Coming up: Yamaha Montage standalone VST

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I've had the M8x since the day it was released.
It addresses many of my criticisms of the OG Montage.
Not by any means perfect, but (IMO) the overall best "all-in-one" type workstation.

A single Part of a Performance can now use up to 128 Elements (loosely an oscillator).
Combine that with various trigger conditions... and you've got the closest thing (currently) to Kontakt in hardware.

Yamaha will be releasing Montage M OS v2 in June.
There are some nice new features... but I would like to see the AN-X engine expanded.
In particular, I'd like to see more filter options... and more control over mono voice articulation.
The included filters sound a bit generic.
ESP with full editing will be released as part of this update.
There's no mention of it being sold separately (you'll have to be a Montage M owner).

The keybed on the M8x feels great. As mentioned above by IvyBirds, it's a nice balance of weighted... but not stiff/slow (which really hampers quick synth/organ runs).
ie: If you're in a cover band playing Carry On Wayward Son, trying to play that fast organ solo on a slow/stiff keybed is a nightmare.

I've owned all the top-tier workstation keyboards... as well as Nord Stage 3/4.
The M8x may be the overall best keybed I've played.
Stage 4's keybed also feels great (lighter than the M8x - better for super fast passages).
I also like the Kronos 88 keybed.

Biggest downside to the M8x is the size/weight.
It's HUGE!
In a soft case, it's over 80 pounds.
The Nord Stage 4 is about 20 pounds lighter.

The reasons I haven't (yet) migrated to the M8x (for live use):
-Size/weight
-Stage 4's VA synth engine is a bit more convincing for Moog like mono synth sounds
In nearly every other way, the M8x is superior to the Stage 4.
Jim Roseberry
Purrrfect Audio
www.studiocat.com
jim@studiocat.com

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Just guessing here, but it may be the nature of poly AT boards that need a "tank encasement" to protect it. I've mentioned before the Ensoniq suffered from continual repairs to keep their boards functioning and their boards were designed for gig portability. I remember the Prophet T-8 back in the 80s being "weighty" also and SC warned it was better suited for studio as well. Bulk is something that aesthetically has been something that has kept me from the full 88 Yamaha boards as well. I'm hoping they may relax the vst requirements in perhaps stages with the first after M owners being to those of us that own the OG Montage... I can hope!

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There is a thread on yamahamusicians.com where the internals of the Montage M are discussed
https://yamahamusicians.com/forum/viewt ... 80a13c744c

Montage M Hardware
3XSWP70:
- SWP70: AWM2 128 Voice Preset Samples - SDRAM 16+32 MByte - Flash 4 GByte (10 GB when converted to 16 bit linear format)
- SWP70: AWM2 128 Voices User Samples - SDRAM 16+32 MByte - Flash 4 GByte: User 3.7 GB + 0.3 GB ???
- Slave SWP70: FM-X SDRAM 16 MByte
SSP3: management of digital audio on the serial audio bus (AD INPUT, USB Audio, 3 X SWP70,..)
Main CPU (management, user interface and AN-X synthesis): Texas Instruments Sitara AM5728BABCXA SoC including:
Dual-core ARM Cortex A15 MPU (1.5 GHz)
Dual-core TI TMS320C66x DSP (750 MHz)
Quad-core ARM Cortex M4 IPU (213 MHz)
Dual-core PoverVR SGX544 GPU (532 MHz)
eMMC ?GByte (OS, software, presets, ....) + RAM 512 MByte DDR3

The SWP70 were also present in the older Montages, however the Texas Instruments Sitara AM5728BABCXA SoC part is new and programmable. That means Yamaha can expand the ANX synth with various new functions. It wouldn’t surprise me if we would see a wavetable oscillator in the ANX synth. Or more midi functionality using the scanning tech in the GEX keybed. Expect PolyBrute12 things 😊

The model MONTAGE M8x features a newly developed, special keyboard called “GEX”, which supports Polyphonic Aftertouch. Unlike other keyboards, the GEX keyboard does not use conventional key contacts, but electromagnetic induction. With this technology, each individual key position can be continuously scanned. In addition, the keyboard supports software updates, which enables the future development of further techniques and articulations beyond Polyphonic Aftertouch
(https://sandsoftwaresound.net/montage-m8x-key-notes/)


I really love the keybed in M8X, not too heavy for my non-pianist fingers and the expression possibilities on the instrument are just incredible. It is really a performers instrument. As limited as the ESP plugin is now, it is still very usable when using the hardware. All controllers are readily assigned to the plugins ones, no hassle to set up things. It just works.

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BBFG# wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 8:51 am I've mentioned before the Ensoniq suffered from continual repairs to keep their boards functioning and their boards were designed for gig portability.
I used to be an Ensoniq repair station. They did initially have problems with the design of the poly AT key assemblies, and it took them a VERY long time (like a year, or more) to sort it out. There were multiple fixes released that didn't actually fix the problem. This makes it seem like they had to be repaired often to keep them going. When they finally sorted the problem, and the fix was installed, I never saw any problems come back again. I'm still using an original VFX, with the fix installed, as my daily use controller.
Man, I wish I hadn't just said that. I've surely just jinxed myself for controller issues in the near future :dog:

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The Ensoniqs we dealt with were the EPS, which we coined was short for "Everybody's Piece of Sh#t".
The Prophet T-8 used an optical sensor IIRC.
I imagine electric-magnetics have their own considerations and that anything increasing the complexity of the keybed might require some extra protection for stability. I'm far from considering a new hardware purchase, but I'm definitely watching and waiting to see the evolution.
Definitely in the market for the software though.

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Cepheus wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 9:37 am The SWP70 were also present in the older Montages, however the Texas Instruments Sitara AM5728BABCXA SoC part is new and programmable. That means Yamaha can expand the ANX synth with various new functions. It wouldn’t surprise me if we would see a wavetable oscillator in the ANX synth
I have thought about that for a long time, I actually think if they ever add Wavetables to the Montage they will be included in the FM-X engine

The way FM-X is out together it would be insanely more powerful there

Casting aside the implications of having all those waveforms available to FM against each other, when used as a carrier by themselves with no modulators the Operators become very powerful Wavetables Oscillators connected directly to the amplifier

You could depending on the algorithm have up to 8 of them, you could also set up a patch with DX7 style 6op FM and then have two free operators that could each be a Wavetable layered with that

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