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#122765 - 04/17/07 05:24 PM Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
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.


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George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#122766 - 04/17/07 05:36 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41458
George thanx for the review...although a bit confusing at first its does sounds very interesting kb......how about a few demos?

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#122767 - 04/17/07 05:44 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10597
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
It sounds like quite an instrument George...thank you for the great review.

I'll be on the road this weekend, travelling to the largest music store in my area, and I'll get a chance to play with some toys I haven't tried yet...hopefully they'll have one of these in stock.

Ian



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Common misconception...size and weight equal quality and performance. Don't be fooled.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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#122768 - 04/17/07 05:48 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
squeak_D Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4653
Loc: West Virginia
Sweet! It's nice to see someone else sees the potential in the new Motif line to arranger players. I can't wait to try one out Just three more days and I'll be baning on an XS...

Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#122769 - 04/17/07 08:09 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
thanks for your initial thoughts george..
they hit our shores in may, and if it works out okay, im trading my s90es for the motif-xs8..just on the hype it seems the 4 arps are just the thing for those that don't want the full 4 variations and fills on styles...bit of a wait and see, but who knows...one thing for sure, add the SA voices to the already astounding ES voices and this thing is gonna rock..
dennis
BTW squeak, i would be very happy to hear your initial thoughts on the arps, they are the reason i am seriously considering this board over a "normal" arranger....

[This message has been edited by miden (edited 04-17-2007).]

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#122770 - 04/17/07 10:07 PM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
TommyF Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 648
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
George,

Great review! I am very interested in the Motif XS but mainly as a sound expansion to my arranger setup. What I really want to know is if the Xpanded Articulation voices on the Motif XS are just as easy to play as the Super Articulation voices on the Tyros 2. When you play a Super Articulation voice on the Tyros 2 the keyboard will constantly analyse your playing style. By example, it will automatically detect if you play in legato style and modify the sound accordingly. Will the Motif XS work the same way or do you have to press the assiginable switches to modify the sound?

Kind regards,
Tommmy
_________________________
Yamaha PSR-S770, Korg Krome 61

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#122771 - 04/18/07 05:24 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
Nick G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
i cant wait to have this Motif XS sitting next to my T2 ultimate combo hehe
_________________________
Roland G70 / Roland BK9 / Yamaha Motif XS6 / Logic Pro X

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#122772 - 04/18/07 07:16 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Tommy,
I'm not as up on the way the technology works as some but I did see that when playing the articulated sounds, the keyboard still responds like the Tyros2 with the exception that one of the two function switches changed from mono mode to poly mode and the other did something like adding growl, etc.


------------------
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#122773 - 04/18/07 07:46 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41458

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#122774 - 04/18/07 08:10 AM Re: Yamaha Motif XS First Thoughts
TommyF Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 648
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
George, that was exactly what I had hoped to hear Now I have to wait patiently until Yamaha releases a rack version. Unfortunately this normally takes 1-2 years

Kind regards,
Tommy
_________________________
Yamaha PSR-S770, Korg Krome 61

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