Yamaha Montage 8 Keyboard Synthesizer, 88-Key
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Yamaha Montage 8 Keyboard Synthesizer, 88-Key

Get creative with Yamaha's flagship synth! The 88-key Montage lets you control AWM2 and FM-X sound engines with the Super Knob, Motion Sequences and more.

Yamaha MOTIF XF8 88-Key Synthesizer Workstation

No longer available at zZounds

Size/Weight

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)

Control Interface

Keyboard:
- Number of Keys: 88
- Type: Balanced Hammer Effect Keyboard (Initial Touch/Aftertouch)

Tone generator

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)

Sequencer

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)

Sampling

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)

A/D Conversion: 24-bit, 64x oversampling

D/A Conversion: 24-bit,128x oversampling

Sample Data Bits: 16

Sampling Frequency: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz, 11.025kHz, 5.5125kHz (Stereo/Mono)

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

Other

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)

Power Supply: AC Power Cord (Included)
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.

Features:

- 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.

Power Supply: AC Power Cord (Included)
(24 ratings)
Submitted January 14, 2015 by Kurt N in Robbinsdale, MN
"The Only Workstation You'll Ever Need"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
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.

Sound
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.

Features
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 read more 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.

Quality
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.

Value
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.

Manufacturer Support
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.

Musical Background:
Former professional, current active hobbyist. 40+ years experience with synthesizers and electronic music.

Musical Style:
Pop, jazz, electronic and light classical.
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