Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

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Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Derek » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:08 am

I was quite surprised to see this in my in-box this morning...
Comment:
Hello From Yamaha,

NOTE: I sent the following content in an email broadcast as well, but as this thread is specifically related to the survey question, we decided to post here as well.

We would like to know more about the relative importance and usefulness of different tone generator technologies. This feedback will go directly into our product planning. The survey has eight questions and will take about 1-2 minutes to complete. We appreciate your time and input.

https://yamahaus.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/ ... fnNyjUpNQh

Sincerely,
Ben Israel
R&D Planning Manager
Yamaha Corporation of America
I completed my survey input immediately! I'm not sure if this relates to future Montage/MODX updates or another product down the line, but you never know!

Idealscale Post

Yamaha Survey
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:12 pm

I completed mine as soon as I saw it as well...

Is it possible that something like a 3rd engine (i.e. Virtual Analog) could be added to the existing Montage/MODX synths purely via software programming, or is the circuitry not there?

Derek wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:08 am
I completed my survey input immediately! I'm not sure if this relates to future Montage/MODX updates or another product down the line, but you never know!
Idealscale Post
Derek, I just saw your link above re. 'Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage', and I signed onto Ideascale right away and up voted it for you ... for all of us! ;) (I somehow missed that one on Ideascale and recently added basically the same idea...see below)...


In the additional comments section I also mentioned about my ideas on IdeaScale regarding (see the Ideascale links below each to check them out and 'Up Vote' them if you like the idea and would like to see it implemented):

1. VA - It would be great if you add a Virtual Analog engine on the Montage/MODX to put the icing on the cake and make these synths the complete package (I just added this recently prior to receiving the email, so an interesting coincidence)
https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 1530-45978

2. AWM2 - It would be great if you added Yamaha VRM (Sympathetic String Resonance) on Montage/MODX Pianos
https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 1013-45978

3. AWM2 - It would be great if you added 'Velocity Scaling' especially for pianos using the MODX8 keybed, but also for other programming reasons, providing addition capabilities to enhance/change the sound across the entire keyboard or in sections.
https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 4570-45978

4. AWM2 - It would be great if you added a C7 Grand Piano Library for Montage/MODX
https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 0797-45978

This next one isn't necessarily pertaining to a particular engine, but I thought it worth mentioning while we have their attention:
5. It would be great if you added 'Punch In/Out' on Single/Selected Tracks of the Montage/MODX Performance Recorder (Sequencer)
https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd ... 4571-45978

If you like any or all of these ideas, please Up Vote them on Idealscale!


Note that with possibly the exception of the VA engine idea, all of the ideas/enhancements I submitted via Ideascale are software based programming changes that could more easily be implemented by Yamaha on their AWM2 engine/OS than a hardware change/enhancement request. Therefore if enough people like and 'Up Vote' any of these ideas, we have a better chance of potentially getting them in a future update!!
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Saul » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:39 pm

If I remember correctly Yamaha were talking about adding VA as one of two synth engines when they were discussing the replacement for the MOXF. So perhaps this is now moving from the drawing board to implementation. Could well be that the hardware already exists in Montage and MODX to add this extra synth engine...if indeed hardware is required?
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Derek » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:21 pm

No need for extra hardware if the synth engines are DSP code based, like they were in the EX5
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:51 pm

Derek wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:21 pm
No need for extra hardware if the synth engines are DSP code based, like they were in the EX5
That sounds promising!!
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by vertig0spin » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:55 pm

Saul wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:39 pm
If I remember correctly Yamaha were talking about adding VA as one of two synth engines when they were discussing the replacement for the MOXF. So perhaps this is now moving from the drawing board to implementation. Could well be that the hardware already exists in Montage and MODX to add this extra synth engine...if indeed hardware is required?
I wonder if they might have more ROM storage space onboard for all the new patches/Performances that could be added if they add a VA engine? Of course, VA part data likely wouldn't be all that much and be more like DX parts vs AWM2 part data, which is significantly more...
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Saul » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:58 pm

Well it's certainly a possibility, perhaps for Montage anyway. I can see Yamaha adding VA to the flagship keyboard and then maybe further down the road also add it to the MODX. But then Yamaha did pretty much take us all by surprise with the MODX launch so who knows what they have up their sleeve? ;)
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Chummy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:25 pm

TBH I'd rather they fix current issues first. While I do agree that a virtual analog (or even better/cooler = a PPG style wavetable engine!!) could be a good addition, some of the organ sounds are a bit luckluster in comparison to companies like NORD who deal about the same price range, obviously you get a whole lot less for the money when you buy a NORD product which is why I shun them but still I gotta say in the organ department I still haven't heard any better virtual organ. I'd like some more presets and wave material made for the AWM in the keyboard/EP/PIANO/Clav/Organ/synth departments as those are the most useful sections for a keyboard player such as I

Also I have some serious lags when scrolling with the dial wheel like what the hell YAMAHA? As much as I love the Montage please get those software issues fixed ASAP before you add anymore content which may make things run even slower (not sure how can they fit into that thing so much more given existing hardware and processing power reaching its limit...)
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by EXer » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:56 pm

Derek wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:21 pm
No need for extra hardware if the synth engines are DSP code based, like they were in the EX5
A keyboard like the Montage is an embedded system, i.e. its components have been sized to run what they were intended to run in the most cost effective way.

So, as regards processing power there may be not enough headroom to run a polyphonic VA engine in addition to AWM and FXM. If the Montage was to be expanded with other synth engines maybe Yamaha will have to upgrade the hardware.

Anyway, I have completed the survey.
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Derek » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:22 pm

I don't know about that, we'll need to wait and see. The question is whether or not Yamaha have spec'd the components to provide sufficient resource for expansion, or you drop in addition models via firmware update. We'll have to wait and see on that as only Yamaha know that we can only be speculating on it. :)

It is the fact that they have posted this survey that has me intrigued. In the meantime, the Montage is sounding great and I have plenty of VSTis to get my analog fix. But I will support Yamaha adding more engines to the Montage to make it more EX5 like and be happy to pay for an upgrade if needed.
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:11 pm

The sound generation in the Montage is completely done with DSPs for sure. Both FM synthesis and AWM2 with all those filters and effects require a huge amount of computation power. So I strongly believe the Montage should have enough computation power to do virtual analog.

The other question is how much program memory there is on the DSPs. Maybe there is not enough program memory on the DSPs to have both programs loaded at the same time? So maybe it cannot do it in parallel to the FM synthesis but as an alternative. So for each performance you could decide if you want to have FM or VA?

If the amount of program memory is not an issue maybe you could decide to have less voices for FM or AWM2 and use them for VA. I don't really know how much computation power VA would need. But of course if VA needs more computation than FM, Yamaha could for example say that you trade 4 FM voices against one VA or something like that. So on the MODX you have 32 FM voices and 8 VA voices plus 128 AWM2 voices. Or the voices could be dynamically split between the engines.

Something similar has been done for the changes between the Montage and the MODX, I think. The MODX has fewer effects and fewer FM voices. I believe the reason could be that they have only one DSP in the MODX instead of the 2 DSPs the Montage has. So the computation power was not enough for doing all the FM voices and then all effects. So they limited the FM voices and the effects to be able to get along with only one DSP.

To be clear, the one DSP theory is only speculation on my part, I have no evidence for that. But as a programmer it is clear that limiting the number FM voices is trivial and is easy to explain. Some people also may care about that and buy the Montage to get those additional voices. So they could have done that for differentiation. In contrast to that, limiting the number of effects requires some programming effort and adds complexity. Also I guess the amount of people who really care about that is really limited. But it is also hard to explain. So I believe they have not done that just for differentiation towards the Montage but for technical reasons. Meaning there is actually less compute power in the MODX...
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Derek » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:57 pm

That is quite possible. One of the differences between the EX5 and EX7 internally was that the EX5 had two DSPs, but the EX7 had one, which explained some of the limitations of the EX7 - it was even documented in the EX5 manual (P39).
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Stevie18 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:20 pm

Interesting! For the Montage and the MODX I did not really see any documentation about that.
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by Derek » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:15 am

I've never seen any documentation like that. It is in the EX5/7 manual as a way of explaining the constraints you have depending on the Model you have and whether you are in Voice or Performance mode on the EX5.

BTW, the info I have found on what is inside the Montage is 3rd party. I am going to re-read this again, in the context of this thread, and I'll post links and my assessment later.
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Re: Yamaha Ideascale Survey: Add an AN and VL synthesis engine to the Montage

Unread post by EXer » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:04 pm

Derek wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:22 pm
It is the fact that they have posted this survey that has me intrigued.
Maybe the so [well] called "bad mister" (*) is having less direct influence over their marketing department, so they're finally trying to listen to their customers?


(*) you know, the guy who talks to his clients as they were dumbs and who denigrates those who dare ask disturbing, but pertinent, questions on the Montage forum.

I guess you remember our exchange on the Korg forum about the Montage being hamstrung in MIDI flexibility:
EXer wrote:
theshinenz wrote:Those threads can be a little difficult to follow but if Phil has mentioned engineers Im guessing they are working on rectifying it.
Phil has been continuously denying the problem and he has been doing that in a very rude manner, talking to people like they're dumb ("You are not quite understanding how the Montage works" ; "Really? Wow, Please give your Montage to someone else who can understand what's on offer.").

And he won't pass the problem to the Yamaha engineers (" I'll certainly pass along your request, as long as you also send the suggestion for sixteen transmit channels to the manufacturer of your stage piano ; deal? ").
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