Right now, I am using OMB 7.1 with a Yamaha Motif ES7. ITs 76 keys, so it really helps out when splitting the keyboard for the left part that will be used for Chord recognition. I also choose a differnt Sound for the left side of the keyboard split so that it plays as I change chords. I mostly choose Piano mixed with strings. It sounds really awsome!
For the right side of the Keyboard split, I have another two splits.
One one I have lead voice setup for Channel 3 I think. I have Saxophone setup for that one, using one of the available PLG150-VL synth cards for the MOtif ES.
For the Other Split, I have another Lead voice setup. The reason, Im saying this, is because OMB truly works awsome with all the built in sounds of the Yamaha Motif ES.
Just last night I recorded a complete song in one pass with OMB and the ES.
This is the main reason I love OMB. I can record its midi Output directly to all the sixteen midi tracks of the MOtif ES in one single pass. Once I have all those midi tracks on the ES with the Song information I played in realtime from OMB, then all I do is disconnect OMB from the ES, (internal MIDI switch on the ES) and playback my whole song on the ES.
The awsome thing now, is that everything I played on OMB, bass, drums, fills, everything, including leads, are in their respective midi track on my ES! Yep!! Now all I have to do is edit the tracks if I have to. If not, then thats it. Song is finished.
I can now whole heartedly recommend OMB either to record in the studio or to play live.
The cool thing too, is that the Yamaha Motif ES drumkits, I believe like 40 of them all, respect the GM standard. This means that no matter what drumkit you choose, you sounds will sound right. Like the song I did last night, I didnt like the GM drumkit, so once I finished the recording, I went to sound selection, changed the drumkit to an awsome Rock Stereo kit, and saved my mix.
Now on playback that kit plays back the entire drum track!
Same goes for all the other midi tracks. If you want a different sound, just choose it and thats it.
The only sounds I have had problems with are the megavoices for Bass and guitar. Sometimes they dont sound right so I choose something else. But thats it. I have to learn how to tweak the mega voices so they sound right with the recorded song.
If you are going to get a Laptop, and dont wanna deal with software issues etc etc... Get a Yamaha Motif ES6. Its much smaller than my ES7. the ES6 has only 61 keys but still can be used fine bigtime. Since I use the PC keyboard to select my variations, fills, endings, intros, etc etc, I dont really care if I have a 76 key synth or 61 keys.
But since youre going to get a laptop, you can get the ES, buy the Mlan16e option, which turns your ES into a complete Digital soundcard with analog inputs, and you can send you voice and instruments directly to your laptop via a single FIREWIRE cable. Yep. ONE CABLE MAN.
you can send MIDI, up to four midi Ports with 16 midi channels each!! Thats a lot of channels man.
ANd you can send up to 16 audio tracks from your Motif ES digitally too!!
I dont work for yamaha man, but I know what I have and I know what it can do. I truly beleive that Hardware and software can live along now with peace, so you can have the best of both worlds. Hardware synth, software synths, and record to your laptop live. Or use OMB, record it to your Motif live, send it to your PC live as audio. Oh man, the possibilities are mind boggling!!!!
God bless you man, what ever you decide to do, I wish you the best!