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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha MX61 Synthesizer

With over 1000 voices from the Motif soundset, vintage effects emulations, and easy on-the-fly splits and layers, the MX-61 is a live performance workhorse.

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"Great sound for the price" submitted May 21, 2013

By James R
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 13 years composing, formerly played guitar and stuck with the tried and true piano.
Music Style: Rock, alternative rock, industrial metal, symphonic, instrumental to name a few.
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Sound: The voices are great, especially the concert grand which is one of the main ones I love from the Motif. I'm very picky about my piano sounds as it's my favorite instrument and this one voice doesn't disappoint at all. The drum kits are quality sounding, as good as some of my expensive virtual instruments. There is a small handful of voices that seemed a bit lacking but given the right place they would fit wonderfully. I still have yet to try out every voice though as there is a lot of them. There are two 3rd party editors available to modify performances and other settings very easily. One gives full control of the voices. This is one aspect about this board that makes it very powerful and shouldn't be overlooked. As a note about this, if you find that the volume output level is too low (all outputs), one of those editors will let you set the specific voice common volume when you build your performances/custom voices. I was able to get a great output level after adjusting them. There are 5 total volumes you can adjust, master knob, main, DAW, part, and voice common so be sure to tend to all of the ones that affect your current setup. Feature: The best feature is the editing of voices and performances and the ability to save them for fast recall. The least is probably the arps, while it has some great ones that are fun to along play with, I always go my own way so they serve me no purpose when composing. Ease of Use: The navigation and getting to instruments is easy even though it only offers a two line LCD. I had no issues with the USB connectivity, my DAW, any VSTi, or working with MIDI. It was as simple as installing the driver and getting right to the fun part. Quality: The keys feel nice with minimal lateral movement (side to side play) and the overall construction, while plastic, is fairly rigid. The knobs, controls and buttons feel decent as well but the AI jog wheel and knobs have some shaft flex so I assume they are plastic. However, the actual adjustment of the knobs is firm and smooth indicating the the insides of the pots are most likely well built. Value: While it might look somewhat basic and lacking with 166MB wav data, this synthesizer is packed, especially when paired with an editor and is definitely worth the cost. I don't think you can find better at this price range considering the Motif sounds and 128 poly. Manufacturer Support: I can't honestly say as I've never had to contact them before. This is a good thing. :) The Wow Factor: The wow factor here for me is that the sound of the voices are of more than usable quality, the keys don't feel bad and it's got a decent price tag. Overall: I've had this synth now for 1 month and spent a fair amount of time playing it. So far I'm quite impressed. I was in need of a new midi keyboard controller but decided to go the synth route as there was more quality in that area plus I would be getting a lot of new sounds at my disposal at the same time. Yamaha was the obvious choice for me as I own some of their products already and I like them very much. Onto the board!
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