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. Now, its hard to turn on the television or go to a show without seeing or hearing a motif. From Lady GaGa, to Jay Z. From Michael McDonald to Carrie Underwood, and in every genre of music. Yamaha breathed new life into live performing with the release of the release of the next generation in Motif keyboard synthesizers, the XS. The flagship Yamaha XS8 provides 88 keys of pure awesome that bring new levels of expressive voices and intuitive control. The Motif XS workstations not only offer incredible music creation capabilities, they also offer a system of integrating those capabilities with a variety of software applications. I want to highlight two elements that make this workstation tower over its competitors.
The real test for any workstation, whether it’s your main instrument, or your practice instrument, is how good it sounds. Thanks to the implementation of the AWM2 processor and a sound bank totaling 355MB, the Motif is capable of amazingly nuanced instrument voices. This keyboard has an exceptionally broad selection of realistic sounds to spark your creativity, with a lot of high–quality waveforms and sampled on board. A single voice can have more than one separate sound element, enabling composite sounds over remarkable complexity and nuance. The sound engine has been upgraded with the expanded articulation tone generation system. Using the 8 available elements, XA allows you to more actively re-create realistic sound and natural performance techniques–such as legato, staccato, and release sounds. It also lets you assign elements on/off panel switches, and change sounds within a voice in real-time–for example, playing a classical guitar voice and switching between playing normally and playing higher harmonics. The sound of this machine has become the industry standard for synthesizers and workstations.
The next desired element of this workstation is that control you have over it. The first thing that caught my eye when I played the Yamaha Motif XS8 was the eight assignable knobs and sliders. With these assignments at times, you can tweak the cut-off, attack, and resonance, sustain, release, and decay. While at other times you can control effects and EQ’s of your sounds. Unlike the Yamaha MO8, the Motif has after touch, a directional sensitive ribbon, two assignable function buttons and connections for foot switches, and two continuous foot-controllers.
These two elements alone are enough to know why this workstation is the top seller of all its competitors. I play this keyboard every Sunday at my local assembly, and its great. If you are serious about having a quality workstation that wont let you down, I recommend the Yamaha Motif XS8.