The Yamaha Motif XF Offers Ginormous Sound Library

Yamaha has introduced its “next generation” keyboard workstation, the Motif XF series, which features a ginormous sample library.

Motif XF includes 741 MB of internal Wave ROM, the largest internal sound library ever created for a keyboard, according to Yamaha, including detailed digital recreations of two Yamaha acoustic grand piano sounds, realistic acoustic instruments, vintage synths and hip-hop sounds.

What makes the Motif XF truly customizable is the 2 GB of additional content that can be loaded onto optional Flash RAM expansion modules, located in two slots on the XF that accommodate, including the proprietary FL512M (512MB) and FL1024M (1 GB) Yamaha flash option boards. User-generated or downloaded sounds saved onto these modules only need to be loaded once and are always inside the Motif XF until the user replaces them.

“What’s incredible about the Motif XF is that we now have two gigabytes of Flash RAM available; this really allows an unparalleled level of customization,” said Erik Norlander, sound designer at Sonic Reality. “You can truly make this instrument your own; you can truly give it your own personality.”

Details below. 

Features:

  • Comprehensive high sound quality, including 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 separately sold flash memory
  • 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
  • The popular FSX (MOTIF XF6/7) and BH (MOTIF XF8) keyboards
  • Improvement of usability thanks to the use of a new GUI
  • Category Search feature that provides instant access to the Voices you want
  • Cubase AI — a DAW software application from Steinberg
  • DAW integration through remote control, an editor software
  • Scalability through standard-equipped USB and Ethernet and the FW16E option

The MOTIF XF8 (MSRP: $4,039), MOTIF XF7 (MSRP: $3,539) MOTIF XF6 (MSRP: $2,999), FL1024M (MSRP: $349) and FL512M (MSRP: $199) are expected to ship in September 2010.


46 thoughts on “The Yamaha Motif XF Offers Ginormous Sound Library

  1. Does anybody still want such a beast nowadays instead of handy and cheap combination of keyboard controllers and notebooks with Ableton Live?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  2. Maybe live musicians who don't want to rely on PCs. But you're right – for all other purposes a good master keyboard and a choice of your favourite plugs might be cheaper (but not necessarily handy). Anyway, the new Motif looks very cool. If I wouldn't know who to spend all my money I'd buy it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  3. Small spelling correction

    "What makes the Motif XF truly customizable is the 2 GB of additional content that can be loaded onto optional Flash RAM expansion modules"

    should be

    "What makes the Motif XF truly overpriced is that there is no user memory and no standard memory expansion slots. Instead, Yama hah! will again sell you proprietary massively overpriced memory cards that you can only buy through authorized Yamaha dealers. These cards are cheap average 2GB SD leftovers from an old production line, rebranded and mounted on patented connectors to protect us from any competition, and ensure incompatibility with all previous and future products of any brand."

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
  4. Exactly. All these expansions schemes of these overhyped keyboards make them so last century. For 4k I can get 4 very good PCs and cluster them up with nice synths and effects with 16x or more RAM that can beat the hell out of this. Heck, for just 500 bucks I can get a Viewsonic VOT125 which is a full blown PC with the same amount of RAM this thing has, and plenty more of hard drive real estate. When are all these companies going to step into the present?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  5. I own a motif xs and i think you're totally right for 3000,euro's it's much to expensive you can buy a freaking car for 4k, and that's steal. this is plastic and the car can play audio too. Yamaha don't get me wrong i think it's great but the mprs prices are much to high. I Would buy one if its around 2400 euros Kainzow is right you get the same even better for 500 till 700 bucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. It needs a hard drive with at least 80 gig capacity and native .nki import… 32 tracks, and a VGA hookup… FireWire audio and midi standard…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Folks, I know there's lots of questions, misconceptions and valid critiques about the Motif XF — no one board can be all things to all players and producers. To drill way down to the granular level and get your questions answered, please visit the Motifator Web site: http://4wrd.it/MOTIFATOR. To register for product info and availability: http://4wrd.it/INSPIRATION. For general product info: http://4wrd.it/MOTIFXFPRODUCTPAGE. Happy playing!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. did the yamaha dude actually read the previous posts? ALL SIX posters were underwhelmed or confused at how this competes price OR feature-wise with a DAW… they are probably not going to buy one… silly yamaha… lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  9. Agreed with some of the above. "741 MB" is meagre compared to many virtual instrument sample libraries; it's misleading to call it "enormous" in a day and age where 2TB hard drives cost less than US$100. In comparison with that, "2 GB of additional content" isn't impressive either. Disappointed to see Erik Norlander make such a claim too — his demo song for the Alesis QS-series over a decade ago is a fave, but spec-wise, they're stretching.

    HOWEVER, numbers aside, where these "legacy" devices continue to have a foothold is when veteran sound designers make sounds (regardless of raw memory count) expressive and articulate and use the hardware controllers to make it playable live without a second thought. The "arpeggiators" make me think of how Korg Karma doesn't have a great software synth counterpart yet. I'm disappointed when I download some soft synths and it boasts many presets but most of them don't make use of mod wheel, aftertouch (highly underrated), etc.

    Therefore, Yamaha's focus is off: instead of trying to compete on spec counts where they've been soundly trounced time and time again, they should focus on the robustness of their hardware, e.g., "For live players, it's as solid as a tank!" (I don't know if that's actually true of the Motif XF, but with prices like that, it had better be.)

    Overall, I'm disappointed that subsequent generations from the old-guard of hardware synth manufacturers tend to be incremental and lodged too much in tradition. NOT ENOUGH BELOVED ADVANCES. I can draw a sore comparison to Apple here: I heart my 2008 Mac Pro, but the newest update is underwhelming in its lack of superb advances (boasting a "1.3x" speed gain over the previous gen on some of their marketing pages is sad!). In a similar way, these Motifs haven't fundamentally changed in a stretch of years.

    I'm pretty much with the economical-minded folks here — being resourceful appeals to me, especially given the crazy costs of these buggers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  10. Torley is the man. The videos are awesome bro.

    Also… we live at a time where VSTs are rock-solid and dependable… and can also BE HARDWARE… for anyone who thinks the hardware has a much higher reliability or "gig" factor, I would recommend you check out the MUSE RESEARCH products… My receptor has Kontakt installed and sounds worlds better (imho)…

    where yamaha has 741mb of wave rom, I have single piano sounds that take up over 2 gigs.. and it cost me less than half the money (with a yamaha 88 note weighted controller included)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  11. This is a great article. I’m a college student trying to learn more about the CSS industry and I really enjoyed reading your post. It’s absolutely worth sharing!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  12. You can do a lot of things with a computer and a midi controller or just a USB keyboard BUT it is really a pain in the %$#&^@ to use that schema instead of using a keyboard that is made for helping you record/produce your ideas, no need to reboot, no need for cables, no latency problems, no rewire issues, no need additional devices to carry.

    There are lots of VSTs, and most of them are unstable, incompatible or simply sound as crap and take a lot of clicking and browsing in your computer ( which won’t look nice when you are live ), I just can’t imagine saying to the public:

    our next song is called xxxx, we will play it in 5 minutes, I just need to load my session in ableton, then I will load the VSTs and after that I will just assign my knobs, don’t go home yet !

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • I'm with you on that man!!!! I currently am using DAW, and had just recently switched to it over the past couple of months. As a prior keyboardist who's had Keyboard Synths and "Basic" Workstations, it definitely is a hassle.

      One thing that these people need to just get a grasp on is, that just like the iPhone or EVO, it's not for everyone. Sure, there absolutely is the issue of pricing in which I too would not spend ridiculously. But respectfully, there are keyboardist's, pianist's, and people like you and me, who appreciate the feel of they black and white keys at our fingertips, rather than the annoying click of the mouse, and the amount of clicks it takes just to find the VST other's would need.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  13. When it comes to playing live, no musician with at least a small percentage of sanity could rely on a computer.
    That's why live synths will always find their place on stage.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  14. I agree. I play live dance music and in the past relied on my computer to do most of the work with no complete freezes but I just switched over to producing in my motif xs due wanting to work more on sound production than making a bunch of old analog/digital analog outboard equiptment work together with my computer and the fact that since apple bought logic It is not as reliable any more. I am a fan of sound production and I do have vst instruments and I think most sound like crap out of a computer and I cant stand to deal with latency. Almost zero latency is too much latency to really give feeling to your music. I am ditching $50,000 worth of studio gear for the convenience of using 1 workstation and its the best decision I have made. I have found that if you try to use any of the sounds that come in the motif for dance music you will run out of options quick but by blending 4 sounds and using filters at different points you can make 100s of original sounds. Then eq each one and easily get stuff to lay together properly. I used to hate workstations due to the menu thing which is why I used to use a computer but with the screen on these now they are more simpler than any program for laying down tracks. You just have to spend more time on creating good sounds cause you cant cheat the audio in the box like you can on a computer. Its a different way of thinking for me cause now I have to get the sound right to begin with instead of figuring I will fix it later. Just my 2 cents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  15. I've got a motif 7 and i must admit for it's capability it's a bit over priced however, it's sound quality is awsome, especially the guitar sounds. I'm contemplating selling it with headphones,foot pedal, 2xmem cards (already in) sound mod, stand and chords all for $3000 ono

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  16. I have a motif es rack and I love it and I just got a soundslate from open labs and mixing the hardware with the software its the best and I can sample all the sounds I want from hardware keyboards but I like the feel of my motif even though it sounds ok when I clone it. But anyone I do think its to much but no can beat the realism of the motif sounds I use software to but real keyboards always sound better but the both of them working together nothing can beat it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  17. The Cakewalk/Roland A-800PRO controller is so fast, it gives the feel of a workstation with VSTi's. I sold my Mo because SampleTank is hot now!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  18. Hardware synths own software synths!!!! Period!!!

    Ive been in the jungle of software synths for years. After bying a Motif XS7 I will never ever again use software synths! The sound quality is just waaaaay better, and its 100 times more fun working with a hardware synth. Hardware synths have another dimention in the sounds that software synths lack. Yamaha changed my life for ever, and in my opinion the motif xs/xf is much better then the M3.

    Its just so complete and all-around. You get basicly a full studio built in an keyboard with great effects. I use Logic Pro 9 as DAW. Thank you Yamaha for enriching my life and giving me all the tools I need to develope fully as a producer/beatmaker. I will always be grateful.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  19. I took the Motif XF for a ride today. If you are a live performance musician, it's not going to knock your shoes off. It is a nice board, but for the price…I will pass. The sounds are nice…lots of choices; on the other hand, I'd wait on the module, if sound it what you are looking for. The ES 8, from my perspective, is still the standard. So for now, I'll cuddle up with my YMES8.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  20. I agree. I loved that Yamaha, unlike Roland, didn't used to make you spend hundreds on proprietary cards after you just paid $3500 for a workstation. So now, I'll just be taking advantage of the the XS being discontinued to save $1000.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  21. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  22. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  23. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  24. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  25. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  26. Always wondered why my old compositions were more original and better sounding than the new ones made with my Logic DAW with tons of softsynts: EZ-drummer, drumlibaries, NI Komplete,
    Spectrasonics Trillian, Atmosphere etc. After getting the Motif XF the magic is back again. Instead of starring at countless menues on the Imac 24" screen, I'm counting on the ears again to make music instead of the eyes, and the time from idea to a finished composition is much faster and more fun too. I'm done with timewasting softsynts and DAW's with enormous but mostly useless soundlibraries. Motif XF offers me topquality sounds in spades in all categories and only my mind set the creative limits. To me capturing the spontanity and having a fast and stable workflow is the key to the best compositions. That spontanity has been reborn with my Motif XF, Clavia Nordwave and Korg M50. Now how can I sell my softsynths? Bet I can't because of license-restrictions, which again makes hardware the better longterm-investment. Now I'm also free to use my instruments on anyones projects without being forced to buy additional softwarelicenses. What a relief!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  27. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  28. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  29. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  30. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  31. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  32. Lol i love the price argument for hardware synths. yeah softwares better because it's leveraging your fast cpu and huge lcd which isn't free. iMac 1500 + 400 ableton + 200 controller +700 kontact complete. please people stop saying softwares cheaper. I agree you can do more but don't bring up cost ever. gas is cheap for a ferrari but you need a ferrari first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  33. I bought the new Yamaha Motif XF7 and all that I can say is "I have no complain !! " Sounds are great (real) than any other keyboards, design and colour is nice,keys are smooth to touch. I say it's worth with the price.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  34. Yamaha Motif XF is the coolest keyboard ever produce in the music world ! I like the sound (the reality) the shape and colour. The smoothness of the keys,everything that is in it is COOL ! I love my new YAMAHA MOTIF XF7.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  35. So how does the new Korg Kronos compare to the Motif? Does that change the game or is that also just a continuation of the same old. Would you rather have a Motif or a Kronos? I'm trying to decide. It will be my only keyboard for composing and performing – rock, pop, new age and techno.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  36. The focal issue is simplicity and quality. I’ve owned a MO6 for years and bought a used XS for $1200. The XS sounds better because the voices are a-lotted more memory, which gives Yamaha a chance to infuse a better sound such as a throaty sax with a reed bend sound that can be actuated by hitting the key harder. Also, you can get the loop right by playing it over twenty times if necessary and it’s easy to start over with actual buttons instead of a mouse scrolling back over to the little tiny record button. The sequencer is a breeze, the keys you hit or mis-hit are editable on the XS screen after playing so the only reason to bother with a computer is to record the final song with some cheap, simple software like Sony Acid or Studio One thru a USB port. Does the XF sound better than the XS, has anybody compared the two?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • When I first heard about the new motif XF coming out I was super excited and couldn’t wait to buy it. But after playing it….there’s HARDLY any differnce to it then the Motif XS….ok ok so Yamaha thru in a couple of sounds and made the ROM a lil bit bigger? BIG DEAL YAMAHA….I’ve been a Yamaha Fan for ever….i used to have a Yamaha Motif XS-8 but sold it just recently. I was considering getting the Yamaha Motif by march…but in all honestly….this day in age…workstations are shitty because yea the motif Just recently came out in 2011 but those sounds are mostly from teh 80’s STILL, just tweaked a little bit. So even though the board is BRAND new….the sounds are still OLD,CRAPPY sounds that cannot be tweaked to perfection….Computer based software is taking over HARDWARE HANDS DOWN…..why spend thousands of $$$ on a board when you can build a complete studio for even under $1,000? The only thing the Motif XF seems good for nowadays is just STAGE and GIG play…..Big companies are very good at creating a buzz to get you to buy products….obviously….that’s their job….but if you want to be able to tweak sounds that’ll save you TIME then I’d recommend just a midi controller and Logic Pro,Pro Tools, or Reason and some VST’s.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
  37. DAWS vs. Hardware.

    Having used both I personally prefer the tactile surface as it helps me be creative immediately when inspiration strikes. An example is using a hardware digital mixer for protools (or whatever software you like) rather than mousing around for everything.

    To each their own. If it sounds good to you it is.

    It isn’t always about price because not everybody is a broke musician. Some have $.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  38. Specialist Kontakt instrument samples sound much better than the sounds of the XF. Motif XF is an overpriced bontempi organ compared to a lovingly put together sample library.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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