Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Yamaha MOTIF XF Review

The Yamaha MOTIF XF8 is a flagship top-of-the-line music workstation from Yamaha. It is the latest workstation from world renowned musical instruments manufacturer and one of the best keyboards available out there for stage performance as well as music production.

A Brief History of the Motif Series

The MOTIF series started with the release of the MOTIF in 2001 and it was recognized as the best sounding, top selling and most requested music workstation.

MOTIF has since then evolved from the MOTIF to the MOTIF ES series, to the XF series with loads of improvement and added functionality that keeps the brand on top of many other brands.

The main MOTIF lineup starts from MOTIF, the MOTIF ES, XS to the XF series
There are currently other flavors of the MOTIF that bring you sound and functionality of the mainstream MOTIF synths in affordable package such as MOTIF MX series, the MO series and the MM series.

Features of The MOTIF XF

Main Features

  • 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 flash memory expansion
  • 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
  • DAW integration through remote control, an editor software
  • Scalability through standard-equipped USB and Ethernet and the FW16E option


The XF boasts a rich collection of instrument Voices in the following categories:
Pianos, EPs, strings, wind instruments, orchestral sounds, guitars, basses, and drums, and a wide variety of vintage and modern synth sounds.
The pianos are sampled from Yamaha 9' CFIII and a 7' S6 acoustic pianos

Memory Expansion

The Motif XF gives you 2 flash board slots to accommodate two proprietary Yamaha flash board
Options -- a 512MB board and 1GB board. You can install a total of re-writable 2GB on each of the slots

You can also install third-party sample and Voice libraries which can be purchased at

XF Sound Engine

The tone generator that the XF has makes an 8-element-per-voice structure possible. 
The Keyboard is also equipped withYamaha’s XA (Expanded Articulation). This 8-element structure allows you to achieve very accurate acoustic instruments including expressive 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. 

VCM Effects

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.

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 XF line comes in three variants: XF8, XF7 and XF6
The XF8 has a balanced hammer keyboard (weighted) with 88 keyd
The XF7 and XF6 both have high quality FSX keyskeyboards with 76 keys and 61 keys respectively

For more information, visit here

Yamaha Motif XF Images

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