Yamaha MM8 Review

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Yamaha MM8 Review
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Yamaha MM8 has an average rating of 3.67 out of 5 based on 3 user reviews.
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GuitarCenter $899.99
SweetWater $899.99
KraftMusic $899.99

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One of the most popular, the Yamaha MM8 keyboard has a good reason. Some of you may wonder what the MM eight stands for. It actually stands for mini motif, a representation of the motif keyboard created by Yamaha.

One of the contrasting differences between the motif and the MM8 is that the sound libraries are borrowed from the PSR line of keyboards. Hence, the Yamaha MM8 is somewhat of a hybrid.

Full Length Graduated Hammer Keyboard

One notable feature is that the keyboard itself is actually an 88 note piano with graduated hammer action and is considerably larger than previous models.

If we look at the top console layout of the keyboard it would appear to be somewhat sparse but that is just because of the size of the keyboard. Yet there are a lot of features built-in including an array of buttons to keep you happy.

A Multitude of Ports for Easy Importing and Exporting

The ports on the rear panel are quite simple with MIDI, audio, pedal sockets and two USB ports, one for connecting to a PC and the other for storing setup data. There is also a headphone jack that is included but it is not very well-placed because it can snag on keys, sheet music and other things as well.

The pitch and modulation wheel are positioned right at the top left hand corner. This keyboard is somewhat light to carry even though it features graded hammer action keys.

Certainly the Yamaha MM8 is well-suited for band performance, however if you are considering using his kennel is a full-fledged recording studio on its own then you might want to consider another keyboard for that purpose or hook it up to a computer equipped with MIDI software.

Featuring the Powered Up Power Grand Piano

On power up the Yamaha MM8 defaults to an somewhat punctuated acoustic grand piano rather than the standard acoustic piano. Yamaha refers to this as the power grand, a sound that is very present and upfront. While it is a great sound it isn’t all that great for creating solos in his more well adapted to background playing. I would suggest using some of the other internal piano sounds.

The MM8 features the ability to split or layer the keyboard in the same manner as many other keyboards, so nothing new there. Wanting to certainly note which came as somewhat of a surprise is the fact that the keyboard only supports 32 notes of polyphony. That is a big surprise given the price for this keyboard. Maybe keyboards in this price range usually sport 64 notes of polyphony. So using the MM8 with 32 notes of polyphony limits its ability as a MIDI arranger.

The Good

If you’re looking for a keyboard that has great sound for performances but you’re not concerned about using it as a composer/arranger keyboard than this might be the right keyboard for you.

The Bad

This keyboard is not well adapted for composers and music arrangers.

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3 Comments

  1. Tom C  - April 7, 2011 - 10:33 pm
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    Thanks for the advice but I don’t understand why you don’t recommend the MM8 for the composer/arranger. It seems to me that most likely any writer would use this synthesizer as MIDI and all recording possibilities/capabilities would be dependent on the digital audio workstation (DAW)used. I understand that the Cubase that comes with it is pretty basic, but that the Cubase 6 is very nice. I’ve looked extensively at others, in particular the Casio Privia px330 but don’t care for the sounds or lack of controls for tweaking.

  2. Tom  - August 15, 2015 - 8:54 pm
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    Can’t recommend this board because of the ridiculous 32note polyphony. If you play live you’ll use that up fast with the sustain pedal and a single sound let along trying to layer piano with strings or pads. Pass this one up for a real 64 polyphony keyboard or you’ll have regrets.

  3. Tom grim  - September 13, 2016 - 2:34 pm
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    I own this keyboard and even with the 32 not polyphony it sounds much better than anything near it’s price range. It’s an “underground musicians secret. The piano sounds are the best I’be heard and I own lots of greater o software from ivory to pianoteq. Only Roland comes close.

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