The problem with most keyboard workstations? They feel like work stations! Making music shouldn’t feel like a chore, and a keyboard workstation shouldn’t feel like a cumbersome implement. Combining increased ease-of-use with stunning, industry-leading sounds, the Yamaha MOTIF XF6 is poised to become the centerpiece of your creative process — both as an integral component of your studio and an expressive digital instrument on stage. Yamaha’s most compact MOTIF offers the same massive sound bank, powerful arpeggiator, and flexible sequencer as its XF8 bigger brother — in a more portable, more affordable package. And with 2GB of flash memory expandability, the XF6 can grow with you as an artist. If the XF6 is any indication, the Yamaha MOTIF series’ decade-long reputation for building music-production powerhouses is well-deserved.
True Ease Of Use
Power is useless unless it’s easily accessible; both in setup and in operation, the powerful MOTIF XF6 is a walk in the park. If you’re a MOTIF veteran, you’ll find many functions have been simplified, while the MOTIF’s recognizable set of 8 physical sliders and knobs remain on the left side of the front panel, offering easy access to effects, EQ, and all aspects of your sound. Dedicated buttons activate the effects modules and arpeggiator — functions that wouldn’t be so much fun if you had to wade through menu after menu to get to them. Transport controls and other sequencer functions are also accessible via front-panel buttons. All in all, the XF6’s intuitive interface favors clearly-labeled buttons, knobs, and sliders to the touchscreens found on other workstations. This MOTIF’s 5.7-inch backlit LCD is determined to stay clear of fingerprints, while your hands stay on the keyboard, where they belong!
Control Your Expression
Truly an instrument designed for tactile control, the MOTIF XF6’s 61 velocity-sensitive “FSX” keys are equally well-suited to synth sounds and Yamaha’s masterfully-sampled piano voices. The Expanded Articulation voices: horns, strings, and woodwinds that add instances of glissando, fret noise, reed bends, muted notes, and trills. These articulations are easily accessible through either the dedicated “XA” buttons or by optional foot pedals for hands-free control. For keyboard instruments, the MOTIF supports half-damper functions when you add a Yamaha FC3 sustain pedal, bringing an additional level of realism and expression to your acoustic piano patches. The pitch bend and mod wheels offer just enough resistance for musical operation, and a ribbon controller provides yet another dimension of expressive interaction. And the XF6’s 8 sliders control relative volume of the multiple layers comprising every voice on the MOTIF, providing unparalleled on-the-fly sound sculpting.
The MOTIF XF6’s astounding 741 MB of internal waveform memory is crammed with acoustic and electric pianos and organs, guitars and basses, acoustic and electronic drum kits, single woodwinds and brass sections, string instruments, and full orchestras. Among the 1,664 voices and 97 drum kits, you’ll find Yamaha’s breathtaking 9-foot CFIII and 7-foot S6 acoustic grand pianos. And of course, there are the unreal synthesizer sounds: thick, cutting, warm, intense, and infinitely adjustable with 18 types of filters. Hit the dedicated Category Search button to easily navigate the XF6’s vast library — including any sounds you may want to add via two 1GB flash memory slots. With hundreds of Yamaha and third-party voices available, the truly expandable MOTIF practically guarantees you won’t run out of sounds anytime soon.
Virtually Vintage Effects
The MOTIF XF6’s effects engine doesn’t just model the sound of classic stompbox and rack effects, it uses Virtual Circuitry Modeling to emulate the individual transistors and capacitors that make up those effects’ character. Whatever source voice you use, it’ll sound like you’re running it through a real vintage flanger, wah-wah, reverb, or distortion pedal. It isn’t just the resultant sound that’s mimicked; it’s the intrinsic behavior of the circuit that’s accurately recreated. There’s even a vintage vocoder emulation, a must-have for today’s cutting-edge producers. Of course, all these effects are controllable as MOTIF does best: via the 8 knobs on the left side of the front panel. Too much reverb on your favorite saxophone voice? Simply turn the knob to adjust it.
Roll Your Own Sounds
If sampling is your thing, your wish is the MOTIF XF6’s command. Using the workstation’s built-in stereo analog inputs, you can sample any sound, from an audio recording to your own guitar playing or voice. (To plug in a standard XLR microphone to the 1/4-inch inputs, you’ll want to use a Low-to-High impedance-matching transformer.) By popular request, the XF6’s new Automapping function maps your samples to the keyboard with respect to pitch, while the handy Time Slice function splits your recorded loops into individual notes for rearranging and pitch-stable tempo adjustments. With 128 MB of built-in sample ROM, you can start sampling right out of the box — and if you’re really sample-happy, the XF6 supports up to 2 GB of expandable flash memory. Of course, you can layer various sampled elements to create your own voices, and dial in effects as you would for any other voice on the workstation.
7000 Arpeggio Patterns
The MOTIF XF6’s advanced arpeggiator is a single button-press away, with over 7,000 arpeggio patterns sure to inspire new grooves and new song ideas. Many of these patterns include what Yamaha calls “chordal intelligence,” which actually updates the pattern in real time to correspond with the chords you play. Combined with one of the MOTIF’s “Mega Voices,” the arpeggiator triggers subtle playing nuances like guitar hammer-ons and pull-offs, as if the world’s greatest guitarist stopped by your project studio for a sample-tracking session.
No Workstation Is An Island
Speaking of your project studio, it’s clear that Yamaha “gets it” when it comes to computer integration. No longer is your workstation an island! USB and Ethernet ports allow the MOTIF to integrate seamlessly with the bundled Cubase AI software — or use the MOTIF as a MIDI controller with the DAW or soft synth of your choice. Add the optional FW16E FireWire expansion board to stream 16 channels of digital audio from the sequencer to your DAW. Of course, the MOTIF XF6’s on-board sequencer is a serious production studio in itself, handling 16 tracks of audio and MIDI. It’s easy to switch back and forth between the linear tape-machine-style Song mode and loop-based Pattern mode — whichever suits your fancy as a composer. Use it as an idea scratchpad, or take your tracks from start to completion right within the MOTIF XF6.
– 61-key FSX keyboard
– 741 MB of waveform memory houses 1,664 voices and 97 drum kits, including famous Yamaha pianos
– 2 expansion slots accept a total of 2GB of flash memory for all your sounds
– 128 MB built-in sample ROM — start sampling right out of the box
– 7000+ arpeggiator patterns — many with chordal intelligence
– 16-track integrated audio and MIDI sequencing
– Time Slice function lines up digital audio with MIDI tempo
– Backlit 5.7-inch color LCD
– Built-in USB and Ethernet ports
– Add FireWire connectivity with an optional expansion board
– Included Steinberg Cubase AI software