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Viewing topic "Sound of Motif XF vs S90ES"

   
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Posted on: August 06, 2013 @ 06:56 AM
Mr Trier
Total Posts:  14
Joined  03-02-2013
status: Regular

Hello all!

I’ve been using an S90ES for a couple of years and I absolutely love it! It’s easy to use, easy to program and so on.

And most important - it sounds amazing! The sounds are warm, full, fat, sparkly, vibrant - call it want you want. It simply sounds good! Not the least the Natural S piano wich sounds very, very good.

So a couple of months back I bought an Motix XF6 to put on top of the S90ES.

And naturally I expected the XF to sound even better than the ES but to my surpris it doesn’t?

The biggest disapointment is the sound of the pianos. The stock piano Pre:01 sounds rather weak and harsh compared to the ES, almost spikey.
I’ve installed the flash-board and the Inspiration in a Flash and the S700 sounds better than Pre01 but not as good as the ES.

And I can sort of hear that the S700 sound in the XF is the same as in the ES but it doesn’t sound as good! (Please note that I use the same settings on the mixer for both synths and also play both sounds from the ES’s keybed so it’s not a question of different key-feeling.)

The questions I have is:
* Should it sound different? Are the XF more suited to studio applications and the ES more for live situations and therefore sounds different?
* Can it be faulty in some way? I’ve read somewhere that somone had problem with faulty D/A-converters. Can that be it?

Overall - it does not sound bad, it does not sound faulty. But it does not sound as good as the ES does and that surprises me. I’ve tried to locate another XF nearby to try out but have not succeded.

I would very much appreciate if anyone has some knowledge about this problem.

//Mr Trier

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Posted on: August 06, 2013 @ 09:07 AM
cmayhle
Total Posts:  3009
Joined  10-05-2011
status: Guru

The pre-set VOICES of the machine are a certain sound designer’s idea of how that particular sound might please the greatest number of users...how subjective is that!

In your fairly lengthy post, you never once mention the obvious:  There is an amazing array of tools in the machine to shape, form, twist, refine, and just plain change how these VOICES sound.  So...do you use this incredible tool kit to work on the pre-sets and customize them for what YOU like?  Or do you live and die by how they sound right out of the box on any given machine?

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Posted on: August 06, 2013 @ 01:00 PM
SpongeBob
Total Posts:  1588
Joined  11-19-2006
status: Guru

As noted the XF will benefit from tweaking to suit your needs. The S700 in the S90ES was one of those piano sounds that was just perfect sounding for so many users, but I think the stock XS/XF piano is pretty good as well, it just has a different character.

Like you, I have the S700 loaded in my XF and added some reverb to suit my taste. You will have to experiment to find your favorite spot, but you should not look for it to exactly match the ES. The internals are a bit different between the devices so there may always be some difference.

I have an ES6 and XS Rack (I should have Yamaha stock as well)and some will say the ES sounds better on some voices than the XS or XF. To me it’s simply a matter of taste. I think people simply prefer the sound of one to the other, so neither is really better or worse.

Different stings on my acoustic guitar give it a different tone, but it’s the same guitar. Just an example.

Bob

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Posted on: August 07, 2013 @ 03:09 AM
Mr Trier
Total Posts:  14
Joined  03-02-2013
status: Regular

Thank you both for your replies!

Tweaked the pre-sets?
Yes and no, sort of. I’m no newbie but I’m not an expert either =) and I use the S700-voice wich I’ve tweaked and it sounds good.

The S6-samples are to spikey for my taste I have not succeded in making them sound good.

I’m fully aware that taste differs (hence so many different voices =) ), therefore my question more or less is if the S90ES and the XF are targeted to different users soundwise?

It wouldn’t be that far fetched (in my mind at least) if the S90ES was more suited for live situations and that the sounds themselves were designed to work as good as possible on a stage. And that the XF were designed with studio-work in mind and that the sounds were especially made for that?

I know that there’s a pdf here somewhere wich especially deals with tweaking piano-voices. I’ll read that thoroughly.

Once again thank you for your replies!

//Mr T

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Posted on: August 07, 2013 @ 01:51 PM
CesarSound
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Total Posts:  572
Joined  12-25-2005
status: Guru

I also have a S90ES and Motif XS and confirm that the pianos are better on ES. I love the S90ES.

Julio.

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Posted on: August 07, 2013 @ 05:36 PM
cmayhle
Total Posts:  3009
Joined  10-05-2011
status: Guru

Seriously guys, if you don’t care for some aspect of the XF (XS) stock pianos, CHANGE THEM!  It is literally mind-blowing how you can customize these sounds!  You are not ‘stuck’ with the preset VOICES!

I am sure the S90ES is a wonderful keyboard.  I have no experience with it, but my post here is not about the S90ES.

The stock pianos on my XF8 didn’t thrill me either.  I really did not care much for the sounds the Factory Programmer(s) had come up with for the standard piano presets. 

What did I do?  I spent a half hour with the amazing tools the XF gives you to re-program the VOICES, and now I have excellent go-to Grand and Rock piano sounds that I have really made into MY pianos.  Believe me, I am no programmer or sound designer, just a lifelong piano player that really appreciates what I am able to do with this machine by being willing to spend some time and experimentation to get the sounds I like!

You bought an amazing workstation with amazing tools for customization!  Why not use them?

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Posted on: August 09, 2013 @ 06:39 AM
Mr Trier
Total Posts:  14
Joined  03-02-2013
status: Regular

@cmayhle

You miss my point. Of course I know that there are excellent tools in the XF for tweaking the voices to your specific taste. I use some of them. I also know that there is a lot of 3rd party voice libraries to buy. That is not my question.

As I said, I was surprised when I played many of the stock voices and therefore asked two specific questions:
* Can the board be faulty in some way? Are there any know hard-ware problems?
* Since the XF and the S90ES are two different machines with two different “missions” - are the voices also made to sound differently? Se post above for clarification.

//Mr T

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Posted on: August 09, 2013 @ 07:05 AM
DavePolich
Total Posts:  6820
Joined  07-27-2002
status: Guru
Mr Trier - 09 August 2013 06:39 AM

@cmayhle

You miss my point. Of course I know that there are excellent tools in the XF for tweaking the voices to your specific taste. I use some of them. I also know that there is a lot of 3rd party voice libraries to buy. That is not my question.

As I said, I was surprised when I played many of the stock voices and therefore asked two specific questions:
* Can the board be faulty in some way? Are there any know hard-ware problems?
* Since the XF and the S90ES are two different machines with two different “missions” - are the voices also made to sound differently? Se post above for clarification.


//Mr T

Can’t answer your first question without at least hearing your specific
XF, or an mp3 of you playing a piano voice on the XF.

Second question - the S90ES uses an older CPU chip and sample waveforms that are entirely different from the XF. Are the piano voices in each
workstation programmed for “different purposes”? No. The S90ES was basically the ES without the sequencer and sampling, and an additional
piano which was not found in the ES. The S90XS and S70XS is basically the same concept - a Motif XS without sequencing and sampling capabilities. There is, of course, no S90 XF.

So, yes, the XF pianos will definitely sound different than your S90ES
piano, no question. Whether you like them is up to you. Personally, I like the XF pianos (which are the same as the XS pianos, with the addition of the S6) much more than the S90ES piano.

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Posted on: August 09, 2013 @ 07:23 AM
anotherscott
Total Posts:  640
Joined  06-30-2010
status: Guru
DavePolich - 09 August 2013 07:05 AM

Second question - the S90ES uses an older CPU chip and sample waveforms that are entirely different from the XF.

But aren’t the waveforms of the S700 piano for the XF (part of the Inspiration in a Flash download) the same as the S700 in the S90ES? Like the OP, I think, I had been under the impression that the S700 download for the Motif XS/XF should be virtually indistinguishable from the S700 in the S90ES. I’d be curious to know if other people have found them to sound different; and if so, if there’s any consensus as to which of the two sounds better; and what the source of any difference might be.

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Posted on: August 09, 2013 @ 07:49 AM
DavePolich
Total Posts:  6820
Joined  07-27-2002
status: Guru
anotherscott - 09 August 2013 07:23 AM
DavePolich - 09 August 2013 07:05 AM

Second question - the S90ES uses an older CPU chip and sample waveforms that are entirely different from the XF.

But aren’t the waveforms of the S700 piano for the XF (part of the Inspiration in a Flash download) the same as the S700 in the S90ES? Like the OP, I think, I had been under the impression that the S700 download for the Motif XS/XF should be virtually indistinguishable from the S700 in the S90ES. I’d be curious to know if other people have found them to sound different; and if so, if there’s any consensus as to which of the two sounds better; and what the source of any difference might be.

Yes, I’m pretty sure the S700 piano is the S90ES piano. But because the
S90ES and the XF feature different DAC’s, different DSP effects, and a different architecture, I don’t believe you’ll ever get the XF to sound identical to the S90ES, if they were placed side by side, run through the same console and level matched. There will still be some difference, sonically. To me, the XF sounds superior to the S90ES in every way.

This whole discussion reminds me of numerous past ones, including arguments over whether the Motif Classic sounded better than the Motif XS. People simply get accustomed to a particular sound, and
whether it is “better” or “worse”, that’s what they go looking for, and
get disappointed when they don’t get it, even as they don’t understand the
reasons WHY they won’t be able to duplicate it.

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Posted on: August 09, 2013 @ 12:22 PM
anotherscott
Total Posts:  640
Joined  06-30-2010
status: Guru
DavePolich - 09 August 2013 07:49 AM

Yes, I’m pretty sure the S700 piano is the S90ES piano. But because the
S90ES and the XF feature different DAC’s, different DSP effects, and a different architecture, I don’t believe you’ll ever get the XF to sound identical to the S90ES

In terms of general architecture, the XF seems to be basically a superset of the ES… i.e. 8 elements with XA vs. 4 elements without… so with the same waveforms, I think you should be able to get any “unprocessed” ES sound out of an XF, though not vice versa. But yes, DSP is different between the two, and in addition to effects, I assume it is also possible that things like EQ, filters and envelopes may behave slightly differently.

The thing about something like a basic piano, though, is that (as I understand it), the basic sound is pretty much just one of sample key assignment and velocity mapping. Variations (like tacky/honky-tonk and so on) may involve effects, EQ, filters, etc., but I thought that the basic “primary patch” wouldn’t be likely to incorporate any such parameter that would vary from one system to the other. In that case, with basically sample mapping and no other processing, would any difference in sound between the ES and the XF be due simply to the different DACs?

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Posted on: July 10, 2014 @ 11:37 AM
prodigio@hotmail.it
Avatar
Total Posts:  14
Joined  04-27-2013
status: Regular

Hi all,
I’m an happy owner of a YAMAHA S90ES (and Motif XF7)!
I play keyboards since 1992..
I think his piano sound is the best sound ever produced by a synthesized piano/synth. I have it since 2009!
About piano preset sound in Motif XF? Well…
Is not the same and not comparable to S90ES Piano sound.
The S90ES piano sound is better! Long life S90ES! Always S90ES! For centuries S90ES! :)

Motif XF6 or XF7 have beautiful touch and feel! Great Organs, Brass and Pads… some good electrical piano sound, standard yamaha strings… programming is complete but very difficult… and the operating system in XF series is slow :(

I Love only S90ES! and I use Motif XF7 just as the master keyboard (or few sounds)

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Posted on: July 10, 2014 @ 12:02 PM
InGodWeTrust
Total Posts:  710
Joined  09-20-2011
status: Guru
prodigio@hotmail.it - 10 July 2014 11:37 AM

Hi all,
I’m an happy owner of a YAMAHA S90ES (and Motif XF7)!
I play keyboards since 1992..
I think his piano sound is the best sound ever produced by a synthesized piano/synth. I have it since 2009!
About piano preset sound in Motif XF? Well…
Is not the same and not comparable to S90ES Piano sound.
The S90ES piano sound is better! Long life S90ES! Always S90ES! For centuries S90ES! :)

Motif XF6 or XF7 have beautiful touch and feel! Great Organs, Brass and Pads… some good electrical piano sound, standard yamaha strings… programming is complete but very difficult… and the operating system in XF series is slow :(

I Love only S90ES! and I use Motif XF7 just as the master keyboard (or few sounds)

Always good to hear a happy story of personal journey discovering what they like. Thanks for posting yours. :)
SNinety ES

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Posted on: August 07, 2014 @ 11:04 AM
Michiel D
Total Posts:  101
Joined  11-16-2009
status: Pro

Here’s my two cents .... Newer or biggen isn’t always better. As mentioned, there’s always personal taste.
I had the same experience with the SY77 and 99. Technically the SY99 schold be ‘better’ for it’s acclaimed better effect processors and slightly better sample quality. So I added the 99 to my setup (the 77 is my ‘get old with’ synth, never part from it). I thought: now the magic is really going to happen, but in the end, after listening 100’s of voices (internet, commercial voice sets) my conclusion is that I like the 77 better, the sound sin this synth really are alive,best of FM and AWM mixed in one machine.

My current XS replaced the ES and I had similar feelings the frist couple of weeks: I found the sounds of the ES more ‘alive’, maybe les polished or ‘hifi’ then the XS. The good thing is I sold the ES and now I’ve got used to the XS. The big colour display, from performance directory to ‘record mode’, getting to like the XS more and more (see my post ‘beter hammonds’ on the forum). The only thing I Miss is the biggen sequencer memory of the ES (biggen is better in this case)… OS is a bit slow, too. But that’s a minor niggle (when loading files from USB, things go slow). The Motif still is my one and only machine for quickly composing and recording songs!

The SY77 feels like analogue compared to digital, when playing it directly after the Motif, but especially since there’s no PLG option in the XS, the SY is a great addition!  :  ).  Soundwise, to me, the SY77 is the best, for quick recordings, ti’s the Motif.

Conclusion: of you really like a synth for it’s sound, don’t sell it!  :  )
And always play a synth before you buy or upgrade (don’t juist believe what’s said on the internet or the ‘better specs’).
Trust your own ears < .. >

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Posted on: August 07, 2014 @ 11:33 AM
InGodWeTrust
Total Posts:  710
Joined  09-20-2011
status: Guru

@Michiel D
Conclusion: of you really like a synth for it’s sound, don’t sell it!  :  )
And always play a synth before you buy or upgrade (don’t juist believe what’s said on the internet or the ‘better specs’).
Trust your own ears < .. >

I agree. My Dutch is not good…
Leuke website
We zijn enorm Candy Dulfer fans.  :-)

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Posted on: August 07, 2014 @ 03:10 PM
motidave
Total Posts:  399
Joined  10-03-2010
status: Enthusiast
cmayhle - 07 August 2013 05:36 PM

Seriously guys, if you don’t care for some aspect of the XF (XS) stock pianos, CHANGE THEM!  It is literally mind-blowing how you can customize these sounds!  You are not ‘stuck’ with the preset VOICES!

I am sure the S90ES is a wonderful keyboard.  I have no experience with it, but my post here is not about the S90ES.

The stock pianos on my XF8 didn’t thrill me either.  I really did not care much for the sounds the Factory Programmer(s) had come up with for the standard piano presets. 

What did I do?  I spent a half hour with the amazing tools the XF gives you to re-program the VOICES, and now I have excellent go-to Grand and Rock piano sounds that I have really made into MY pianos.  Believe me, I am no programmer or sound designer, just a lifelong piano player that really appreciates what I am able to do with this machine by being willing to spend some time and experimentation to get the sounds I like!

You bought an amazing workstation with amazing tools for customization!  Why not use them?

Curious, if you could describe some of the more significant tweaks you made that you thought created a better sound (for you)?  Yes, I accept its subjective, but you are a guru in these parts.

I’m a fumbling journeyman programmer, I know all the features and screens in my XF at last, but I’m not schooled in basic synthesis, much less synthetic creation of acoustic tones, so sometimes I hit, sometimes I miss.

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