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Microphone Month 5

Yamaha MOX8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation Reviews

4.5 stars based on 17 customer reviews
  • from Portland, OR July 5, 2013Music Background:

    Yamaha MOX8

    It's everything I've been looking for. Lots of excellent sounds. The keyboard touch is perfect for me (weighted action). It's light. Does all the MIDI stuff I need. And the price is quite reasonable for the features you get.

    Warning: the manual can be misleading at times. E.g., it tells you to download a certain driver to install the USB audio/MIDI interface. It doesn't work. I contacted Yamaha Support (which is excellent, by the way) and was told it was the wrong driver. They gave me info on the correct driver and everything was fine. But, being misinformed by the manual caused frustration.

  • from Haverhill, MA April 23, 2012Music Background:
    recording engineer/musician


    Very simply, the best 88 key weighted workstation available for under $2000. Great interface, amazing sound, amazingly portable. As for the durability, it's plenty durable, unless you plan to throw $1600 worth of gear in the back of a truck without a case.

  • from Estonia December 27, 2011Music Background:
    band keyboardist

    Holy Mother

    Well, It is quite difficult to begin with...

    As I took it out of the box I was shocked about size - it was twice the size my FP-4 - an instrument that I already considered big and heavy enough.
    Just about 10 seconds later, even without pluggin' it in, I already loved it - It had great, flimsy lookin' but sturdy design, keys felt great and I couldn't wait to put my hands on it.

    As I hadn't had Yamaha for a long time, a little trial and error came handy - I didn't bother to read the manual - Instrument is logical and you do not really need a manual unless you haven't had a synth before. Of course - this concernes only common tasks - such as changing sounds, layeryng sounds, changing tempo etc...

    In just about 15 minutes I found sounds that Depeche Mode (original DX7) and Vangelis (DX1) used (excuse me, if I'm wrong) , not to mention the sounds that were used by Euryhhmics back on 80's and 90's... this instrument is packed. And it's beautyful!

    Key response is very good! Keys itself are little soft but action and sounding is fantastic. A board you can not beat!

    I had only one opportunity -
    I was in need to get a synthesizer with 88 keys and hammer action. I had ~1500 $ - thought that's impossible... I was 2000 $ short.
    Thanks for Yamaha I now own one! :)

  • from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico December 16, 2011Music Background:
    Musical Producer/Musician


    Incredible little Pre-Christmas present I got! I cannot express what this item has done for me in so little time. Sounds gorgeous and plays just about the same. Must-have for any aspiring musician/producer.

  • from Mountainhome PA August 12, 2011Music Background:
    Play in Worship Band

    Two Weeks And I Still Can't Stop Smiling!!!

    My church has always had a Yamaha Motif XS8 so when we got rid of our old piano and I started looking for a keyboard I was spoiled. But I didn't have the money for a Motif so I was looking used, and not happy with what I was finding. Then I came across the the MOX8 and my head began to turn. I began shopping around and the deal that Sweetwater gave me with their 2 year warranty could not be beat. I ordered it on a Monday and received it on Wednesday.
    OK the sounds are fantastic (they should be it has the MOTIF XS Sound Engine) but until you hook it up to a good amp or good set of head phones and look for the nuances you don't realize how good. When you bring up the concert grand for example you get the hammer strike and string sounds yes but when you get to the upper notes you even hear the wood case resonating like you would on a real piano. UNBELIEVABLE...the classical guitar you can hear the finger plucking the strings...the different groves it gives you are inspiring and I can see myself using this to write allot of music with. Plus it has a multi-channel USB Audio Interface and comes with Cue base AI5 which I haven't even begun to play with yet. It's light weight but doesn't feel light weight. What I mean by that is you won't get a hernia picking the thing up but it feels the same as playing a MOTIF not cheep. Some people may not like the light weight aspect but I love it because I'm disabled and if we need to move it into another room or clean around it my wife and my 12 year old daughter can move it with ease.
    If you have been looking for a great keyboard and that pulls out all the stops without sucking the bank account dry this is it. It has the power and features to play with the big boys and you will not be missing a thing.

  • from Nevada USA July 10, 2011Music Background:


    This is a GREAT synth for the money. I had some concerns originally because of the weight ........or lack there of the unit. However the sounds are very good. Some compete with a lot of the virtual instruments that I run. The true test will be it's durability. The keyboard that this replaced a Korg N1 I've had for about 15 years. I'll be really pleased if this lasts half that long. I wanted a keyboard that I could just do rough sketches on. It should be a breeze on this unit. I'm sure that I will find ways to enhance my studio/creative experience in my studio. I LOVE that this has a top notch VOCODER , I 'm sure that I will come up with some GREAT ideas using this alone. I must say that many of the sounds are complex arp/morphing sounds that should lend themselves to some interesting pad/guitar or pad/piano tracks. One complaint is that the board did not link properly with Logic Pro via USB so I had to connect MIDI thru my iControl unit. Which works fine for my purposes I don't see driving the keyboard with my computer sequencer and can still play wanted sounds into Logic via audio in. I feel that this keyboard represents a BEST BUY at this price point and will challenge me to learn all it's features for months to come. BRAVO Yamaha and THANK YOU to Forrest with the Sweetwater staff for their EXCELLENT service and outstanding customer service.

  • from Pierre, South Dakota October 28, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    The Yamaha MOX8 is a GREAT workstation for the price!

    I have been a keyboardist for 50 years and have gone through almost every keyboard on the market . I have actually grown up with these brand names, Roland, Yamaha, Korg etc. Yamaha has come up the ranks rather quickly in their technology, especially their samples. I needed an updated workstation to do my instrumental projects. So I grabbed the MOX8.... Wow, I was impressed with the user friendly keyboard. Easy routing and very programable with authentic sounds. This piece is PACKED! Doing live? Piece off cake with quick response and a great mother board controller! Yamaha is beyond its time again. This one is a keeper for a long time! Can't beat the price!

  • from Hopewell NJ November 22, 2012Music Background:
    Veteran player

    Great keyboard for the money

    The sounds are as advertised - extremely clear and of high quality. Scrolling through voices and pre-designed parts is much easier than on prior keyboards. The reduced weight is a blessing for us older guys.

    I can't give it a 5 since the manuals are very difficult to read - making one's own sounds is not for the faint of heart. Nor is the computer interface great (as other reviewers have noted). But the feel of the keys and the sounds are top-rate.

  • from United States October 17, 2012Music Background:
    Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, B.A. in music from UC (you want fries with that?).

    Great Keyboard Overall

    I've had a few weeks to spend with my MOX8 now and feel fairly qualified to provide a review. I really like the sounds and think the AWM2 sound engine has a lot going for it (the success and ubiquity of the MOTIF series is a testament to that). Love the arpeggiator, the mic input for Vocoder feature, the Favorites builder, the feel of the keyboard, and everything you get for the price. This is going to be my good friend for my studio, for live gigs and for composing.

    The keyboard is light and easy to carry and yet has a great weighted action. The controllers, knobs and switches are well laid out and the command and menu structure are reasonably intuitive. You get the slim Owner's Manual inside the box and the rest of the manuals are in PDF format on an included DVD. I ended up printing the extra materials out because I want to really study and tweak this beast.

    The wall-wart power supply, however, is cheesy and unworthy and will require some care and attention to make sure it doesn't break off and do damage. I'd have been happy to pay a little more for a keyboard with the power supply inside, even if that would also add weight and cost; maybe heat was also a YAMAHA's concern with the molded plastic case.

    I'm a Logic Pro 9 user. YAMAHA doesn't offer as much integration with Logic for the MOX8 as it does for Cubase. If you're a Logic user, you will want to understand MSB, LSB and other elements of MIDI to tweak your Logic Environment to work with this instrument.

    One warning: The supplied MIDI drivers, which are also needed for USB connection, are for Intel Macs only! YAMAHA does not make this clear with their marketing literature or documentation (including online in their Downloads areas). I'm using a Mac G5 PowerPC, and spent days trying different drivers, scratching my head and poring over the manuals and online conversations only to finally contact YAMAHA Support. They got right back to me -- wonderful support -- and told me I need an Intel Mac to use the USB connection. Ouch!! Guess I'll have to get myself a newer Mac. It's old-school MIDI for now.

    YAMAHA is currently offering a free gig bag for purchases of the keyboard through October '12. I got one and it's nice: soft-shell but well-padded with wheels on one end.

    Overall, this is a serious and fine instrument and probably unmatchable at its price-point.

  • from Charlotte, NC August 8, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician for 50 years (and still not that great!)

    Very nice keyboard

    Good preset sounds, such as piano, e. piano, various organs, vibes, strings, horns, bass, and drums. Some of the organ sounds are very good, which is unusual for a keyboard that isn't just an organ emulator. The manual is weak, but after a little experimenting I figured out how to create performances with various splits and layers, such as piano and strings or organ split with horns on the top. You can name your performances and store them in the user area so that it's easy to recall them quickly in a live setting. Some of the preset arpeggio performances have nice rock and jazz backing beats with bass lines. You can edit the lead voice to change it to one you prefer, such as switching from fuzz guitar to piano. Good keyboard feel. Light enough to drag to a gig.

  • from Kenmore, WA January 12, 2012Music Background:
    Student, Keyboardist, Sound Engineer

    A college boys Motif

    Being a poor college student and having bad experiences with used equipment in the past I decided to do some thorough research, bite the bullet and buy a new machine. I've always loved everything Yamaha and this product is no exception. I have barely scratched 10% of this machines capabilities but it has already proven to be worth the half a quarter's worth of tuition. The sounds, durability and ease of use are all outstanding! My only worry is that I will have to replace the wall wart power supply after it gets run over or yanked out of a socket the wrong way. For this reason only I subtract half a star since many other Yamaha's have standard IEC power cables. Overall well worth the money, I can't wait to see what else this thing can do!

  • from Toronto, Ont. Canada September 24, 2011Music Background:
    Professional weekend musician

    Very good sounding, functional, portable, and inspiring

    I am totally happy with the MOX8. Let's keep in mind that this is a mid class board but pro all the way. Finally a lighter weight, full sound pallet, with a good piano sound, 88 note weighted keys, synth and it's black in colour! The sound pallet is stellar with those Motif ES and XS sounds and that includes a very decent piano sound and it all comes in around $1700.00. The accompaniments are also surprisingly useful if not a blast to play. The weighted keys are on the lighter side which I like but it's still meaty and expressive. The MOX8 is also not as bulky as so many of Yamaha 88 note keyboards tend to be so they are listening to us. I will take the mod and pitch wheels above the keys in order to make is smaller and more portable. The only drawback, in my opinion is the polyphony at 64 notes. You will hear drop out if you are a classical piano player playing long arpeggios with the sustain peddle depressed but for me I can live with it as the drop out is at least smooth not like I used to find with the S90 I had a few years back. That board I could hear clicks and pops when the polyphony was maxed out and the sustain peddle depressed. Though you can probably find an MO8 used at a good price these days, I'd go for the MO8X as it's 15 pounds lighter and has a deeper and more up to date sound pallet. You will see Yamaha synths more often at big shows than any other company and it's because that sound pallet is solid in all categories and you get almost all the sounds of the Motif XS on MOX8. All in all this board is a winner and very suitable for anyone looking for a very portable, all in one weighted keyboard for live or home. Sure I'd love to have a Motif XS8 or better yet XF8 but that board not only is twice the price but it won't fit in my car! The MOX8 fits across in the trunk of my car! Now that's awesome... Check it out!

  • from Deltona, FL January 4, 2014Music Background:
    Lifetime musician and hobbyist

    Yamaha Mox8

    Extremely powerful keyboard that is about as user friendly as they come! I highly recommend getting the Yamaha DVD Discovering the yamaha MOX to help you understand this keyboard functions and power. The MOX8 is a bit heavy and not for gigging unless you really need 88 keys due to it's weight.
    As usual Sweetwater customer service and support was superb on this one too!

  • from Nashville Tn January 2, 2014Music Background:


    Love the keyboard and Sweetwater was a pleasure to work with.

  • from Phoenix, Arizona December 19, 2011Music Background:
    Pianist, Producer

    Good Piano sounds, Organ sounds good too.

    I was surprised by the sound quality of this piano.
    I've only had for two weeks. I'll be getting a B3 Hammond in a while.
    But this will do just fine for now.
    "if you can not get the Yamaha Motif XF8, get this MOX8

  • from Katonah, NY January 20, 2012Music Background:

    MO X8 Great Sounds, Touch and Versatility,.....but *

    I already have a 10 yr history of playing the Motif 8, the original "Flagship" keyboard from Yamaha, and needed a lighter weight keyboard for travelling to rehearsals. My reason for buying the MO 8 was to have a lightweight full 88 key graded hammer keyboard with great sounds like the larger Motifs.
    The MO X8 has a great palate of sounds. The touch is slightly lighter than the original Motif, but you can adjust the velocity sensitivity to tailor to your touch
    The Grand Piano sound is truly incredible, and a step up from the old one. The steps to create a performance and record it are easier than the old Motif.
    My only gripes are: Confusing submenus when trying to edit performances, and only 64 note polyphony (which would only be an issue when recording to the sequencer ,
    While I highly recommend the training video sold by Keyfax, it still only scratches the surface of what lurks in the submenus of the board. Fortunately, Yamaha has a website: Motifator.com which has posts, and the ability to ask other users questions to troubleshoot your experience. If you want a GREAT piano sound, alot of versatility in a lightweight full 88 keyboard, I highly recommend it. The only thing as light is the Casio line of keyboards, but they have fewer sounds and they aren't as good in my opinion.

  • from Ardmore, OK. USA January 14, 2012Music Background:
    Music Composer


    It's really good. I think some of the programmed rhythms could've been a bit better. The majority of encoded rhythm are mainly dance, but I like new rock, too. It doesn't have many rhythm to work with, but the system overall is great. It will help me complete my album.

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