If you’ve ever seen a live popular music concert that featured a keyboardist, there’s a good chance that keyboardist was working with a Yamaha Motif. The motif is a line of top-level synthesizers, which is like a sophisticated computer and keyboard rolled into one. If you’re just looking for something to learn piano with at a basic level, the Motif is probably not your best fit.
As a keyboard, the motif is excellent. It has good action that feels close to an acoustic piano. Its expansive sound library leaves you with plenty of choices for piano sounds. Just keep in mind that the Motif is a whole series of synthesizers, so each model will vary. For example, the Motif ES is an older model than the Motif XS, so it only has four faders, compared to the eight that are found on the XS. Within each generation of Motifs, there are different sizes. For example, the Motif ES6 has 61 keys and the Motif ES8 has the full 88 keys. Why would you spend all of that money and not get a full-size keyboard? If you’re primarily using the Motif as a synthesizer or for MIDI input, the full keyboard might not be so important. Plus, some of them can be quite bulky and difficult to transport.
Pricing varies by model. The top-of-the-line Motif XF8 will set you back $4,039. The discontinued Motif 6 can be found second-hand online for around $850. Consider what exactly it is that you’re looking for. The XF8 is a premiere workstation. You can use it to create film scores or dub yourself playing the music of an entire ensemble. But if you’re just looking for a keyboard to play on, consider one of Yamaha’s many simpler, more affordable alternatives.