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Rate the M3, Motif and Fantom Series

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Which Keyboard Workstation is Best?

Fantom G
Motif XS
Korg M3
Total votes : 54

Rate the M3, Motif and Fantom Series

Postby admin on Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:07 pm

Which Workstation is Best?

Add a subsequent post on your reasons, if you want.
This poll was started on 4/24/08

Results of the old poll for the Fantom X, Motif ES and Triton Xtreme are below

Fantom G ... /sid--poll
Motif XS ... /sid--poll

Korg M3 ... --showroom


Old poll results:

Which Workstation is the Overall Best?

Fantom X 46% [ 67 ]

Motif ES 29% [ 43 ]

Triton Extreme 23% [ 34 ]

Total Votes : 144
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Postby Dane_Xoth on Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:47 pm

Out of 20 Odd synth and samplers i own, only 2 are workstations!

A korg Wavestation and a DJ-70mk2. and one 'groove box'

How about a choice for 'other'?

The word 'work' scares me off.....

Let's call them 'fun' stations!
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Postby Katzegott on Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:00 pm

I may not own a workstation yet (or probably ever) but Ive played on them all and Ive gotta say, I love the Phantom. I dont know what it is about the thing, but I just love the feel of it.
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Postby analogcontrolfreak on Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:42 am

I do not own a music workstation at this time. But I am saving up to buy a Korg Triton le. I have had synthesizers in the past, but never owned a music workstation. My main reason for wanting a workstation, and especially a Triton Le is that the technology has finnaly caught up with my imagination.
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Postby nmodi on Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:52 pm

I don't have one, and I don't see myself buying one in the future. I do all the recording (MIDI and Audio) in Sonar, so I would be better off getting a MIDI keyboard controller and some synth boxes. Right now I do have a Roland D-70, which makes for a good controller and some okay synth sounds, for a keyboard that is over 10 years old!

My $0.02.
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Postby Renegade on Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:28 am

The reason I don't have one of these workstations is because I rather create my own ie synths,sound modules,Vsti's,software,hardware,i want it all but i dont want to be limited to ONE machine.
I do plan on getting the Motif ES Rack tho 8)
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Postby khrone on Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:03 am

korg karma
hands down, played on many synthesizers "some of the best" all in my friends studio.
played on many workstations and have to say my first is the karma and maybe my last until i get enough money together of they come down on the price for the oasys.
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Trinity... Motif 6...Fantom Xa...NOW the E-MU PK-6!!

Postby misscc on Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:05 pm

I have owned the Motif 6, Korg Trinity, and Roland Fantom Xa. But now I own the PK-6 something that I can easily learn and is on my level. BUt out of the 3 i meantioned above the Fantom was the easiest and I liked it. But now its all about the PK-6!!
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Motif ES

Postby Jackel on Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:35 pm

Maybe the Triton Extreme can compete on price but thats it. I would not even put it in the same catagory as the ES or Fantom. I vote for the ES but really as a studio machine with Mlan implimented. I own the ES but would not buy any of these machines again because I am so tied into the computer now I dont even use the "Workstation" features. Maybe Ill sell my ES and buy a rack version because its such an awsome tone generator. Replace the keyboard with a really nice digital piano.

At the end of the day I sort of think the age of the workstation may be coming to an end.
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Postby Tweak on Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:17 am

> dont even use the "Workstation" features. Maybe Ill sell my ES and buy a rack version because its such an awsome tone generator. Replace the keyboard with a really nice digital piano.

S90ES is a great way to go for those who don't need the workstation features.
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Postby ATP Productions on Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:36 pm

I had to vote for the Triton Extreme since I have played with it a lot and have become accustomed to its use. I own a Triton Classic myself. The other day, I was at the local Guitar Center and was playing with the Fantom X 8. I liked it a lot because it has beat machine buttons built in and I thought it was easy to learn, color screen, and easy to navigate the patches. But since I already have the Triton Classic, I didn't feel as though another keyboard was necessary, such as the Fantom. I was mainly looking for difference in instruments provided and it didn't seem like a wise decision to get another keyboard since the Triton also has its arsenal of instruments. I think if I had gotten the Fantom first, I would feel the same way about the Fantom now as I do the Triton and I wouldn't find the Triton necessary to supplement my Fantom.
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Postby DGX305 on Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:39 pm

Please add the Fusion to this poll.
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Postby THE DIO on Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:35 am

i played all these keyboards for awhile i mean like months for each depending on what you use it for i play lots of live music i choose triton or motif for dj or studio i would choose fantom but all very good but different boards if you can get them all
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Postby poundaproblem on Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:25 pm


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Postby L-Man on Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:02 am

I own both the Motif ES6 and the Fantom X8 and I use them both. I think as far as the sounds are concerned it depends on the sound you're looking for with a particular style of song you are trying to make.

For me, when I want to add pianos and strings, I like the warm sound that comes from the Fantom. When I want more synth-like sounds, I use the ES. Both contain excellent drum samples.

I honesly prefer the interface of the Fantom of course and I think the color LCD is a big help.

Hope my two cents helps someone "torn" between the two.

Take care,

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Postby Tweak on Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:27 pm

Thanks for you thoughts.
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Postby darrylhill on Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:03 am

I have the Korg Trinity Pro V3. As a DAW it is very quick to work on and has plenty of expansion. On under a minute I could change the whole sound palette with disk libraries. There are ribbon controllers, Joysticks, Pedal controllers, after touch that is amazing for breathing performance life into a sound. I would'nt imagine life without it. Many people that traded up for the Triton wished they stuck with Trinity from tales I've read.
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Postby nishgriff on Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:10 am

I voted Triton, once you get used to triton's way of working, it's hard to switch. I used to the the Triton LE, but i never used the workstation features... so i sold it and bought the Triton Rack and loaded the LE soundset into it... I use it with an Axiom 49 which is a nicer keyboard than the LE too.
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Postby yuro_inyourface on Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:00 pm

Listen: if you don´t own them or tried them, what´s your argument to give an opinion. if you use software, go to another part of the site!
Yamaha is better in key feeling.
yamaha is more complicated. it´s learning curve is bigger.
roland is more human ready, taht is, easier to navigate and operate.
roland is great in manuals.
yamaha is better in organ, strings sounds.
roland is the one for electronic.
since the feeling of "have things in your hands" is important for the hardware stuff, I´ll stay with yamaha.
no korg idea...
take reality into your equation...
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Postby k_heidt on Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:04 pm

I own a phantom S, and have used the triton. I think the Triton has slightly better overall sound quality, but the Roland has a much easier to use interface. As a workstation (or funstation), I'm able to get a lot more done on the Roland, and it does have some of the best wind instrument sounds.

k heidt
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Postby Tweak on Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:23 pm

The Fantom definitely has some plusses in its sampler and sequencer.

I just checked out the Motif XS--you know, there is no piano roll editor in the sequencer. In the Korg M3 there are no drum grids for editing patterns. But even the Fantom S, a machine almost 5 years old, has these features perfectly implemented. The Fantom also has those pads. You can place midi patterns as well as samples on them. It would be interesting to do an in depth comparison of what the Fantom can do on its 16 pads vs what the M3 can do in its 8 pads. Anyone want to comment?

However, Yamaha XS has a largest and the newest rom. And it will load a gigabyte of samples if you add the memory sticks. Plus it has a huge array of musical styles so well represented. The Roland sounds are not as new, and indeed some of the SRX sounds go back to the early nineties JV/XP synths. (Not that age makes them bad, a good sound is always good)
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To be honest...

Postby TZA on Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:47 pm

I prefer the Motif but, this is all a matter of matching the playing style of the composer, the genre and right soundset together. I own the Motif Classic and was impressed with the improvements offered in the ES model but, held off on purchasing another workstation until the XS came out.
Spend a fair amount of time utilizing new gear properly and you can turn out great things on almost any decent workstation. Too many 1st time workstation buyers purchase "that board the top producer/composer of the day has" right next to that group is boards bought off 'that tight A** demo in the autoload", when at the end of the day the one you need is the one with the functionality that suits your musical creation needs.
I now have more than enough to create with at my disposal between the Motif 6, Motif XS6 and MM6 so, yes I'm Yamaha dedicated but I've heard awesome compositions from my buddy's Fantom X6, Fusion HD6 and Triton...worst case scenario I'll run by his place in the van, help him load in the boards, grab a case of brew and have them all close at hand.
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Re: Trinity... Motif 6...Fantom Xa...NOW the E-MU PK-6!!

Postby poman on Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:24 pm

misscc wrote:I have owned the Motif 6, Korg Trinity, and Roland Fantom Xa. But now I own the PK-6 something that I can easily learn and is on my level. BUt out of the 3 i meantioned above the Fantom was the easiest and I liked it. But now its all about the PK-6!!

Isn't that the Proteus 2000 with keys?

My rule of thumb is that if I can't figure out how to sequence on the thing in the music store without asking the sales guy or cracking open the manual, then it won't work for me.

But I must amend that thinking a bit because I use an MPC for sequencing. So I guess my previous rule of thumb is mute. My new rule of thumb is if I can't figure out how to set the workstation/module up in multi-timbral mode for external sequencing, then it's not for me.

With that being said, I love the Roland Fantom. There are no funny hoops to jump through when trying to set up your different sounds for sequencing. That big display sold me especially after using other Roland keyboards like the xp30, 50, and 80.

But I must admit, the new Motif XS has beast potential. I'll have to go check it out again before I abandon the Fantom X.
Well, let's try it and see what happens.
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Postby Tweak on Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:32 am

This poll was updated tonight.
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Re: Rate the Triton, Motif and Fantom Series

Postby plateau studios on Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:24 am

September 28, 2008

I have had the MOTIF X7 for five months now. I bought it before the Roland G7 hit the sales floor.

What would I have bought first ? I do not know. I bought the Motif XS because I was floored by
the great sound. I was impressed by the Motif ES series but not enough.
I almost bought the Korg M3 because of price and I still want the Karma. I tried the articulated
voicing on the Roland V2 synth and it did not compare with the Motif XS. I think this is mostly do
to the fact that articulated voicing is a new product/technology and will take a good year to exploit
its full potential. This is true for Korg M3 and Motif XS as well. I have accidently created some awesome
voices on the Motif XS.

The CONS on the MOTIF XS. The manual is thorough but is written in techno terms rather than
on a step 1, step 2, step 3 basis. The recent postings on the YAMAHA Motif user web site has clarified
many of the issues with many free tutorials and videos. Kudos. The Motif XS is not user friendly at first.
But consider this, it is so powerful and FLEXIBLE it must needs be more difficult to program.

The presets and combinations are only a starting point and many are great right out of the box. Kudos
to the programmer. The presets not only represent a full gender of voices but also represent a full gender
of styles and music. They do kick start compositions.
I did A B tests against the Roland X7 and the KORG M3 in the same room with the same monitors for
at least 8 different days over a one month period. I was sold on the MOTIF XS's sound.

The market for MOTIF XS sound sets, arpeggio sets, and performance sets is brand new. If you own a
MOTIF XS you can start your own business. I would think the same is true for the ROLAND G series and the

It would be nice to have a random voice/performance generator such as 'Musicquest' provides. I had a command
development generator for my ROLAND D-50 and KORG M1R and it was great. I could generate 100 presets
at a time in seconds with about 4 or 5 great new sounds out of each batch. It takes much less time to audition
(about 5 to 10 minutes) 100 new presets than it does to tweak a sound from scrath. It would be nice to have
this on most new keyboards, i.e. KORG, ROLAND, and YAMAHA. It would be nice if you could lock the generator
specifics such as waveform, effects, LFO's, each independently before generating new patches/performances .

I read the reviews for all three products and all three products are great, hands down. My first impressions
and sales points overlooked on the MOTIF XS is this.

1. The key action on the MOTIF is SUPERB. I have played keys for over 40 years now and I can do things on the
MOTIF I have never done before, and only because of the great key action. I met another pro keyboard player
who bought the MOTIF and he said the same thing.
2. The voice/performance configuration of the MOTIF XS lends itself to being one of the best ways to
configure a keyboard for natural pipe organ set ups. The MOTIF X series actually has several great pipe waves
on board. I'm going to add more pipe waves/ with articulated voicing, WOW.
3. The articulative voicing has been well reviewed and is extremely powerful. With 8 slots available with random
settings and more. PROGRAMMING THIS HAS JUST SCRATCHED THE SURFACE! YAMAHA could have spent another
year programming this keyboard but they did not, to their credit. They have a new OS update already, and this
machine will hold it's own for several years to come. I am constantly blown away while playing by the subtle
nuances of the articulated voicing, and couple that with the on board controllers and foot controller, POW!
4. B3 sounds, click, pop, and resonance control, with the rotor controlled by the foot pedal. IT'S A KILLER!
The first time I smack it with a new group everybody's head turns. Really. Layer this with the electric pianos
and vocoder and you have a really incredible sound(S).

I expect to buy the ROLAND G7 this October. Why? I love the sound of Roland, ease of use, warm pads,
sexy case. CONS. The D-beam controller should be a plug in unit that can mount anywhere the keyboard
player wants it. I will never take my second hand off the keyboard, it's too busy.
What will happen if you patch the ROLAND G7 into the YAMAHA effects inputs? What will happen if you patch
the MOTIF XS into the ROLAND effects inputs? It's a great time to be a musician !

I expect to buy the KORG M3 shortly thereafter. What will happen if I plug the MOTIF XS and ROLAND G7
into the KORG M3 KARMA outputs?

What does the future portend ?:
I again, would like to see all pro keyboards have a random generator, they work great and are so easy to program.

Please, eliminate the LCD from the keyboard and provide a LCD plug for my own LCD display. I want to have the
lyrics of the song go buy or the sheet music scroll buy. Add to that a set of videos ready to broadcast on the local
pubs screen. A good reason to shut down the sportscasts!

Eight sliders plus volume control is now an ipso facto standard.

All three keyboards have 16 bit sampling. 24 bit sampling will soon be standard.
Yamaha has set a 1 gigabyte memory as the new benchmark. A full CD worth of recording time.

Propellorheads new arpeggio in REASON has broken some new ground and as it software based I expect to
see continued improvements in the keyboards.

FINALLY: If you take one octave on the keyboard and go up fifty octaves you reach the spectrum of light.
The light spectrum is EXACTLY one octave of music, physically and mathmatically. This is not arbitrary.
When the software writers and musicians understand this thoroughly some very interesting things will occur.
How about a light show run by midi that has lights that physically correspond to the real color of the note.
How about a room decorated in a harmonic chord with graces notes of color that are in a music scale.

Again, It is a great time to be a musician. John
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