Yamaha MM8 Review with Pros & Cons

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Yamaha MM8 Review

Yamaha is a world leader in musical instruments. Their superior craftsmanship is the reason why they are one of the most trusted brands in the music industry.Yamaha makes high-performance pianos and synthesizers. They are the acknowledged experts in this business. When it comes to pianos, Yamaha is every musician’s first choice.

The Yamaha MM8 Music Synthesizer is a new-generation Yamaha Workhorse Workstation based on the original MOTIF synthesizers. MM stands for mini-motif, a variant of the MOTIF keyboard created by Yamaha. The MM8 offers great creative control while delivering a power-packed performance.

It has a huge variety of voices, a solid arpeggiator mode, an extensive sound library and a light weight keyboard. The keys are weighted and allow for a firm and tactile action. The higher keys are lighter and the lower ones are firmer. The MM8 also comes with a Graded Hammer Standard keyboard. This means that the instrument feels and responds like a grand piano and thusmakes for a wonderful playing experience.

The control knobs let you customize your music and all actions fromfilters to attack and release can be easily controlled. Interfacing with a DAW is also fairly simple. You can comfortably switch between sound sets, even while you’re in the middle of holding down a note.

A maximum of 64 performances can be saved on the keyboard. You can also use the MM8 as a MIDI controller keyboard using a USB cable. The MM8 has 32-note polyphony sound and a full length 88-key keyboard.It has 418 Voices and 22 Drum Kits on board based on the MOTIF series synthesizers.

Yamaha MM8 Review

Piano ModelYamaha MM8
Keys88
Dimensions59.5 x 20.8 x 9.2 inches
Weight34.4 pounds
Key FeaturesCheck Here
ProsCheck Here
ConsCheck Here
PriceCheck Price

Yamaha MM8 Music Synthesizer Key features (Advantages):

  1. Arpeggiator: The most outstanding feature of the MM8 workstation is the arpeggiator. It consists of a whopping 213 different rhythmic arpeggios to select from. This is way more than what most other pro-level synth workstations offer. It also comes with a multitude of drum loops and bass patterns. Another great feature of the MM8 is the guitar emulator. Anyone who has played a synth guitar patch will know that it sounds insipid at best and terrible at worst. But when you load the guitar patch on the MM8, you will be pleasantly surprised at how incredibly nuanced and smooth the sound is. It comes very close to recreating the real sound of a guitar. Plus, you can load the patch up in the arpeggiator and produce highly convincing strumming sounds.
  2. Controls: The control knobs are fairly standard and have all the basic features. It allows one to customize and all filters can be easily managed. Interfacing with a DAW is also simple. While functioning in the MIDI mode, Logic can comfortably assign the various parameters. Effects and modulations come pre-assigned with factory sounds.
  3. Playing experience: The MM8 synthesizer keyboard has 22 Drum Kits and 418 Voices. They are all based and built on the realistic sounds of the latest MOTIF series of synthesizers. It also has an additional cluster of GM Voices. The Category Search function allows you to choose the kind of instrument you wish to play: guitar, organ, synth, strings, lead, etc and then select the corresponding voice. The MM8 also has many patterns for jamming including R&B, Rap, Hip Hop, Pop, Ambient, Rock, Dance, Jazz and many more. The patterns don’t sound mechanical but stay close to the real sound effects.
  4. Memory capacity and data storage methods: The performance settings are made for convenience and let you switch between sound sets effortlessly. You can save and store individual setting like sound presets, keyboard layout, effects, drum patters among others. You can save up to 64 performances (8 banks of 8 each) with an option to save additional performances using a USB stick. You are also allowed to save 5 complete songs on the instrument and store a maximum of 400 songs in a thumb drive or memory card using the built-in rear panel USB terminal.The USB connection allows you to store all your important data, pattern files and performance settings and later organize and archive them in a computer. You can upload whole compositions to a DAW for future processing. Songs can also be saved in the universal SMF format for playing on SMF compatible devices, including DAW software. Plus, you can drive your soft synths and other software elements stored in your computer by using the MM8 as a MIDI Controller Keyboard via a USB cable. All these features offer great ease of storage of date.
  5. Sound quality: The MM8 has a limited 32-note polyphony sound. This is its biggest drawback. While it does not affect the casual learner, a professional artist might find it a little restricting. Layering and creating textured sounds may also be difficult.
  6. It has a full length 88-key keyboard with natural touch.
  7. The pad and strings sounds are very high quality. It also comes with a wide range of effects which can be individually controlled. EQ settings can be applied to get more condensed sounds.
  8. The MM8 is equipped with a Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard. Hence, it has the touch and feel of a real acoustic piano. The keys are weighted. The lower notes are heavier and become lighter towards the higher notes. This gives the player superb control over the keyboard.
  9. The MM8 weighs 34.4 pounds.
  10. Its power consumption is 12W.
  11. It has a 320 x 240 dot graphic LCD
  12. Its dimensions are: width 59.5 inches, height 9.2 inches, depth 20.8 inches.
  13. It is priced around $900 but varies from seller to seller.

Check Features, Pictures & Reviews on Amazon.com

The drawbacks of the Yamaha MM8 are:

  • It is expensive compared to the features it offers.
  • It has a limited 32-note polyphony sound.
  • It is not suitable for music composers and arrangers.
  • The MIDI spec is not of superior quality.
  • Allows only 5 songs to be stored at a time.
  • Allows only one custom rhythm track to be stored.

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Our verdict:

The Yamaha MM8 is a good keyboard for band playing. It has some fantastic sounds from super-realistic guitar tones to the full-bodied sounds of pads and strings. The arpeggiator is its best feature and is equipped with a bunch of cool settings. All in all, the MM8 is a reasonably good choice for a synthesizer piano.

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