When Yamaha released the original Motif back in 2001 it was a big step up from the SY family of workstations that had dominated Yamaha synthesizers during the 90's. In response to what Korg was already doing with their popular Triton series, Yamaha added sampling features to the Motif along with the ability to add PLG expansion boards. The expansions gave you the ability to add everything from vocoding effects and analog synths to FM synthesis and physical modeling of acoustic instruments.
The Motif was also one of the first workstations to discontinue the floppy drive and feature a smart media port for storing data. It also included a USB port which let you connect the Motif directly to your computer. These new features combined with a more powerful sequencer, over 1300 new waveforms and 48 new drum kits made the Motif very popular with musicians looking to purchase a new workstation. The original Motif came in three different versions ranging from 61 to 88 weighed keys along with the Motif rack which did not include sampling, but did have double the amount of polyphony and 640 new presets.
Yamaha has been steadily expanding the Motif though out the decade making it bigger and better with the Motif ES and XS series. Polyphony has now doubled to 128 voices and the waveform ROM has now up to a whopping 355MB on the XS series. The XS now includes over 1000 presets, 2670 waveforms and 64 new drum kits and a powerful sequencer capable of holding 130,000 notes. All this combined with the great ROM acoustic samples that Yamaha is known for has made the Motif series a winner for Yamaha.
The Motif ES and Motif XS Workstations
With the great selection of ROM waves included, the Motif series of workstations are capable of producing a wide range of cool sounds. We spent a lot of time with these synths and have produced five new volumes of sounds for them that brings out their best. Note that volume #5 (Hip Hop/R&B Mix) contains four megs of new samples so it's not compatible with the Motif racks or S90 keyboards which do not have sampling features included. Sounds are available via our free download delivery. Just save them to your smart media or compact flash card or import them into the Yamaha voice editor for easy loading into your Motif. Click on the above links for more info on each of the five sound libraries and to listen to some MP3 sound demos.