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New from Yamaha are a trio of new synths - the MOTIF 6, 7, and 8 - 61, 76, and 88 keys respectively.

All three models feature the equivalent of 85MB in wave ROM. Rather than forcing you to scroll a long list of all those sounds to find the one you want, the MOTIF offers category-based browsing so you can quickly narrow your search to all the piano sounds for example.

The MOTIF can grow as your needs grow, with a number of expansion options. In addition to the built-in multi-sampled sounds, these synths come with sampling capability. The initial 4MB of sampling memory can be expanded up to 64MB, providing over six minutes of stereo, 44.1kHz audio. Sampling can be done via analog or digital inputs(digital ins require the AIEB board), but a variety of sample formats like Akai and .wav can also be imported.

The insides of the MOTIF also holds space for three PLG-series plug-in boards for even more sounds. Add analog modeling, physical modeling, FM synthesis and more to your repertoire without buying a new synth.

The onboard sequencer is designed to support both linear and pattern-based music creation, with a 200,000 MIDI note capacity. And after you have laid down your MIDI and audio tracks, you can arrange them in real-time similar to the growing number of groove-style products, a blending of remixing and the synthesizer keyboard.

The MOTIF serves up only four sliders and real-time control knobs on the main panel, but with the real-time control modes, they provide up to 16 virtual sliders and 16 virtual knobs. These controls also turn into a 16 channel digital mixer when in mix mode. In remote control mode the MOTIF becomes a control surface, compatible with Logic Audio, Pro Tools, Cubase VST, and Cakewalk.

Connectivity is plentiful on the MOTIF - USB, high-speed SCSI, and an expansion slot that can hold a card supporting Yamaha's mLAN interface. Or you can use that last expansion slot for the AIEB board which adds six assignable analog outs and S/PDIF. A Smart Media slot is also included to transfer data, using standard 3.3V media.

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