Yamaha MOTIF XS Review - Review of the MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 and MOTIF XS8

Yamaha MOTIF XS Review

The Yamaha MOTIF XS family comprises the MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 and MOTIF XS8.

The main difference between these keyboards is the number of keys they come with. The MOTIF XS6 comes with 61 keys, the MOTIF XS7, 76 keys and the MOTIF XS8, 88 keys. The XS8 comes with weighted keys. But apart from that they are basically the same.

Highly Recommended: Go here for the BEST piano/keyboard course I’ve seen on the Internet.


The MOTIF XS is so advanced and comes with so many incredible features it's almost overwhelming. There's so much that can be said about the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8 music production synthesizer workstation keyboard, I'm not even sure that I can fit everything in this review.

Yamaha Motif XS6

First of all let's look at the prices. Last time I checked, the Yamaha MOTIF XS6 was being sold for $2,199.00 at a leading online retailer. The Yamaha MOTIF XS7 sells for $2,799.00, while the Yamaha MOTIF XS8 sells for about $3,199.00. For a keyboard of its stature, not bad at all.

I must say that I am truly impressed and in love with the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8. It's a musician's dream board, and Roland is in trouble. The MOTIF XS has everything and beats the Fantom hands down. I can't wait to add it to my arsenal. It will be difficult for them to top this as this keyboard is certainly a board of the future. I don't see myself ever getting tired of it.

If you're looking for the best workstation out, then you don't have to think twice. Get the MOTIF XS. The only decision you have to make is whether you need 61, 76 or 88 weighted keys. As long as you have the budget, I'd say get an upgrade. The keyboard takes sound to a next level, the big color screen is magnificent, and it's surprisingly easy to find your way around this powerhouse.

By now you should have sensed my enthusiasm so let's get into the features of the Yamaha MOTIF XS6 and Yamaha MOTIF XS7 FSX synth action, and theYamaha MOTIF XS8 balanced hammer action music production synthesizer. If you're looking for the highest levels of expression and quality then you will be delighted by the XS's mind-blowing 355MB of wave ROM that combines with the Expanded Articulation tone generator. And it's so easy to record - you can record as you play and capture ideas, with voices and effects included. 

Yamaha MOTIF XS7

Imagine a keyboard that comes with over 1000 voices! And that's not all. There's a total of 64 drum kits, 4 musical arpeggiators, a sampling sequencer, over 6000 phrases, a color LCD, and studio-style mixing. The Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8 come with various assignable knobs ad sliders, giving you the hands-on control you need. And to add to that you can connect to computers via USB and Ethernet. Producers, studio engineers and enthusiasts will love the Cubase AI software that is included with this machine.

You can't go wrong investing in an advanced workstation like this. Sure you can probably get away for a while with a lesser machine, but in the long term the benefits to be derived from a top of the line workstation like a Yamaha MOTIF XS6Yamaha MOTIF XS7, or Yamaha MOTIF XS8 will far outweigh the additional costs. I'm referring to the inspiration that you get from the XS. Inspiration that can really fuel your creativity. There's everything you need to make professional music. From high quality sounds to intelligent arpeggiators, recording features, built-in sampling, rhythmic Patterns, versatile effects, and one could go on and on. The possibilities with the Yamaha XS workstation are endless. When you want to compose great music, whether at home or in the studio, you need such a machine. Great for playing live as well. Click here to buy a MOTIF.


As the Yamaha website says, the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8 provide you with 'high quality sounds to spark your creativity'. And it's true, 'cause I was certainly motivated when I played the MOTIF XS. I mean what else do you expect when a workstation comes with 355MB of high-quality waveforms and samples, where a single voice can have up to eight separate sound elements? I'm talking about remarkable complexity and nuances in the various voices. So everything can sound as real as you want it to sound. Or you can adjust the various voices to suit your particular preferences. 

Yamaha MOTIF XS8

The high quality of the concert grand piano will leave you absolutely overwhelmed. And how about the sound engine on the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8? Well if you're thinking of getting this keyboard you should be happy to know that the sound engine has been upgraded, and now the MOTIF comes with the Expanded Articulation (XA) tone generation system. If recreating realistic sound and natural performance techniques is one of your concerns, then look no further. With XA your music can sound as real as you want it to with legato, staccato, and key release sounds. No longer do these features have to be limited to acoustic instruments. What's more is that you can change the various sounds in realtime.

Yamaha MOTIF XS Review

Looking for more subtle nuances in your voices, well you can use Mega Voice with your sequencer tracks. The keyboard also comes with a natural half damper effect for acoustic piano sounds. There's even a Vocoder effect on the instrument - I was impressed. I could go on and on talking about the various voice-related features that the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8 come with. But one thing's for sure and it's the fact that this workstation when delved into, will certainly bring out your creativity.

You should be delighted with the arpeggio features on the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8. The instrument comes with approximately 6,000 different arpeggio phrases. I like the fact that you can have four different phrases, playing four different instrument parts, running at the same time and in perfect sync. Experimenting and playing around with Arpeggios in Performance mode should really spark your creativity.

Check out the Integrated Sampling Sequencer on this baby! You can record songs directly to tracks on your MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, or MOTIF XS8 when you install optional DIMM modules. You can even record your vocals or acoustic instrument tracks with a microphone.

Another feature that I really really like on the MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 and MOTIF XS8 is its software integration capabilities. Imagine a keyboard that can work seamlessly and transparently in your computer based environment. Imagine being able to control your DAW software right from the panel of your workstation. You can start playback, stop playback, record, change track levels with the sliders, tweak parameters with the knobs and so on, right from your instrument.

Yamaha MOTIF XS Review

If you like you can use the MOTIF XS with the MOTIF XS Editor. This software is said to be quite easy to use. It can be used within Cubase as part of Studio Connections, allowing you to save all your settings with each project. You can download and find out more about this software at the Yamaha website.

If you're into recording you just can't go wrong with the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 or MOTIF XS8. The MOTIF XS functions seamlessly with Cubase 4. The MOTIF XS can be brought into the Cubase environment and be used just as if it were a plug-in-software, thanks to the Studio Connections system. Whenever you open a project on your computer, your MOTIF XS is automatically enabled as well, and so are all your previously saved custom settings. You can control Cubase 4 directly from the MOTIF. You can even create music on your MOTIF and then import it to tracks in Cubase 4 for editing and mixing. For professional recordings, I choose this system.

Honestly, I can go on and on talking about the MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 and MOTIF XS8. These keyboards are worth every penny and I highly recommend them. I would suggest that you read the various reviews on the Internet to find out what buyers or people who've played this workstation think of it. I myself have seen some very positive reviews of the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7 and MOTIF XS8. I'm sold. If you've got the money, get the real thing and forget about anything inferior. Click here to buy a Yamaha MOTIF keyboard of your choice.

Related review:

Yamaha MOX6 & MOX8 Review

Motif XF series

Other Yamaha Motif Models

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Return from Yamaha MOTIF XS6, MOTIF XS7, and MOTIF XS8 Review to home page.