Yesterday I received my first Motif XS6 keyboard. I will attempt to explain why I think this keybaord deserves to be talked about on this arranger keyboard forum.
First, because of the way Yamaha has developed their XS (intellegent) arpeggios, we have the possiblilty of playing up to 4 arpeggios at once with chord intelligence. I had my Jazz Piano teacher at my store try all the complex chords he could think of and the Motif XS played them correctly.
A performance in the Motif XS can play up to 4 voices and each can have it's own arpeggio playing in perfect sync with the rest. One example is a R&B performance called "Double Dip The Funk". This has a drum, Bass and Guitar in the intelligent left hand and a seperate electric guitar voice on the right hand with it's own arpeggio. Each Performance can have up to 5 different arpeggio patterns, each with up to 4 different arpeggios, so in this way, these become the "variations" within the style. Yamaha has arranged these where "arp 1-4" are style variations and "arp 5" is usually a fill in.
Yamaha has given the keyboard over 6,000 arpeggios of which hundreds are intelligent types. They have catagorized the performances in 8 catagories called:
Rock,R&B,Electronic,Jazz, World,SpLyr and FX.
Each of these are broken down into sub groups. As an example the Jazz Catagory has swing, modern,smooth, jazz funk and club.
You just call up a performance and play.
I've always had a problem with keyboards that don't play styles because I'm a arranger kind of guy. But this keyboard is amazing.
Also, I can call up an empty pattern, give it a 16 measure (up to 256) and choose a performance, and hit the record button and my entire performance is recorded. Just like a backing sequencer on Korg, Yamaha or Roland. Then when finished, this Pattern will just keep looping and I can either play any sound over it or keep recording one track at a time. Remember that the Motif has 16 sections with 16 tracks each to record in this loop mode with up to 256 Measures per section and then I can select the song record mode and either step or play in real time these patterns by section and make up a song. It's really cool because each section in the pattern can have totally different arpeggios, so in my arranger world of thinking, they are all different variations of the style or even different styles.
Wow......I hope this makes sense!
Here's what I found out from Yamaha today...
These Motif XS Performance arpeggios are programmed by Yamaha and although you don't make them yourself, Yamaha has 256 user locations and they will have custom intelligent arpeggios available. I spoke with a friend of mine today who is making custom arpeggios to work with their middle eastern drum kits and ethnic sounds. I'm happy to know Yamaha can make custom intelligent arpeggios.
The Articulated sounds are great. Unlike the Tyros2, Yamaha has gone to two switches they call "Assignable Function" switches. These can be latched or unlatched. They do not use the "breath" sound as on the Tyros2 from a pedal but do use the two switches for legato mode and many other parts of the articulated sound or mega sound.
The sounds are nothing less than steller in my opinion.
I also noticed that some of the performances allow me to play with a single finger and have the chord play or just add a minor third and have a minor chord.
I'm really excited about this new keyboard. I think it will bring alot of arranger folks over to the Motif way of doing things for the musicians who want a combination of Synth power/sampling and some arranger type functions.
It is not an arranger, but Yamaha has given us the ability to make music easily in a recording studio production keyboard.

George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California