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)
  • Korg Volca Bass Bundle

    price slashed by 9% on the 26.05.2018: containing: Korg Volca Bass, Korg KA-350 Power Supply
    176 € previously 193 € - item no. 346990
  • Arturia Minibrute 2

    Price slashed the 18.05.2018: 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,...
    629 € previously 649 € - item no. 430589
  • Roland JD-XA

    17% cheaper since the 17.05.2018: 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...
    1,466 € previously 1,759 € - item no. 362072
  • Korg Kronos 61 Model 2015 Case Set

    10% cheaper since the 26.05.2018: containing: Korg Kronos 61, Thon KB Case Korg Kronos 61 2015
    2,979 € previously 3,298 € - item no. 409398
  • IK Multimedia UNO Synth

    10% additional discount since the 22.05.2018: Monophonic analog synthesizer with step sequencer, arpeggiator and effects section Classic setup with 2 VCOs and noise generator, multimode filters, amps, 2 envelopes and LFO, Waveform VCOs...
    205 € previously 229 € - item no. 439249
  • Korg Kronos 61

    10% additional discount since the 26.05.2018: Workstation With 61 semi weighted keys, 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 voices (depending on...
    2,879 € previously 3,199 € - item no. 353428
  • Korg Kronos 88

    Price slashed the 16.05.2018: Workstation 88 keys, RH3 graded hammer action keyboard, Sound generation: 9 Synthesis process - SGX-2, EP-1, HD-1, AL-1, CX-3, STR-1, MOD-7, MS-20EX and PolysixEX, Polyphony: Up to max. 200 voices...
    3,499 € previously 3,666 € - item no. 353430
  • Korg microKorg XL +

    Price slashed the 26.05.2018: Synthesizer / Vocoder Compact "natural touch" keyboard, 37 Mini keys (velocity sensitive), 8-Note polyphony, Multi-Modeling Technology (MMT), 16-Band vocoder for voice effects, Includes...
    415 € previously 430 € - item no. 295275
  • Roland Juno-DS 61

    Price slashed the 17.05.2018: 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...
    559 € previously 577 € - item no. 371807
  • Roland System-1

    Price slashed the 17.05.2018: Plug Out Synthesizer 25 Keys without velocity sensitivity, Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) Technology, 4 Voices (System-1 Mode), 64 Sets: 8 Benches x 8 Patches, Access to Roland Synth Plugins (DAW) -...
    488 € previously 498 € - item no. 331463
  • Novation UltraNova

    Price slashed the 26.05.2018: Analog Modelling Synthesiser Based on Supernova II, 37 Keys, 12-Band Vocoder with gooseneck microphone, Up to 18 voices, 14 Filter types, 36 Wave tables, 5 Effects slots, 300 Presets, Effects,...
    475 € previously 498 € - item no. 253845
  • Roland SH-01 Gaia

    Price slashed the 30.04.2018: Synthesizer With 37 full-size keys, 64-Note polyphony, Three virtual-analog tone generators, each with its own oscillator, filter, amplifier, envelope and LFO, Up to five simultaneously layerable...
    595 € previously 615 € - item no. 246113
  • Korg Volca Kick

    6% additional discount since the 26.05.2018: Analogue Kick Generator Type: Analogue synthesis, Max. polyphony: 1 Voice, Structure: VCF (no input, MS-20 Rev1 filter as resonator), pulse generator, VCA, analogue DRIVE analogue TONE, MS-20...
    159 € previously 169 € - item no. 398389
  • Korg Minilogue

    5% additional discount since the 26.05.2018: Analogue Synthesizer 4-Voice polyphonic, 37 Velocity sensitive slim keys, Fully programmable, 100 Editable factory presets + 100 'black canvas' locations, Flexible configuration of the 4 voices via...
    569 € previously 599 € - item no. 379052
  • Korg Monotron Duo

    7% cheaper since the 26.05.2018: Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer Two individually tunable analogue oscillators (VCOs), Cross modulation circuit from the KORG mono/poly, Ribbon controller keyboard with Scale Select, Original analog...
    51 € previously 55 € - item no. 273948
  • Novation MiniNova Case Set

    Price slashed the 26.05.2018: containing: Novation MiniNova, Thon Case Novation Mininova
    449 € previously 469 € - item no. 389915
  • Roland JD-Xi

    Price slashed the 17.05.2018: 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...
    438 € previously 458 € - item no. 356623
  • Korg Krome 88 keys

    10% additional discount since the 26.05.2018: Music Workstation With Krome as the successor to the M-50, Korg has rounded off the product selection nicely - and is setting new standards among beginners' workstations in sound versatility, sound...
    1,219 € previously 1,349 € - item no. 295215
  • Korg Krome 73 keys

    10% cheaper since the 26.05.2018: Music Workstation With Krome as the successor to the M-50, Korg has rounded off the product selection nicely - and is setting new standards among beginners' workstations in sound versatility, sound...
    1,016 € previously 1,124 € - item no. 295214
  • Kurzweil PC3A7

    price slashed by 21% on the 26.05.2018: Workstation With 76 semi weighted keys (Fatar TP8), Aftertouch, 240 x 64 Pixel display, 128-Voice polyphony, 16-Part multitimbral, Sound engine: VAST, VA1, With KORE 64 ROM expansion slots and...
    1,890 € previously 2,390 € - item no. 361231
  • Kurzweil PC3A8

    Price slashed the 26.05.2018: Workstation With 88 semi weighted keys and hammer action (Fatar TP8), Aftertouch, 240 x 64 Pixel display, 128-Voice polyphony, 16-Part multitimbral, Sound engine: VAST, VA1, With KORE 64 ROM...
    2,190 € previously 2,299 € - item no. 361230
  • Novation MiniNova Bag Bundle

    8% cheaper since the 26.05.2018: containing: Novation MiniNova, Novation MiniNova Gigbag, the t.pc USB 3.0 Stick 16 GB
    385 € previously 419 € - item no. 329461
  • Novation MiniNova

    price slashed by 11% on the 26.05.2018: Synthesiser With sound generation from UltraNova, 37 Velocity sensitive keys, Up to 18x polyphony, Mono-Timbral, 256 Presets, Saves up to 512 patches, 5 Effects per patch, VocalTune- and classic...
    325 € previously 364 € - item no. 294771
  • Roland Juno-DS 88

    price slashed by 10% on the 30.04.2018: 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...
    888 € previously 990 € - item no. 371806
  • Korg microKORG S

    Price slashed the 26.05.2018: Analog Modeling Synthesis System 37 Velocity sensitive slim keys, 2 Oscillators and noise generator, Vocoder: 8 Bands, Max. polyphony: 4 Voices, Integrated 2 + 1 speaker system for optimal sonority,...
    467 € previously 487 € - item no. 398386