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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha MOTIF-Rack XS

With 1,152 voices and 65 drum kits, this module gives you the MOTIF XS soundset in one rack space -- fully editable with the included Cubase DAW software.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"An In-Home Orchestra" submitted July 10, 2008

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Features
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Musical Background: Producer
Music Style: Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B
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Sound: I've played the Fanthom XS, Triton, and Motif XS before buying this rack. I thought the Motif had the most authentic and realistic sounds on it. The Motif really shines when it comes to the guitars also. Awesome sound overall. Feature: Comes with Cubase, which is a great DAW that I've been using for years. Wish it came with the mLAN interface though that way you can transfer audio and midi signals with one cable. Ease of Use: I consider myself computer savvy for the most part and it took me a couple hours to get this thing working the way I want it to. You have to download the drivers off the website for your specific operating system before you do anything else. You also have to unplug every usb device except the rack and keyboard and mouse to install the driver. Then I had to reinstall my midi controller. It could've been easier. Knobs, buttons and navigation is simple though. Quality: Only had it a couple days so I haven't given it a chance to break yet. It seems sturdy though. Value: A bit pricey but still worth the money Manufacturer Support: Never needed them.
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"Avoid if you need much actual note polyphony!" submitted January 21, 2009

By a customer from bellsouth.net
Overall
Sound
Musical Background: Professional keyboardist, keyboard service tech.
Music Style: Jazz fusion, Jazz standards
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Sound: Do not be fooled by the 128 voice polyphony spec. I created a soequence using the Brush Drumset, Fretless bass, Vintage Rhodes, and Lyricon synthlead. I recorded the drums first. When adding the bass track, the bass tones were already being clipped! Polyhony actually refers to "Elements" not how many notes you can play at once. Apparently the brush drum set has multiple elements for each sound depending on velocity, whether or not it is stereo, what octave the note is in. So just a drum pattern and bassline used up all 128 elements. Sucks. Ease of Use: Easy to get around. Quality: Well made. Value: I am considering returning the unit for a different product and manufacturer because of the polyphony limitations. Manufacturer Support: Good support. The techs quickly worked on figuring out the polyphony situation.
23 of 28 people (82.14%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great sounds, very limited editing" submitted June 8, 2013

By Vanessa N in Prefer not to disclose, AZ
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Musical Background: Played keyboard, woodwind and guitar instruments for over 35 years.
Music Style: My preferred styles of music are Classical, Jazz, Progressive Rock and Blues.
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Overall: I bought the Motif Rack XS after a lot of deliberating. I already have a midi keyboard controller with all the bells and whistles. Did I really need to pay 3K (+) for a Motif Keyboard? The Motif Rack XS has tons of sounds, and the specs suggest you can modify and edit the sounds to suit your needs. It also comes with an OPTION to add a Firewire port (for an extra $280, sold separately) supposedly so you can open it up in your DAW for more extensive editing, as well as direct audio/midi functionality through a single firewire port. The Motif Rack XS ships with Cubase software, which is compatible with the Motif Rack XS firewire connection and editing capabilities through some collaboration between Yamaha and Steinberg. BUT ... If you use ANY other DAW, you can forget about the firewire interface and any access to those more detailed editing functions. I would highly recommend an online search of various forums regarding this very problem. Seems like to date Yamaha has not developed any drivers or technology that will allow the Motif Rack XS to work with any system other than Cubase. So if you've invested a lot of time and expense in Pro Tools, Logic, Sonar, or any other platform besides Steinberg (Cubase), the Motif Rack XS is not for you. Unless you're okay with just running it through your interface as any other analogue source and are okay with not having the ability to edit sound parameters in any detail. You can edit sounds and effects directly on the rack itself, but it's very limited in what parameters you may edit. You must have that firewire interface to allow both editing and direct audio transfers from your DAW ... assuming you're using Cubase. For that reason, I cannot recommend this item to anyone unless they are already using Cubase. In fact, I may consider dumping mine off at Craigslist.
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"all in all it should be cheaper" submitted May 9, 2009

By a customer from juno.com
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Sound
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: musician
Music Style: all types
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Sound: Sounds are great for some things but not all. But what is? It has more "soft" sounds in it than those hard core raunchy sounds you might find in the M3. Better for hip hop and rnb and gospel than trance, breaks, techno or dnb. but mix it WITH other modules and your good. Feature: No sequencer? what??? the motif xs8 sequencer is awesome. Ease of Use: easy to get to the sounds you need or are looking for . pretty straight foward Quality: i could see it lasting for ever Value: for the money it could be expandable Manufacturer Support: na The Wow Factor: its pretty i guess. Overall: ill keep it for a while
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Yamaha MOTIF-Rack XS Customer Review submitted October 20, 2011

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
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Sound: Wow!!!!! Very nice sounds ...... no "cheesy fillers" Feature: Came wiyth the power cord Ease of Use: Haven't used the manual yet Quality: Well made Value: Couldn't ask for more Manufacturer Support: Haven;t used it
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"A fabulous keyboard with thousands of features that will drive you "Looney Tunes" trying to use it !!!!!!!!" submitted October 14, 2009

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist - musician - for 40 years
Music Style: Jazz, popular, classical, R&R
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Sound: VERY GOOD Feature: It seems to have very good features -IF I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE THEM Ease of Use: This keyboard is by far one of the worst keyboards I have ever purchased. I am a musician not a computer engineer. It is so complicated; if I had known how involved it is to use I wouldn't have purchased it. The instruction manual is great at telling about all the features but not how to implement them. I am going to try and sell this thing. If you play just for fun and like sitting in front of a computer buy this unique keyboard. If your a musician and want a keyboard with a lot of features that is EASY to use and play don't buy this piece of crap. Quality: All of Yamaha products are of the highest quality - I know because I have three of their other keyboards. Value: Big deal the keyboard has all these features; but Yamah does not give you the tutorials or step by step instructions on how to use them. I found out after my purchase, from fellow musicians, to stay away from the Motif because it is to complicated to use. Manufacturer Support: A Yamaha specialist offered to help me - I contacted him through an e-mail, he sent me his office phone number. When I tried to call him he was nowhere to be found.! The Wow Factor: Ugly color - It is not practical to use - I am trying to sell it!!!!! Overall: Like I said I am trying to sell it - compared to the other Yamaha keyboards I own this one is not usable for me. I can't fool around with this thing at a gig.
2 of 15 people (13.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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