Yamaha Motif XF7 Synthesizer with Sampling and Karma

Yamaha Motif XF7
Yamaha Motif XF7

Finding a USED Yamaha Motif series synthesizer in Japan can be quite difficult. If you browse Yahoo Japan auctions or live in Tokyo you might find one here and there, but ultimately it’s not that easy. The reason is that the Yamaha Motifs hold their value pretty well and they are very popular around Japan. Add to this the fact that other than a Yamaha Motif ES Rack, I have NEVER ever seen one in all of my time checking used music stores over the past three or four years in Nagano-city. Thus I was extremely shocked to walk in a used shop this week and find a Yamaha Motif XF7 sitting on the shelf in new condition with a price tag that made me feel like I was robbing the store. Unbelievable! In fact, I was so surprised at the price and the fact that an XF7 was in the shop that I had a hard time not acting overly excited to the point of raising suspicion which might trigger the sales clerk to rethink selling the keyboard. I tried the Yamaha XF7 out for about 5 minutes knowing full well I was just doing it for show because I knew this was coming home with me, no doubt!

In addition, I found the Yamaha XF7 came with a hard shell case and two 1 GB flash modules!!! In total I paid fifteen hundred for the set. It was just almost year and a half ago that I contemplated spending almost four grand on everything but at the last minute decided to pull out. It just seemed like too much money “for me” to fork over when I had other obligations at the time. The Yamaha Motif X7 is a fantastic synthesizer keyboard and perhaps worth every penny, so you can imagine how excited I was to find one. I must note that even if the price was much higher I likely would have bought it anyway provided there was some sort of savings. I knew the XF7 was going to be an inevitable big purchase. I just didn’t think it would happen soon and as low in price as I found it.

Today I also picked up the new Karma Motif software and will definitely report back on how that works out. I missed that obviously because I didn’t have the Motif XF7, but a while back I purchased the Karma software for the red Korg Karma and have really enjoyed it. There is very little info about Karma for the Motif and next no buzz about the software. This means there likely there be very little development, new performances, and frequent updates. This might sound harsh, but a quick view of the Karma Lab forums will support my notion that there might be one too many Karma products to keep up with. Registration and confirmation of my challenge code for the Karma Motif Software took forever! Slow, Slow, Slow! With that said, just getting one’s head around Karma Motif initially will take time. So I’ll be busy with that having fun.

The Yamaha Motif XF7 is a beautiful workstation. I love the black color and the XF7 version is fantastic with the extra keys and such. The flash memory is awesome and with the John Melas Waveform editor a breeze to import samples. Boy does it sound sweet too. Not all keyboards and samplers import samples well nor do they sound good. The Yamaha XF7 definitely works well with sampling.

There is not much I dislike about the Yamaha Motif XF7 with may the exception of the LCD screen and lack of step recording in the sequencer. Regardless of the times, I think the step sequencer is still relevant and an import tool for sequencing tracks. Why Yamaha left that out, I have no idea but I do think it was a big omission. The LCD screen leaves a lot to be desired as well. Sitting above my XF7 I have the Rolad Fantom X7 and the screen on that thing is beautiful. Yamaha has never really been strong in the LCD department anyways, so I’m not all that surprised I guess. Other than that, I so far love everything about the Yamaha XF7. It’s a beautiful machine and quickly has become my main board for sequencing and working with multisamples.

I’ll definitely update this article with more info as I progress with the Yamaha Motif XF7.


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