What questions would you want answered about Montage?

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What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Saul » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:12 pm

Hypothetically speaking of course ;) if you could get an early demo of the Montage and were able to quiz the product specialists, what questions would you want answered? What would you need to know in order to swing your buying decision one way or another?
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Derek » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:21 pm

At present Montage is a two engine synth, but it has been suggested that there may be future development plans. Knowing that there ARE future engines in the pipeline (and maybe what they could be), could be a HUGE influence on my buying decision.

My ideal engines (or evolutions of): AN1x, VL70m, CP, CS, AFM (ala SY series) . Whilst not an engine in its own right, FDSP would be cool as well. Some or all that would make me think I have died and gone to heaven. I still think Yamaha need to look at the multi-engined Kronos as their competitor.

Another question, is why the FM engine appears to be half an FS1r, and what happened to the other half (formant synthesis/FSEQ)? Are there plans to implement all of that?

Another question is that the SY series featured RCM inteprlay between the AWM and FM engines. Are there any plans to allow that in the Montage?

PS: If there was a hypothetical early demo and a chance to talk to the product specialists, I might be interested in making the trek across the UK! ;)
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by EXer » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:38 am

Derek wrote:Another question, is why the FM engine appears to be half an FS1r, and what happened to the other half (formant synthesis/FSEQ)? Are there plans to implement all of that?
Yamaha, if you implement the FS part of the FS1R in the Montage FMX engine and if you release a software to create Fseqs, please use the same sysex bulk dump format for those fseqs as on the FS1R or give the user the option to "save fseq as FS1R format", so that the fseqs created with this new software could be loaded into a FS1R. Many thanks.

Basically a fseq is a series of frames, each frame containing the frequencies and the amplitudes of the 8 voiced and the 8 unvoiced operators.

What I would like to have is a software tool which can create a fseq
• from a .wav file by Fourier analysis (frequencies and amplitudes extracted from the spectrum of the wave)
• from a .wav file by a vocoder-like analysis (frequencies input as parameters, amplitudes given by filters and envelope followers + voiced/unvoiced detection)
• free hand drawing (on a logarithmic scale)
Last edited by EXer on Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Saul » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:11 am

Derek wrote:At present Montage is a two engine synth, but it has been suggested that there may be future development plans. Knowing that there ARE future engines in the pipeline (and maybe what they could be), could be a HUGE influence on my buying decision.
I would imagine there will be updates that add more synth engines although these may be hardware rather than software. If you look back at Motif, any major changes...and some minor were rolled out in the form of a completely new version of Motif although when I say "new" I mean the same keyboard with various parts added to or enabled on the main board.
Derek wrote:My ideal engines (or evolutions of): AN1x, VL70m, CP, CS, AFM (ala SY series) . Whilst not an engine in its own right, FDSP would be cool as well. Some or all that would make me think I have died and gone to heaven. I still think Yamaha need to look at the multi-engined Kronos as their competitor.
I agree, Kronos is the benchmark and so far no one has come close to matching it let alone exceeding it. What Yamaha are trying to do with Montage is carve their own path although this all a bit like Samsung and their Galaxy mobile phones. They are not the iPhone but you can clearly see where the inspiration came from? ;) Pretty sure Yamaha will end up with a multi engined synth at some point in the future, unless of course they manage to break new ground and come up with a revolutionary form of synthesis that doesn't rely on individual synth engines.
Derek wrote:Another question, is why the FM engine appears to be half an FS1r, and what happened to the other half (formant synthesis/FSEQ)? Are there plans to implement all of that?
Cost cutting I would guess. Can't see any other reason why they did not include a full implementation of the FS1r...although if anything is ripe for a "software" upgrade this might be it.
Derek wrote:Another question is that the SY series featured RCM inteprlay between the AWM and FM engines. Are there any plans to allow that in the Montage?
Yet another thing they could do in software and possibly another soft update option.
Derek wrote:PS: If there was a hypothetical early demo and a chance to talk to the product specialists, I might be interested in making the trek across the UK! ;)
Check your pm! ;)
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by AJay » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:32 pm

What I'd like to know about Montage are the following;

1. Whether the entire wave flash rom can be erased and used for users own sample data.
2. How many waves/samples it can allocate for user waves and samples.
3. What the write speed of said wave flash rom is, i.e. sample load times.
4. Whether it will support USB wave/sample dump and wave/sample import/export/setup via an OEM utility.
5. If user samples can be loaded/saved with compression (via OEM PC based software utility).
6. How long the boot time is.
7. How big the physical wave flash rom is (looks like it might be 4GB).
8. Whether there are any wave mem expansion slots.
9. If they intend to add support for USB mass storage media including hard disks, not just flash mem.
10. Whether it will have digital out as standard in lieu of it not having internal sampling.
:/:

I'm expecting points 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 to all be a no :( but I'm hoping otherwise. ;)
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Saul » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:49 pm

Answers to your questions Ajay. Not comprehensive as some of them they were not sure about

1. Whether the entire wave flash rom can be erased and used for users own sample data.
(A) No it can't be erased but there is plenty of room for imported user samples

2. How many waves/samples it can allocate for user waves and samples.
(A) As many as you have room for

3. What the write speed of said wave flash rom is, i.e. sample load times.
(A) I couldn't detect any perceptible sample load time

4. Whether it will support USB wave/sample dump and wave/sample import/export/setup via an OEM utility.
(A) Well you can certainly import samples and I would imagine you can export to computer but again, the software editor is not available yet so it's one of those things that may or may not happen but I certainly couldn't get a definitive answer.

5. If user samples can be loaded/saved with compression (via OEM PC based software utility).
(A) If you mean compression as in reducing size then yes but that is entirely dependant on the software you use not the Montage. Anyway that's what they understood this question to mean.

6. How long the boot time is.
(A) Well I wasn't expecting this but incredibly its just 14 seconds from switch on to fully functional!

7. How big the physical wave flash rom is (looks like it might be 4GB).
(A) It's approx 5.5Gb but if you add in the user flash rom your looking at over 7Gb in total

8. Whether there are any wave mem expansion slots.
(A) No, no expansion and there are no slots for flash cards as on the XF. The integrated flash memory is all you get.

9. If they intend to add support for USB mass storage media including hard disks, not just flash mem.
(A) They were not sure about this

10. Whether it will have digital out as standard in lieu of it not having internal sampling.
(A) No digital out
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Saul » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:57 pm

Derek wrote:At present Montage is a two engine synth, but it has been suggested that there may be future development plans. Knowing that there ARE future engines in the pipeline (and maybe what they could be), could be a HUGE influence on my buying decision.

My ideal engines (or evolutions of): AN1x, VL70m, CP, CS, AFM (ala SY series) . Whilst not an engine in its own right, FDSP would be cool as well. Some or all that would make me think I have died and gone to heaven. I still think Yamaha need to look at the multi-engined Kronos as their competitor.

Another question, is why the FM engine appears to be half an FS1r, and what happened to the other half (formant synthesis/FSEQ)? Are there plans to implement all of that?

Another question is that the SY series featured RCM inteprlay between the AWM and FM engines. Are there any plans to allow that in the Montage?

PS: If there was a hypothetical early demo and a chance to talk to the product specialists, I might be interested in making the trek across the UK! ;)
They would not say yes or no about future engines but my guess, reading between the lines is that yes there will be. However my gut feeling was that if these happen they will not be in software. Having said that, one of the guys I was talking to did say he had plans for more additions to the FM engine and that these would be in a software update. I think Montage is more versatile in this functionality than they are letting on but no guarantees.

As for why the FM engine appears to be half a FS1r I think, from what the guy said that this is an area for expansion.

He wasn't sure what you meant about RCM interplay...bit before his time I think however, he said if you meant using the AWM and FM as one engine.....merging them as it were then no. They are completely separate engines. You can layer them and move between them in various ways but technically they are always two things.
Have to say from what I heard and experienced I would probably not have known it :)

By the way...boot time of just 14 seconds! Incredible for something this powerful.
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by AJay » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:57 pm

Due to point 1, that's my desire for a Montage largely gone then. :( If I can't erase the Main Wave ROM to replace it with a proper sample set then it's no good to me as a full on synth. Combined with point 8 I'd be better off with an XF but won't as it takes far too long to boot for my liking. A MoXF is much better in that respect but it lacks AT and sliders, along with volatile sample ram or dimm slots (latter missing on the XF too) for cheap faster loading and also internal sampling is gone aswell. 1 flash RAM slot is ok with me considering the MoXF6 is half the price of an XF6.

They've misunderstood the compression question completely. They probably thought I meant loading mp3 or compressed .wav format samples etc to user flash. I didn't. The 5.67GB sample set is compressed into less rom space (may be 2GB) but they don't like to talk about it (as with Motif but unlike e.g. EX, SY/TG range where they used to quote the physical ROM size) as it confuses punters so they quote the uncompressed size, which is what it is when in use. Anyway, I was hoping to take advantage of that if they allowed the main rom to be erased but as per point 1 they say no which therefore makes the whole question redundant unfortunately.

Re point 3, how much sample data did you try loading in and how long did it take? I'd be surprised if you'd loaded in more than 1MB if you didn't notice any perceptible load time. For non-vol wave mem it's not a significant issue for me as I don't use 3rd party sample packs etc, was more for other users as many will be keen on knowing how long it takes to load e.g. 100MB or 500MB sample sets or even fill the whole 1.75GB user mem compared to XF/MoXF flash ram etc.

The boot time is much better, 15secs was about my limit for that so they've just scraped under. After seeing the dev video a while back they did give hints that they'd improved that a lot. I was expecting 20-25secs based on what they said. I did get the feeling that they've used deferred and/or background loading to shorten it but maybe not. Will have to check that out when I can.
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Derek » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:11 pm

AJay wrote: They've misunderstood the compression question completely. They probably thought I meant loading mp3 or compressed .wav format samples etc to user flash. I didn't. The 5.67GB sample set is compressed into less rom space (may be 2GB) but they don't like to talk about it (as with Motif but unlike e.g. EX, SY/TG range where they used to quote the physical ROM size) as it confuses punters so they quote the uncompressed size, which is what it is when in use.
That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:28 pm

Derek wrote: That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
Which kind of begs the question, wouldn't many people be better of buying a Kronos instead? I know the Kronos is approx £250 more for the 61 key version but you get so much for that extra bit of money.
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by zpink » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:18 am

Saul wrote:
Derek wrote: That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
Which kind of begs the question, wouldn't many people be better of buying a Kronos instead? I know the Kronos is approx £250 more for the 61 key version but you get so much for that extra bit of money.
Well, some of us don't care about the technical specs and buy the sounds we think are the best. ;-)
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Derek » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:44 pm

zpink wrote:
Saul wrote:
Derek wrote: That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
Which kind of begs the question, wouldn't many people be better of buying a Kronos instead? I know the Kronos is approx £250 more for the 61 key version but you get so much for that extra bit of money.
Well, some of us don't care about the technical specs and buy the sounds we think are the best. ;-)
Technical specs and sonic capability were all part of my purchase choice for the Kronos compared to the Motif XF in 2014. I appreciate some people are happy with what comes out and do not care too much for the details of how the sounds are made, but all the engines in the Kronos bring different nuances for particular sounds. Whilst a Hammond is not every one's cup of tea, once you have played a modelled one (I am assuming you do not have the real thing of course) then a ROMPLER version is never going to cut the mustard.
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by Derek » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:46 pm

Saul wrote:
Derek wrote: That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
Which kind of begs the question, wouldn't many people be better of buying a Kronos instead? I know the Kronos is approx £250 more for the 61 key version but you get so much for that extra bit of money.
Or 9 engines in an integrated package for £300 each. :D

Montage is two engines for £1100 each on a '61

Possibly an unfair comparison.....
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by zpink » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:17 pm

Derek wrote: Technical specs and sonic capability were all part of my purchase choice for the Kronos compared to the Motif XF in 2014. I appreciate some people are happy with what comes out and do not care too much for the details of how the sounds are made, but all the engines in the Kronos bring different nuances for particular sounds. Whilst a Hammond is not every one's cup of tea, once you have played a modelled one (I am assuming you do not have the real thing of course) then a ROMPLER version is never going to cut the mustard.
It was the sounds that steered me to Yamaha, since (personal taste here) I think they just sound so much better than 'the other two'.
With Korg being by far the most popular choice amongst the bands I like, I was very biased towards getting one but failed to convince myself.

With the editor, there's quite a lot one can do with the sounds in the MoXF too.
For layering sounds from different engines, the MiniNova comes in handy, VA and Wavetables added for approximately 115 quid each. ;-)
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Re: What questions would you want answered about Montage?

Unread post by AJay » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:24 pm

Derek wrote:That's where the Kronos approach is so much better. Uncompressed samples streamed from an SSD, with only the necessary preload in RAM, and you can of course add as many samples as you have disk space (or add another disk if you run out).
Not really no, not for me anyway. Kronos takes 2+ mins to boot, with additional time taken for user sample loading on top of that. Any modern PC can boot and be running a users choice of several realtime polyphonic softsynths far quicker, so there's not much need for samples at all then, but streaming is still available anyway. It would be good if it powered up near instantly or even booted in say 10secs or so but it just doesn't due to it being a PC internally. Anyway, for my purposes sample streaming is of no use whatsoever, on any kind of system.

Motif XF is better as once it's booted up the samples are ready to go as they don't need to be loaded at all. However, it's still disappointing as it has the synth engine in hardware and the onboard/user waves in non-vol mem, then they ruin it by having the host system take circa 45secs to boot, which again is up against the PC running softsynths. The only time it would be faster is if the PC had to load a few GB of samples into a softsampler. MoXF still has the upper hand over a computer in that respect, although not by so much these days.

For users who want large multisampled emulations of specific sounds, where they're always changing them, then a computer based system is obviously better, whether it be PC/MAC or Kronos etc.
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