Yamaha MOTIF ES6
Yamaha MOTIF ES6

MOTIF ES6, Workstation from Yamaha in the MOTIF series.

Bruin 07/27/2014

Yamaha MOTIF ES6 : Bruin's user review

« Love it despite some latency »

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Yamaha workstation, 61 keys, purchased 2 additional sound cards. See product descriptions with lots of details elsewhere.


For getting around the keyboard and doing the basic stuff for recording and performing, editing on this level is simple ONCE you've gotten accustomed to it. The manual gets a "C" grade from me. I've found more helpful info at YouTube - thanks for all who have posted on the ES there.


Great sounds, expressiveness and touch sensitivity are excellent for a non-weighted keyed. Effects are all very good as well, and easy to edit from the top-left side of the unit. Acoustic piano and electric piano programs are among the very best IMHO -- I sold my Rhodes. Electric guitars (esp. Mega-Voice ones) and strings are also killer, as well as its organ programs. BTW, if you really want killer organs, use Performance Mode and program the 4 channels to different organs of your choice, and be able to use your 4 sliders to customize and edit your overall organ output/sound with these 4 sliders, and/or fade between different types of organ programs/sounds in any given song. Motif, hands down, produces the phattest and warmest/richest sounds around -- they kill my Korg Krome, which sounds very thin in comparison. Dynamic range is also excellent. While playing the grand piano, you can really hear the difference when playing FFF vs. ppp.


The 2 complaints I have about the ES are these: 1) when in Performance Mode and using all 4 voices and their effects, you can easily get some latency during a performance. I've got to experiment a bit to see how to minimize this; it'll likely require me to reduce the no. of effects associated with each of the 4 programs that I load into each Performance. 2) When switching between Performances, you may have to "clear" the volume settings for one or more of your 4 voices in this mode; which, requires you to slide the faders all the way to the top, then bottom (or visa versa). Otherwise, some voices won't be active. This was and remains a little frustrating; having to make sure that I do this little procedure every time I switch between Performances. I've not ever used the sampler, so I have nothing to say about that. There's a YouTube video posted that is a sped-up time lapse video of a guy really digging deep into modifying some sounds in the ES. It is worth checking this out, if only to realize how deep you can dig, and how much of an exercise this is/can be. I've play-tested the XS and XF, but truthfully, neither seems that much better than the ES in terms of overall sound quality. Yes, loading programs into the unit is much faster with these newer versions, but other than that, I've not had enough reason to sell my ES and opt for an XS or XF. Go to YouTube, and a bunch of guys tell you why you should switch/update to an XF, but they're much more expensive than the ES was, and I'm quite happy with my ES.