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How do I hook up GarageBand and a Yamaha Motif XS6?

3619 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2013 11:02 AM by mdee RSS
DogBros Calculating status...
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May 25, 2012 5:03 PM

I plan to get a Mac mini tomorrow. I'd like to use GarageBand with my Yamaha Motif XS6. I clicked "GarageBand Documentation" on this page, but I got a 404 error. Does anyone know how I'd set up the Motif with GB? I've Googled a bit, but didn't find any solid info.


The Motif has a USB port on the back -- the squarish connector like you'd plug into a printer. It's marked USB To Host. There's another, different USB connector next to it that says USB To Device.


I don't want to play Motif sounds; I want to play the GB instruments with the Motif keyboard.


Can the Motif control the GB instruments? Is there some optional cable/connector I'll need to buy to do this? Thanks for any info.

Mac mini, GarageBand
  • mdee Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
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    May 26, 2012 11:23 AM (in response to DogBros)

    I do not own this instrument but a quick look online shows that on page 16 of the Motif owners manual you would plug the USB "D" connector into the USB TO HOST port. Then of course the other end will plug into the USB port on your Mini. Next you will want to go to Apple's AUDIO MIDI SETUP (Keyboard Icon) located inside your Utilities Folder. There you can set up the instrument, choose midi transmit channels etc to act as a Controller only to use with Garageband. Be sure to read Apple's documentation on Audio Midi Setup.

  • Music21 Calculating status...
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    Sep 17, 2012 5:56 PM (in response to DogBros)



    i tried your method on my motif xs8 and it works! i been trying to find out how to do this for a long time. Thanks :-)

  • Corpeli Calculating status...
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    Mar 17, 2013 4:23 AM (in response to DogBros)

    Hi! I know I'm late... But please, help me! I bought Yamaha motif xf8 and I would like to use it with Garageband!

    I connected Yamaha to iMac with USB cable, I downloaded drivers, I changed set up... but my problem is that Garageband don't allow me to set sounds on Yamaha. So I'm obliged to use Garageband's sounds. Where get I wrong?! Please help me!

  • mdee Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 4:54 AM (in response to Corpeli)

    You should be able to use your Keyboard as a Midi Controller however I do not believe Garageband will trigger External Midi devices. To play your keyboard live sounds into Garageband you will need to plug the Audio outputs into the Audio Inputs of an Audio Interface and then setup a Basic Audio track inside Garageband. To use External Midi Devices you will need to purchase Logic Pro 9.

    GarageBand (Mac) '11, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Corpeli Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 5:08 AM (in response to mdee)

    I've got Apogee One. So should I use midi cable to connect Yamaha to Apogee and then Usb cable from Apogee to iMac? I only would like to be able to choose instruments on Yamaha and not on iMac and I know it's possible with Garageband in some way...

  • mdee Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 5:33 AM (in response to Corpeli)

    You could go; MIDI Out (5 Pin Din Connector) of the Keyboard to MIDI In on the Audio Interface and then USB out of Audio Interface to your Mac. You would then need to make the connections inside the Audio MIDI settings App (Keyboard icon) found inside the Utilities Folder. To my knowledge Garageband does not support MIDI Out for triggering External MIDI Devices.

  • Corpeli Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 10:33 AM (in response to mdee)

    Understood. Thank you so much. I'm going to try with MIDI cable and Logic. But there's no way to choose the instrument I want to record in an audio track on keybord rather than on Garageband using USB connection?

  • mdee Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 11:02 AM (in response to Corpeli)

    I'm not following your question but in Garageband the Audio Lanes are Blue. The MIDI Lanes are Green. MIDI is Data only. So are you trying to record Audio out of your keyboard? Or are you wanting to play the keys and hear a Software Instrument inside Garageband?


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