Yamaha Motif XF First Video Preview

Bert Smorenburg flies the flagship workstation      10/08/10

No flash plug

   QuickTime (MP4)  | iOS MP4
10:48 mins

Yesterday Yamaha brought down a prototype unit of their newly announced Motif XF workstation. The latest iteration of their flagship workstation, it has been given a bit of a makeover after consultation with Motif users, there's now a number of additions and mods.

I'll let Yamaha's Bert Smorenburg do his thing and leave you with some bullet points to mull over as well as some UK pricing info.

I also got the opportunity to ask a few questions before the unit was whisked back to the Yamaha labororitories. These will follow soon.

UK RRP's inc VAT 

MOTIF XF6        £2520 
MOTIF XF7        E2932 
MOTIF XF8        E3497 

All models are going to be available with a 512MB Flash Rom board bundle for around £50 more than base unit price.

 FW16E        Firewire board        £329  - gives 16 IO of audio to and from DAW.

Individual prices of the FL512MB and FL1024MB flash boards are still to be confirmed. 



Main Features

  • 741MB of internal Wave ROM (over twice that of the previous Motif XS) including incredibly realistic pianos, acoustic instruments and vintage synths.
  • Up to 2GB of optional Flash Wave memory. Finally it is possible to save your samples to the internal memory of your synth so they are always there when you turn it on.
  •   A sophisticated 8-element synth architecture with XSpanded articulation and 18 different filter types let you shape your sound anyway you want, and 8 front panel knobs and sliders make it easy to do - even in real time.
  • 1664 Voices and 97 Drum Kits put more sounds at your fingertips than ever before.
  • 128MB of onboard volatile sample RAM -- for user sampling, loading and auditioning sample libraries or adding vocals and real instruments to your Motif XF.
  • An improved User Interface with many user-requested features.
  • The popular FSX (Motif XF6/7) and BH (Motif XF8) keyboard actions let you express your passion for playing. 61 key, 76 key and 88-note weighted action.
  • 512 Performances combine 4 Voices and 4 Intelligent Arpeggiators that instantly create backing tracks with Yamaha’s intuitive Direct Performance Recording feature.
  • An integrated Yamaha Digital Mixer that includes 3-band EQ for each part, 8 Dual Insertion effects, 2 System effects, an overall Master effect and Master EQ
  • Direct-to-USB recording and playback lets you record your final mixes to any connected USB memory device as CD-quality WAV files, or play WAV files created on your computer back on the XF.
  • New large format (512MB - 1GB) Voice libraries from Garritan, Sonic Reality, Easy Sounds and more plus new Motif-specific software tools, including waveform editors, sample format convertors and arp managers.




More From: YAMAHA
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28 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
openminded synthesist    Said...

Slick demo, as always from this pro! But seriously Yamaha, when will all you companies stop milking the same cow???

Flash memory...fine, but what took you so long? Can anyone say Kurzweil from way back in the 80'and 90's?.

...And still no open plug-in architecture? After all, you've got enough ram now...and you own Steinberg...so where's the VST implimentation?

10-Aug-10 01:00 PM

Nick B    Said...

Actually, given the short amount of time in this demo, its fair to say that I asked about DAW integration. with the optional FW card, you can put plugs (I'm told) across the 16 returns from the DAW or on 16 inputs to the DAW (with VST, AU or whatever.

It is not a total integration like the Virus system, but there is some

10-Aug-10 01:21 PM

No Slap!    Said...

I want to know when companies will stop featuring slap bass in their demos! That terrible track at the start made me turn off the video.

10-Aug-10 02:41 PM

creative-minded synthesist    Said...

Seems like a machine made to make meh music with meh sounds. As most everyone will ask, why do companies keep making these machines? I can understand some people wanting workstations, but these big expensive ones seem pointless unless you really want to make elevator music.

On a lighter note, that guy could sell anything!

10-Aug-10 04:44 PM

Nick B    Said...

There are plenty of people who need bread and butter sounds for commercial gigs, which this will certainly deliver.

Don't forget that you can put up to 2 GB of your own waves in here too, like run the entire show with BVs or backing vocals or whetever right from the machine.

It seems that this sampling and file playback capability is overlooked, but for a pro user, it might be just the thing for doing shows and having a large amount of sounds and clips at your disposal without needing a computer

10-Aug-10 04:59 PM

Mysticradio    Said...

i think its high time the big three start putting vst players in their workstations. SM PRO AUDIO made a small one no bigger than a small paperback novel. I have a Yamaha S770xs and i assure i it doesnt sound like elevator music. A point i found out... there will be 3rd party waves from GARRITAN.... SONIC REALITY etc... But i certainly think if they integrated vst players inside people would RUN to their dealers. After all the new MUSEBOX is run on cards with hardrive 'option' LETS GO YAMAHA ROLAND AND KORG. lets see who can beat who to the chase THANKS TO NICK FOR BRINGING IN BERT.

10-Aug-10 05:27 PM

Nick B    Said...

Hey Mystic, I think thats a good point, although, its hard to get right, SMPro Audio while they have done it, its still quite a complex setup - partly due to the fact that it uses a wrapper of sorts to run them- the hardware runs Linux or some dervitive.

I have no idea what sort of CPU and DSP these have in them but can imagine its NOT something that will run VST tech easily. But I agree, I think integration is key

10-Aug-10 05:33 PM

Mysticradio    Said...

Nick if anyone can figure it out its YAMAHA. Even at 2gig flash ram it always seems that workstations are always years behind what is powerful and affordable even on inexpensive computers. 2gigs of ram these days are DIRT CHEAP..... why cant they go 8 or 16.... whats the big deal. if there were that many gigs... guys like Dave Spiers etc could write patches.... Garrtian and SonicReality are...... i guess i just dont understand the innards of tech that well. But i think larger integrated pop-in boards are a start.........BUT MAKE THEM BIG

10-Aug-10 05:40 PM

mysticradio    Said...

HEY ALL....... TRY OUT THE NUDGE GENERATOR DOWN THE PAGE..... ITS FUN and heres Dan Driscoll he did ambient music for MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES by a Canadian director have fun

10-Aug-10 09:44 PM

mysticradio    Said...

OOPS heres the url http://www.myspace.com/ambientaria

10-Aug-10 09:45 PM

Zach    Said...

Next time please don't shows us his demos 'cause his inability to play and his rigorous effort to compensate that by his mouth and prerecorded material just annoys us! yup I think us!!

11-Aug-10 12:25 AM

Fan    Said...

What a horrible thing to say. And so untrue.

11-Aug-10 02:31 AM

mysticradio    Said...

We love Bert ya killjoy...... this is a positive site.... so lelts keep it that why.. and yesssssssss yes you're entitled to your opinion , but whats the point... Bert could play circles around you.... ive heard him REALLY play......he's a demoist for Yamaha and does a very very good job. Hey Zack lets here YOU play buddy.... you seem to be high up there. Make it a movie with no keysyncing GO BERT GO......... best demo guy in the bizz.

11-Aug-10 09:36 AM

Marc JX8P    Said...

Great demo - as always from this guy. Also, the machine sounds really amazing. Looking forward to the next bit with your questions about it, Nick!

Geweldige demonstratie, Bert! En een goed bewijs dat wij Nederlanders echt niet altijd een accent hoeven te hebben als we Engels spreken! ;-)

11-Aug-10 11:48 AM

AndyB    Said...

I'm not a keyboardist, and not in the market for a machine like this... but what a great demo! :)

I hope Yamaha are good to Bert - he's a diamond!

11-Aug-10 03:23 PM

selercs    Said...

All the people complaining about low gigs of sounds...don't you realize why hardware still 'sounds better' than many software out there? Its not the quantity but the quality. Keyboard manufacturers and 3rd party sound designers are able to focus on little and making it sound stellar!

I have gigs and gigs of Reason refills and they all sound like crap compared to a Motif!

2Gigs of Motif sounds would probably be like 20 gigs of software sounds (a factor of 10).

Only disappointment is why Yamaha can't include PIANO ROLL and GRID RECORD and CROSSFADE LOOP SAMPLING and perhaps even AN1X or FM alternate synthesis types into its Linux-based OS!

11-Aug-10 10:58 PM

Benedict Johnson    Said...

The time-slicing sounds un-granulated.

Also it's nice to hear the reference to exact model of drum kit they sampled. Since browsing the sample libraries of Tonehammer.com, I've started appreciating absolute transparency when discussing sample content (recording environment, velocity layers, repetitions etcs). I know - that's of little interest to the performance arpeggiator market..

12-Aug-10 08:48 AM

Magikroom    Said...

Good to see Bert again doing it in his own, unique way, but Yamaha...Seriously?

The Motif range has always had great sounds, but in terms of innovation and not just doing what Roland and Korg do, you're a bit behind guys...but you were so ahead.

The best they came out with for me was the EX5...very underpowered, but if they had made a modern day version of it, it would have been a killer.

13-Aug-10 08:20 AM

Billy Mays    Said...

That guy is so annoying that I turned the video off after 2 minutes... Hey Yamaha: I'm not 13, you can simply show me the features of a product without having to treat the product like its the second coming of christ

13-Aug-10 01:28 PM

keyboardmania    Said...

Hey Yamaha .. I bought a Motif Xs and a S70XS from you - so I am a "real" customer. Bert is great - I love to see him doing demo all day. Don't pay attention to those stupid, rude Bert-haters out there. Those idiots should get a life and understand that the Universe don't revolve around their pathetic life...

14-Aug-10 06:58 PM

Dr. Muzungu    Said...

Terrific demo!. i always enjoy Bert's demos at the Musikmesse and allthough i'm not a target customer for this product.

18-Aug-10 06:11 AM

Juicy Audio Productions    Said...

ive still got my motif xs and ive used it A LOT; more ironically, than my arturia synths, sample libraries, NI stuff & moog voyager et al. Why? Cause its intuitive to use, and easy to get stuck into. Im sure im not in a minority there, either, as you wont see them coming up on ebay too often second hand.

The ONLY weaknesses are a lot of the cheesy combos etc, but you get a LOT of bang for your buck with these. Mine is chonked with sample ram and it has NEVER crashed in use, either.

It's horses for courses guys, and its a winner in my book, even if it wont break grounds for total innovation.

19-Aug-10 02:09 PM

Juicy Audio Productions    Said...

p.s. ive just seen the RRP's and they are admittedly a bit hefty compared to the previous model. It's very rare anything goes for "book" these days, so there's probably gonna be deals in abundance.

19-Aug-10 02:12 PM

Bob    Said...

Graet machine...good sounding..! But i dont need a workstations,can consider buying the module of it.Can tis machine load Akai samle CD..

29-Aug-10 11:08 PM

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08-Sep-10 03:43 AM

Slappy White    Said...

No Slap! whined: "I want to know when companies will stop featuring slap bass in their demos! That terrible track at the start made me turn off the video."

Did it make you soil your pink thong too??

03-Nov-10 05:20 PM

Dukate    Said...

Billy Mays IS 13.

03-Nov-10 05:30 PM

Gunther    Said...

Zach, save your breath for your inflatable date.

09-Feb-11 12:50 PM

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