Arguably the leader in the keyboard workstation market, Yamaha ups the ante on their venerable MOTIF XS with the release of the XF8, the full-size version of their top-shelf production-powerhouse synth. Found only on this 88-key MOTIF, Yamaha's Balanced Hammer keyboard combines grand-piano touch with playability fit for the extensive variety of synths and expressive instruments that only a MOTIF can produce.
Doubling the waveform memory of the XS to an impressive 741 MB, the MOTIF XF8 boasts 1,664 internal voices and 97 drum kits with expansion slots for another 2GB of samples. MOTIF veterans will recognize the front panel's 8 knobs and 8 sliders -- and appreciate the addition of tap tempo, a customizable user interface, and automapping of samples to keys with respect to pitch. When it comes to creating music, why limit yourself to anything less than the industry-standard Yamaha MOTIF XF8?
Hear it for yourself in this video demo by Yamaha rep Blake Angelos:
Enormous Waveform Memory
If you're in the market for a instrument of this caliber, you're serious about sound -- and you may already know that the MOTIF series is famous for its deep sound library, including those realistic piano voices that an acoustic-piano manufacturer like Yamaha can truly capture. After all, when you're investing in an 88-key workstation, you want authentic pianos -- and the MOTIF XF8 delivers with 136 new voices, featuring exquisitely detailed samples of the 9-foot CFIII and 7-foot S6 Yamaha acoustic grands. Of course, because the MOTIF is such an overwhelmingly popular production tool, Yamaha knows there are hundreds of third-party voice libraries available to customize your MOTIF's already-colossal sound set -- so they've included 2 flash board slots that can support up to 1GB each of re-writable flash memory. From Yamaha's own "Inspiration In a Flash" libraries, to VST sounds, to your own recorded samples in the built-in 128 MB of sample RAM, you can now expand your MOTIF XF8 to a combined 3 GB of sounds -- all quickly searchable (even the third-party ones) via Yamaha's Category Search feature.
Expressive Instruments; Impressive Effects
It's not just the quantity of available voices that makes the MOTIF XF8 so special -- it's the quality. The MOTIF's celebrated 8-element-per-voice structure combined with Yamaha's XA (Expanded Articulation) technology yields strikingly smooth horns and winds, guitar harmonics, and key-release sounds of pianos for unmatched realism. Catering to true pianists, the MOTIF XF8 supports half-damper pedaling with Yamaha's available FC3 foot pedal. If larger-than-life synth sounds are more your style, 18 different filter types are at your service, controllable with the XF8's tactile knobs and sliders. And Yamaha's Virtual Circuitry Modeling technology recreates the warm and natural sound of vintage analog compressors, EQs, phasers, reverbs and more. There's even an on-board vocoder -- just plug in a microphone to the back of your XF8 to use your voice as an effect.
7000+ Arpeggiator Patterns
No true workstation would be complete without a powerful on-board arpeggiator. Richly textured beats, chugging synths, and even simulations of acoustic instruments ignite your creativity with over 7000 types of arpeggios -- many with chordal intelligence capable of tweaking patterns in real time depending on the chords you play. Run 4 simultaneous arps and switch between 5 pattern variations in real time. The MOTIF XF8's direct performance recording feature lets you quickly capture your ideas.
Sixteen Tracks Of Audio and MIDI Sequencing
When it's time for serious masterpiece-creation, record MIDI and audio seamlessly with the XF8's 16-track Integrated Sampling Sequencer. Dual 1/4-inch analog inputs allow you to plug in your guitar or bass -- or even a standard XLR microphone with a Low-to-High impedance-matching transformer -- so you can record yourself singing or playing along with your XF8's sequencer. The Time Slice feature time-stretches digitally recorded audio so it follows your beat with perfect synchronization, even as you change the tempo of your song or pattern. "Roll tape" and punch in on the linear, tape-machine-style Song sequencer, or work with loops using the Pattern sequencer -- the XF8 lets you switch between modes at any time. The on-board sequencer is what makes a MOTIF keyboard a monster production powerhouse, and only the XF8 model pairs it with a 88-key keyboard.
Seamless Cubase Integration
When you prefer to use your computer for recording or editing, the MOTIF XF8's remote control feature seamlessly integrates with Yamaha's bundled version of Steinberg Cubase AI. Bi-directional communication means your parameters always agree, whether you're moving the MOTIF's knobs or mousing on your computer screen. Install the optional FW16 FireWire expansion board to stream 16 tracks of audio to your DAW via a single FireWire cable. You can even use your MOTIF as a VST "soft synth" in Cubase (without taxing your computer's resources). Or import songs you've created in your MOTIF for further editing and mastering from the comfort of Cubase on your computer.
- 88-key Balanced Hammer keyboard combines piano touch with synth flexibility
- 1,664 voices, including famous Yamaha pianos -- plus 97 drum kits
- 2 expansion slots accept up to 1GB of flash memory for all your sounds
- 128 MB built-in sample ROM -- start sampling right out of the box
- Stereo 1/4-inch A/D inputs accept a guitar, bass, or microphone source for sampling directly to your XF8 or streaming out via FireWire or USB
- 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: AC Power Cord (Included)
zZounds is an authorized dealer of Yamaha products.
Dimensions: - Width: 1,439 mm (56-5/8 in.) - Height: 168 mm (6-5/8 in.) - Depth: 466 mm (18-3/8 in.) - Weight: 28.9 kg (63.71 lb)
Keyboard: - Number of Keys: 88 - Type: Balanced Hammer Effect 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 XF8 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 latest 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.
Sound engine that increases the expressiveness of 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.
VCM effects that reproduce the unique, natural, warm sounds of vintage instruments
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.
High-quality keyboards that enable high-level performance
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.
Rich arpeggiator with over 7,000 patterns that expands the breadth of sound expression
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 that makes the instant expression of your ideas possible
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.
Category Search feature that provides instant access to the sound you want
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.
Improved sampling with 128MB of internal SD-RAM
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 that make DAW integration easy
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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This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
"The Only Workstation You'll Ever Need"
The sound quality is excellent. The concert grand piano samples are so good, I feel like I'm sitting at the real thing. I wouldn't have a problem soloing with this on a recording. I've had good sampled grand pianos in workstations for 25 years, and none of them have the responsiveness, detail and nuance of this. Without going into too much detail, the other acoustic instruments, electric instruments and sound effects meet this same standard. Many of the acoustic instruments feature realistic articulations controlled by velocity sensitivity. I especially like the bass response on a lot of the sounds. It can go very deep and smooth. My subwoofer gets a good workout! It's also completely silent when you're not playing. No hiss or hum, even at really loud volume levels.
It's jam packed with features. Beyond the excellent sounds, it has a terrific user interface bristling with enough assignable knobs, buttons and sliders to keep the work flow smooth and easy. They exercised good judgement on the preset functions of these controls. The LCD screen is a bit small and not touch sensitive, but that can be overcome to an extent by downloading free control apps to an iPad if you have one. The Motif screen provides more than adequate visual feedback. The built in arpeggiators are impressive, offering thousands of performances in a variety of musical styles and can be a great resource for generating ideas. They're even good enough to be used for professional arrangements. I try to avoid using them on recordings just because I feel like I'm cheating if I do. When I use them, I usually customize them in some way.
Ease of Use:
Like any workstation, you have to read manuals. Even though I bought this to replace an earlier unweighted keyboard Motif, I still have to refer to the various manuals bundled with the instrument on CD-ROM. The manuals can also be downloaded from the Yamaha website. That being said, it's easy to use. It has a sequencer which can be used in both pattern and song modes. Having the pattern option is very important for me. Not all workstation sequencers feature it. The sequences can be saved internally and recalled easily. You don't have to deal with file menus. I also consider that an important feature. Due to their complexity, workstations aren't my favorite tools for sound design, but you get plenty of control with the Motif. The samples and preset programs are so plentiful and good, you might not find the need for creating your own programs. There are plenty of user presets which can be overridden with new programs. For me, it's usually tweaks on existing programs rather than creating something new from scratch. I'm not going to address the bundled Cubase software. It's a great value, but a whole separate issue. For my style of working, I'd prefer a more basic sequencing and voice editing system for the computer.
It's built like a tank. The controls are all firm and sturdy. I expect this to last a long time. I had my previous Motif for 6 years. It still felt and worked like it did the day I bought it. This is one huge, heavy brick of a keyboard. I bought it strictly for studio use. If you are taking it on the road, it will take a very strong person or two people to carry it. The weighted keyboard is the best I've experienced. It has just enough heft to keep my piano and percussion performances nuanced and not sloppy on fast passages, but light enough for rapid fire playing. The keys aren't bouncy which is a problem I've encountered on other weighted keyboards, and they're very quiet. You just hear a soft thump. Other weighted keyboards I've used were clunky sounding. Yamaha has been making pianos for over 100 years. They know how to make a keyboard.
The Motif is a very good value. The bundled Cubase software sweetens the package. The closest competitor would be the Korg Kronos X. The Kronos X is much more expensive. It supposedly has the most cutting edge technology, but cutting edge isn't the whole picture. I've owned a couple of Korg workstations and I find them much more difficult to use. I like the way the Motif is designed. It offers everything I need and then some.
Yamaha provides a wealth of information on their website. It's easy to register your warranty. I haven't dealt with them recently, but got quick answers and service when I had trouble with a Yamaha stereo receiver a few years ago.
The Wow Factor:
This instrument has a huge wow factor. It looks like the mother ship has landed in my studio! The overall feel of the keyboard and controls along with the outstanding sound quality and ease of use make this a real winner. Yamaha has been making this workstation series for well over a decade. The feedback they've used from musicians is very apparent. I feel like I'm playing an instrument, not simply triggering sounds, which is how I've felt with most other workstations.
This is a superb music production tool which offers everything you could want right out of the box and can be expanded with additional non volatile RAM and FireWire connectivity. I purchased this to replace an earlier version (SX series) which didn't have the weighted keyboard.
Style of Music: Pop, jazz, electronic and light classical.
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"I really do love it!!"
The sounds are unmatched! And the weighted keys even make it feel just like an acoustic piano. Add the Yamaha FC3 foot half dampening pedal and close your eyes.
Sooo many voices, performances and arpegios to choose from. Easy to connect to a computer for 16 chanel multi-track recording or for loading MIDI files, which can also be done from a usb thumb drive.
Ease of Use:
So easy even I can do it.
I haven't found a flaw yet.
This is my second stab at a synth (I still have the first, a Yamaha Motif XS8) and there really isn't anything out there now to compare it with. Kurzweil had something with the K2600 but it is now discontinued. Is the Yamaha worth it? I believe so. but if it were a thousand dollars cheaper, I would have two more!
Yamaha has all product upgrades right on their website. All system, program and driver updates are there and free, too. I recommend you don't read the book unless you are in need of sleep. The Motifator.com website has all the answers you could ever think to ask a question about. The XF is a very updated version of the XS. But Yamaha came out with new version software for the XS even after the XF was up and running. AND they are already looking at the next one for the XS.
The Wow Factor:
The LCD screen is easy to see and to use. I wish the rest of the keyboadr had backlignting or two more usb ports (one at each end) for those flex-arm lights
Style of Music: Rock, Blues, Classical, "Pink Floyd"
54 of 59 people
(91.53%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 866-zZounds (866-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.
At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.
Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 866-zZounds (866-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.
zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.