Yamaha Intros Affordable MX49 & MX61 Synthesizers

Yamaha has officially introduced the MX49 & MX61 synthesizers.

Here’s what Yamaha has to say about the two new synths:

The MX series synthesizers feature carefully selected sounds taken from the Yamaha MOTIF XS.  That powerful sonic palette is packed into sleek packages (available in 49- and 61-note versions) that fit today’s on-the-go life style. But the MX Series aren’t just synthesizers; they are designed to bridge the gap between hardware and software. By adding extensive audio and MIDI USB connectivity, advanced DAW and VST controller features and a suite of powerful music production software,  the MX integrate hardware reliability with controller flexibility to give you the best of both worlds at a ground breaking level of affordability.


  • Over 1000 sounds from the MOTIF series
  • Equipped with VCM effects
  • Easy Split /Layer Performance Mode for Instant Inspiration
  • 16-Part Multi timbral and 128-note polyphony
  • Extensive Hands-On controls for VSTs and DAWs
  • Bi-directional USB Audio/MID interfacing
  • A suite of music production software included
  • A lightweight design with a quality Yamaha keyboard
  • Complete analog and digital connectivity

Here are the official intro video on the Yamaha MX49 & MX61 synths:

The Yamaha MX49 & MX61 synthesizers are expected to be available in December 2012, priced at £449 & £649.

via Yamaha, Sonic State

43 thoughts on “Yamaha Intros Affordable MX49 & MX61 Synthesizers

  1. So I googled for an appropriate comment to write about for yamaha mx-49 advertisement and it politely suggested “Epic fail”.

    Slightly better than what I would write off the top of my head (which was “Fail”), I must admit!..

  2. Yamaha should just fire their marketing team. That video is just awful.

    That being said, I think the MX series is actually a win for Yamaha. Making a 49/61 key workstation accessible for under 1k is pretty impressive. Like I said in the earlier MX thread, understandably, this doesnt have all the bells and whistles of the MOX or XS series, but at least they have made some pf the most important features accessible and affordable to users on a budget.

  3. It looks like they’ve thought through DAW very well.

    Their videos don’t explain very well how much flexibility these offer as synths. I don’t see any specs about oscillators, LFOs, etc .Are these preset synths or something?

  4. Looks like a poor attempt to compete with the Casio XW and Roland Juno lines. There are a couple of good ideas in there, but on the whole I’d be much more tempted by the Casios (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!)

  5. Looks like a solid enough board for the sub 1k range, but the marketing seems to be completely off. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that the market for these products are working bands, churches, hobbyists, etc, and I don’t see them being attracted to a young guy drinking coffee while gazing pensively at some blurry girls on the dance floor.

  6. Too bad so many demos are disco-step. It doesn’t show off anything abut the instrument’s RANGE. Show me someone who also uses it for something semi-acoustic or orchestral. Show me someone playing a good melody in real-time over an arp. Show me the player presenting a monster drum kit, with only half the workload being taken up by automated features. The specs on this are impressive and the nature/price-point seem both appealing and sensible from a business angle. Instead of kvetching, compare it with workstations of even 10 years ago. IMO, quite a few people will start here and still be using it in 10 years, when they’ve moved up to a more serious rig. Its creditable now and it’ll still be useful then. One of my in-use synths is from 1991. Take the broader view. Its a bloody magic wand of a synth when compared to my drfting old PAIA! 😛

    1. To be fair, old synths tend to be better. For example I’ve got this ratty 40 year old synth that tracks horribly, is so heavy that the # of keys equals the # of lbs. Yet is the centerpiece of my rig. Some sort of miniature something…

  7. jesus christ that was bad, they appear to be appealing to a mass market which simply no longer exists for synths, people are throw away apps these days for that. The synth industry really needs to switch up a gear and start bringing out some interesting stuff again. You ‘d have to be a total fuckwiit to spend 500 sheets on that nonesenve over buying a something decent on ebay for the same cash.

      1. Guess I’m a fuckwit.

        I had sold my Motif Xs when I had realized i may have to look for a new job. Regretted this since. missed the B&B used by the Industry in my music. Now with a new job i still require such sound but ive come to realize i didnt my Motif for much more. And i had need a vst controller pad anyway so yeah. It made sense. Your mileage may vary.

  8. Are Yamaha really trying to appeal to young married men, dreaming of taking their long thought out dubstep phrases to stage at their local Working Men’s Club.. ?

  9. 4 knobs isn’t quite what i’d call extensive control, and i’m pretty sure loads of click buttons and a jog dial are only of any interest to late 80’s man.. maybe early 80’s man.
    Poor Yamaha (?)

  10. I don’t care about the synth. It’s kind of “yeah. whatever.” What I really want to know is why is he drinking tea/coffee so much? Who thought that was a good idea?

  11. £649!?!? Thats almost the price of mid range workstation! This doesn’t have a proper synth engine in it, not even something as rudimentary and basic as Motifs rompler engine.

  12. Yamaha has managed the heretofore unimaginable feat of making Roland’s marketing look comparatively hip and relevant. That’s quite an accomplishment.

    All the first video needs is a guy in a blazer with a mullet doing a sax solo to appear even more cringeworthy. Perhaps they’re working on that for the Rev 2 version?

  13. Sombody rush this boy a bottle of conditioner…I was getting flashbacks of Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich looking at him….

  14. The best thing about the MX series are the comments on this page! Now just imagine if Yamaha had been as creative as some of the people leaving comments here… maybe they’d have winner instead.

    I think this might suit DJ Push-One-Button though. You see him at most raves out there… and worldwide charts are full of his music! … so maybe Yamaha did hit the hammer on the nail and I simply missed that 🙂


  16. I play in a function band and I don’t need arpeggios and sequencers. All I need is tons of great standard sounds pianos Rhodes Wurlis Hammonds strings brass etc. I currently have an EX5 and a MM6. The MX61 is priced at £499 in the shops. Sub five hundred smackers for a thousand motif sounds and 128 notes polyphony? Yeah if that makes me a moron so be it. But as a working musician earning musicians wages this is exactly what I need.

  17. 28 Synth Strings, 11 Pipe Organs, etc, etc. 128 poly, 16 timbers. 166MB Motif XS waveforms. 8-element sounds. All well under grand.
    I am amazed at lack of comprehension by some apparent pro’s that think that this is a fail. This is obviously a low end and entry model. If you are too much of a “pro” why bother commenting, and bitching and moaning about the product that you are not interested in the first place? Not all of us can afford Oasis or Jupiter 8, and this is just amazing for what it is.

  18. I hate, hate, hate!! Those stupid dubstep marketing videos.. Regardless.. I want one. I simply do not have $3500 for the big model, or $2400 for the less big model. I’d like to buy the MOX, but I am afraid that is out of my price range too.

    All Korg, Alesis, M-Audio, and other midi controllers, “with the exception of the Roland A300, 500, 800Pro,” lines feel like such cheap crap to me.

    I like the Novation Controllers, but that Automap software is garbage.

    I checked out the Casio XW G1 at guitarcenter today. What do you want to know? Its faders feel cheap, its a pita to dig through its lcd screens to find what you want. Sure, “its a sampler, and a real synth.” Good for it!! Between all my bundles, and freeware, and things that I purchased outside of bundled stuff: I probably have a hundred, “real samplers, and real synths,” installed.

    I am lacking a, “beautiful sounding piano,” though. And at the current moment in time, “my audio interface is falling apart, and I don’t have a controller.”

    Are those dubstep marketing videos stupid as… Yes, they are.

    Did I stand next to this thing @ guitarcenter today, and feel it was, “as well made as a novation.” Ergo, better made than Casio, Korg, Alesis, and M-Audio… Yes, yes indeed.

    I will be buying one of these, “Mx’s for Xmas.”

    I don’t know what a Pro-Musician is these days.. “Some guy who manages to make $100 bucks off his music a year + Taylor Swift?”

    Whatever.. Cool new product

  19. On Yamahas homepage I have downloaded the parameters of the synth engine. The MX series have it all !! I wonder, what the difference between this and the Mox actually is. Half the wave rom I can see. But how? Is it the same sounds, but just in not the same quality or what? Half the use of waveforms in some voices?

  20. Apparently this is not a product for everyone, but what it is, is a keyboard that has useful computer based implementation for studio and quality sound for live. I think a lot of what’s marketed as synth in the below $1000 range are stripped down on the board itself and relies on the software editor for the deeper editing parameters. Personally I find this board compelling because it’s an audio interface for the pc eliminating the need to carry an external sound card/ the usb is bi-directional so the internal sounds can be recorded to the pc with only a usb cable/ it can be a master controller for your dad and other vst instruments. Somlike I said it may not be for everyone but it’s a one stop board for someone who does computer based music and performs live.

  21. Another one Rompler which want to became star. Hmmm!!!
    Where are the days when Musicians were Musicians and Synthesizers were Synthesizers?

  22. OH MY GOD! After pimping the Motif XS to the Motif XF I really hopet that YAMAHA will launch the major new flagship keyboard. ANd what happened? Instead of this YAMAHA downgrades their flagship into MOX6/8 and finaly downgrades the MOX6/8 to MX46/61. DAM!
    OK this keyboard has about 1000 main sounds from their Motif XS, NO vocoder capability, and slimmed down arpegiator capabilities.
    AND the “GREAT” thing is that it can remote control your DAW. Big deal. Every MID keyborad can remote control your daw. And with few knobs and cheap look I really am disappointed. But ok,..lets say we are musicians and the sounds matter for us and not the looks. Lets be honest. The sounds are now on the market for over 2 decades with minor motif upgrades trough xf/xs. This sucks big time. The sounds are so 90’s and the look is so 80’s!!! Did you hear this “boosting explosive party-like dubstep” background to this video? Come on yamaha. Even rookie hose music production beginners make more juicer sound than this! Now really? Sounds like a grandpa tried to simulate dubstep to be able to sell this low-cost board to kiddy’s. So fucking amateur-like. I am a YAMAHA fan, but with this non inovative old school sounding strategy; I really have to look to their neighbors at KORG and ROLAND.

  23. Roland isn’t better, but offers richer and fatter sound (whilst Yamaha make a dry and flat).
    MX offers twice polyphony than MOX, but half of memory for internal samples. That results in worst quality of sound I think. The question is also for quality of keyboard.

    For people who says that this product is lame – this is marketing man. Yamaha nowadays is like Casio in the past (“Casio, Casio, everybody is the DJ”). For sure – is better but nowadays requiring more I think.

  24. Oh wow stop your complaining already. Has it occurred to some of you that maybe this board wasn’t designed for u?? Maybe it’s for those musicians who are on the budget but still wants that good Yamaha experience. And could not afford previous versions of the Motif? Perhaps Yamaha was smart enough to do a demographic of all the people NOT in the income bracket to afford other series? Yes, like me. And who said casio sounded similar /better than the MX? I’ve had Casio my entire live; nothing but Casio … yea you’re wrong. And the comments abt Roland? I literally laughed out loud bcz I just played a few… No. Think abt the economy in the 90’s. Now think abt the one we live in. Okay so yes Yamaha made a smart move so chil

  25. I’d had my MX49 for a few months now so I had plenty of time to see what it could do and how it performs…

    For the Price, it’s nearly unbeateable.

    The presets sound good to great some sounds are really bad but they are of the acoustic style (harmonica, accordeon etc…)
    For the price I would say the quality of the sounds and instruments is excellent but let’s forget about the price for now.

    Pianos/electric pianos, very good, organs good, strings average, brass average to good, bass good, synth sounds good for a waveform synth (not as expressive as top analog modeling synths) but usuable. Drums, good, Flute/wind very good, Guitar, average to poor…

    All in all most sounds are very usable and sound professional in a mix. As a standalone many preset on my old Fantom-S impressed me more, notably the guitars/electric guitars.

    The great part about this synth is the polyphony of 128 notes…that is very good for the price, better than the MOX 6. This is why I purchased this one, my budget could have worked with the MOX but at 64 notes you run out of polyphony very fast and have to combine other synths in the mix or have to record audio tracks but that is a pain.

    The effects are very good as well, up to 4 parts can have full insert effects.

    The Bad:
    Working with a USB connection has not been as plug and play as I would have hoped. Much grief in the initial set up and getting everything to work with Cubase. I still have to use crutches to export to audio once the song is completed…but now that it is set up, it works well. Read the manuals and check the videos, do not make the mistake of trying to do this by “figuring it out” it’s NOT self explanatory like it should be. No templates are given by Yamaha that would have made this a Joke to set up.

    The MX49 acts as a sound card in your ECU so it sends and receives Audio digitally and sends midi back and forth through the same USB cable. The remote editior is very very useful and makes it easy to set up the whole 16 parts in a hurry with a large computer screen. The only problem you can’t change the insert effect directly in the program, only turn on and off, other than this it can do nearly anything.

    This is a very powerful synth. No the sounds when checked individually aren’t the best in the business some are up there some not… But in a Mix I’ve never had a keyboard with such easy to find sounds and fit in… if you notice most sounds that sound incredible fat a full usually just don’t fit well in a mix they just take too much space in the sound wave.

    128 polyphony, Professional sounds that mix well together that are easy to find, Computer Remote editor, good integration with Cubase for 599$, that’s quite a mix.

    Add a good Analog modeling synth to the mix (for a fat lead) as a VST in cubase and you are set

  26. I like the idea of the MX and it is on the right path but they gimped it too much…even to the point of 16b-bit audio over the USB. No sequencer is cool, many don’t need it. Two outs not a problem. They left out some of the arpeggios, effects, and wav forms from the motif xs. I think they did that to maintain MOXF sales but the MOX has XF sounds so the entire XS wav rom and Presets would not have been too much to ask. Its just memory its cheap. 24 bit audio is not too much to ask. Ability to create arpeggios is not too much to ask. This stuff makes me not even want to pay $500. I still want one but I’ll be looking for a deal on this “deal”.

    1. I just want to add. I could probably forgive all if it had 24bit audio conversion over USB. I could even live with 44k sample rate. I still want one the priority is up in the air.

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