Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

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Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:24 am

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I haven't posted much under the Montage Forum, because I did most of my posts under the MODX Forum, as I researched all the options and struggled to find a way to make the less expensive & lighter MODX8 be THE option for me. However (repeating much of what I just posted in the MODX Forum), I have recently/finally ruled out the MODX8 because I realized the main deal breakers/scale tippers for me are 3 things:

- I need to have the most awesome pianos available, especially a C7 Grand (the Synthogy Ivory C7 Grand would be my preference by far!)
- I need enough storage on the new Workstation/Synth for the variety of pianos, libraries, etc. that I want to load.
- 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')

Regarding having enough storage & pianos I really want:
I did the math and between installing the Bosendorfer, installing the Wojtek Olszak Montage Pack, possibly the K-Sounds Piano 2 Kawai EX Concert Grand – Motif XF/MOXF, having a good C7 Grand (possibly the Epic Grand, or the Genos C7 if it becomes available, or the *Synthogy C7 if it becomes available), and several other libraries that I want to install or that I am looking at/may become available in the future...the MODX only has 1 GB of User memory, which is not enough! So it is now down to the Montage8 and the Kronos 88 key !!

It is a tough decision because there are so many things I like about the Montage. But the Kronos has something like 60 or 80GB of storage, and I know I can get the Synthogy Ivory C7 Grand installed on that workstation... Yet there are some down sides to the Kronos as well, and there is still hope that I might be able to get the right C7 on the Montage, plus I am still saving up for this new Workstation/Synth, so I have some time before I can even make a purchase/final decision.

The one thing that WOULD definitely tip the scales at this point towards the Montage for me right now, would be if numerous people emailed Synthogy, expressing interest in having a Montage version of their C7 Grand (their email is support@synthogy.com so please email them and spread the word if you like their C7 Grand piano as an option for the MODX/Montage - I'll post some demos below), &/or also if numerous people went on Yamaha Ideascale at https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/home , registered a new account, and 'Up Voted' my Idea via the link below, and then Synthogy/Yamaha made it available as a library for the Montage/MODX:

https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 0797-45978


Here are demos of the Synthogy Ivory C7 Grand ... If you would like it as a Montage/MODX library, please feel free to help as per above, and spread the word:

https://soundcloud.com/synthogy/pursuit-i2
https://soundcloud.com/synthogy/odyssey
https://soundcloud.com/synthogy/prosperity (Jazz)


So, as you can see, I am now researching & trying to make a decision between the Kronos 88 and the Montage 8. I have not ruled out either keyboard. I don't know which way it will go, but any help you can provide, opinions, information you have, etc., would be very much appreciated!
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Saul » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:25 am

It's a tough one because there are pluses and minuses with each, which is probably why people end up buying both keyboards. No one keyboard, as far as I know, does everything that people want. There is always something missing.

I am always a little puzzled by this because If I were a keyboard manufacturer I think I would be looking at the competition, seeing what it is they do best and incorporate that with what I do best. Theoretically I would then be making the only keyboard anyone would want to buy :)

I know that is a very simple way of putting it and perhaps it is not a matter of what a manufacturer is capable of doing and more a matter of cost and retail price. Adding all the features people are looking for would probably make a great end product but hardly anyone could afford to purchase it.

We have had this discussion about KRONOS vs MONTAGE before and the only conclusion is they are different keyboards for different markets. Montage is incredibly powerful and at the same time quite easy to use...which is unusual for Yamaha ;) Kronos has all those synth engines, SSD streaming and a much larger library of sounds available.

Although there is always the possibility of the Synthogy Ivory pianos being released for Montage I would not hold my breath on that one. You would need hundreds of Montage users asking for it and I would guess that for many buying Montage they are more than happy with the CFX, Bosendorfer and all the legacy Motif pianos. If Genos owners can't even get Yamaha to release the Bosendorfer Imperial Grand for them, what chance getting a third party sample library on board for Montage?

From what you have written here and in the MODX forum I think you would love to buy Yamaha but you are leaning toward KORG and maybe that is indeed the better option for you. If Kronos gives you everything you need...or most of it at least then it makes sense to buy that keyboard. It doesn't mean you can't pick up a MODX or Montage later. Nothing needs to be set in stone. Go with what works for you now and just see if that works for you. If not, then send it back/trade in for Montage :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:49 pm

Having both Montage and Kronos, I agree with Saul.

If you want very realistic synths and Organs via modelling engines, as well as piano then I would lean towards the Kronos

And you preferred piano is already available on Kronos?
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:06 pm

Saul wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:25 am
It's a tough one because there are pluses and minuses with each, which is probably why people end up buying both keyboards. No one keyboard, as far as I know, does everything that people want. There is always something missing.
I am always a little puzzled by this because If I were a keyboard manufacturer I think I would be looking at the competition, seeing what it is they do best and incorporate that with what I do best. Theoretically I would then be making the only keyboard anyone would want to buy :)
Totally agree on that point! We should all design the next synth for Yamaha or Korg! ;)

Saul wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:25 am
We have had this discussion about KRONOS vs MONTAGE before and the only conclusion is they are different keyboards for different markets. Montage is incredibly powerful and at the same time quite easy to use...which is unusual for Yamaha ;) Kronos has all those synth engines, SSD streaming and a much larger library of sounds available.
What market is the Montage for and what market is the Kronos for?
That's one of the things that appeals to me about the Montage and scares me about the Kronos. The learning curve! I don't want to spend more time learning to program the keyboard than I have to. I want to spend more time playing the keyboard!

Saul wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:25 am
Although there is always the possibility of the Synthogy Ivory pianos being released for Montage I would not hold my breath on that one. You would need hundreds of Montage users asking for it and I would guess that for many buying Montage they are more than happy with the CFX, Bosendorfer and all the legacy Motif pianos. If Genos owners can't even get Yamaha to release the Bosendorfer Imperial Grand for them, what chance getting a third party sample library on board for Montage?
Yeah, the Synthogy C7 is a pipe dream for the Montage; however I have read that you can't just install VST Intrument plugins on the Kronos, and that you have to use something like Chicken Systems Translator first..!? If this is true then that levels the playing field, possibly in the Montages favour! Does anyone know much about this? Can anyone verify or refute this regarding the Kronos?

Saul wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:25 am
From what you have written here and in the MODX forum I think you would love to buy Yamaha but you are leaning toward KORG and maybe that is indeed the better option for you. If Kronos gives you everything you need...or most of it at least then it makes sense to buy that keyboard. It doesn't mean you can't pick up a MODX or Montage later. Nothing needs to be set in stone. Go with what works for you now and just see if that works for you. If not, then send it back/trade in for Montage :)
I am kinda leaning toward the Montage now, at least if what I read is true about VST Instruments on the Kronos.
Last edited by vertig0spin on Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:08 pm

Derek wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:49 pm
Having both Montage and Kronos, I agree with Saul.
If you want very realistic synths and Organs via modelling engines, as well as piano then I would lean towards the Kronos
And you preferred piano is already available on Kronos?
I thought it was, but now I am reading something different from what I understood regarding the Kronos and installing VST Intrument Plugins.
That you can't just install them/import them on the Kronos..!? If this is true then I am leaning more towards the Montage.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:35 pm

Hi,

Neither the Kronos or Montage support VSTs. They are "closed ecosystems", running only what Korg and Yamaha have decided will run on their Models.

If you want something capable of running VSTs then you probably need to consider what I have done.

My gig rig is
  • Yamaha Montage 7
  • Korg Kronos X61
  • Gig Rack with NUC PC in it
  • FC300 Foot Controller
So I have two great boards and I can run any VST I want (along with running backing tracks, controlling light shows, etc.

Gig Rack Guide
Cantabile Guide

So I have the advantage of two great sounding boards, and a PC host that will run heavy weight plugins like Spectrasonics Omnisphere or U-HE DIVA
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:11 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:35 pm
Neither the Kronos or Montage support VSTs. They are "closed ecosystems", running only what Korg and Yamaha have decided will run on their Models.
If you want something capable of running VSTs then you probably need to consider what I have done.

So I have the advantage of two great sounding boards, and a PC host that will run heavy weight plugins like Spectrasonics Omnisphere or U-HE DIVA
Thanks for clearing that up about VSTs on the Kronos/Montage.

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? Using separate SSD's or even better, use NVMe's (the new technology that will eventually replace SSD's).
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:07 am

Different markets, I think, and products like Kronos and Montage are mostly used by people who don't really care how their sounds are made, and few will get into programming beyond the odd bit of tweaking.

We could probably debate the pros and cons of whether manufacturers should do this or not, but we do not know their plans, but I personally doubt it will happen. You can always submit the idea over at Ideascale of course for Yamaha to consider.

So, do what I did if you want VSTs on stage. Build a little book size NUC PC box into your gig rack, which has the power of doing just that, and a lot more. I now gig with the best of both worlds: the sterling sounds and good control surfaces of the Montage and Kronos and any VST I chose to run. :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Saul » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm

I'm guessing there are a few reasons why Keyboard manufacturers do not go down the VST route and they include licensing of various VST's, control over what is installed onto the system..potentially big problems with dodgy material! and also certainly in Yamaha's case they already have a very powerful VST host in Cubase and which they give away free with most of their keyboards and other gear.

Derek has nailed the perfect solution and If I remember correctly also put together or is in the process of putting together a guide on how he created his system for gigging?

As for the different markets? Well I think it is all in the advertising. KORG don't push the image of the "Performance Synth" but more the traditional keyboard player who will put everything together in the studio ready for live playing?

Yamaha on the other hand present more of the "instant play straight out of the box" type of performer. Montage and MODX are ready for the stage without any tweaking and the big performance elements with motion sequence control and super knob are their main USP. Yeah I know...there IS tweaking to be done but you get the general idea?

I'm not sure one is better than the other. In a way Montage/MODX and KRONOS perfectly complement each other and perhaps the reality is that if you want the best of both worlds then you do in fact have to buy both?

For me the MODX is perfect but my needs are limited to the home studio and I am not pushing any boundaries with my music.

There is at least a lot of choice on the market these days. The key thing is to identify what you NEED and buy the keyboard(s) that meet those needs and build your setup around that. We can only work with what is available not what we wish was available and for now at least, Yamaha have stepped up and given us some great kit :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:08 pm

Derek wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:07 am
You can always submit the idea over at Ideascale of course for Yamaha to consider.
I think it would be a long time coming (if ever), putting it on Yamaha Ideascale because it involves a new hardware redesign. I get the feeling that Yamaha have invested in Montage/MODX for a longer haul, so they can provide more software based enhancements, which I think would cost less.

Korg might be the better company at this point to be open to an idea like that..!?

Derek wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:07 am
So, do what I did if you want VSTs on stage. Build a little book size NUC PC box into your gig rack, which has the power of doing just that, and a lot more. I now gig with the best of both worlds: the sterling sounds and good control surfaces of the Montage and Kronos and any VST I chose to run. :)
Wow, you really do have the best of all worlds.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:45 pm

Saul wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm
and also certainly in Yamaha's case they already have a very powerful VST host in Cubase and which they give away free with most of their keyboards and other gear.
I am a Protools guy (the LE light edition via Digidesign MBox). For some VST pluggins I use a VST Wrapper application for Protools to see those Instrument Plugins. If I use Protools LE with the Montage, are there features/functionality that I will lose when editing songs, arpeggios and then importing back into the Montage? Or can Protools LE do everything the Cubase DAW does with the Montage?

Saul wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm
Derek has nailed the perfect solution
Yes, I totally agree!

Saul wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm
I'm not sure one is better than the other. In a way Montage/MODX and KRONOS perfectly complement each other and perhaps the reality is that if you want the best of both worlds then you do in fact have to buy both?
That is true. Then if I wanted the best Organs I would need to get the Nord (or Kurzweil). If I needed the best sampler, maybe i'd have to also get the Roland maybe!?
For me, I want to keep it simple and just use one keyboard. I've seen videos of what both the Montage and Kronos can do with the various layering, splits, switching scenes, SuperKnob, Vocoder, etc. I'm kinda thinking I might do 'Bohemian Rhapsody' live, after having just seen the movie. Either keyboard would work and allow me to do everything I need, both in the studio & especially when gigging. I want to bring just one keyboard and 1 keyboard stand with a mic stand that clips onto the keyboard stand somehow, and do everything in the simplest setup possible ... no laptop with the MBox connected for VSTs or RTAS Instrument plugins and no additional keyboards. Both the Montage and Kronos are fully capable of doing everything I could do with multiple keyboards.

I am strongly leaning toward the Montage at this point, and I'm investigating SampleRobot Pro for Montage as a tool to get my favorite Synthogy C7 VST. Turns out that the Kronos needs to have VST Instruments converted as well, so I don't think I would gain much with the Kronos over the Montage in that regard. If SampleRobot doesn't pan out, I will purchase the best C7 I can find that is available for the Montage, like maybe the Epic Grand or hopefully Yamaha provide one in a future release (possibly the one from the Genos).

Saul wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm
There is at least a lot of choice on the market these days. The key thing is to identify what you NEED and buy the keyboard(s) that meet those needs and build your setup around that. We can only work with what is available not what we wish was available and for now at least, Yamaha have stepped up and given us some great kit :)
That is true! I do have some time to keep researching and checking out all the options, but once I do have the money saved, I won't hesitate to buy one of those keyboards. Unless something major changed with the Kronos, I will likely get the Montage! ...because it has a knob with a blue flashing light!! :lol:
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:28 pm

Hi

I think you still need to get this “VST fixation” sorted. :) Above you say “turns out that the Kronos needs to have VST instruments converted as well”. No keyboard manufacturer is doing that; period. Muse Research used to do Receptor, but they are now defunct, and all their box provided was an expensive special version of Linux that ran a closed Windows eco system, which handled some plugins and not others.

BTW, the general consensus these days, bar having the real thing, is that GSI VB3 II and the IKMultimedia Leslie provides one of the best Hammond emulations around today - all in VST format.

But I see you want to do it all in one board with no stage PC. My recommendation then, having both Kronos and Montage, is the Kronos. It is a far more flexible platform with more synth engines than the Montage, and thus the sonic possibilities are larger. If you want good organs, then the Kronos kicks the butt off of the Montage with the modelled CX-3 engine. An AWM organ is lame in comparison, although the Montage is getting better due to the number of elements you now have which allows (via two performance parts) for you to have a layer for each drawbar. But they are still static samples, with no modelling of the complexities of what goes on inside a Hammond.

Sample is also superior on the Kronos which streams samples from its SSD, so no need to try and fit all samples into the available memory (you only need to load the “preload” overhead of each sample). The SGX-2 Piano engine thus can use unlooped and uncompressed samples to create an awesome piano sound.

Just my opinion of course... :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Saul » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:03 pm

If organs are important it may be worth checking out something completely different in the Dexibell J7 which has fantastic organ sounds plus also great acoustic pianos and unlimited polyphony.
Dexibell J7.png
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:58 pm

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:28 pm
I think you still need to get this “VST fixation” sorted. :) Above you say “turns out that the Kronos needs to have VST instruments converted as well”. No keyboard manufacturer is doing that; period.
I guess I can survive without VST pianos live, but I will still use them in Protools when recording or maybe just when playing/writing. ;)
Maybe SampleRobot or Chicken Systems Translator will do a decent enough job on the VST pianos for playing live that I'll be happy with..!?
One way or another, I will find/have the best version of a C7 Grand that is available as a library on the keyboard I chose, even if the autosampling of the Synthogy C7 doesn't pan out.

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:28 pm
BTW, the general consensus these days, bar having the real thing, is that GSI VB3 II and the IKMultimedia Leslie provides one of the best Hammond emulations around today - all in VST format.
If you want good organs, then the Kronos kicks the butt off of the Montage with the modelled CX-3 engine. An AWM organ is lame in comparison, although the Montage is getting better due to the number of elements you now have which allows (via two performance parts) for you to have a layer for each drawbar. But they are still static samples, with no modelling of the complexities of what goes on inside a Hammond.
Organs would not be a deal breaker for me between the Montage and Kronos. For my style of music/playing, organs are a nice to have, but having the best piano is a must!

Derek wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:28 pm
Sample is also superior on the Kronos which streams samples from its SSD, so no need to try and fit all samples into the available memory (you only need to load the “preload” overhead of each sample). The SGX-2 Piano engine thus can use unlooped and uncompressed samples to create an awesome piano sound.
Do you prefer the pianos on the Kronos over the Montage, or what do you find is the best piano(s) between the two keyboards?



I just realized over the weekend that the Kronos pianos do Sympathetic String Resonance, where as the Montage does not. Is that a big deal for you?
I submitted a new idea on Yamaha Ideascale for this if you would like to up vote it (Yamaha VRM (Sympathetic String Resonance) on Montage/MODX Pianos)..!? Maybe Yamaha will take notice if enough people up vote the idea...

https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... b-comments



Getting back to a point made in a previous post by both you and Saul, I am curious as to what is in and how you built your gig rack, including the little book size NUC PC box you have for VSTs on stage..?
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:45 pm

Hi,

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?

As to which piano is best Korg or Montage, that is an "it depends" answer. I prefer Yamaha Pianos in a rock context as they tend to cut through the mix better (or so I find, but then some people swear by the Korg M1 Piano for doing that). My all time favourite Yamaha piano for that context remains the EX5 Stereo Piano (modified to my tastes) preset! If I want a more sublime piano with lots of detail, then 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.

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
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