Yamaha Motif

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Yamaha Motif ES6

The Yamaha Motif is a series of Music workstation, first released by Yamaha Corporation in August 2001. Other workstations in the same class are the Korg M3, Roland Fantom-X and Alesis Fusion.

Contents

Product lineup


Original Motif series were released in four variants in 2001:

Model Year Number of keys Key action Polyphony Waveform ROM Waveforms Memory
Motif 6 2001 61 FS 62 84MB 1,309 348 presets + 48 kits, 128 user, 128 performances, 128 master
Motif 7 2001 76 FS 62 84MB 1,309 348 presets + 48 kits, 128 user, 128 performances, 128 master
Motif 8 2001 88 Balanced hammer effect 62 84MB 1,309 348 presets + 48 kits, 128 user, 128 performances, 128 master
Motif Rack 2001 N/A N/A 128 84MB 1,309 640 presets + 48 kits, 256 user + 32 kits, 59 performances, 65 multis

Motif Rack is a Sound module without any keyboard, designed to be controlled by external instruments. Balanced hammer effect action is derived from Yamaha's Clavinova digital pianos.

Motif ES, a successor to original Motif series, debuted at Summer NAMM Show in 2003:

Model Year Number of keys Key action Polyphony Waveform ROM Waveforms Memory
Motif 6 ES 2003 61 FS 128 175MB 1,859 768 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 128 performances, 128 multis
Motif 7 ES 2003 76 FS 128 175MB 1,859 768 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 128 performances, 128 multis
Motif 8 ES 2003 88 Balanced hammer effect 128 175MB 1,859 768 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 128 performances, 128 multis
Motif Rack ES 2003 N/A N/A 128 175MB 1,859 768 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 128 performances, 128 multis

In January 2006, Yamaha launched two 'lite' versions of the Motif ES - the 61 key Mo6 and 88 key Mo8. Though only containing half the polyphony and fewer preset sound programs, these models contain all the Motif ES sample sets, along with arpeggios and a song and pattern sequencer. Lacking are the professional Motif ES features such as mLAN connectivity, PLG integration, sampling and multiple foot controllers.

The XS versions were announced at NAMM 2007:

Model Year Number of keys Key action Polyphony Waveform ROM Waveforms Memory
Motif XS6 2007 61 FSX 128 355MB 2,670 1,024 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 384 performances
Motif XS7 2007 76 FSX 128 355MB 2,670 1,024 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 384 performances
Motif XS8 2007 88 Balanced hammer effect 128 355MB 2,670 1,024 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 384 performances
Motif Rack XS 2008 N/A N/A 128 355MB 2,670 1,024 presets + 64 kits, 384 user + 32 kits, 128 multis

The OS of the Motif XS was revealed to be based on MontaVista Linux.[1]

Specifications


Comparison

Feature Original Motif Motif ES Motif XS
Tone generator AWM2 (complying with the Modular Synthesis Plug-in System) AWM2 with Expanded articulations
MIDI sequencer capacity 110,000 notes @ 480 ppq 226,000 notes @ 480 ppq 130,000 notes @ 480 ppq
Polyphony voices 64 128 128
Sample formats compatibility Original, WAV, AIFF, Yamaha A3000/A4000/A5000 (load only), AKAI S1000/S3000 (load only) Original, WAV, AIFF, Yamaha A3000/A4000/A5000 (load only), AKAI S1000/S3000 (load only) Original, WAV, AIFF
Read-only memory size, MB 84 175 (converted to 16-bit linear format) 355 (converted to 16-bit linear format)

Original Motif

  • AWM2 PCM tone generator
  • 110,000 note MIDI sequencer @ 480 Ppqn
  • Sample engine (up to 64MB of user RAM)
  • Compatibility with common sample formats such as Akai, WAV, and AIFF
  • 84MB of Read-only memory (ROM)
  • 62-voice polyphony

Motif keyboards include three internal expansion slots (two on the rack-mount version). These slots allow one to significantly augment the instrument's soundset through the purchase of Yamaha PLG Expansion Boards--which are available in a variety of sonic flavours. One can also increase the amount of available sample RAM by up to 64MB with the purchase of third party memory sticks. External connectors include a firewire 400 port for connecting an MLAN network card; a USB 1 port for connecting the instrument to a computer via a MIDI cable OR for external storage; and a SmartMedia port for storing sequence, voice, and sample data (in which case the purchase of a third party SmartMedia card is necessary).

Motif ES

  • AWM2 Tone Generator (complying with the Modular Synthesis Plug-in System)
  • 128 note Polyphony
  • 226,000 note MIDI sequencer @ 480 ppqn
  • Audio Input ports: A/D, AIEB2, mLAN, Stereo IN
  • Sounds: 175MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 1,859 waveforms

All Motif ES synthesizers feature a wide selection of high-quality sounds, and use a sample-based substractive synthesis engine. The Motif ES6, ES7 and ES8 feature 16 track sequencers that can use MIDI and sample tracks, and 512MB of sample memory can be fitted for completely new sounds. Physical modelling, virtual analogue synthesis, FM synthesis plus a variety of additional sample sets can be installed with Yamaha's Moduler Plugin Synthesis System.

The ES models features several key improvements over the original Motifs: twice the polyphony with faster envelopes, a massive DSP effects engine (up to 8 tracks in sequencer mode can use independent dual insert effects), USB mass storage support, 8x sample RAM expansion (up to 512 mb via twin DIMM modules), vastly improved acoustic piano sound, twice the storage amount for user sounds, among other enhancements.

The Motif ES range employ the use of "Megavoice" technology from the Tyros; the flagship of Yamaha's performance keyboards. These high quality samples utilise 'velocity switching' to enable greater natural expression over the sounds, expressions such as fret noise, hammer-ons, slides and ghost notes.

Motif XS

  • AWM2 Tone Generator
  • 128 note Polyphony
  • 130,000 note MIDI sequencer @ 480 ppqn
  • Connectors:
    • Output L/R standard phone jack
    • Assignable output standard phone jack
    • A/D input
    • Digital out
    • Phones
    • Foot controller 1,2
    • Footswitch x 2 (Assignable, Sustain)
    • MIDI In/Out/Thru
    • USB 2.0 to Host, to Device
    • AC In
    • Ethernet
    • mLAN (XS8 only, optional for XS6, 7)
  • Sounds: 355MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 2,670 waveforms

Some improvements over the previous ES series are:

  • Assignable AF1/AF2 buttons (Often defaulted to control XA)
  • Larger Color display
  • Eight faders (four more than the ES)
  • Up to eight elements (tones) per voice
  • Expanded Articulation (XA) (e.g. being able to turn a voice element off to change the voice character)
  • Ethernet connectivity
  • Larger waveform ROM (roughly twice as large)
  • Up to 4 simultaneous arpeggios (in performance mode)
  • Shipped with Cubase AI
  • Direct performance recording to pattern

Applications and audience


The Motif is well suited for the following applications: performance, sequencing, and sampling. The instrument is a worthy investment for those seeking a "band-in-a-box" WORKSTATION for at least two of the aforementioned applications; otherwise, less expensive niche solutions might be considered as an alternative. In general, Motif owners seem to agree the keyboard is not a good "starter" instrument for those just diving into the world of MIDI sequencing, due to its innovative--albeit unorthodox--operating system and minimal official user documentation. The Yamaha-endorsed Commanding the Motif series of instructional books have bridged the learning gap for many users.

Notable users

Notable users of the Motif series include

  • David Paich
  • Daisuke Asakura
  • Infected Mushroom
  • Oliver Palotai from Kamelot
  • Lonestar
  • Marcos Witt
  • Brian Wilson
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Bob Dylan
  • John Legend
  • Alicia Keys' band
  • Bill Champlin from Chicago (band)
  • Robert Lamm from Chicago (band)
  • Leena Peisa from Lordi
  • Elton John
  • Green Day
  • Ray Charles
  • Chick Corea
  • Die Sektor
  • Michael McDonald (singer)
  • Bon Jovi
  • Mariah Carey's band
  • Cagatay Akca's band
  • David Bowie's band
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Barry Manilow
  • Gary Numan
  • BeyoncĂ©'s band
  • Michael Pinnella from Symphony X
  • Paul Wickens from Paul McCartney's band
  • Scott Storch
  • Tim Freedman
  • Pink (musician)'s band
  • Nick Carter
  • Casey Trombley
  • Eumir Deodato
  • Brian Gardner from Redhouse

The Motif is often seen on the stage of the Grammys, the Oscars, American Idol, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Janne Da Arc, and a number of other famous venues.

See also

External links

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