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yamaha MO8 88-Key Music Production Synthesizer Workstation with DAW Control

Sound Quality

The acoustic instruments are great. Yamaha has done an especially good job with EP's (Rhodes and Wiurlie) emulations. The acoustic guitars are also really good (and, along with a lot of preset arpeggios, can sound very realistic). The acoustic pianos are good, but not as good as the one in my S-90. Very usable, especially in a band setting. But if you absolutely have to have the best piano sound, this probably won't do it for you. I use a lot of brasses and reed sounds, and they're very good. They've also thrown in a lot of pure synth sounds with a lot of pad/lead presets (I think Yamaha is aiming this board, in part, at techno/trance people. All in all, it's a nice playing experience. Bascially a Motif ES8 minus some features.


So far, it seems solid (after 1 gig). I use two keyboards (a Nord Electro) so I always have a back-up. Yamaha generally builds boards like tanks. The MO is well-built, but not completely tank-like. The sheet metal feels a little thinner than the S-90 and Motif ES...and the end caps are just more sheet metal - not the big blocky end caps like on the Motif ES and the wooden caps on the S-90. Still, I think it'll hold up fine.


General Comments

If it were lost or stolen, I'd replace it.


I've been playing keys most of my life (about 50 years) - lots of gigs doing classic rock and funk, plus the occasional jazz duo/trio.


I "up-graded" (actually, kind of a sideways move) from the S-90 because of the newer souondset and Yamaha's Megavoices, which are great. The MO is noticeably lighter than the S-90 and has more real-time control features. It would be nice if you could upgrade it - somehow add more or different wave ROM or a PLG card. My decision wasn't one of those passionate, exciting ones - it was more a logical one, designed to make my work a little easier. It's easy and fun to play, the sounds and some of the preset performances are pretty inspiring. In a perfect world Yamaha would release this as a 76-key, weighted keyboard to shave a few more pounds (and inches) off it.

Reviewer's Background

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