Motas-6 synth

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:31 pm

Randy wrote:
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.
had a phenol for a short time, and other than perhaps a very vague notion of creating something original, I don't see much of a connection. I didn't like the phenol.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Randy » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:27 pm

Not a connection, just a philosophy of doing something different and approaching the synth in a different way than the usual east coast approach. I could be wrong of course. I wasn't sure about the Phenol at first either but given some time, it grows on you. The Motas-6 is out of my price range for that sort of synth anyway unfortunately.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:37 pm

Randy wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:27 pm
Not a connection, just a philosophy of doing something different and approaching the synth in a different way than the usual east coast approach. I could be wrong of course. I wasn't sure about the Phenol at first either but given some time, it grows on you. The Motas-6 is out of my price range for that sort of synth anyway unfortunately.
No. I owned a phenol. it didn't grow on me. Thanks.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:29 pm

I've got a phenol and a motas-6. There is actually some commonality between them, but the implementation and sound character is very different. Both have the quantized lfo/envelope trick, multiple filters, multiple waveform output from the oscillators and a lot of flexibility in patching.

The thing about the motas is that you can shape it into a typical classic mono synth if that's what you want. Key to that is using the common lfo / and evelopes instead of the individual parameter envelopes. It makes me think most of a 3 oscillator computer controlled roland modular. It is not *immediate* to program a sound, but it's not difficult to translate your ideas into satisfying sounds. It's definitely the type of synth where you program a template sound and make variations to find the sweet spots. You can't just turn the knobs. There is too much choice and fine tuning behind the scenes.

I've not updated the firmware yet, but I expect it will make playing the sweet spots of a patch much easier as it seems it let's you assign whatever parameters you want exposed to CC. As such the update would pair really nicely with similar advancements in the computer editor.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:58 am

Just thought I'd share the details on the new update for anyone who's not seen it. I copied and pasted this from Jon over on GS:

"New Motas-6 firmware v0115 is now released!

Be sure to also check out the matching updated user guide v1.26.

This is a pretty big update (at least under the hood...).
I've added MIDI CC control of any patch parameter via a 24-slot mapping.
Mapping is saved globally or with patch.

Added rotary knob control of 24-slot mapping when page-lock and value-lock enabled on patch overview page.

Added rotary knob control of all main page-parameters when page-lock and value-lock enabled on parameter page.

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


I personally find the Motas to be pretty amazing for the standard synth sounds that most would look for in a Monosynth and seeing as they're usually quite simple sounds, patching them on the Motas is quick. I almost always start my patches from scratch and never find it to be a chore. The only issue with the Motas and your typical mono synth patches is that I usually end up feeling like I've wasted the Motas's potential so I end up pushing it into something more unfamiliar.

The key thing about the Motas in my eyes is that the sound is well and truly there, it's just in your face raw analogue sound which you can then completely go to town on in shaping it however you want but again, emphasis on that sound being there in the first place.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:18 pm

gruebleengourd wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:29 pm
I've got a phenol and a motas-6. There is actually some commonality between them, but the implementation and sound character is very different. Both have the quantized lfo/envelope trick, multiple filters, multiple waveform output from the oscillators and a lot of flexibility in patching.

The thing about the motas is that you can shape it into a typical classic mono synth if that's what you want. Key to that is using the common lfo / and evelopes instead of the individual parameter envelopes. It makes me think most of a 3 oscillator computer controlled roland modular. It is not *immediate* to program a sound, but it's not difficult to translate your ideas into satisfying sounds. It's definitely the type of synth where you program a template sound and make variations to find the sweet spots. You can't just turn the knobs. There is too much choice and fine tuning behind the scenes.

I've not updated the firmware yet, but I expect it will make playing the sweet spots of a patch much easier as it seems it let's you assign whatever parameters you want exposed to CC. As such the update would pair really nicely with similar advancements in the computer editor.
as far as the immediacy of the motas-6...to some degree it is like a modular, with one major disclaimer On a modular, you have to cable the structural setup and modulations. This to some degree is the equivalent of 'menu diving' in a synth. One can argue about one being more immediate than the other, but I think one can make a pretty strong argument that (depending on the ui of the non-modular synth), these are roughly equivalent.

The motas is pretty fucking immediate once you've set up any modulations and other menu options that you want. There is one exception that Jon is already looking into (and his last email to me was promising) - the range of the pitch knobs is only a small % of the total range. If there were an option to have a wider range (less fine detail), that would solve my issue with this, especially if there were then a way to easily get small changes.

if this were the case, you could simply reach out and change a large number of parameters on this. as far as the more complex options being outside of menus - how would you ever achieve that on a synth with tons and tons of options, and that wasn't as big as a room?

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:27 pm

every day, i find and learn more stuff. Just a brief, again again shout out for this. I just can't believe it. I was initially confused by the new controller parameter mapping feature, but part of that was just a presupposition that modulations don't go this deep. Jon had told me that he thought this all made basic sense, and it does when you start looking at it. It's like pretty much everything can be modulated in here - continuous and discontinuous parameters. people rave about the hydrasynth, and rightfully. I own one. but this goes far beyond it, and the sound quality is better too.

fuck. i have a second one on order.

it will take awhile to make 'music' with this thing, meaning anti-music in the most abominable sense.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:08 pm

haha, you've caught the endless enthusiasm that I also have for it! I've found so far that generally things are pretty logically laid out, I think Jon has quite a bit of attention to detail. I've also struggled with some things when I initially get started with a new feature but then quickly grasp it and wonder why I thought it was so difficult to grasp initially.

I've had quite a bit of fun modulating some of the discontinuous parameters like sync and such in rhythmic ways on the Motas, very cool to have this ability as I've been able to get even more sounds I've never heard anywhere else.

Been away from home the last week, really looking forward to getting back to exploring what can be done with the two Motas's! I hope this thing finds more people who love it as much as we do, brings me a lot of joy :)
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:18 pm

Petajaja wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:08 pm
haha, you've caught the endless enthusiasm that I also have for it! I've found so far that generally things are pretty logically laid out, I think Jon has quite a bit of attention to detail. I've also struggled with some things when I initially get started with a new feature but then quickly grasp it and wonder why I thought it was so difficult to grasp initially.

I've had quite a bit of fun modulating some of the discontinuous parameters like sync and such in rhythmic ways on the Motas, very cool to have this ability as I've been able to get even more sounds I've never heard anywhere else.

Been away from home the last week, really looking forward to getting back to exploring what can be done with the two Motas's! I hope this thing finds more people who love it as much as we do, brings me a lot of joy :)
indeed. and thanks again for providing the inspiration to look into this instrument in the first place. I have pretty strong confidence that those who really like experimenting (not even so much experimental music per se) with unusual modulations and features within a strong analog sound, will be excited and challenged (in a good way) by this instrument. It has helped reinvigorate my enthusiasm for making music again. I can see why people get older and tend to give up on stuff like this - it was happening to me. Life's stresses can get pretty, uh, stressful.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:36 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:18 pm
indeed. and thanks again for providing the inspiration to look into this instrument in the first place. I have pretty strong confidence that those who really like experimenting (not even so much experimental music per se) with unusual modulations and features within a strong analog sound, will be excited and challenged (in a good way) by this instrument. It has helped reinvigorate my enthusiasm for making music again. I can see why people get older and tend to give up on stuff like this - it was happening to me. Life's stresses can get pretty, uh, stressful.
That's really cool to hear that it's inspiring you and also bringing back the spark for all of this, I feel a similar way about it too actually! for a long time before I had the Motas I felt like my music was just constantly staying as some surface thing that never really gave me much but after getting one, it began inspiring me so much and got me trying things / thinking in ways about music that're completely new to me and yet feels like what I'd kind of been looking for all along in my music making. Happy to hear that it's clicking with you like this though, I first started expressing my enthusiasm for the Motas just for Jon's sake as I think he deserves more recognition for what is in my eyes a true work of art but then as time went on I also just hoped that others would be similarly inspired / made happy by it like I have.

I too am pretty confident in that, I'm definitely not a genius in any way and everything about electronic music was quite overwhelming to me when I first started.. even simple midi messages seemed alien to me but grasping the Motas was not too difficult a thing to do and it was almost always a very enjoyable experience. sometimes while trying to learn some new aspect of the thing, I'll stumble upon some strange sound that just makes me laugh or smile or whatever as I'm just shocked again and again by the range of sounds this thing can put out.. It really rewards exploration.

It is so easy to lose the spark for creativity imo, I generally need to be in a somewhat good place otherwise everything sounds like garbage to my ears and just makes me feel down about myself or whatever. A bad UI only furthers this for me as it becomes too frustrating to achieve the results you're hoping for and in time this frustration kind of turns on myself and my interest in making music.

anyway.. as usual, I've ended up rambling in an attempt to vaguely express something haha.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:32 am

Hey everyone, been a while since I posted anything as I've had a very busy few weeks but I've got some stuff recorded from a few weeks back.. Nothing that perfectly shows off the Motas (struggling to figure out how to do that as it's sound potential seems to be pretty much infinite!)

I've got a bunch more to share too once I get around to uploading them although I'm running out of space on soundcloud so not sure what to do there..





How are all you other Motas users getting on? I'd love to hear what other people are making with theirs.. I can't help but feel my own musical taste is probably not what most people are into so would love to hear from someone who has a more classic taste in synth sounds would make with this.


I'm still constantly amazed by what the Motas can do, especially now that I have two of them and it's great to hear that Jon has a lot of interest in exploring features that could be added for use with 2 or more units.. It's kind of funny but I've ended up generally using the two Motas in place of what I'd normally use a poly synth for, I generally like very textured pads and the Motas can just do so much more than anything else I have in that way. Wish more people would take a leap of faith with this thing as everyone I know that has, has been blown away by the sound and features.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by gruebleengourd » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:21 am

Heya, nice demos. Some of the best I've heard so far...
(Un?)fortunatey, I got my motas in the middle of my great quarantine studio reshuffle where so much gear went out and in that I'm spread pretty thin in my programming time. Right now I suspect it is jealous of the iridium. :-/

Some good news for peeps in the USA -- Detroit Modular will be carrying the motas-6 with units expected to arrive later this month.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 am

Thanks, happy to hear you like them!

I know how it is haha.. I also recently swapped out a bunch of my gear for new stuff and I've also ended up mainly just focusing on my Motas's, I can achieve most of what I want with them so it's rare I feel tempted towards the other stuff but it's nice to know it's there :)

Yeah I can imagine that it'll be difficult to find time for other gear when you've got an iridium sitting there, I suppose the Motas might be a good option if you ever want something that's more typically analog in its sound character.

Cool to hear that there'll be someone stocking it in the USA now!
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:07 am

I've got another few recordings of things I've used the Motas in a few weeks back, got around to going through stuff and thought I'd share, Some of the recordings are the Motas in isolation and some are the Motas(s) in little song sketches.







I'd still love to hear what others are making with theirs if anyone would care to share?
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:30 pm

So inspired by a video I recently watched and also a trick you can do on the SY77 I decided to try and see if you could get something like wavefolding out of the Motas-6 using the PM section and I got some pretty amazing results which are drastically different from anything else I've heard out of the Motas until now. Anyone who's got one, I recommend you give the following a try and have a play about with various settings as there's a lot of range to it.

You want to create a chain of phase modulation from 1 > 2 > 3
Osc 3 as the carrier set to lowest possible pitch and set to a triangle wave
Osc 2 is turned right down, its pitch is set to 0c
Osc 1 is turned right down and you can vary the pitch to focus on various harmonics much the same way you would on an FM synth

I'm definitely hearing wavefold timbres coming out of this but the oscillators can't be turned down to 0hz although they get pretty close so there is some movement to the sound you'd not hear on something like the 0-coast.

Very nice bonus thing to have in this synth, I recently bought a synth just for its wavefolding ability but I'm now probably going to be selling that as I'm happy enough with what I'm getting from the Motas, the wavefold timbres are maybe not as clear but there's also a LOT more range and possibilities in what you can do with them.

I'm thinking I'll probably make my first video on the Motas around this discovery as the sounds are WILD

If anyone gives this a try, I'd love to hear how you get on!
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:40 am

I noticed today that the SoS review of the Motas-6 is now available to us non subscribers so I thought I'd share as I imagine someone who's job it is to review synths can do a better job talking about it than I

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/mo ... scillators.

Been working on figuring out this new technique with the Motas as much as possible so I can do a video demo on it soon, have been able to get some really nice, usable results from it now so will be making the video probably sometime in the coming week and will uploading to Youtube.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:26 am

I made a couple of videos showing off a few unusual things about the Motas recently and thought I'd share.. My hopes with this videos as opposed to my demos on soundcloud was to give an idea of how it feels to program the Motas as at a glance it could seem overwhelming with all the available features but my experience with it is that everything is very intuitively laid out and there's a lot of things implemented that help improve the patch making process (such as the copy button, resetting a value with the up/down button, and the map modulation to pane function by turning on page and value lock) After spending a couple weeks programming this thing, it's muscle memory and the main limitation after that is just your own imagination in how to combine all the various possibilities.

Video on using the hpf resonance mode on lpf1 and combining it with a particular filter routing, all sound is coming from LPF1 but the HPF and LPF2 are routed in a sort of loop:


Video on achieving wavefold-like timbres using the phase modulation section by setting the carrier VCO to either sub or supersonic levels (in the demo I use supersonic):
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by monads » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:07 pm

It has arrived!!! This thread, Nelson, Petajaja demos and the SOS article convinced me!! Thanks!! Love the steel option and feels like a tank. Now just gotta connect up and start learning/exploring!

IMG_7567.jpeg
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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:29 am

monads wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:07 pm
It has arrived!!! This thread, Nelson, Petajaja demos and the SOS article convinced me!! Thanks!! Love the steel option and feels like a tank. Now just gotta connect up and start learning/exploring!


IMG_7567.jpeg
Looking good! I love the steel version :)

Happy to hear that you got one, you wont be regretting it! I'd love to hear some what you end up doing with it as so far I've pretty much just heard myself using it or the little that Jon's demoed of it. I think the way people end up using it will be highly individual as there's so many ways to make use of all that modulation, really curious to what sounds I might be missing out on this thing because I haven't thought to try them yet.

One thing that's worth keeping in mind is that gain staging on this thing, it's easily possible to have an entirely clean sound with the right gain staging but it's also possible to clips waveforms to the point of them nearly resembling square waves.. It's really amazing to have this much flexibility as it can lead to a great variety of tones but it could also initially lead one to think that it can only do saturated tones if you're turning up the various volumes of things too high.

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

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by dykehouse » Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:46 pm

Picked one up from Detroit Modular yesterday. In my opinion it is the best sounding and most exciting mono synth i have ever used. Words don't do it justice at all, it is a triumph of vision and engineering. If money were not a part of the equation I wouild take this over a Cwejman S1 MK2, Arp 2600, EMS Synthi etc. etc. The most important analog synth to come out in many years. I am ecstatic and understand why people are buying multiple units. Will share demos. Huge thanks to everyone here sharing, I understand the religious fervor that can overtake one after playing with this!

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:12 pm

but, do you like it?

hey - Jon is a nice guy. Shoot him an email and tell him how much you like it, and join the facebook group. It's a small community at this point....

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by dykehouse » Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:59 pm

Ok I will and part of the reason I bought this was you Nelson, always trust your opinion about these things:) Thanks for the tip and hope you are well and enjoy your Motas 6 units

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:42 pm

dykehouse wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:59 pm
Ok I will and part of the reason I bought this was you Nelson, always trust your opinion about these things:) Thanks for the tip and hope you are well and enjoy your Motas 6 units
yeah. every time i turn it on it surprises me by how good it sounds.

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by Petajaja » Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:17 am

dykehouse wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:46 pm
Picked one up from Detroit Modular yesterday. In my opinion it is the best sounding and most exciting mono synth i have ever used. Words don't do it justice at all, it is a triumph of vision and engineering. If money were not a part of the equation I wouild take this over a Cwejman S1 MK2, Arp 2600, EMS Synthi etc. etc. The most important analog synth to come out in many years. I am ecstatic and understand why people are buying multiple units. Will share demos. Huge thanks to everyone here sharing, I understand the religious fervor that can overtake one after playing with this!
haha that's amazing to hear, glad that you're enjoying it so much! Gives me more confidence in relentlessly recommending this to everyone. It really is the best sounding mono synth I've ever heard and then you have the ton of features on top of that and it actually comes in at quite a lot less cost wise compared to the majority of alternatives.

I'll definitely be getting a 3rd one at some point when I manage to raise enough money selling off gear and other random stuff I don't need / want around the house :lol:

Look forward to hearing what you get out of it, I'm still consistently finding new ways to work with it which open up completely new ranges of sound that I hadn't touched with it until then.. I keep wondering what other tricks are hiding within this thing that maybe a fresh perspective would uncover.
Check out my Motas-6 demos over at: https://soundcloud.com/retroreflector :love:

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Re: Motas-6 synth

Post by tIB » Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:22 am

dykehouse wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:59 pm
Nelson, always trust your opinion about these things:)
Have to say that's why I have this on my radar too - while there are things I know I've liked in the past that the baboon hasn't, I'm always confident that I'll get on very well with something that nelson has really gelled with.

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