The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard has been highly regarded among musicians and performers, especially those who have experienced the Motif series. This series has been known for providing excellent keyboards with impressive features at affordable prices. The MX88 continues this tradition by offering a portable keyboard that not only helps develop playing skills but also provides a genuine acoustic instrument experience.

Although the Motif series already boasted great keyboards, the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard manages to surprise and impress musicians with its additional features. Technology has a way of introducing new elements that we never knew we needed, and the MX88 exemplifies this phenomenon. It has had a significant impact on the music careers of many individuals, enhancing their musical expression and creativity.

While the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard may not be the most budget-friendly digital piano, it is highly regarded for its outstanding quality. Many customers who have purchased this piano have given it a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, emphasizing its reliability and performance.

Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard
Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard
Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard

Physical Appearance

The Yamaha MX88 is surprisingly lightweight despite its large size, which is quite remarkable. When you unbox the keyboard, you’ll find yourself questioning how a weighted keyboard can be so light. This is made possible by advancements in technology that have allowed Yamaha to incorporate all the features into lightweight materials. It’s important to note that the lightweight materials used are not cheap or flimsy; they are carefully chosen to maintain the keyboard’s elegance and durability.

The keyboard has a sleek and elegant design that would complement any home or stage decor. The matte finish adds to its aesthetic appeal and helps conceal any smudges or fingerprints on the surface. Despite its lightweight construction, the keyboard doesn’t compromise on the quality of the keys, the materials used for its construction, or its overall sturdiness. The keys are not only weighted but also meticulously graded to ensure easy and high-quality performance.

Thanks to its lightweight nature, the Yamaha MX88 is highly portable. You can effortlessly move the keyboard from one place to another throughout the day, and it will still maintain its fresh look and feel. Its portability adds to its convenience, making it a great choice for musicians who are frequently on the go.

Sound Production

The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard truly excels when it comes to the quality and realism of its sound. Firstly, the keyboard offers a vast library of over 1000 Motif sounds. These sounds are meticulously crafted to be of high quality and are designed to make your music production process enjoyable and immersive. As you explore further, you’ll discover the impressive 128-voice polyphony and the exceptional synth engine.

What sets the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard apart is not just the presence of these features (as many other keyboards offer similar capabilities), but rather the outstanding quality and impact they deliver. Unlike some devices that include features with subpar performance solely for marketing purposes, the Yamaha MX88’s polyphony and synth engine are designed to make the instrument sound remarkably better and more natural. The synth sounds are thoughtfully categorized into comps, pads, and leads, further enhancing the versatility and creative possibilities of the instrument.

The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboardoffers an exceptional range of sounds that include superb basses, electric and acoustic guitars, which are rarely found in its price range. The expressiveness of these sounds is truly remarkable, and they are further enhanced by the inclusion of Leslie effects and tonewheel organs, adding a touch of authenticity to your playing. Additionally, the keyboard features tuned percussion, brass, and orchestral strings that can be utilized in both MIDI score mockups and live arrangements, providing versatility for various musical contexts. With 208 rhythm patterns to choose from, the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard offers a wealth of options for accompaniment, and it’s worth noting the incredible quality of the drum kits, which sound brilliant and dynamic.

DAW Control

The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard is equipped with a highly regarded DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) control surface, making it one of the best four-knob keyboards available in this regard. It includes launch-and-go templates for popular DAWs such as Cakewalk Sonar, MOTU Digital Performer, Steinberg Cubase, and Apple Logic Pro X. The inclusion of these templates ensures seamless integration and efficient control over your DAW workflow.

One notable software included is Cubase AI, which provides powerful tools for editing, mixing, and recording. It caters to both experienced musicians and beginners, offering advanced features while maintaining user-friendly functionality. This presents an excellent opportunity for learners to gain hands-on experience with one of the industry’s top music production software tools. Whether you are a seasoned musician or a beginner, the Yamaha MX88’s DAW control surface and bundled software provide a comprehensive solution for your music production needs.

FM Essential

The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard features the impressive Yamaha VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) FX engine, which delivers exceptional modeled effects. In addition, the keyboard seamlessly integrates with iOS devices, allowing you to use the FM Essential synth app on your iPhone. This integration opens up possibilities for using mobile recorders and adding personal effects to your music.

The FM Essential app is a free FM synthesizer app that comes with ten voices. However, when you connect it to the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard via the USB camera, you unlock access to over 270 different voices. These voices encompass a wide range, from classic ’80s sounds to the latest EDM tones. Just imagine the fun and creative potential of sampling and experimenting with all these voices! Moreover, the app enables voice editing and provides built-in effects, a step sequencer for automating control changes, drum phrases, and EQ controls. This combination of the Yamaha MX88 and the FM Essential app offers a comprehensive and versatile toolset for exploring and shaping your musical ideas.


The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard offers seamless connectivity options, making it a versatile hub for your music studio. With MIDI class-compliant and USB audio capabilities, you can easily connect the keyboard to other instruments and devices for optimal performance. The MIDI functionality enables you to record stereo audio and exchange files between the MX88, your computer, and iOS devices.

This feature is particularly useful when recording in a digital audio workstation (DAW) as you can listen to mixes through headphones or speakers. Furthermore, the MX88’s onboard controls can be used to manipulate plugin parameters in the DAW, thanks to its integration with remote control templates. This streamlines your workflow and facilitates quick and intuitive operation of both the keyboard and software. Additionally, the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard features a 16-channel MIDI interface, allowing you to use it as a tone generator or keyboard controller, providing even more flexibility and versatility in your music production.


The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard is a high-end keyboard that offers a range of impressive specifications and features:

  • 128-note polyphony, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted performance with support for 16-track sequencing
  • 88 GHS keys (Graded Hammer Standard) that replicate the feel of an acoustic piano, with lighter keys in the higher register and heavier keys in the lower register
  • FM Essential capability, expanding the range of sounds and tones available
  • Matte black finishing on the keytops, providing a tactile surface that prevents slipping even during extended playing sessions
  • Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) technology, accurately reproducing the characteristics and sounds of vintage effects and signal processors
  • Powerful MOTIF sound engine, allowing for advanced voice control with randomization, cycling, zoning, layering, and eight different elements per voice
  • Damper Resonance feature, recreating the resonance of a grand piano for a more authentic sound
  • DAW remote controls, enabling seamless integration with digital audio workstations
  • USB port for convenient data transfer and storage via USB flash drives
  • 1/8-inch auxiliary input, facilitating connection to mobile devices and tablets
  • Auto-shutoff feature that activates after a period of inactivity, conserving power
  • Included software bundle featuring Cubase AI, Yamaha YC-3B, and Steinberg Prologue for expanded music production capabilities.
Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard
Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard


  • The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard is remarkably light and highly portable,
  • The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard is built with a sturdy construction that enhances its durability
  • The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard features an appealing aesthetic, with a design that is visually pleasing and stylish.
  • The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard delivers exceptional sound production
  •  USB connectivity for audio and MIDI
  •  User-friendly and  Easy to use
  • The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard offers exceptional value for its price, making it an affordable choice for musicians seeking a high-quality keyboard .


  • The size of the LCD display may appear small to some users.
  • The keyboard does not come with an integrated music stand.
  • To connect the keyboard to your iPhone device, you will need to purchase the Lightning USB cable separately as it is not included with the keyboard.

User Testimonials

“This product is fantastic! It is used by a touring band and can withstand the rigors of travel. It is durable and comes with many effects.” – Review by an Amazon Customer

I began using this exceptional synthesizer/keyboard because of issues with my hands.

 The bass guitar emulation is amazing and it allows me to continue gigging. The people I play with are thrilled with the sound. This instrument is competent and reasonably priced. Paired with a Fender Rumble 100 bass amp, it brings all my riffs and favorite techniques to life.” – Review by Wiley

I adore the piano sounds and pads, although I had anticipated greater versatility in terms of layering and splitting functions. Unfortunately, you can only use one or the other at a given time, but not both together!” – Review by Kevin


The Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard is a versatile gigging keyboard that offers a wide range of features to explore. It is suitable for beginners to develop their skills and provides a challenge for professionals to enhance their abilities. The inclusion of a full motif synth engine is impressive considering its value. With eight different elements and comprehensive synthesis capabilities including filters, oscillators, modulation, and envelopes, it surpasses other keyboards in its price range. Whether you are an experienced musician or a learner, the Yamaha Mx88 Keyboard stands out as one of the best “basic” keyboards available, offering immense value and functionality.