The problem with most keyboard workstations? They feel like work stations! Making music shouldn't feel like a chore, and a keyboard workstation shouldn't feel like a cumbersome implement. Combining increased ease-of-use with stunning, industry-leading sounds, the Yamaha MOTIF XF7 is poised to become the centerpiece of your creative process -- both as an integral component of your studio and an expressive digital instrument on stage. Yamaha's middle-sized MOTIF offers the same massive sound bank, powerful arpeggiator, and flexible sequencer as its XF8 bigger brother -- in a more portable, more affordable package. And with 2GB of flash memory expandability, the XF7 can grow with you as an artist. If the XF7 is any indication, the Yamaha MOTIF series' decade-long reputation for building music-production powerhouses is well-deserved.
True Ease Of Use
Power is useless unless it's easily accessible; both in setup and in operation, the powerful MOTIF XF7 is a walk in the park. If you're a MOTIF veteran, you'll find many functions have been simplified, while the MOTIF's recognizable set of 8 physical sliders and knobs remain on the left side of the front panel, offering easy access to effects, EQ, and all aspects of your sound. Dedicated buttons activate the effects modules and arpeggiator -- functions that wouldn't be so much fun if you had to wade through menu after menu to get to them. Transport controls and other sequencer functions are also accessible via front-panel buttons. All in all, the XF7's intuitive interface favors clearly-labeled buttons, knobs, and sliders to the touchscreens found on other workstations. This MOTIF's 5.7-inch backlit LCD is determined to stay clear of fingerprints, while your hands stay on the keyboard, where they belong!
Hear the XF's sound engine for yourself in this video demo by Yamaha rep Blake Angelos:
Control Your Expression
Truly an instrument designed for tactile control, the MOTIF XF7's 76 velocity-sensitive "FSX" keys are equally well-suited to synth sounds and Yamaha's masterfully-sampled piano voices. The Expanded Articulation voices: horns, strings, and woodwinds that add instances of glissando, fret noise, reed bends, muted notes, and trills. These articulations are easily accessible through either the dedicated "XA" buttons or by optional foot pedals for hands-free control. For keyboard instruments, the MOTIF supports half-damper functions when you add a Yamaha FC3 sustain pedal, bringing an additional level of realism and expression to your acoustic piano patches. The pitch bend and mod wheels offer just enough resistance for musical operation, and a ribbon controller provides yet another dimension of expressive interaction. And the XF7's 8 sliders control relative volume of the multiple layers comprising every voice on the MOTIF, providing unparalleled on-the-fly sound sculpting.
The MOTIF XF7's astounding 741 MB of internal waveform memory is crammed with acoustic and electric pianos and organs, guitars and basses, acoustic and electronic drum kits, single woodwinds and brass sections, string instruments, and full orchestras. Among the 1,664 voices and 97 drum kits, you'll find Yamaha's breathtaking 9-foot CFIII and 7-foot S6 acoustic grand pianos. And of course, there are the unreal synthesizer sounds: thick, cutting, warm, intense, and infinitely adjustable with 18 types of filters. Hit the dedicated Category Search button to easily navigate the XF7's vast library -- including any sounds you may want to add via two 1GB flash memory slots. With hundreds of Yamaha and third-party voices available, the truly expandable MOTIF practically guarantees you won't run out of sounds anytime soon.
Virtually Vintage Effects
The MOTIF XF7's effects engine doesn't just model the sound of classic stompbox and rack effects, it uses Virtual Circuitry Modeling to emulate the individual transistors and capacitors that make up those effects' character. Whatever source voice you use, it'll sound like you're running it through a real vintage flanger, wah-wah, reverb, or distortion pedal. It isn't just the resultant sound that's mimicked; it's the intrinsic behavior of the circuit that's accurately recreated. There's even a vintage vocoder emulation, a must-have for today's cutting-edge producers. Of course, all these effects are controllable as MOTIF does best: via the 8 knobs on the left side of the front panel. Too much reverb on your favorite saxophone voice? Simply turn the knob to adjust it.
Roll Your Own Sounds
If sampling is your thing, your wish is the MOTIF XF7's command. Using the workstation's built-in stereo analog inputs, you can sample any sound, from an audio recording to your own guitar playing or voice. By popular request, the XF7's new Automapping function maps your samples to the keyboard with respect to pitch, while the handy Time Slice function splits your recorded loops into individual notes for rearranging and pitch-stable tempo adjustments. With 128 MB of built-in sample ROM, you can start sampling right out of the box -- and if you're really sample-happy, the XF7 supports up to 2 GB of expandable flash memory. Of course, you can layer various sampled elements to create your own voices, and dial in effects as you would for any other voice on the workstation.
7000 Arpeggio Patterns
The MOTIF XF7's advanced arpeggiator is a single button-press away, with over 7,000 arpeggio patterns sure to inspire new grooves and new song ideas. Many of these patterns include what Yamaha calls "chordal intelligence," which actually updates the pattern in real time to correspond with the chords you play. Combined with one of the MOTIF's "Mega Voices," the arpeggiator triggers subtle playing nuances like guitar hammer-ons and pull-offs, as if the world's greatest guitarist stopped by your project studio for a sample-tracking session.
No Workstation Is An Island
Speaking of your project studio, it's clear that Yamaha "gets it" when it comes to computer integration. No longer is your workstation an island! USB and Ethernet ports allow the MOTIF to integrate seamlessly with the bundled Cubase AI software -- or use the MOTIF as a MIDI controller with the DAW or soft synth of your choice. Add the optional FW16E FireWire expansion board to stream 16 channels of digital audio from the sequencer to your DAW. Of course, the MOTIF XF7's on-board sequencer is a serious production studio in itself, handling 16 tracks of audio and MIDI. It's easy to switch back and forth between the linear tape-machine-style Song mode and loop-based Pattern mode -- whichever suits your fancy as a composer. Use it as an idea scratchpad, or take your tracks from start to completion right within the MOTIF XF7.
- 76-key FSX keyboard combines solid touch with fast playability
- 741 MB of waveform memory houses 1,664 voices and 97 drum kits, including famous Yamaha pianos
- 2 expansion slots accept a total of 2GB of flash memory for all your sounds
- 128 MB built-in sample ROM -- start sampling right out of the box
- 7000+ arpeggiator patterns -- many with chordal intelligence
- 16-track integrated audio and MIDI sequencing
- Time Slice function lines up digital audio with MIDI tempo
- Backlit 5.7-inch color LCD
- Built-in USB and Ethernet ports
- Add FireWire connectivity with an optional expansion board
- Included Steinberg Cubase AI software
Power Supply: Power Cord (Included)
zZounds is an authorized dealer of Yamaha products.
Dimensions: - Width: 1,252 mm (49-1/4") - Height: 122 mm (4-3/4") - Depth: 391 mm (15-3/8") - Weight: 17.2 kg (37.92 lb)
Keyboard: - Number of Keys: 76 - Type: FSX Keyboard (Initial Touch/Aftertouch)
Tone Generator: AWM2, with Expanded Articulation
Maximum Polyphony: 128 notes
Multi Timbral Capacity: 16 Parts (internal), Audio Input Parts (A/D, FW*) *1 stereo Part
Wave: 741 MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 3,977 waveforms
Voices: - Preset: 1,024 Normal Voices + 64 Drum Kits GM: 128 Normal Voices + 1 Drum Kit - User: 128 x 4 (Bank 1: original, Bank 2 - 4: selected and copied from Preset bank) + 32 Drum Kits (No. 1 - 8: original, No. 9 - 32: selected and copied from Preset bank)
Performance: - User: 128 x 4 (up to 4 Parts)
Filter: 18 types
Effects: Reverb x 9 types, Chorus x 22 types, Insertion (A, B) x 53 types x 8 Parts (up to 16 units), Vocoder x 1 (uses both Insertion Effect A and B blocks), Master Effect x 9 types (Preset settings for parameters of each effect type are provided as templates; total 320) Master EQ (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo)
Note Capacity: Approx. 130,000 notes
Note Resolution: 480 ppq (parts per quarter note)
Maximum Polyphony: 124 notes
Tempo (BPM): - 300
Song recording type: Real time replace Real time overdub (with the exception of the Pattern Chain) Real time punch in/out (Song only)
Song tracks: Pattern: 16 Phrase tracks Pattern Chain: Pattern track, Tempo track, Scene track Song: 16 sequence tracks (Loop on/off can be set for each track), Tempo track, Scene track
Songs: 64 Songs Mixing Voices: 16 Voices per Song and up to 256 Voices for all Songs Mixing Templates: 32 for all Songs and Patterns
Patterns: 64 Patterns (x 16 sections), Measures: 256 maximum Mixing Voices: 16 Voices per Pattern and up to 256 Voices for all Patterns Mixing Templates: 32 for all Songs and Patterns
Phrases: - User Phrases: 256 per Pattern
Arpeggio: - Preset: 7,881 types User: 256 types *MIDI Sync, MIDI transmit/receive channel, Velocity Limit, and Note Limit can be set.
Scene Memory: 5 per Song
Sequence formats: Original format, SMF format 0, 1 (Format 1 load only)
Samples: Up to 128 Waveforms (Multi Samples) Up to 256 Key Banks per Waveform Up to 512 Key Banks
Sampling Sources: Analog input L/R, Stereo output (Resampling) FW (available when the FW16E has been installed)
Sampling Frequency via FW (when the FW16E has been installed): 44.1kHz (fixed)
Sampling Memory: - Internal SDRAM: 128M
Sample Length: - Mono: 32 MB Stereo: 64 MB
Sampling Time: 44.1kHz: 6 min. 20 sec. 22.05kHz: 12 min. 40 sec. 11.025kHz: 25 min. 20 sec. 5.0125kHz: 55 min. 40 sec. *Mono/Stereo
Sample Format: Original format, WAV, AIFF
Master: - User: 128 *8 Zones (Master keyboard settings), Assignable Knob/Slider settings, Program Change Table
Sequence Software compatible with the Remote Control function: - For Windows: Cubase 4 - 5, SONAR 5.2 - 8 - For Mac: Cubase 4 - 5, Logic 7.2 - LogicStudio, Digital Performer 5.1 - 6 * Functions to be controlled differ depending on the software.
Controllers: Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, Ribbon Controller, Assignable Control Sliders x 8, Assignable Knobs x 8, Assignable Function buttons x 2, Data dial
Display: 320 x 240 dot, 5.7 inch graphic color backlit LCD
Connectors: OUTPUT L/MONO, R (standard phone jack) ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT L, R (standard phone jack) A/D INPUT L, R (standard phone jack) DIGITAL OUT PHONES (standard stereo phone jack) FOOT CONTROLLER 1, 2 FOOT SWITCH x 2 (SUSTAIN, ASSIGNABLE) MIDI IN/OUT/THRU USB (TO HOST, TO DEVICE) AC IN ETHERNET (100BASE-TX) IEEE1394 (available when the FW16E has been installed)
Accessories: AC Power cord, Owner's Manual, Owner's Manual CD-ROM (containing Reference Manual and Data List), DVD-ROM (containing DAW software)
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 714-522-9011
Yamaha MOTIF XF7 Synthesizer Workstation
Soon after the original MOTIF was released in 2001, it was recognized as the best sounding, top selling and most requested music workstation on the market. Over time, it has continued to evolve and improve its expressiveness and functionality. At the same time, the online community of end users, sound programmers, software developers and product support specialists at MOTIF's online site has expanded into a vibrant online music production community. The MOTIF breathes life into live performances with its expressive sounds and intuitive control. In music creation, the MOTIF not only offers its own music creation capabilities, it also offers a system for integrating those capabilities with a variety of software applications. And now, the next generation XF builds on the decade-long heritage of MOTIF, and provides groundbreaking expansion capabilities with flash memory that will set the standard for keyboard workstations for years to come.
- Comprehensive high sound quality, including an enormous 741MB of waveforms
- An additional 128 Voices and 8 drum kits, for a total of 1,353 high-quality Voices
- Up to 2GB of additional content available through separately sold flash memory
- Realization of unique instrument performance methods through the XA (Expanded Articulation) tone generation system
- Reproduction of the unique, natural, warm sounds of vintage instruments through VCM effects
- 384 types of performances based on approximately 7800 types of arpeggiators
- Enhanced sampling through 128MB of onboard SD-RAM
- The popular FSX (MOTIF XF6/7) and BH (MOTIF XF8) keyboards
- Improvement of usability thanks to the use of a GUI
- Category Search feature that provides instant access to the Voices you want
- Cubase AI -- a DAW software application from Steinberg
- DAW integration through remote control, an editor software
- Scalability through standard-equipped USB and Ethernet and the FW16E option
A High-Quality Collection of Voices
The MOTIF XF boasts a rich collection of instrument Voices that includes piano, EPs, strings, wind instruments, orchestral sounds, guitars, basses, and drums, as well as a wide variety of vintage and modern synth sounds. Of special note are the detailed digital re-creations of two Yamaha grand pianos (a 9' CFIII and a 7' S6) that only an acoustic piano manufacturer could achieve. The reproduction in minute detail of even very subtle nuances results in exquisitely crafted piano Voices that will satisfy even the most demanding players.
Waveforms have been added to the MOTIF XF, which now contains a huge total of 741 MB of waveforms. Starting with the S6 piano, the 136 Voices include keyboard sounds such as those of clavinets and organs as well as a wide range of sounds from orchestral to hip-hop. This huge internal wave memory ensures that the MOTIF XF is the best sounding and most versatile keyboard workstation right out of the box.
Flash Memory Expansion Module
Two flash board slots accommodate two proprietary Yamaha flash board options -- a 512MB board and 1GB board. With two 1GB boards installed, you have a total of 2GB of flash memory available to you. Because this is re-writable flash memory, once you've loaded a sample, it's always in your MOTIF until you decide to replace it with something else.
The samples could be some of the MOTIF Voice libraries or they could be your own samples -- the back ground vocals from your album that you need to take on the road, your favorite VST sound that you've converted to MOTIF format or even that coffee pot in your kitchen that you know will make a great snare sound. Wherever you get the samples, you can now "roll your own" customized 2GB sample library. Imagine the power of a fully customized MOTIF XS with 3 GB of sounds (internal, RAM and Flash) instantly available at your fingertips.
The MOTIF XF-specific third-party sample and Voice libraries can be purchased online through Yamaha's website.
Expressive Instrument Sounds
The tone generator that the MOTIF XF has inherited from the MOTIFXS makes an 8-element-per-voice structure possible. Combined with Yamaha's XA (Expanded Articulation), this 8-element structure allows you to achieve stunningly accurate acoustic instruments including expressive articulations that up until now have been difficult to re-create in electronic instruments. For example, you can re-create the natural legato of wind instruments, the key release noises of pianos and other instruments, guitar slides and harmonics, and the many different articulations for string instruments (spicato, tremolo and pizzicato, etc.). The AF1 and AF2 buttons on the front panel make it easy to control Voices with multiple articulations.
For synthesizer sounds, the 18 different filter types, advanced 6-stage pitch, filter and amplitude envelopes, unique Wave Cycle feature and assignable modulation Control Sets make the MOTIF capable of reproducing any synth sound from vintage to modern.
The tone generator also supports half damper pedaling through the use of the separately sold FC3 foot pedal. Using half damper pedaling with the damper resonance effect, you can achieve an even more realistic and richer piano sound that simulates the sound board of a grand piano and responds naturally to sophisticated piano pedaling techniques.
Yamaha's proprietary VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) technology simulates the effects of vintage EQs, compressors, and phasers at the circuit level. This has enabled Yamaha to increase the MOTIF's instrument quality by modeling the "texture" of vintage analog compressors, EQs and stomp boxes right down to the component transistors and resistors. With the MOTIF XF, the high-quality effects found in our industry standard digital recording consoles are at your fingertips. Also, the MOTIF XF is equipped with vocoder effects. By connecting a microphone to the MOTIF's A/D input terminal, you can apply effects to your voice or use your own voice to create harmonies. The MOTIF XF also includes the award-winning "REV-X" reverb, the same professionally renowned reverb found in the SPX2000.
The MOTIF XF6 and XF7 use high-quality FSX keyboards with 61 and 76 keys, respectively. The MOTIF XF8 uses a BH (balanced hammer) keyboard with 88 keys. The FSX keyboard uses a mechanism to provide a smooth touch that is both comfortable to play and responsive to your touch. It's easy to play fast passages, including glissandos and trills. It is also worth mentioning that the keys are very quiet.
The balanced hammer keyboard is filled with the know-how and technology that Yamaha has developed producing full concert grand pianos and stage pianos. To make a keyboard with a piano touch that can still work comfortably with any voice, we took a graded hammer keyboard, which is a popular keyboard for electronic pianos, and adjusted it for use with a synthesizer: we balanced the keys to the same weight and made adjustments so that the synthesizer can support after touch and other features. While pursuing the real touch of a grand piano, we also provide a touch that is exceptionally suited to the performance of a multitude of synthesizer sounds.
You can use the arpeggiator to perform unique instrument phrases. By layering parts, you can give form to your composition ideas quickly.
The MOTIF XF excels in both arpeggio quantity and quality. In addition to typical arpeggio patterns, the MOTIF XF also features simulations of acoustic instrument performances through the combination of arpeggios and the keyboard MegaVoices (example: video) and arpeggios in which synthesizer parameters, such as panning and filtering, are modulated in time MIDI clock. The MOTIF XF adds to the MOTIF XS's extensive library of arps and has an additional 1,248 synthesizer, drum, percussion, and ending arpeggios, for a total of 7,881 types of arpeggios.
Performance Mode For Instant Expression
In performance mode, you can layer up to four Voices, and you can split the keyboard into 4 zones with different key ranges and velocity windows. Also, you can create music quickly by using the arpeggiator on the different Voices. The MOTIF XF interactive real time arpeggio engine lets you run 4 different arps simultaneously and switch between 5 different variations of arpeggio patterns in real time. It's incredibly musically interactive and many arps include chordal intelligence so they create different phrases depending on what chords are played on the keyboard.
Thanks to the direct performance recording feature, which enables you to record performances in real time to songs and patterns, you can quickly capture your song ideas sparked by the MOTIF Performances to a song or pattern for further editing and refining.
You can use the Category Search feature to quickly and easily select the Voices or performances from the MOTIF XF's massive arsenal of sounds. All the Voices in the MOTIF are categorized by instruments and even have sub categories. So it's easy to select Category Search, choose the category strings, the sub-category ensemble and then see all the ensemble string Voices in your system. Even third party libraries are categorized using this elegant database system. Category Search is available wherever you want to select a Voice, so when you are looking for just the right sound in a Song, access Category Search and easily browse for that perfect fit for your mix.
In Performance Mode, Performances are sorted by musical genre, so you can quickly select the type of Performance that matches your moment of inspiration. The Favorites feature even lets you tag your favorites Voices and Performances so they are even easier to access.
The MOTIF XF has 128MB of internal SD-RAM. This means that you can sample external audio without installing separately purchased memory. Using the sampling feature, you can load sample Voice libraries, import WAV files or add vocals, guitars and other acoustic instruments to your MOTIF sequences.
You can connect a microphone to the A/D input and sample vocals Also, if you select the slice feature during sampling, even if you change the tempo of songs and patterns, recorded audio will follow the beat with perfect synchronization. You can process your recorded samples in minute detail to produce just the right sound using a redesign sample editing UI.
Integrated Sampling Sequencer
The MOTIF XF features an Integrated Sampling Sequencer which allows you to combine MIDI and audio samples (driven by MIDI events), so you can create complete songs including vocals, guitars and acoustic instruments all right inside the MOTIF XF. Because the XF now features 128MB of onboard sampling RAM, you're able to take advantage of these powerful features right away without the need to purchase external memory.
The XF sequencer also lets you work the way you prefer because it features two different sequence modes. There is a linear tape machine-style, 16-track Song sequencer for recording and punching in and out as you would on a tape machine-style DAW interface. It also includes a 16-track Pattern sequencer that lets you work in loops and build up sections of your song (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) and chain those sections together into complete song structures. You can easily move your production back and further between song and pattern modes depending on your needs. With the bundled Cubase AI software, you can even import completed Songs directly in Cubase including all the audio samples for further editing and mastering.
Integrated Sampling Sequencer
With the Integrated Sampling Sequencer, you can integrate audio (sampled) data and MIDI data seamlessly. WAV/AIFF loading is also supported. You can use the time slice feature to slice the sampled sounds that you load and control them in the same way that you would control MIDI data. For example, you can synchronize audio data to the same BPM as MIDI sequence data. Also, by presetting the tempo, time signature, necessary number of measures, and number of beats, you can smoothly perform trimming and easily create perfect audio loops. Also, you can use a variety of editing commands to modify your samples. The MOTIF XF supports features such as time stretching, in which the sample length is changed while the pitch remains the same; pitch shifting, in which the pitch is changed while the length of the sample remains the same; and loop remixing which instantly creates musical variations of looped grooves. In addition, there is a resampling feature that you can use to record the performance of the MOTIF XF as a single audio sample.
Remote Control and Editor
Features such as remote control (which you can use to remotely control the parameters of a DAW application on a computer from the MOTIF), various DAW templates, and simple setup features make the MOTIF XF easy to use. In particular, the integration between the MOTIF XF and Steinberg's Cubase 5 series is truly seamless.
Using the Yamaha MOTIF XF Editor, you can make subtle Voice edits from your computer while checking them visually. Because the communication between the MOTIF and the editor is bi-directional, whether you're moving the knobs on the MOTIF or changing parameters with the mouse in the editor, the parameters are perfectly matched. There is even a VST3 editor for use in Cubase 5 (including AI) which lets you use your MOTIF as a VST soft synth.
If you install the optional FW16E FireWire expansion board, you can record 16 tracks of audio data to the DAW software through the audio interface. After you install the necessary drivers (AI driver, extensions for Steinberg DAW), connect the MOTIF XF to a computer using an IEEE 1394 cable, and start Cubase AI. It identifies the MOTIF XF's audio I/O and multi-sound source immediately, and all you have to do to start working is select a MOTIF XF project template.
Cubase AI Bundled
The MOTIF XF comes with a special Yamaha version of Cubase, the world-renowned DAW software. Cubase AI has the same engine as Cubase 5 but has been modified to integrate more efficiently with the MOTIF.
Improved User Interface
An improved User Interface with many user requested features like Tap Tempo, Drum Editing in Mix Mode, and Auto Mapping of samples* plus a customizable UI for selecting your choice of color and positioning of key displays.
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I just purchase the motif XF7 and I were very pleased with it, I have been a Roland guy all my life but when I needed another workstation they stop makeing the G7 Fantom thats why I came to yamaha, this keyboard is a master piece I am learning the yamaha way slowly. Thanks to my friends at zZounds for being their all the time when I need them.
Style of Music: Gospel, smooth jazz, R&B, Chriatain, Blues, Country, Hip Hop
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Yamaha MOTIF XF7 Keyboard Customer Review
What can I say...the sounds are so acoustic, warm, and expressive...and suited to any style of music.
Built in sequencer, Performance mode, killer color screen, and sounds to die for...AND Flash Memory...all it takes for a first class workstation
Ease of Use:
Very easy to use. If you know Yamaha thinking, then this will be a breeze. It is a very deep instrument, so the deeper you get into it, the steeper the learning curve is. But it is a first class keyboard/workstation.
Hey, this is a Yamaha...what else needs be said ??
This is a subjective question, but I felt that it was a good value for such a top notch board.
With a previous Motif, I had technical questions, and they will quickly answered. I have never had a problem with any Yamaha keyboard.
The Wow Factor:
The best...I lust for this, even though I own it (or rather them...I have a XF8 for my home studio, and a XF7 for outside work.
I will only get rid of my XF's when Yamaha once again ups the ante. I started with the original Motif, and have traded up with every new model.
Style of Music: Rock, jazz, gospel
29 of 33 people
(87.88%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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