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June 2017 Giveaway

Yamaha Motif ES8 Review

For the keyboardist looking for a superb sounding, flexible, feature-filled keyboard, the Motif ES8 is your answer.

I have played just about every kind of professional keyboard out there at one time or another, so I can say with confidence what an amazing music production synthesizer the Yamaha Motif ES8 really is. The ES8 is my second opportunity at owning a keyboard in the Motif line. I must admit, I didn’t open the manual for the applications that I was using this particular keyboard for. The real power of the Motif ES8 became apparent when my songwriting became more creative, and MIDI and digital audio tracking into my computer-based digital audio workstation (DAW) all seemed easier and more enjoyable.

This is without a doubt, a great live keyboard. It makes performing a pleasure. I really looked forward to playing this keyboard every time. The 88 keys came in handy for creating my 4-zone performance setups. Performance setups were crucial, because they allowed me to have a bunch of different instrument sounds available at an instant and patch changing would have otherwise been next to impossible. I also fell in love with the feel of the weighted action – it allowed for some very expressive playing.

What really sets the Motif apart from the crowd is the sounds. Next to the real thing, I feel they are some of the most realistic on the planet. Let’s face it, most keyboards today have great sounds, but the Yamaha Motif ES8 with the AWM2 (Acoustic Wave Modeling) tone generator, in my opinion, just seems to have that something extra.

Yamaha keyboards have some of the best piano sounds found at this price point. Punchy drum kits, thick lush strings, full-bodied guitar, and great bass sounds round out the sound set of the Motif ES8. An onboard groove box and stylish arpeggiator give any musician that extra edge when it comes to creativity. I use the arpeggiator for acoustic guitar tracking in my original recordings to create some very convincing strumming patterns.

Today, keyboards have gone over the top when it comes to the look, layout of the knobs, and large full color displays. The Motif ES8 maintains an elegant, more sophisticated appeal. It’s an interface that is “easy on the eyes” and not overwhelming or too busy. Yamaha has done it again! For the keyboardist looking for a superb sounding, flexible, feature-filled keyboard, the Motif ES8 is your answer.

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