Music learning and muscical instruments guides

Home > Keyboards > Synthesizers > YAMAHA MOTIF XS 8


All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [français]


With the new Yamaha MOTIF XS 8, inspiration is just a key press away. High-quality sounds to inspire you, intelligent arpeggiators to fuel your creativity, recording features to capture every idea, built-in sampling to create full audio/MIDI arrangements, rhythmic Patterns to compose with, studio-style mixing controls and versatile effect processing to master your final productions.

With all this and more, the MOTIF XS will soon be your favorite ’go-to’ instrument - whether you’re composing at home, recording in the studio, or playing live. It’s got absolutely everything you need to make professional quality music. Close your eyes, play the gorgeous sounds and rhythms of the MOTIF XS - and feel the inspiration.


The MOTIF XS provides an exceptionally broad selection of realistic sounds to spark your creativity, with a massive 355 MB of high-quality waveforms and samples on board. A single Voice can have up to eight separate sound Elements, enabling composite sounds of remarkable complexity and nuance. Among the standout Voices is a resonant, meticulously recorded concert grand piano sound that is practically worth the price of admission by itself. New acoustic piano, electric piano and orchestral samples - not to mention the richly textured and distinctly electronic synthesizer waves - give you the sonic tools to fully realize virtually any style of music and any instrumentation. Another new feature is the Expanded Articulation (XA) tone generation system. Using the eight available Elements, XA allows you to more effectively recreate realistic sound and natural performance techniques - such as legato, staccato and key release sounds - often used on acoustic instruments but unavailable or difficult to realize on electronic keyboards. It also lets you assign Elements to on/off panel switches, and change sounds within a Voice in real time - for example, playing a classical guitar voice and switch between playing normally and playing high harmonics. XA also offers other unique modes for random and alternate sound changes as you play. A wide selection of special Mega Voices provide even more expressive nuance, when used with sequencer tracks or the special Mega Voice Arpeggios. Mega Voices are not meant to be played from the keyboard because of their complex velocity layers, but have special expressive sounds that are designed to be precisely triggered by recorded data - for example, letting you create an acoustic guitar track with authentic sounding muted playing, slides and bell-like harmonics. Other Voice-related features include a uniquely natural "half damper" effect for acoustic piano sounds. This gives you nuanced control over the sustained sound when pressing the damper pedal, depending on how far down you press the pedal. The MOTIF XS has a full complement of effects, both insert (Insertion) and send (System), and includes a special set of VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) effects that authentically model the elements in analog circuitry, realistically recreating the uniquely warm characteristics of vintage processing gear. Speaking of "vintage," the instrument also includes a sophisticated Vocoder effect that produces classic robotic synthesizer sounds, molded by your speaking or singing voice through a connected microphone.


The MOTIF XS has so many sophisticated features that help jump-start your creativity and live performance potential. One of the most powerful of these is Arpeggio, which lets you trigger a variety of sequenced phrases from the keyboard. There are approximately 6,000 different Arpeggio phrases on board, and you can have four different Arpeggios, playing four different instrument parts, running simultaneously-in perfect sync, of course. The music making possibilities are virtually endless. Have a drum Voice play an automatic rhythm, add an Arpeggio bass phrase, and fly in other instrument phrases as the inspiration hits you. Everything stays in sync, and everything follows your chord changes. While you experiment and play around with Arpeggios in the Performance mode, the song ideas will come fast and fierce-maybe too many to remember. No worries, though. You can capture them easily and directly by recording them to a Song or Pattern (which can be stored to the built-in flash memory). Since the data is MIDI, you don’t have to worry about running out of recording space. You can record your keyboard playing, freely calling up various Arpeggio types as you improvise, then edit the Song later as necessary. You may even want to keep the recorder running’ as you play, then listen back later and pick out the best parts to create your final composition. Another powerful feature is the Integrated Sampling Sequencer, which seamlessly combines audio and MIDI recording. Simply install optional DIMM modules (up to 1 GB) and record the audio directly to tracks on the MOTIF XS. Record your vocals or acoustic guitar (with a microphone), electric guitar or bass, or even short rhythm loops from a sample CD. There’s also a Slice feature that automatically chops up your rhythms and riffs into their individual beats and notes, letting you manipulate the component parts of your sample loops as MIDI data - giving you the power to easily change tempo and rhythmic feel, without disturbing the pitch or sound quality.


Despite all the advanced technology and wealth of features packed tightly into the instrument, the MOTIF XS is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. It gives you a large, full-dot color LCD that lets you see multiple parameters at a glance, and has clear, high-resolution graphics with virtual sliders, knobs and more. The panel of the MOTIF XS provides an amazing level of control and flexibility. Eight knobs and eight sliders let you instantly tweak a variety of parameters and effects as you play. The eight knobs are especially versatile, letting you use the knobs to independently control eight different parameters (out of 24 selectable), or use them to control a certain effect setting (reverb, chorus or pan) for up to eight different parts (in a song, for example). The knobs can also be used to change the rhythmic feel and other settings of Arpeggios and Patterns while they play back. Two Assignable Function buttons give you added control over the sound of the new Expanded Articulation (XA) Voices, letting you change sounds within a Voice in real time. Other convenient operation features include the improved Category Search function, which now is organized with Dual Categories that help you find the Voice you want. Calling up the Guitar category, for instance, gives you access to the Dual (sub) Categories, such as Acoustic, Electric Clean and Electric Distortion. The Mega Arpeggio Voices also have their own Dual Category for easy selection of those unique Voices. The MOTIF XS is not only exceptionally intuitive and easy to operate, it’s a true joy to play - right down to the newly designed expressive keyboards. The MOTIF XS6 and XS7 have a new, natural FSX keyboard (61/76 keys), while the MOTIF XS8 features the grand piano-like BH (Balanced Hammer) keyboard (88 keys).


A full-featured music production synthesizer in every way, the MOTIF XS comes equipped with a variety of connectors and interfaces-for virtually any application and any studio situation. These include independent Assignable Outputs, A/D Inputs (for recording external sources), S/PDIF Digital Output, MIDI, Ethernet, IEEE1394 (standard on the MOTIF XS8 and available on the MOTIF XS6/7 with the IEEE1394 optional board) and two USB connectors, compatible with the high-speed USB 2.0 standard. The comprehensive set of connectors - Ethernet, IEEE1394 and USB TO HOST - make interfacing with computers and your favorite software exceptionally easy. In particular, the new Ethernet connection gives you fast transfer of your MOTIF XS files to and from a computer on the same network. IEEE1394 interface gives you a one-cable, one-network solution for high-speed, realtime transfer of multi-channel digital audio and MIDI data over a 1394 FireWire connection.


Today’s music production is highly dependent on software, and the MOTIF XS is designed to work seamlessly and transparently in your computer-based environment. The Remote Control mode lets you control your DAW software right from the panel of the MOTIF XS - for example, starting and stopping playback/recording with the special transport buttons, changing track levels with the sliders, and tweaking parameters with the knobs. The MOTIF XS is also compatible with the MOTIF XS Editor - a comprehensive, easy-to-use editing software program that lets you edit (via USB connection) the Mixing setups and Mixing Voices to be used for Song/Pattern playback directly on your computer. The MOTIF XS Editor is free and can be downloaded from the Yamaha website. Naturally, the editor can be used within Cubase as part of Studio Connections, and all settings can be saved with each project for instant recall. If Cubase is not yet part of your software arsenal, a copy of the new Cubase AI is bundled with the instrument, letting you dive in and start using the versatile features of Studio Connections right out of the box. Cubase AI is a full-featured music production software that integrates fully with the MOTIF XS, and can easily be upgraded to Cubase 4. It gives you all the tools to produce professional level recordings - quickly and easily - with a system that you can expand into the future.



  • Width 1,457mm
  • Height 168mm
  • Depth 466mm
  • Weight 28.6kg

Control Interface

  • Number of Keys 88
  • Type Balanced Hammer Effect Keyboard
  • Initial Touch Yes
  • Aftertouch Yes
  • Pitch Bend Yes
  • Modulation Yes
  • Control Slider Assignable Control Sliders x 8
  • Control Knobs Assignable Knobs x 8
  • Others Ribbon Controller,Assignable Function buttons x 2, Data dial
  • Display 5.7 inch graphic color backlit LCD 320 x 240 dot
  • Backlight Yes
  • Contrast Yes


  • Tone Generating Technology AWM2 with Expanded Articulation
  • Multi Timbral Capacity 16 Parts (internal), Audio Input Parts (A/D, IEEE1394*) *1 stereo Part
  • Ware ROM Capacity 355MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 2,670 waveforms
  • Number of Polyphony (Max.) 128
  • Number of Voices Preset: 1,024 Normal Voices + 64 Drum Kits, GM: 128 Normal Voices + 1 Drum Kit, User: 128 x 3 (selected and copied from Preset bank) Normal Voice + 32 Drum Kits


  • Reverb 9 types
  • Chorus 22 types
  • Insertion 53 types x 8 blocks
  • Master Effect 9 types
  • Master EQ 5 bands
  • Part EQ 3 bands, stereo


  • Number of Songs 64 Songs Mixing Voices: 16 Voices per Song and up to 256 Voices for all Songs Mixing Templates: 32 for all Songs and Patterns
  • Number of Tracks Pattern: 16 Phrase tracks Pattern Chain: Pattern track, Tempo track, Scene Song: 16 sequence tracks (Loop on/off can be set for each track), Tempo track, Scene track
  • Number of Phrase User Phrases: 256 per Pattern
  • Number of Arpegio Preset: Approx. 6,000 types User: 256 types *MIDI Sync, MIDI transmit/receive channel, Velocity Limit, and Note Limit can be set.
  • Number of Pattern 64 Patterns (x 16 sections), Measures: 256 maximum Mixing Voices: 16 Voices per Pattern and up to 256 Voices for all Patterns Mixing Templates: 32 for all Songs and Patterns
  • Data Capacity Approx. 130,000 notes
  • Number of Polyphony (Max.) 124
  • Note Resolution 480 ppq (parts per quarter note)
  • Tempo 5 - 300
  • Recording Function Real time replace Real time overdub (with the exception of the Pattern Chain) Real time punch in/out (Song only)
  • Scene Memory 5 per Song
  • Sequence Format Original format, SMF format 0, 1 (Format 1 load only)


  • Samples Up to 1,024 Waveforms (Multi Samples) Up to 128 Key Banks per Waveform Up to 4,096 Key Banks
  • Sampling Source Analog input L/R, Stereo output (Resampling), Digital output IEEE1394 (available on the MOTIF XS6 and 7 when the IEEE1394 optional board has been installed)
  • 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
  • Sampling Frequency Rate 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz, 11.025kHz, 5.5125kHz (Stereo/Mono) Sampling Frequency via IEEE1394 (when IEEE1394 optional board has been installed): 44.1kHz (fixed)
  • Digital Sampling Frequency 16bit
  • Sampling Format Original format, WAV, AIFF

Storage and Connectivity

  • Expandability mLAN Expansion Boards Yes
  • Connectivity Headphones PHONES (standard stereo phone jack)
  • Foot Control FOOT CONTROLLER1, 2
  • Assignable OUT ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT L, R (standard phone jack)
  • LINE OUT OUTPUT L/MONO, R (standard phone jack)


  • A/D INPUT L, R (standard phone jack),ETHERNET
  • Power Consumption 30W

Reviews on Web

- Youtube

- Emusician (en)
- Musician’s Friend (en)
- Thomann (de)


Buy it at the best price in our partner online shops

Thomann Cyberstore (Europe-UK) Thomann Cyberstore (Europe-UK)

Musician's Friend (USA-Canada-Australia) Musician's Friend (USA-Canada-Australia)

Adding a review

Coupons - Hot deals

Retrouvez-nous sur Google+ Price drops Workstations (U.K. International Cyberstore) Price drops Synthesizers (U.K. International Cyberstore)
  • Teenage Engineering PO-16 factory

    Price slashed the 10.01.2019: Lead Synthesizer 16 Step pattern sequencer, 15 Sounds plus micro drum machine including 16 samples, Pitch and note length per step, 16 Effects, 16 Patterns, Parameter lock (2 Parameters per sound),...
    60 € previously 62 € - item no. 356708
  • Moog Grandmother

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesiser 32-Key Fatar keyboard, Stores up to 3 sequences with up to 256 notes, Arpeggiator, Integrated hardware spring reverb based on Moog 905 (also usable for external...
    949 € previously 969 € - item no. 439985
  • Yamaha MODX8

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Compact Music Synthesiser 88 Keys, GHS keyboard (velocity-sensitive), Motion Control Synthesis Engine, Sample-based AWM2 synthesis with 128 voices, 5.67 GB Waveform ROM & 1 GB Flash ROM for User...
    1,499 € previously 1,555 € - item no. 448199
  • Yamaha MODX8

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Compact Music Synthesiser 88 Keys, GHS keyboard (velocity-sensitive), Motion Control Synthesis Engine, Sample-based AWM2 synthesis with 128 voices, 5.67 GB Waveform ROM & 1 GB Flash ROM for User...
    1,499 € previously 1,555 € - item no. 448199
  • Dreadbox Murmux Pedal Synth + Case

    price slashed by 5% on the 19.01.2019: Analog Monophonic Pedal Synthesizer 2 Oscillators: Saw and square, 2 Suboscillators, 4-Pole 12 dB low pass / high pass filter, Separately adjustable glide for Oscillator 1 and 2, LFO, VCA, 2...
    1,899 € previously 1,999 € - item no. 342820
  • Teenage Engineering PO-30 Superset

    10% cheaper since the 29.12.2018: Synthesizer Set Consisting of: 3 Pocket operators: PO-32 Tonic, PO-33 KO! and PO-35 Speak, 3 Silicone pro cases (CA-X), 3 Audio/Sync cables for synchronization Drum Synthesizer and Sequencer...
    282 € previously 315 € - item no. 431656
  • Roland FA-08

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Music Workstation and Audio-/MIDI Interface Integrated audio-/MIDI interface with 16 bit / 44.1 kHz, 88 Keys "Ivory Feel-G" keyboard with hammer action, Guitar/Mic- and line inputs for...
    1,599 € previously 1,639 € - item no. 331094
  • Roland FA-07

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Music Workstation and Audio/MIDI Interface 76 Velocity sensitive keys, Guitar/mic and line inputs for sampling and live effects, Big colour LCD, Over 2000 sounds of the Integra 7 including...
    1,289 € previously 1,350 € - item no. 416597
  • Roland FA-06

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Music Workstation and Audio-/MIDI Interface Integrated audio-/MIDI interface with 16 bit / 44.1 kHz, 61 Velocity sensitive keys, Guitar/Mic- and line inputs for sampling and performing live with...
    999 € previously 1,049 € - item no. 331092
  • Yamaha Montage 6

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Synthesiser 61 Keys (FSX), Motion Control synthesis with FM-X and AWM2 tone generation - each 128 voices, 1920 Preset Performances, 640 User Performances, 5.120 Library Performances, Live Set mode...
    2,690 € previously 2,777 € - item no. 379510
  • Yamaha Montage 6

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Synthesiser 61 Keys (FSX), Motion Control synthesis with FM-X and AWM2 tone generation - each 128 voices, 1920 Preset Performances, 640 User Performances, 5.120 Library Performances, Live Set mode...
    2,690 € previously 2,777 € - item no. 379510
  • Roland Juno-DS 88

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Synthesiser Includes all the JUNO-Di plus sounds plus new acoustic pianos and E-Pianos, organ sounds and much more. Tone enhancements through a virtual Wave Expansion Slot, Sounds are available...
    939 € previously 959 € - item no. 371806
  • Korg Monotron Delay

    price slashed by 11% on the 08.01.2019: Analogue Ribbon Synthesiser Space Delay for analog echo effects, LFO Section with selectable triangle or square waveform, Ribbon controller keyboard with Scale Selection, Original analog filter...
    39 € previously 44 € - item no. 273950
  • Roland Juno-DS 76

    7% cheaper since the 14.02.2019: Synthesizer 76 velocity-sensitive keys, Includes all the sounds of the JUNO-Di plus additional new acoustic pianos, electric pianos, organ sounds and much more, Operation with mains adapter or...
    769 € previously 829 € - item no. 448723
  • Korg Minilogue PG

    7% additional discount since the 14.02.2019: Analog Synthesizer Limited edition in polished gray, 4 Voice polyphony, 37 Velocity-sensitive Slim keys, Fully programmable, 100 Presets + 100 user sounds, Flexible configuration of the 4 voices...
    555 € previously 599 € - item no. 428147
  • Yamaha MODX7

    Price slashed the 13.02.2019: Compact Music Synthesizer 76 keys, Semi-weighted keyboard (velocity-sensitive), Motion control synthesis engine, Sample-based AWM2 synthesis with 128 voices, 5.67 GB waveform ROM & 1 GB flash...
    1,333 € previously 1,366 € - item no. 448198
  • Yamaha MODX7

    Price slashed the 13.02.2019: Compact Music Synthesizer 76 keys, Semi-weighted keyboard (velocity-sensitive), Motion control synthesis engine, Sample-based AWM2 synthesis with 128 voices, 5.67 GB waveform ROM & 1 GB flash...
    1,333 € previously 1,366 € - item no. 448198
  • Studiologic Sledge 2 Black Edition

    Price slashed the 19.01.2019: Synthesiser 61 Semi-weighted keys, 24 Voice polyphony, DSP with Waldorf modeling technology, 3 Oscillators and a multi-mode filters per voice, 60 MB Flash memory for Samples, Dual mode, Arpeggiator,...
    945 € previously 988 € - item no. 394323
  • Sequential Prophet 6 Case Set

    Price slashed the 17.12.2018: containing: Sequential Prophet 6, Thon KB Case DSI Prophet 6
    2,699 € previously 2,799 € - item no. 409401
  • Arturia Minibrute 2

    11% additional discount since the 11.01.2019: Analog Semi-Modular Synthesizer Combination of classic and modular synthesizer, 25-Key touch-sensitive keyboard with Aftertouch, Brute oscillator, Steiner-Parker filter, Additional Loop envelope,...
    508 € previously 569 € - item no. 430589
  • Roland JD-XA

    Price slashed the 14.02.2019: Crossover Synthesizer Analog and digital synths in one keyboard, Keyboard with 49 velocity sensitive keys and channel aftertouch, 4 Analog synth sections for authentic lead tones and bass, Digital...
    1,752 € previously 1,799 € - item no. 362072
  • Roland JD-Xi

    Price slashed the 07.01.2019: Crossover Synthesizer Analog and digital synths plus drums in one keyboard, Keyboard with 37 velocity sensitive mini-keys, 1 Analog synth section for authentic lead tones and bass, 2 Digital synth...
    476 € previously 488 € - item no. 356623
  • Korg Kronos 73

    7% cheaper since the 14.02.2019: Workstation 73 Keys, Keyboard: RH3 Real Weighted Hammer Action, Sound engine: 9 Synthesis engines - SGX-2, EP-1, HD-1, AL-1, CX-3, STR-1, MOD-7, MS-20EX and PolysixEX, Polyphony: Up to max. 200...
    2,789 € previously 2,990 € - item no. 353429
  • Yamaha S70 XS

    5% additional discount since the 19.01.2019: Synthesizer and Master Keyboard 76 Weighted keys with hammer effect, AWM2 Tone generator, 128 Note polyphony, Multi-timbral: 16 Internal Parts + Mic Input Part, 456 MB Wave ROM, 1024 Presets + 64...
    1,890 € previously 1,990 € - item no. 234911
  • ARP Odyssey FS Rev.2 ARP SQ1

    16% additional discount since the 09.01.2019: Synthesiser 37 Full size keys, Polyphony: Monophonic, Max. 2 votes for Duophonic, Controller: Octave as well as pitch and modulation, Noise generator (white and pink noise), VCO waveforms:...
    1,299 € previously 1,549 € - item no. 431009