ;)

That’s it for me now in regards to buying new gear… If I want anything more I’m going to have to build it my self! (or maybe I’ll some day down the line I’ll justify a third one :lol: )

I've also got some more recordings of this thing I thought I'd share:







Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

Sir Ruff
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:53 am

Can anyone comment on what the workflow is like for this? Seems like it's quite heavy on the menu side.

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:27 pm

I'll give you my opinion as I'm not sure anyone else here on muffwiggler owns one, but you could also ask over on GS or elektronauts as I know there's some who own them over there..

The workflow is actually very quick and intuitive, It's hard to really give a clear idea of this as I explain it now, I'm sure it'll sound a lot more complicated and long winded than it is in reality..

You have all the main parameters accessed via the pots on the left. When you touch a pot the relevant parameter shows up on the screen and you now can access all the modulation options via the buttons on the right hand side.

Parameters can either be altered via the relevant pot, the main encoder or the buttons around the main encoder.

Some of the encoders will have a an extra page which is accessed by hitting the left/right buttons where you can quickly address any secondary parameters, for example: on the second page of pitch pot for osc 1, you'll find the sync options as well as the key tracking options.

The various modulation options will also have a second page where you can can further tweak them. For example: The local LFO page will have pitch tracking options, modulation amount from envelope / global lfo along with some other options.

And that's it really.. There are some settings in the main menu such as portamento times or if you want to change settings related to the vector morphing but it's rare that you need to go in there so it doesn't ever feel like a pain to do.

It's hard to convey how quick and easy this thing is to program.. It's of course not going to be as quick and easy as something like the Korg minilogue which I also own but once you're familiar with the synth, It's not far off (took me about a week of programming patches in the evenings)

Once the second unit arrives, I actually plan to do a video of me making 5 patches or something to give a better idea of what it's actually like to program this thing. But do let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know!

Oh and as I mentioned in a previous post, in the coming firmware update, Jon's adding a mode which is accessed by hitting two buttons which allows you to have immediate control over pretty much all the modulation settings via the pots on the panel so this brings it quite close to a knob per function workflow (of course it's still not the same as that but given how deep you can get with this thing.. It's quite an impressive thing to pull off!)
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:31 pm

Oh and I thought I'd add.. I own an elektron A4 which is easy enough to program imo but the Motas is an absolute treat to program compared to it.

I genuinely enjoy programming the Motas, I don't find any aspect of navigating it to be tedious as I really enjoy how detailed I can make the sounds
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by indexofmetals » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:49 pm

There's a lot to learn on the Motas-6 but it's well worth it. It has a super wide range of sounds and it rewards the time you invest into it. My way of learning at the beginning was to have it hooked up the computer for the first while but I found that very quickly I didn't need to rely on the computer side that much. I first tried it at Modularmeets in Leeds last year and it made a big impression; I ordered one two days later. Jon reacts well to feedback and questions, and both quickly and simply explained ways to do a few things I was asking. With another query, he integrated it into a recent update.

Petajaja, I've been dreaming out 4 of these but I look forward to hearing how your two sound together.

BTW, I highly recommend the Modularmeets events, such a good atmosphere and you get time to try everything. I tried out DPW modules at the same event and now I'm coming down with them.

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:02 pm

That's one of the things that's really made this feel special to me and made me feel very confident in my purchase - Jon responds so well to suggestions and is very passionate about this thing so is pretty much constantly looking and working to improve it. When I first got it, I kinda wished it had filter fm but thought it'd never be.. When I eventually got an A4 and saw how they'd implemented the LFO's to be able to track pitch and that you could achieve filter FM like that, I suggested it to Jon and he very quickly figured out how to implement this and did so much better than I could have imagined.

4 Motas would be a dream! After the coming firmware update he actually wants to start exploring firmware possibilities involving multiple units. I think at first it'll just be stuff related to playing them polyphonically but he's also had some other very interesting ideas for it. I think at this point if I was ever looking to have a rich sounding poly synth I'd probably just invest in more of them haha.. But yeah I'll be sure to let you know how it goes and I'll post some of the things I end up doing with the two to give you a taste of what'd be possible. :)

I'll have to check out Modularmeets, thanks for the tip!
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:35 pm

I'm going to give this one a try. Picked up one from b/s/t here, and it should probably arrive next week.

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:58 pm

Nice one, I think you're going to love it! It does pretty and nasty and everything in between
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:20 pm

Petajaja wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:58 pm
Nice one, I think you're going to love it! It does pretty and nasty and everything in between
hah - i think i'll leave out the pretty.....

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:29 pm

Thanks all for the feedback on this. All good insight into this thing!

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:42 am

Sir Ruff wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:29 pm
Thanks all for the feedback on this. All good insight into this thing!
No worries, let me know if there's anything more I can help answer!

My 2nd unit should be arriving today so I'll be spending a lot of time with the two of them in the coming weeks, if anyone has any suggestions for things they'd like to hear let me know and I'll give it a try!
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:28 pm

My second Motas-6 arrived today, really happy with the choice to get a second. I've only had a short play with it so far and most of the time has been spent in awe of the potential that two of these open up but I managed to get a droney / pad thing recorded with similar but slightly different and still related settings between the two. Anyone who's interested in having a listen should try wearing headphones as I found that it felt so much more 3D when I did.



Image
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by jjsynth » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:34 pm

👍👍👍Sounds great

Petajaja
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:02 am

jjsynth wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:34 pm
👍👍👍Sounds great
Thank you :)

I've got another one here which shows something a little more heavy on the modulation. Pretty cool using the looping envelopes on the individual oscillators to get some polymetric-style stuff going on.



Watch you ears though, it gets pretty loud / harsh at times.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:49 am

SOPiiAC wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:37 am
I for one appreciated the demo. I was just thinking about how there are no demos to show the synth doing standard synth things. I think this is important to show the building blocks of the synth. Thank you and please do more!
(edit - i think that the below might sound a little harsh. obviously one can get some idea of the sonic quality of the instrument by hearing such sounds. I guess that I view the "building blocks" of this synth as the modulations and their unusual interface and structure)

I disagree. I don't think that showing standard synth things shows you the unusual sounds that an instrument can make. I would question why one would want to buy this to make traditional synth sounds primarily. it's kind of like what I see all of the time - people buying a cirklon sequencer because they've heard it's so good, but have no interest in the aux events, and wanting it only for simple sequences. I don't think that traditional synth sounds are building blocks of the more complex sounds that the motas can make.

I've had mine for a few days, and am still in deep learning mode. It's a very challenging, interesting instrument, but I wonder how many of the current owners (if they have done their research) spend much time making traditional synth sounds. While the sound quality is really excellent (imo) i'm really not sure what one would gain from hearing pretty bass and pad patches.

then again, i suppose that it would be a somewhat valuable exercise to work on such sounds and make them unique from within the synth's architecture. I'll leave that for others. I don't really think that the synth was designed with this in mind, in the same sense that say a moog synth is, or even a Dave Smith synth is.

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:53 pm

several days with it now.....

Good fucking god. Right now this is simply my favorite synthesizer that I've ever used. I was very confused/frustrated on the first day - the synth is so different in its setup, that (at least for small brains like mine) RTFM is so required.

It's not perfect by any means, but it is just so original in its approach (small and large scale) that you can see that it is (as described by Jon, the man behind it) a labor of live over many years. There are some other very interesting (imo) synths that have come out in the last couple of years. For me an interesting synth must be more than one that allows you to design good sounding patches quite easily using traditional structures. Hell, I love my moog matriarch. More interesting, per se, I think, is the hydrasynth. But the hydrasynth, however great the various types of modulations are, is much more of a traditional synth than the motas.

The motas doesn't have a sweet spot, really. It is just raw sound and modulation, and lets you design total crap pretty easily. It's somewhat like a good modular in that respect. Just because you're enjoying your sound conceptually doesn't mean that it will please you sonically....

there are so many options, and they can interact with each other in so many ways, it is definitely going to take many hours of practice. But the practice is fun as hell.

I think that the raw sound quality is quite excellent.

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:31 pm

a few more comments....
i emphatically would not recommend this to a beginning synth enthusiast, tempered to some degree by how into experimenting with sound they are. I do not know of any other non-modular hardware synth with the complexity of modulation (on all levels), routing, etc.

Jon is simply great to work with. this is not like working with a larger company, etc. Only 1 of him, but he listens, gets it, really thinks about your comments/requests, etc.

I look forward to setting up a '3rd' instrument, finding in my initial experiments that the hydrasynth/motas make a great combo - both in their flexibiity in communication but also in the great contrast in the sounds they make. Initial problem - how do i use the new cc mapping feature in the motas (you're limited to cc3 1-31 or something like that), with the fact that the hydrasynth now allows cc control (rather than just nrpn), but obviously it's better to have ONLY the cc mappings that you want. Well, the 'trick' is to turn off the cc option for the hydrasynth, which means that only its great mod matrix can set up these mappings.

Onward.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by fattyparts » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:59 pm

going by the demos I've heard, the lack of sweet spots is the primary reason I decided to hold off from buying one as there are only a few clips that I've liked so far. on paper, it looks amazing. what I would like to know is how rich the raw oscillators sound? would it hold court next to something like Verbos which is all sweetspots imo.

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:11 pm

fattyparts wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:59 pm
going by the demos I've heard, the lack of sweet spots is the primary reason I decided to hold off from buying one as there are only a few clips that I've liked so far. on paper, it looks amazing. what I would like to know is how rich the raw oscillators sound? would it hold court next to something like Verbos which is all sweetspots imo.
i'd say to listen to a bunch of the simpler demos made by Jon. I can't answer your question. but I cannot really comment on a comparison with a verbos eurorack oscillator.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Randy » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:26 pm

Would love a chance to fool with this, are there any in Toronto yet? Going by the comments, it reminds me a bit of the philosophy behind the Kilpatrick Phenol. It too is unusual in its approach and not really designed to do the usual synth sounds. Demoing it can be a challenge but experimenting is often rewarded, if not with something completely usable, certainly with something creative and interesting.

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