Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:49 pm

The more i think about this, I would bet that Korg is going to be the first to offer a VST engine in a new future product to replace the Kronos. They already have a similar engine in their current Kronos. Why wouldn't they want to innovate and take the market by storm. They must have something big up their sleeves since Yamaha's Montage and then the MODX taking the lower priced market. I can see Korg adding a VST engine to the Kronos (possibly renaming it) and replacing the Krome with a product that has two engines, one being the new VST engine. This would definitely compete with the MODX in a big way.
Seems like the next logical step for the future. I would also bet it involves some kind of virtualization computing in the background to make it work, possibly running Cantabile or Korg's own proprietary engine!

All I'm saying is don't be too shocked when it does happen, because it is coming at some point.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:49 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
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...
I personally believe that it is close to impossible to write a compiler which will take some random VST and recompile it to run efficiently on a DSP. At least it is a hard research problem and would require a real huge effort to do that. The problem is that the VST is not neatly split in the UI and general operation parts and the sound processing engine. From the outside this is all one big blob of program. A DSP is of course not made to run the UI, while the ARM is mostly probably too slow to run the sound generation. So how would you automatically split that?

Seeing that Yamaha for example have opted to leave out the sequencer from the Montage, it is clear that they see a coexistence between the synth and the computer as the way to go. Even BM in the other forum was very positive about using the Montage together with Camelot Pro. So I strongly believe that will not happen for the Montage. That would be a very different thing. The Kronos is much closer to a normal computer, there I could imagine this to happen but I would not put my money on it.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:09 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:49 pm
The more i think about this, I would bet that Korg is going to be the first to offer a VST engine in a new future product to replace the Kronos. They already have a similar engine in their current Kronos. Why wouldn't they want to innovate and take the market by storm. They must have something big up their sleeves since Yamaha's Montage and then the MODX taking the lower priced market. I can see Korg adding a VST engine to the Kronos (possibly renaming it) and replacing the Krome with a product that has two engines, one being the new VST engine. This would definitely compete with the MODX in a big way.
Seems like the next logical step for the future. I would also bet it involves some kind of virtualization computing in the background to make it work, possibly running Cantabile or Korg's own proprietary engine!

All I'm saying is don't be too shocked when it does happen, because it is coming at some point.
Well, I am not claiming that it won't happen. But it won't be either the Montage nor the Kronos. It will be a completely new instrument - if it happens from Yamaha or Korg. And I think it is not really in their interest to do that. Their DNA is in creating synths and not a frame where others can plug-in their stuff. But who knows.

But as mentioned before there was the Muse Research Receptor and the SM Pro Audio V-Machine offering pretty much that. At least the Receptor was pretty expensive ($3000 without any keyboard). And you needed a monitor, keyboard, mouse to prepare your sounds and set lists. I believe at the actual gig you would work without. But I write in the past tense, because they are no more. Apparently it was not taking the market by storm...
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:31 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:09 pm
Well, I am not claiming that it won't happen. But it won't be either the Montage nor the Kronos. It will be a completely new instrument - if it happens from Yamaha or Korg. And I think it is not really in their interest to do that. Their DNA is in creating synths and not a frame where others can plug-in their stuff. But who knows.

But as mentioned before there was the Muse Research Receptor and the SM Pro Audio V-Machine offering pretty much that. At least the Receptor was pretty expensive ($3000 without any keyboard). And you needed a monitor, keyboard, mouse to prepare your sounds and set lists. I believe at the actual gig you would work without. But I write in the past tense, because they are no more. Apparently it was not taking the market by storm...
Yeah, i would put my money on Korg, and I agree it would be an entirely new synth regardless. I think it would be a variation of the Kronos, likely renamed, containing most of the 9 engines + the VST engine. If they provided a replacement to the Krome that had this new VST engine + one or two other engines, they would surely compete with the MODX.

Where Muse or others failed, some other organization is going to learn from their mistakes and succeed. First off, it would have to be a multi-engine workstation or synth like the MODX, Montage or Kronos. The multi-engine design is very appealing to people.
If Korg were to announce a new synth before the end of this month that promised to have a VST engine along with a couple of other engines, I would likely go for that synth over the Montage (provided the Polyphony was improved from the Kronos). How many people do you think would do the same if they were looking for a new synth? It allows the best of all worlds to have built in synth engines and the ability to run your VSTs at the same time all in one keyboard. I can still see sequencing moving more towards a DAW though. The one thing that Yamaha should have done or at least needs to do in the not too distant future, is add a bit more functionality to the onboard performance recorder to allow some editing. At a minimum, punch in/out per part/track.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:15 pm

Sure, if they would bring that and it would be really good, people would go for it. Although I think the "multi-engine" is already in the VSTs. It won't get more multi-engine than that.

For Namm 2019 Korg have announced the Kronos Special Edition, which has a red paint job and some new sounds. And the Krome Ex which has some more sounds than before. No VST for now...
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:25 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:15 pm
Sure, if they would bring that and it would be really good, people would go for it. Although I think the "multi-engine" is already in the VSTs. It won't get more multi-engine than that.

For Namm 2019 Korg have announced the Kronos Special Edition, which has a red paint job and some new sounds. And the Krome Ex which has some more sounds than before. No VST for now...
Maybe I am misunderstanding. When I say multi-engine, I mean a synth that has an AWM2, FM and VST engines (3). Or with the Kronos, 9 engines + a new VST engine. If Korg designed and sold a new Krome-like synth that had 2 or 3 engines, one of which was a VST engine, I think they would be very competitive with the MODX, possibly lopsidedly!

Korg have got to be working on something that we are not hearing about. Special Ed sounds like they just needed something simple for Namm and aren't ready to release the new Synth(s)/Workstation(s). They don't really need to do the big new release at Namm anymore, so it could hit the market at anytime.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Stevie18 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:27 pm

Well, there a quite a few VSTs which do FM. And there are quite a few VST which do something like AWM2. So with VSTs you could in principle have them all. So what I mean is that VST is multi-engine by definition.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:54 pm

Stevie18 wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:27 pm
Well, there a quite a few VSTs which do FM. And there are quite a few VST which do something like AWM2. So with VSTs you could in principle have them all. So what I mean is that VST is multi-engine by definition.
Ok, I see what you're saying now. All the more reason for Korg or Yamaha to add a VST engine...if you can't beat em, join em. Otherwise one of these times, some synth corporation is going to successfully produce a synth with just a VST engine only, prepackaged with 3 different types of VST engines as you suggest, and people can then add their own VSTs.

I wouldn't be shocked if either Native Instruments or Waves design a simplified keyboard with a good quality keybed, large touch display, all the right/necessary buttons, with a built in computer to run VSTs...and pre-package it with a few default VST pianos, an FM &/or VA VST plugin, and a few other VST instruments, running in Kontakt or Cantabile.

Just seems like there are synths/workstations with various engines and then there are computers with software applications that run VSTs. So to me the next logical step would be to combine the two into one powerful synth.

Could we see the day where a Synth/Workstation becomes a Synth Studio, with a built in DAW computer and multi-engine VSTs, etc? All sound, sequencing, DAW functionality, Pro Tools or Cubase, etc., all in one keyboard..? Maybe not right away, but...baby steps! :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:51 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:54 pm
I wouldn't be shocked if either Native Instruments or Waves design a simplified keyboard with a good quality keybed, large touch display, all the right/necessary buttons, with a built in computer to run VSTs...and pre-package it with a few default VST pianos, an FM &/or VA VST plugin, and a few other VST instruments, running in Kontakt or Cantabile.
You've almost described the NI Komplete Kontrol S88 and their other similar models. Except that you have to supply the computer itself (which makes sense since you can supply one more cheaply, and in fact may already have one). Connection/configuration is even a bit simpler than putting the tablet on a Montage/Kronos/whatever because you only have one audio source instead of two (since the NI's own sounds are located on the computer, not inside the keyboard). And instead of learning your way around, say, the Montage interface and the Kontakt interface, you only need to learn the latter.

Another advantage to your supplying the Surface or whatever instead of having NI build it in is that you're not stuck with what someone else builds in. You can get whatever processor, whatever RAM, whatever storage size you want. And if what seems like plenty now looks skimpy 5 years from now, you're not stuck with what's in it, you can just upgrade the computer. Conversely, if 5 years from now, you're still happy with the sounds but are enticed by a new more capable controller or a new higher quality action, just pick up your computer and put it on your new board, and you're all set.

Maybe this is a better and cheaper solution for you today than buying a Montage. I mean, all along, we've been talking about how you wish these boards had the VST functions... If you get something designed specifically to run VSTs, maybe you no longer need the Montage/Kronos specific features anyway. Is there anything you need that the Montage can do for you, that Kontakt does not? Kontakt even offers an FM synth engine, too.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:28 pm

anotherscott wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:51 pm
You've almost described the NI Komplete Kontrol S88 and their other similar models. Except that you have to supply the computer itself (which makes sense since you can supply one more cheaply, and in fact may already have one). Connection/configuration is even a bit simpler than putting the tablet on a Montage/Kronos/whatever because you only have one audio source instead of two (since the NI's own sounds are located on the computer, not inside the keyboard). And instead of learning your way around, say, the Montage interface and the Kontakt interface, you only need to learn the latter.

Another advantage to your supplying the Surface or whatever instead of having NI build it in is that you're not stuck with what someone else builds in. You can get whatever processor, whatever RAM, whatever storage size you want. And if what seems like plenty now looks skimpy 5 years from now, you're not stuck with what's in it, you can just upgrade the computer. Conversely, if 5 years from now, you're still happy with the sounds but are enticed by a new more capable controller or a new higher quality action, just pick up your computer and put it on your new board, and you're all set.

Maybe this is a better and cheaper solution for you today than buying a Montage. I mean, all along, we've been talking about how you wish these boards had the VST functions... If you get something designed specifically to run VSTs, maybe you no longer need the Montage/Kronos specific features anyway. Is there anything you need that the Montage can do for you, that Kontakt does not? Kontakt even offers an FM synth engine, too.
Wow, I did not know about that product. I just checked on it quickly, but I'll definitely look into it more. Do you own one?

First thing I don't like is that, for gigs, I would need to bring two devices; the keyboard & a Laptop/Surface. I would like to keep my setup more simple and basic when playing live gigs. Plus you now have two points of failure for when gigging, where if you have any issues with your laptop/Surface, you could be looking at troubleshooting, possibly reimaging or even having to get a new laptop, whereas with just the Montage (or Kronos), it's a simple re-load from a USB drive.
I've done the whole gigging thing using a laptop with Kontakt loaded, using my DX7-II as just a MIDI trigger keybed only, which is essenitally what this new product basically is, except that it has a bit more integration between the laptop and the keyboard, and what appears to be two non-touch screens.

This would definitely be awesome in a studio though or for at home if I didn't plan to gig at all.

I don't know enough about the product yet, but after watching the first youtube video of how it works, it doesn't seem as good for having numerous multiple layers & splits, and then also having the ability to switch between 8 different scenes within a single Performance (combination of sounds) with the touch of 4 to 8 buttons (MODX/Montage).

But most importantly, it doesn't have a big button with a blue flashing light ;)

There is potential there though! If they could refine and enhance the product, using much larger touch screen(s), not relying on turn knobs to navigate through, allow better integration with a Surface/tablet, whereby you can dock it in the center of the keyboard with a slight tilt, have the onboard screens below or off to the sides of where the tablet docks, allow for programming/integrating numerous 'scenes' within a specific combined program, and buttons to quickly change programs/combinations(or if like the MODX this is done via touch screen), at the very least have 4 to 8 buttons to switch between scenes. If they made it compatible to integrate seamlessly with both any Surface and iPad, that would be great (maybe it already does, I don't know yet). I think if they rework it so that it has most of the capabilities of the best Synths out there, and the tablet could integrate seemlessly "into" (not on top of) the keyboard, whereby you are essentially taking to gigs one keyboard instrument with a detachable onboard tablet device of your choice, then it could really change things for the gigging muscian.

Then again, looking from the other side of the fence, there is potential with the Kronos/or it's successor (& possibly a new version of MODX/Montage down the road) to just add a VST engine and load all your favorite VSTs, utilizing the more solid & versatile navigation of a well designed synthesizer, which is what they are designed for & do best, especially for playing live gigs...

One way or the other, VST technology will make its way to the live stage in the form of a more compact, integrated & portable keyboard device! ...just think of what you might expect to see in 10 or 20 years time...what's the next big evolutionary changes we will see in Synths!? The technology is already available. Just IMHO, this is where we are heading & I suspect it might not even be 5 years based on this new NI Komplete Kontrol S88 product, as well as Korg's innovations with the Kronos basically already running on a computer, as well as Yamaha & others competing and coming up with new improvements/ideas for their Synths.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:20 am

vertig0spin wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:28 pm
Do you own one?
no
vertig0spin wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:28 pm
I would need to bring two devices...I think if they rework it so that it...could integrate seemlessly "into" (not on top of) the keyboard, whereby you are essentially taking to gigs one keyboard instrument with a detachable onboard tablet device of your choice, then it could really change things for the gigging muscian.
velcro!
vertig0spin wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:28 pm
4 to 8 buttons to switch between scenes
You could also velcro a NanoKontrol or similar for more hard controls... Kontakt is versatile it what you can define.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:53 am

TBH, I am not convinced the main manufacturers would release a VST enigne in a synth, and some good points are raised above about VST program separation (UI, sound, etc.). And I’ve said many a time, you can do this yourself, today, in an NUC the size of a book, or even a Surface Tablet if you needs are modest, and you can run any VST you have on stage. Only draw back is I know some people only want to go out with one board. I don’t .I have two synths, foot controller, small gig rack (with NUC PC in) and Amp (at least), so putting in a small NUC in my rack added little extra weight and gives me so much power in addition to the to synths.

If we are wrong and something like you want is released at NAMM. Great. If not, don’t “wait for enabling technology”, get an NUC PC or tablet for doing this; today! :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:04 pm

Definitely some good conversation here and a lot of great ideas for making VSTs work in a live gigging environment.
I can't see, based on what I've heard so far, NAMM bringing any such new innovation to the market, aside from the NI potentially announcing something new re. their Komplete Kontrol S88, but for regular synths/workstations from Korg, Yamaha, Roland, etc., I have might doubts for this year.

I do suspect that Korg must have something big up their sleeve for a different date/time...

When is NAMM or has it already happened?
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:08 pm

NAMM starts tomorrow (1/24).
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:27 pm

Should be interesting to find out about! I'm sure there will be a NAMM 2019 thread starting on this forum soon. :)

Just a note regarding my personal preference on having just one keyboard and nothing additional connected. That is just for playing live gigs only! In reality, I will have my old DX7-II, and multiple laptops at home where I play, write & record using Pro Tools and that includes running VSTs, which I will be happy to trigger via the Montage8. Triggering them via the DX7-II is not the best, because the keybed on that synth can't get anywhere near the 127 velocity, nor does it have a good feel for when recording the MIDI data I play, so I have to do a bit of editing of the MIDI velocities and volumes afterwards on much of what I record. Also, since it has the synth lighter feel, my playing for piano based sounds doesn't flow quite as good as it does when I am on an actual acoustic piano, so the Montage8 keybed will be a very welcomed enhancement...
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