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Yamaha MOTIF ES8 88-Key Music Production Synthesizer

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The Yamaha MOTIF ES8 88-Key Music Production Synthesizer features a huge 175MB wave ROM, an enhanced soundset of 1,859 waveforms for the MOTIF's 1,024 voices, plus 65 drum kits. A newly designed tone ... Click To Read More About This Product

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The Yamaha MOTIF ES8 88-Key Music Production Synthesizer features a huge 175MB wave ROM, an enhanced soundset of 1,859 waveforms for the MOTIF's 1,024 voices, plus 65 drum kits. A newly designed tone generator chip offers true 128-note polyphony, and a newly developed synth engine provides new parameters and faster, more precise envelope control. An enhanced effects system includes 20 reverb types and 49 chorus/delay types, 8 types of mastering effects including multiband compression, and a 5-band master EQ.

The MOTIF ES8 houses an advanced Phrase Factory arpeggiator with realtime loop remix capability plus parameters such as Swing, Velocity, and Quantize so you can easily modify preset arps. Overall expressiveness of the instrument has been expanded with the new "Mega Voice" system, a technology that makes it possible to include all the nuances of an instrument in the sample.

Motif ES integrates seamlessly with DAWs via its USB connection to function as control surface. It also has a USB "To Device" port for connection to USB storage devices.


88 keys
Largest wave ROM of any workstation keyboard (175MB)
Enhanced soundset of 1,859 waveforms
1024 voices plus 65 drum kits
128-note polyphony
Newly developed synth engine provides new parameters and faster, more precise envelope control
20 reverb types and 49 chorus/delay types
8 types of mastering effects including multiband compression
5-band master EQ
Advanced Phrase Factory arpeggiator
New Mega Voice system for samples that include all of the subtle nuances of an instrument
Tone generator block:
Tone Generator: AWM2 (complying with the modular synthesis plug-in system)
Polyphony: 128 notes plus polyphony of the plug-in board (if installed)
Multitimbral Capacity: 16 parts (internal) plus 3 or more plug-in board parts (1 for each single plug-in board; 16 for multiplug-in board), audio input parts (A/D, AIEB2, mLAN with 4 stereo parts)
Wave: 175MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 1859 waveforms
Performances: 128 User (up to 4 parts)
Filter: 18 types
Effect System: 20 types of reverb; 49 types of chorus; (A,B) insertion x 116 types x 8 blocks; 8 types of master effects; 5-band master equalizer; 3 bands stereo parts EQ; plug-in insertion available when the PLG100-VH has been installed into slot 1
Expandability: 3 slots for modular synthesis plug-in boards

Preset - 768 normal voices + 64 drum kits
GM - 128 normal voices + 1 drum kit
User - 128 x 2 (Bank 1 original, Bank 2 picked up from preset) normal voice + 32 drum kits
Plug-in Preset - PLG150-AN/DX/PF/DR/PC:64; PLG150-VL:192
Plug-in User: 64 for each plug-in slot

Plug-in Voices:
Preset for the PLG150-AN/DX/PF/DR/PC: 64
Preset for the PLG150-VL: 192
User: 64 for each plug-in slot

Sampling Block:
Samples: Up to 1024 waveforms (multisamples); up to 128 key banks/waveform; up to 4096 key banks
Sampling Sources: Analog input L/R; stereo output (resampling); digital/optical available when the AIEB2 has been installed; mLAN available when the mLAN16E has been installed
A/D Conversion: 20-bit, 64x oversampling
D/A Conversion: 24-bit, 128x oversampling
Sampling Data Bits: 16
Sampling Frequencies: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz, 11.025kHz, 5.5125kHz (stereo/mono)
Sampling frequencies of 48kHz, 44.1kHz, and 32kHz can be input digitally when the AIEB2 is installed.
Sampling frequencies of 44.1kHz (fixed) can be input digitally when the mLAN16E is installed.
Memory: Optionally installed, expandable to 512MB (256MB DIMM x 2 slots)
Sample Lengths: 32MB mono, 64MB stereo

Sampling Time:
44.1kHz: 6 min. 20 sec.
22.05kHz: 12 min. 40 sec.
11.025kHz: 25 min. 20 sec.
5.0125kHz: 55 min. 40 sec. mono/stereo

Sample Formats:
Original format
A3000/4000/5000/SU700 format (loadable only)
AKAI S1000/S3000 format (loadable only)

Sequencer Block
Note Capacity: Approximately 226,000 notes
Note Resolution: 480 ppq (parts per quarter note)
Maximum Polyphony: 124 notes
Tracks: 16 phrase tracks in pattern mode; pattern track, tempo track, scene track in pattern chain mode; 16 sequence tracks (loop on/off can be set for each track) in song mode, tempo track, scene track
Patterns: 64 x 16 sections; 256 maximum measures
Phrases: 687 preset; 256 user per pattern
Songs: 64
Arpeggio: 1787 preset types; 256 user types
MIDI sync, MIDI transmit/receive channel, velocity limit, and note limit can be set.
Sequence Format: Original format; SMF format 0, 1 (format 1 load only)

Master: 128 user with 4 zones (master keyboard settings), assignable knob/slider settings, and program change table
Software: Sequence software compatible with the remote control function
For Windows: SQ01 V2, Cubase SX, SONAR 2.0, Multi Part Editor for MOTIF-RACK, Multi Part Editor for MOTIF ES
For Macintosh: Logic 5.5, Digital Performance 3.1
Controllers: Pitch bend wheel, modulation wheel, ribbon controller, 4 assignable control sliders, 4 assignable knobs, data dial
Display: 240x64 dot graphic backlit LCD
External Memory: SmartMedia (3.3V)
Connectors: OUTPUT L/MONO, R (standard phone jack); ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT L, R (standard phone jack); AD INPUT L, R (standard phone jack); PHONES (standard stereo phone jack); FOOTCONTROLLER 1/ 2
Power Consumption: 38W
Dimensions: 57-3/8"W x 18-1/4"D x 6-5/8"H
Weight: 62.4 lbs.
Pro Coverage
  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 8 reviews)

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Reviewed by 8 customers

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You Definitely Get What You Pay For

By AveryKrouse

from Chattanooga, TN

The Yamaha Motif ES8 is the cream of the crop of workstation keyboards. Of the three brand dominators, the Yamaha Motif, the Korg Triton, and the Roland Fantom, the Motif is most designed for the working musician. For the playing keyboardist, the Motif offers a vast, pristine repertoire of sounds. You will find a large selection of wonderful piano and keyboard options. The concert grand piano, for example, plays with excellent tone and clarity. The strings and winds are the most realistic of any keyboard's sound set I've found so far. Some of the brass sounds a bit more electronic than most but for the most part still sound true to their instrument. For the DJ, the sampling capabilities are very useful. This workstation will eliminate the need for several of your existing gear. The sound bank comes with a large selection of electronica, dance, and other useful sounds, samples, and riffs, and you can combine and edit them as you please. For the price, you get a lot of keyboard. If you do not plan on using a hundred different instruments or creating your own songs, but still want that quality Yamaha piano sound, you may want to check some other of their keyboards. If you need a workhorse that will improve and expand your capability for recording, producing, and playing, the Motif ES8 is for you!



By DrumerBoi

from Detroit, Mi

I'm not sure about the last guy, especially being a tech enthusiast, but this keyboard is very user friendly. Looked at the manual twice, and figured the rest out on my own Love the sounds especially as a producer in R&B and Hip-Hop. I say the Motif is second to none! Move over Triton!


Great Sound

By david

from San Marcos

Between the Motif, Triton, and Fantom, I chose the motif because I really enjoyed the motif sounds over the other workstations. Acoustic emulation is fantastic. If you're wondering if this workstation is better than the other workstations, then there is no clear winnner. All three workstations basically do the same thing. It's just a matter of preference when it comes to which sounds you prefer.


Rocket Science

By Will

from Aurora, CO

I really like the Motif ES 8. I have owned one for almost 1 year. I have played piano for 35 years. The sound quality from the motif is fantastic. But getting around on the motif is difficult. I have read the manual over and over. I even have the video to help. But the video is limited. And the manual is like rocket science. I have learned more on my own then from the manual or the video. I would'nt trade my Motif for anything. But I wish it were more friendly.


Comparing the sounds

By Twinkletoes

from Minnesota

I have owned the ES-8 for 1 1/2 yrs. I still like the instrument very much, even though the learning curve is high, and the keyboard plays like a sluggish grand piano, when I'm trying to play really fast material. I find I really like the sounds. And I like how the sounds are arranged in categories, so I can find things fast. Lately, I've been wanting a second or third board, so I went to Guitar Center to try different boards. I found the easiest way to do this is to audition the sounds of the "rack" versions available. These "rack" versions have an audition capability, in which an appropriate 10 to 20 second riff is played with that sound. Listen to the Motif ES rack sounds (same brain as the ES6, ES7, or ES8--only packaged differently.) Compare to, eg., the Rolland Fantom. You decide. After all of this, I chose another Motif ES. I never thought I'd choose the same. I just like the sounds that much.


not a keyboard for sissies

By RainMan

from Atlanta, GA

The ES-8 has some of the most beautiful voices and our church program really uses the fill ins when we have a missing instrument in our orchestra. The technology isn't too bad if you are synth savvy but it does baffle the novice. I still have a ton to learn and am considering the Tyros 2 as my main studio instrument... love those voices.. wish had 88 keys.. Still the ES-8 has a ton of features and, despite the learning curve is hard to beat.


WORKStation extraordinairre

By Heavy G

from Chicago, IL

Wow. Where do I start? First let me say that I spent a TON of time researching workstations prior to my purchase. I really wanted the Korg Extreme, as a lot of the guys I dig play them (Moby, Hammer, Rudess, etc)...and I was this close to buying it. Then all those whispers from everywher in my ear became really loud (Motif, Motif, Motif). Many subject matter experts made me really open up my ears and LISTEN to them all objectively. I sat and A/Bed it with the Fantom and the Extreme. Each objection about the Motif melted away. "It isn't good for Pads and Electronic music". Wrong. The tones were clearly more lush (in my opinion, of course) than the others. Not to mention, the onboard arpeggios and grooves were INCREDIBLE. "The user interface is so complicated". I was able to navigate around without much problem. Sure, it is a POWERFUL tool and is complex...but I found it no more difficult than the Extreme or Fantom to sequence or call up a voice. All in all, this is an amazing workstation. I wanted something that was "all in one" for the home project studio that could provide live support...but most importantly, would have the BEST SOUND for my recordings. My ears told me that the Yamaha was the clear winner in meeting my needs... Bravo, Yamaha.


Fantastic sounds

By Edex

from Chesapeake, VA

I purchased the ES8 a few weeks ago after hearing rave reviews on this keyboard. This keyboard is truly awesome. Having played a digital baby grand piano for years, I'm just fascinated by the different sounds the Motif brings. The voice and performance mode is not that bad to learn. Check out, it's an excellent support for Motif owners.Once you get to the song and pattern mode with the on board sequencer, that's when it becomes challenging. It may take a while for me to create a song on the Motif, but I'll take things a little bit at a time.Definitely the Motif is worth the money.

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