Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:03 pm

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:45 pm
I still don't understand why you want to sample a sampled piano for playing live when the Montage and Kronos have very good pianos which would be good enough for live use? I am not sure many in the audience would notice that you are not using Synthology C7, if you follow me. And would you be able to sample all the nuances in that engine good enough to make it worth the effort?
I play mostly rock songs on piano and for me the Synthogy C7 just sounds/feels right to my ears when I play it. Maybe no one in the audience will notice, but I will. I don't know if it's just me or a musician thing... I think if I am happier when playing this particular piano, it will shine through, and so the audience will be happier in the end, thus hopefully enjoying the performance more overall.

It will come down to your last question about whether or not I will be able to sample all the nuances to make it worth while...I definitely will give it my best shot, but if after trying to make it work, if it doesn't sound right & the sample triggering/nuances are off the mark, then I will likely scrap that idea and try the next best thing...right now that could potentially be the K-Sounds Epic Grand!?

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:45 pm
the Kronos SGX-2 piano engine (with sympathetic string resonance) is the best sampled piano I have heard and I used it for all of the piano driven tracks in Welsh Floyd. But I now have the option of using Pianoteq of course live with my NUC PC.... I personally prefer modelling to sampling as modelling can take account of nuances that sampling never can. Depending on how good the model is of course.
As I mentioned, I don't want to bring anything extra to gigs besides just the one keyboard, but who knows, maybe after reading about your gig rack setup & if the autosampling doesnt' work good enough, maybe I will change my mind and get a NUC!?

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:45 pm
I did provide links in my second post above to my guides on the gig rack :) but here they are again for convenience
Gig Rack Guide
Cantabile Guide
Thanks!
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:19 pm

Well, you have all the info and guidance I can provide, now you need to figure what is best for you. Keep us posted. :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:20 am

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:19 pm
Well, you have all the info and guidance I can provide, now you need to figure what is best for you. Keep us posted. :)
Thanks to everyone for all their help.
Side question on Polyphony (maybe not for this topic, but...) - If I import Sampled sounds into the Montage,
1. Does each sampled sound take up 1 'part' in a performance? Or can several different sampled sounds be added to various keys in a single 'part'?
2. How does an imported sample count against polyphony?

Thanks,
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Chummy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:57 pm

Personally as a pianist and I'm not much of an organ player I enjoy the Montage. I don't have much experience with the Korg but I'd agree with Saul and the others we are talking apples VS oranges. Both are great, both have professional sounds. Are you a BMW or a Mustang guy?

Montage 8 touch is like a regular acoustic piano. I've got Essex upright by Steinway and sons at my parents' house and pretty much enjoy both keyboards at the same level of fun key action wise. YAMAHA pianos have been always the best IMO although do note that Korg (and Nord) while not making acoustic pianos and IMO have inferior bulid quality give you as a trade off way more sound variety of European piano samples while you only get YAMAHA made pianos (and Bosendorfer which are owned) resulting in awesome pianos, yes but really not much variety at all. Some of the samples on the Kronos are just darn right amazing!

I still believe Kronos is more value of money but again personally I find the Montage a way more inspiring instrument. I don't nearly as much sit and program complicated stuff/patches rather than enjoy what's been already made (well I've got my unit for a month so). The sequencer function on the Kronos is useless for me, and the interface is even harder than what NORD does which is actually a hard feat to achieve. The Montage is uncharacteristically easy to use, normally if you know the MOXF it looks like somebody puked a bunch of buttons all over the board and put a small screen in the middle.

Before I had the Montage and my old DX7II I used a bunch of shitty Roland keyboards to use on stage and at home (VR-09, FA-06). The sounds sucked badly, the bulid quality was unreliably cheap but oh boy what a joy to work with the interface!! Roland are the most user friendly overall in terms of ergonomics and design. So when I saw the Montage as a good sounding well built keyboard with Roland-esque interface I bought it.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:00 pm

Wow, this is my 100th post! ;)

Chummy wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:57 pm
I'd agree with Saul and the others we are talking apples VS oranges. Both are great, both have professional sounds. Are you a BMW or a Mustang guy?
I wouldn't say apples VS oranges when comparing them. More like McIntosh vs Red Delicious ;)


Chummy wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:57 pm
Korg (and Nord) while not making acoustic pianos and IMO have inferior bulid quality give you as a trade off way more sound variety of European piano samples while you only get YAMAHA made pianos (and Bosendorfer which are owned) resulting in awesome pianos, yes but really not much variety at all. Some of the samples on the Kronos are just darn right amazing!
I have no doubt that the Kronos has awesome pianos and a great variety of them available. That made my decision to choose the Montage8 harder. But I am getting the sense that Yamaha are looking to add more in the future. They already have the hottest new synth on the planet with the MODX, so why would they not build on that and continually add new pianos, sounds, features, etc. They expect they are smart enough to know that Korg and Roland, etc. are going to compete and offer more, better sounds and features in their future updates &/or models.
But just looking at what's available now for the Montage, there is a decent C7 Grand available in the K-Sounds 'Epic Grand', the Synthogy American Grand (American "D" Concert Grand Piano), the K-Sounds Steinway D concert grand, and K-Sounds Kawai EX concert grand, along with a few others.
Not only is it in Yamaha's best interest, but also the other companies that release virtual pianos would be wise to have a Montage/MODX compatible version to sell, because sales would definitely increase. Hopefully we will see more piano libaries become available in the near future, especially including European and other ones...

The future looks bright! :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:11 pm
If Korg, Yamaha or any of the manufacturers really were smart and wanted to take the market by storm, one of them would come out with a new workstation/synth that also has an additional built in computer as it's own VST engine, whereby you could install all your VSTs, and they could become parts of performances with all the other engines' sounds onboard. Why have none of them thought of this yet?
A boutique keyboard manufacturer cannot build and sell a VST-capable computer nearly as cheaply as a computer company can. You can get what you want by putting a laptop, Mac Mini, whatever on your keyboard, for less money than what to would add to the price of keyboard. That said, Kronos (not an inexpensive keyboard) does essentially have a VST-capable computer inside. (That's also related to why it takes so long to boot.) But if they "opened it up" to let you install VSTs on it, you'd have the same issues you have with computers running VSTs. Kronos gives you what people want in dedicated keyboards... consistent interface, ability to seamlessly mix and match all sounds and seamlessly switch among them at any time, virtually rock solid operation without crashes or latency, no need to reconfigure or tweak anything or risk messing up the stability of your system when you add a new sound package. But if you want a VST, get a Windows Surface or whatever, and integrate its sounds with the EXT functions of the Kronos Combis (or the Zone Master capabilities of the Montage Performances.)
vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:24 am
- I need to have a Balanced Keybed (like BHE) to trigger the piano samples evenly, especially in the mid/lower part of the keyboard, something the MODX8 GHS keybed does not do (this one could be nullified in a future software/firmware release if they implemented some kind of 'Velocity Scaling')
Kronos action is graded, not balanced. But so is a real piano, by its nature, and that does not stop a piano from being played naturally. I know from your other posts that your MODX concern is that it may be using a graded action to trigger samples calibrated for a balanced action, that's a different topic. But there's nothing inherent to a graded action that makes it play less smoothly. (And any software change to the velocity scaling of the MODX8 wouldn't actually change the graded physical feel of the keyboard.)

Question for you: Which sounds (if any) are of concern to you OTHER than acoustic piano?
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 pm
A boutique keyboard manufacturer cannot build and sell a VST-capable computer nearly as cheaply as a computer company can. You can get what you want by putting a laptop, Mac Mini, whatever on your keyboard, for less money than what to would add to the price of keyboard. That said, Kronos (not an inexpensive keyboard) does essentially have a VST-capable computer inside. (That's also related to why it takes so long to boot.) But if they "opened it up" to let you install VSTs on it, you'd have the same issues you have with computers running VSTs. Kronos gives you what people want in dedicated keyboards... consistent interface, ability to seamlessly mix and match all sounds and seamlessly switch among them at any time, virtually rock solid operation without crashes or latency, no need to reconfigure or tweak anything or risk messing up the stability of your system when you add a new sound package. But if you want a VST, get a Windows Surface or whatever, and integrate its sounds with the EXT functions of the Kronos Combis (or the Zone Master capabilities of the Montage Performances.)
I don't want to take extra equipement with me to gigs, such as a Surface or iPad. I want the convenience of running everything on the synth itself. I would pay a little extra for this convenience if it meant integrating all my VSTs onboard the Synth.
I'm talking about the convenience of having a VST engine/computer built into the Synth, whereby Yamaha/Korg/etc. team up/partner with a computer manufacturer to add in the computer part...maybe the synth's interface could be an Ipad or Surface that servers a dual purpose!? I'm just saying that if one of the manufacturer's added this in as an integrated engine, potential buyers like me would buy it and I think it would take the Synth industry by storm. It could be used as an onboard DAW, etc., all built in. Maybe it's a linux based computer running 'Cantabile' for the VSTs!? Either way, they would likely have to add $200-$300 to the cost of the Synth, but I bet many would pay to have this feature built in. I would bet money that if Korg or Yamaha added this engine feature, the sales scale would tip quickly in their favor!

Not sure what you are talking about regarding "the same issues you have with computers running VSTs"!? I've never had an issue with any VST I've installed and used on my Windows PC..!?

anotherscott wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Kronos action is graded, not balanced. But so is a real piano, by its nature, and that does not stop a piano from being played naturally. I know from your other posts that your MODX concern is that it may be using a graded action to trigger samples calibrated for a balanced action, that's a different topic. But there's nothing inherent to a graded action that makes it play less smoothly. (And any software change to the velocity scaling of the MODX8 wouldn't actually change the graded physical feel of the keyboard.)
With the Kronos, they obviously either programmed the pianos to trigger evenly with their graded keybed or their graded keybed was designed to trigger the samples evenly (unlike the MODX8 keybed which doesn't trigger the samples evenly), otherwise it wouldn't play very well, as it would be graded twice like with the MODX8! VST piano samples are sampled with an even triggering mechanism on a naturally graded actioned acoustic piano. So logically it makes sense that the keybed that triggers these piano samples (which already have the graded action built-in from the acoustic piano they sampled from), should trigger them evenly, or they Synth software should be programmed or scaled to compensate if the keybed isn't triggering them evenly. Yamaha need to do this with the MODX8 for pianos, because currently IMHO it is unplayable!
This is just "piano sampling 101" (pun intended as this is my 101th post) :)

anotherscott wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Question for you: Which sounds (if any) are of concern to you OTHER than acoustic piano?
Any sounds that are AWM2 based with 'multiple sample layers' that would be affected by a keybed that doesn't trigger evenly, considering that there is no good or easy way to compensate for this at this point. Violins, cellos, guitars (acoustic & electric), drums, brass/horns, etc.
If Yamaha were to add a feature like Velocity Scaling, or even better, an option you can choose that changes the global velocity triggering to emulate how the BHE keybed triggers multiple layered samples on a MODX8 synth, then that would fix the issue.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm
I don't want to take extra equipement with me to gigs, such as a Surface or iPad. I want the convenience of running everything on the synth itself. I would pay a little extra for this convenience if it meant integrating all my VSTs onboard the Synth.
I'm talking about the convenience of having a VST engine/computer built into the Synth, whereby Yamaha/Korg/etc. team up/partner with a computer manufacturer to add in the computer part...they would likely have to add $200-$300 to the cost of the Synth
Where are you getting that number from? Can you even buy a $200-$300 computer that satisfactorily runs VSTs? (And one that's small enough that you could envision it being built into keyboards, and one that doesn't need a noisy fan, and one from a company that offers known reliability?)

Anyway, as I said, a keyboard company can't sell a computer as cheaply as a computer company can. A company like Dell or Apple pays less for their components, has fewer layers of distribution, and sells in much larger quantities. They work on smaller profit margins, in terms of hardware markup. Something that costs Dell $100 to make might sell on their web site for around $130-$140. Something that costs Yamaha or Korg $100 to add into one of their keyboards probably adds more like $400-$500 to the final selling price. So for example, the cost of adding the equivalent of a $500 computer to a keyboard would probably add over $1500 to the cost of a keyboard. Instead, you can just attach the $500 computer. I understand, you don't want to take extra equipment to the gig, but how many people do you think would be willing to pay an extra $1000+ to have the same computer power built in instead of external? And you're still stuck with merely a $500 computer, which is not exactly state of the art high performance, either. And it will not be so easily upgradable if it is inside your keyboard.

If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8 (which has a good amount of free panel space) and just leave it there so the whole thing sill moves in one piece, and you program Performances that include external sounds (using the Zone Master feature), and you connect the Surface into the MODX's built in USB interface, how different is this really from what you want? To me i looks like basically a more cost effective way to do the same thing. The biggest downside may be having to plug in two AC adapters instead of one (for charging the Surface).

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm
Not sure what you are talking about regarding "the same issues you have with computers running VSTs"!? I've never had an issue with any VST I've installed and used on my Windows PC..!?
The issues I described were that a computer-based VST system lacks the the Kronos hardware advantages of "consistent interface, ability to seamlessly mix and match all sounds and seamlessly switch among them at any time, virtually rock solid operation without crashes or latency, no need to reconfigure or tweak anything or risk messing up the stability of your system when you add a new sound package." Maybe you've been lucky in avoiding some of that, people's experiences do vary (and/or maybe some of those differences don't matter to you, as would likely be the case if, for example, all you're trying to do is play a single piano VST), but some of that is just inherent to the difference in the two approaches.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm
VST piano samples are sampled with an even triggering mechanism on a naturally graded actioned acoustic piano.
VST and non-VST pianos are sampled the same way. My point was only that there is no inherent sonic advantage to a non-graded action, though I agree that it makes sense to take the characteristics of the action into account when programming (sample mapping) to make them play well. I was really responding to your initial post, where you said "I need to have a Balanced Keybed" -- but I realize now you may have just been referring to the choice of Montage vs MODX, and not a preference for balanced actions in general (thereby not making it a strike against the Kronos after all).

It's an interesting point about the VSTs, though, as to whether the developers take into account the different responsiveness of balanced vs. graded actions, and to what extent the VST (or perhaps your hosting environment?) can allow you to make related adjustments for whichever action you are playing them from.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm
Yamaha need to do this with the MODX8 for pianos, because currently IMHO it is unplayable!
Obviously, many people find pianos perfectly playable from MODX8... but perhaps few of them have directly compared playing the same pianos on the Montage 8 as you have, and so, in a sense, don't know what they are missing. The thread at viewtopic.php?f=186&t=12460&p=74045&hil ... ity#p73932 does point to a way you might be able to get a more Montage8-like piano response out of the MODX8... though I think the ideal way to attempt this would require having a Montage 8 and a MODX next to each other for reference. But still, yes, it would be a pain to do this for every patch you may want to adjust, and some kind of global adjustment would be preferable.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 pm
anotherscott wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Question for you: Which sounds (if any) are of concern to you OTHER than acoustic piano?
Any sounds that are AWM2 based with 'multiple sample layers' that would be affected
I'm sorry, I was unclear. I wasn't asking which other sounds were affected by the velocity issue, I was asking about which sounds other than piano you care about playing. It's one more factor in determining whether a Montage or Kronos (or even some other keyboard) would be better for you. You've only talked about piano sounds, so I was wondering which non-piano sounds (if any) are important to you.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
Where are you getting that number from? Can you even buy a $200-$300 computer that satisfactorily runs VSTs? (And one that's small enough that you could envision it being built into keyboards

Anyway, as I said, a keyboard company can't sell a computer as cheaply as a computer company can.
Something that costs Yamaha or Korg $100 to add into one of their keyboards probably adds more like $400-$500 to the final selling price. So for example, the cost of adding the equivalent of a $500 computer to a keyboard would probably add over $1500 to the cost of a keyboard. Instead, you can just attach the $500 computer. I understand, you don't want to take extra equipment to the gig, but how many people do you think would be willing to pay an extra $1000+ to have the same computer power built in instead of external?
I just ball park'd it. Not sure where you are getting some of your numbers from?

After a quick amazon search, this would work - $440 'retail':
- Intel 'NUC' mini PC kit NUC7i5BNH
- 2 x 2.2GHz Intel Processors (7th Generation Intel Core i5-7260U)
- 32GB Memory
- 250GB 2.5-inch SSD

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOXNUC7I5B ... +NUC7i5BNH

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-250GB-Ul ... 3-250G-G25

Cantabile software to run VSTs ($70 retail)


But I'm confident that Yamaha's engineers could design & add this same device/software in their synth for far less cost, utilizing the existing CPU's/boards/hardware in the synth, add some extra memory, an SSD disk, and partner up with Cantabile (or even better, Yamaha develop their own software to run the VSTs)! IMHO they could easily do it for $300 additional cost to the synth, but I would even bet more like $100-$200. I and many others would pay the extra for that synth engine, functionality and convenience. No additional computer/tablet, USB cables, hubs, monitors, power adapters, internal battery, etc. All built into the synth onboard. These new synths are basically computers running Linux anyway. Just need to add an SSD disk and maybe a bit more Memory(if necessary).


anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8 (which has a good amount of free panel space) and just leave it there so the whole thing sill moves in one piece, and you program Performances that include external sounds (using the Zone Master feature), and you connect the Surface into the MODX's built in USB interface, how different is this really from what you want? To me i looks like basically a more cost effective way to do the same thing
A Surface would cost far more than the $300 extra to have it all built into the synth to begin with, although the more I think about it, it would likely be more like $100 more, not $300.

anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
The issues I described were that a computer-based VST system lacks the the Kronos hardware advantages of "consistent interface, ability to seamlessly mix and match all sounds and seamlessly switch among them at any time, virtually rock solid operation without crashes or latency, no need to reconfigure or tweak anything or risk messing up the stability of your system when you add a new sound package." Maybe you've been lucky in avoiding some of that, people's experiences do vary (and/or maybe some of those differences don't matter to you, as would likely be the case if, for example, all you're trying to do is play a single piano VST), but some of that is just inherent to the difference in the two approaches.
I've actually played piano, violin strings, cello and sometimes organ VSTs through Kontakt all at the same time without any issues.

I think if Yamaha designed & implemented a VST based engine utilzing their stable OS, it would work flawlessly!
The Montage is already ahead of the Kronos when it comes to stability and efficiency of processing. I found this out on the Korg Forums, where the Kronos has one CPU dedicated to synth processing and the other to effects, whereas the Montage utilizes both CPUs for everything, and thus has far more Polyphony when running multiple layers and multiple engines at the same time. This is the main reason I am going with the Montage over the Kronos!


anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
It's an interesting point about the VSTs, though, as to whether the developers take into account the different responsiveness of balanced vs. graded actions, and to what extent the VST (or perhaps your hosting environment?) can allow you to make related adjustments for whichever action you are playing them from.
I agree. I'd love to sit down with a Synth designer/engineer and discuss this point with them. Would be cool to get their insight.

anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
Obviously, many people find pianos perfectly playable from MODX8... but perhaps few of them have directly compared playing the same pianos on the Montage 8 as you have, and so, in a sense, don't know what they are missing. But still, yes, it would be a pain to do this for every patch you may want to adjust, and some kind of global adjustment would be preferable.
Actually, I demoed the MODX8 first and I knew it was unplayable (for me) that same day.
It wasn't until over a month later that I had an opportunity to demo the Montage8 and really cemented it for me, how awesome the Montage8 keybed feels and sounds for pianos.



anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
I'm sorry, I was unclear. I wasn't asking which other sounds were affected by the velocity issue, I was asking about which sounds other than piano you care about playing. It's one more factor in determining whether a Montage or Kronos (or even some other keyboard) would be better for you. You've only talked about piano sounds, so I was wondering which non-piano sounds (if any) are important to you.
My bad, I misunderstood! :)

I've already long decided on the Montage over the Kronos, and it was discussions on the Korg Forums that helped decide it most as I found out more about the Kronos vs the Montage from their perspective.

Regarding which non-piano sounds are important to me. Although Piano is by far the most important instrument sound for me "by a long shot" over all other sounds, I do however love variety and definitely care about having great violins, strings, pluks, cellos, organs, acoustic/electric guitars, etc.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
After a quick amazon search, this would work - $440 'retail':
...
Cantabile software to run VSTs ($70 retail)
No operating system included, so also add a Windows license. Also check the reviews for that design, noisy fan. Not a design you'd want in a keyboard. But seems like a good starting point, for reference.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
But I'm confident that Yamaha's engineers could design & add this same device/software in their synth for far less cost, utilizing the existing CPU's/boards/hardware in the synth, add some extra memory, an SSD disk, and partner up with Cantabile (or even better, Yamaha develop their own software to run the VSTs)! IMHO they could easily do it for $300 additional cost to the synth
There's no way Yamaha can build an Intel-based computer more cheaply than Intel can. And for the reasons I mentioned earlier, markup is much higher in a keyboard. So even if they could build it (or as much as they need of it) for $300, it would probably add $1200+ to the retail price of the keyboard. Also, most VSTs are written to require Windows or MacOS. You can't write software to run VSTs unless you're on one of those platforms. With a semi-exception coming up next...

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
These new synths are basically computers running Linux anyway. Just need to add an SSD disk and maybe a bit more Memory(if necessary).
That was the idea behind the Muse Receptor. But in the end, I think most would agree, it was for the adventurous user only. And since it was Linux based and VSTs often required Windows, it involved a Windows emulation, but emulations are never flawless, which was probably one reason the system had its quirks.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
anotherscott wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm
If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8...To me it looks like basically a more cost effective way to do the same thing
A Surface would cost far more than the $300 extra to have it all built into the synth to begin with, although the more I think about it, it would likely be more like $100 more, not $300
I don't buy the proposition that Yamaha could build Surface functionality into the MODX and only raise its retail price by $300, to say nothing of $100 (which would mean maybe $20-$25 of additional components and software licensing).

But let's put aside what is and isn't theoretically possible and look at your options today. Same question, cost aside: "If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8 (which has a good amount of free panel space) and just leave it there so the whole thing still moves in one piece, and you program Performances that include external sounds (using the Zone Master feature), and you connect the Surface into the MODX's built in USB interface, how different is this really from what you want? " Other than periodically having to plug in a second AC adapter to keep the Surface charged? You could even get the price down on the Surface by buying a used one.

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
I think if Yamaha designed & implemented a VST based engine utilzing their stable OS, it would work flawlessly!
Their stable OS can't run a VST. Heck, even a Mac can't run a VST unless the developer specifically supports Mac. (Most do, but some VSTs are WIndows only.)

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm
the Montage utilizes both CPUs for everything, and thus has far more Polyphony when running multiple layers and multiple engines at the same time. This is the main reason I am going with the Montage over the Kronos!
It's hard to equate the two's performance when running multiple engines, since the Montage only has two engines and the Kronos has nine... and in the two engine types they have in common, the polyphony edge is unclear.

Sample playback engine: Yamaha (AWM2) polyphony of 128, Kronos (HD1) polyphony of 140. However, in Yamaha's favor, a stereo element uses only one instance of polyphony, vs. two on the Korg. But keep in mind, the vast majority of samples are mono. So for most sampled sounds, Kronos has more polyphony.

FM engine: Yamaha (FM-X) does beat Kronos (MOD-7), 128 to 52. And using the FM engine and sample playback engines simultaneously on the Yamaha does not reduce the polyphony of either engine, whereas on the Kronos, it could.

Polyphony on Kronos' other engines vary, going up to 180 on one of the VA synth engines and 200 on the organ engine, beating anything on the Montage, while some other engines can have as little as 40.

Real world, for live performance at least, I think you're unlikely to hit the limit with either one of them. Either way, honestly, I think there are much more significant differences between these two boards than their polyphony. I'm not saying you shouldn't pick Montage over Kronos, but there are a whole lot of other Kronos features worth consideration, like the other seven engines, the ability to stream samples from disk, many more gigabytes of sound storage, full sequencer, karma, 16-zone MIDI control (vs. 8), free assignment of any sound to any MIDI channel (for external control), the ability to play up to 16 sounds over the keyboard at once (vs. 8), a Set List mode that is more capable than Yamaha's equivalent Live Set. Of course, Montage has some of its own advantages as well.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:06 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
No operating system included, so also add a Windows license. Also check the reviews for that design, noisy fan. Not a design you'd want in a keyboard. But seems like a good starting point, for reference.
Linux is free. Doesn't have to be windows...
The OS on the Montage is Linux and very stable, so they could just utilize the OS of the synth!

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
There's no way Yamaha can build an Intel-based computer more cheaply than Intel can. And for the reasons I mentioned earlier, markup is much higher in a keyboard. So even if they could build it (or as much as they need of it) for $300, it would probably add $1200+ to the retail price of the keyboard. Also, most VSTs are written to require Windows or MacOS. You can't write software to run VSTs unless you're on one of those platforms. With a semi-exception coming up next...
I'm no longer saying they need to build a new computer to add to the Synth...the Synth already is a computer. With Cantabile or a newly Yamaha developed VST engine, the only thing they would need to add is an SSD disk and maybe some additional memory. So add $100 to the cost!

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
That was the idea behind the Muse Receptor. But in the end, I think most would agree, it was for the adventurous user only. And since it was Linux based and VSTs often required Windows, it involved a Windows emulation, but emulations are never flawless, which was probably one reason the system had its quirks.
I have full confidence that Yamaha's programmers could develop a specialized VST engine in Linux that is extremely stable to handle Windows based VSTs. A quick google search finds this (Wine): https://blog.cantabilesoftware.com/cant ... a53090ff0/
Yamaha's programmers could develop a stable emulator or work with Wine to specialize theirs to work flawlessly with the Yamaha Linux OS. I have confidence that Korg's programmers could do the same. The first one to do this will take the market by storm, just like the MODX did for the lower priced synths.

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
I don't buy the proposition that Yamaha could build Surface functionality into the MODX and only raise its retail price by $300, to say nothing of $100 (which would mean maybe $20-$25 of additional components and software licensing).
As I just said, I think either Korg or Yamaha's programmers/engineers could do this, utilizing the existing hardware & OS, adding just one or two new components and have it very stable. We can agree to disagree on this point.

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
But let's put aside what is and isn't theoretically possible and look at your options today. Same question, cost aside: "If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8 (which has a good amount of free panel space) and just leave it there so the whole thing still moves in one piece, and you program Performances that include external sounds (using the Zone Master feature), and you connect the Surface into the MODX's built in USB interface, how different is this really from what you want? " Other than periodically having to plug in a second AC adapter to keep the Surface charged? You could even get the price down on the Surface by buying a used one.
The only difference is cost and a bit of additional complexity with cabling. If someone gave me a free Surface I might even give it a try, but in reality I just want to keep it more simplified and I don't know what a second hand Surface would cost...I'm guessing more than I can afford to or willing to spend.

My main use for VSTs would be for Pianos, and on a MODX8 (because I would want the piano feel on the keys), it would not trigger the samples properly/evenly for my liking. I could see the Montage8 working good with a Surface velcroed on top (if it would fit somewhere, maybe in portrait position on the right or left areas).

So the difference is mainly just price. Even with a used Surface, I still think Yamaha or Korg could implement a VST engine for far less than the cost of a second hand Surface.

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
Their stable OS can't run a VST. Heck, even a Mac can't run a VST unless the developer specifically supports Mac. (Most do, but some VSTs are WIndows only.)
Like I said above, either Yamaha or Korg could develop a VST engine that can run both Linux and Windows based VSTs (also Apple as well) with their existing Linux based OS's, and remain stable. We'll have to agree to disable on that point.

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
It's hard to equate the two's performance when running multiple engines, since the Montage only has two engines and the Kronos has nine... and in the two engine types they have in common, the polyphony edge is unclear.
Sample playback engine: Yamaha (AWM2) polyphony of 128, Kronos (HD1) polyphony of 140. However, in Yamaha's favor, a stereo element uses only one instance of polyphony, vs. two on the Korg. But keep in mind, the vast majority of samples are mono. So for most sampled sounds, Kronos has more polyphony.

FM engine: Yamaha (FM-X) does beat Kronos (MOD-7), 128 to 52. And using the FM engine and sample playback engines simultaneously on the Yamaha does not reduce the polyphony of either engine, whereas on the Kronos, it could.

Polyphony on Kronos' other engines vary, going up to 180 on one of the VA synth engines and 200 on the organ engine, beating anything on the Montage, while some other engines can have as little as 40.

Real world, for live performance at least, I think you're unlikely to hit the limit with either one of them. Either way, honestly, I think there are much more significant differences between these two boards than their polyphony. I'm not saying you shouldn't pick Montage over Kronos, but there are a whole lot of other Kronos features worth consideration, like the other seven engines.
The way I plan to utilize the Montage is numerous multiple layers & splits, possibly from both engines, including a lot of sequencing (especially for live performances)...I will definitely hit the Polyphony limit...that I have no doubt of! According to the Korg Forum folks that own a Kronos, as soon as you layer a second engine on the Kronos, your polyphony drops to the lowest common demoninator! So for the way I plan to use it (drums, bass, multiple rhythm instruments parts sequenced + multiple Scenes of varying layers and splits to play on the keyboard along with the sequencing ... basically a 1 man band, everything except lead vocals ... even harmonies via Vocodor!), the Kronos wouldn't have the Polyphony much of the time that the Montage does, according to concensus on the Korg Forums. If I use one sound from any of the engines with 40 polyphony in the Kronos, I am now down to a total of 40 polyphony for all my layers, splits and sequencing combined. If I use numerous layers on the Montage using both engines, it adds the Polyphony of the two engines giving me even more, not less. So for me, especially for live performances, the Montage will have far more Polyphony most of the time than the Kronos. These are the words that many on the Korg forum had to tell me and admit to as a limitation of their synth's functionality. This was one of the biggest complaints Kronos owners had on the Korg forums about the Kronos, along with the fact that the effects and sound processing is separated between the two processors, which is likely why the polyphony is the way it is on the Kronos.

I've had a DX7-II for almost 30 years, so programming FM is not something new I will need to learn on the Montage. Nine engines + Karma + etc, etc., on the Kronos is another reason I chose the Montage. The learning curve is much less steep and will allow me more time to Play and Enjoy the new synth. I want to keep everything as simple as possible so I can focus on the enjoyment of playing, writing, recording, etc., with 'one' all-in-one keyboard that does it all with the shortest learning curve...

In the real world I live in, I am not a professional musician that can spend more time on learning/configuring new synths. I am a full time computer systems administrator for a corporation, and will be learning and playing this new synth in my spare time. I need the one that doesn't require me to learn 9 new engines, karma, etc., but has the most polyphony most of the time, while maximizing and having the freedom to do a lot of sequencing and play multiple layers & splits, and change scenes often without worrying about what engine I hit that might choke my polyphony.

Which synth would you choose with today's options (Kronos or Montage) if these were your main needs/criteria:?
- Maximum polyphony most of the time utilizing potentially all 16 parts at times between sequencing and playing multiple layers & splits, and scene changes, utilizing all onboard engines.
- Shortest learning curve & most simplistic keyboard system setup that does everything (assuming you already knew how to program FM synthesis) to maximize enjoyment of your spare time to play, record with and enjoy music.
- Awesome quality keybed and sounds for playing pianos.
- Keyboard with the most likely the longest future of enhancements, features, updates, new sounds, etc., before the next new replacement product will be released (future proofing of your purchase - longevity of support and features/enhancements)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:27 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:06 pm
anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
No operating system included, so also add a Windows license. Also check the reviews for that design, noisy fan. Not a design you'd want in a keyboard. But seems like a good starting point, for reference.
Linux is free. Doesn't have to be windows...
The OS on the Montage is Linux and very stable, so they could just utilize the OS of the synth!

anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
There's no way Yamaha can build an Intel-based computer more cheaply than Intel can. And for the reasons I mentioned earlier, markup is much higher in a keyboard. So even if they could build it (or as much as they need of it) for $300, it would probably add $1200+ to the retail price of the keyboard. Also, most VSTs are written to require Windows or MacOS. You can't write software to run VSTs unless you're on one of those platforms. With a semi-exception coming up next...
I'm no longer saying they need to build a new computer to add to the Synth...the Synth already is a computer. With Cantabile or a newly Yamaha developed VST engine, the only thing they would need to add is an SSD disk and maybe some additional memory. So add $100 to the cost!
The Montage does not have Intel processors. It has ARM processors. So any VST running on the usual Intel based computers will not work. In theory one could emulate an Intel processor on an ARM processor, but that would be very slow. And note that the ARM processor on the Montage is not doing the sound generation. That's handled by two dedicated DSPs. The ARM processor is only doing the UI and general OS stuff. So it does not have to be fast... So no way just adding an SSD will allow the Montage to run VSTs. There are more issues like implementing the display of the UI on the touch screen, adapting the VSTs to the touch screen instead of the mouse etc. And then of course emulating Windows or the Mac etc. as anotherscott wrote. One company did that at some point but I think they are no more. Probably for a reason...
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:33 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:06 pm
I have full confidence that Yamaha's programmers could develop a specialized VST engine in Linux that is extremely stable to handle Windows based VSTs. A quick google search finds this (Wine)...
Yamaha's programmers could develop a stable emulator or work with Wine to specialize theirs to work flawlessly with the Yamaha Linux OS.
As you say, we'll have to agree to disagree about pretty much all your computer-related assertions. But I'll just mention that WINE is what the Muse Receptor used, and that it still requires an Intel-based computer platform (and as Stevie explained, Montage is ARM-based).
vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:06 pm
anotherscott wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
But let's put aside what is and isn't theoretically possible and look at your options today. Same question, cost aside: "If you velcro a Surface Pro to a MODX8 (which has a good amount of free panel space) and just leave it there so the whole thing still moves in one piece, and you program Performances that include external sounds (using the Zone Master feature), and you connect the Surface into the MODX's built in USB interface, how different is this really from what you want? " Other than periodically having to plug in a second AC adapter to keep the Surface charged? You could even get the price down on the Surface by buying a used one.
The only difference is cost and a bit of additional complexity with cabling...and I don't know what a second hand Surface would cost...I'm guessing more than I can afford to or willing to spend.
If your requirements are not too demanding, a brand new Surface Go starts at $399 (though I'd be inclined to go to the $549 model with 8 GB RAM instead of 4). You should be able to find a used earlier gen Surface Pro for less. Someone who has the financial means to buy a $4,000 Montage 8 (and who would be willing to spend perhaps $300 more for it if it had the ability to run VSTs) can likely swing another $400-$500 for an enhancement like that, if not right away, then as an addition shortly down the road. As for complexity with cabling, I think it's just a single USB cable from the Surface to the Yamaha (and AC to the Surface for charging).

But to think a little outside the box here, this could possibly save you a whole lot of money. As I understand it, the reason you're going for the Montage over the MODX is you don't like the velocity response of the MODX action and there's no global fix for it. Well, once you have the computer there, I think you have the source for your global fix. If you run the MODX in "local off" mode, you should be able to go out to the computer, do all the global velocity scaling you want, and send the velocity-modified MIDI back out to the Yamaha (with no additional cabling). Now you can buy a $1900 keyboard instead of a $4000 keyboard! And you have access to your preferred VST piano sounds, and unlike your theoretical keyboard that no one is building, you can actually buy it today. ;-)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:05 pm

I have started using Camelot Pro on my Mac. It is very nice, has a VST host, can control your whole setup with a single setlist and very usable. It does not have velocity curves, yet, but they say that's going to come. I am sure Cantabile is also quite nice but it is Windows only. Camelot is cross platform. So it should run on the Surface and would give you pretty much all you want. And I agree with anotherscott that I disagree with you on the computers aspect :-). I believe there is not a snowball's chance in hell that either Yamaha or Korg will add generic VST to the Kronos or the Montage or will do any keyboard which supports it...
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:27 pm
The Montage does not have Intel processors. It has ARM processors. So any VST running on the usual Intel based computers will not work. In theory one could emulate an Intel processor on an ARM processor, but that would be very slow. And note that the ARM processor on the Montage is not doing the sound generation. That's handled by two dedicated DSPs. The ARM processor is only doing the UI and general OS stuff. So it does not have to be fast... So no way just adding an SSD will allow the Montage to run VSTs. There are more issues like implementing the display of the UI on the touch screen, adapting the VSTs to the touch screen instead of the mouse etc. And then of course emulating Windows or the Mac etc. as anotherscott wrote. One company did that at some point but I think they are no more. Probably for a reason...
Bummer, did not know that. But those DSPs are very powerful. With the right specialized programming (which Yamaha obviously have), I think they could find a way to develop a VST engine that runs all the various types and emulate what they need to and keep it super fast. There are virtualization options(for computers, which is what I mainly work with) or combinations of utilizing both the ARM processors for maybe virtual OS stuff & utilize the DSPs for processing the VST emulations as well. Who knows, they may be thinking outside the box and working on this as we speak..!? It would revolutionize synths as we know them, and I would think that both Korg and Yamaha and Roland, etc. all would want to be the first to do it. Think of how many people would sell their existing keyboard and buy the one that does everything that a Montage or Kronos does, but it also has the only VST engine on the market! I think many would flock to that keyboard like they do to the MODX. Can you imagine if they made this available on the MODX or Krome replacement? They would own the market for a long time to come...
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