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  1. Fernando
  2. Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Thursday, 31 December 2020
Could you please let me know what would be the lowest requiered numbers for upper frequencies to fully enjoy the capabilities of the ample voices Montage contains ?
I know every instrument will play harmonics, but don´t quite see the minimum requierements.
I see loudspeakers, passive and active, with tweeter ranges achieving 35000 Hz. Other stops a 20000 Hz.
Since our hearing stops at around 20000Hz (mine achives just 15200 as per latest tests), I wonder if a tweeter offering 10000 Hz will suffice or if 12000 or even 16000 Hz wil be requiered.
Probably any speaker out there outperforms that minimum, but Imagine you can design such a loudspeaker....a range of 10Hz to 10000 Hz will be more than enough to fully reproduce everything there? You would stop at 8000 ?

Thank you very much.
Responses (8)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
In the real world there are sounds around all the time that way above what you can hear, but they bounce around the space your in and affect the sounds that you can hear. Simple example is go hear a guitar player or drummer play live and the sound of the guitar amp or the drums and cymbals. Now go into the studio with them they stick a mic' on them and you record them, they don't sound the same as live because microphone typically only pickup 20-20k range. So those other sounds the don't get picked up and the studio monitors typically range is 20-20k.

So the less range your speakers can reproduce the less like the original sound they will be. Kind of like going to a stereo and turning the treble down it starts sounding muffled. So I'd say you want something that response range is 20-20K and there are speakers in all price ranges and sizes that can do 20-20K and if going to lose some range lose it on the bottom end like 30-20K.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you.
My question was related to music production.
I own a synthesizer and my music comes from its sound engines.
Pianos, crash cymbals, pipe organs, whatever comes from MIDI, with such and such quality, and since MIDI goes along 128 notes...
As far as I know the tuning diapason has a historic range of 392-485, so C0 would be 7.28 to 9.01 Hz and G#9 will move from 11839.96 to 14648.93 if we forget any kind of streched tuning.
I wondered then why studio monitors offer ranges reaching much higher (38-30000 for HS8).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Great topic....

Forget the MIDI notes and their frequencies (for now)... in general, speakers attempt to deliver an even response, called ‘flat’, across the entire useable range of human hearing (which as you know is 20-20,000Hz). Microphones also are designed and spec’d so they exceed the range of human hearing... the goal, again, to deliver as flat (even) a response across all audible frequencies (these are ones we care about... we really don’t care to hear what our pet dogs can hear) but understand that when the specification reaches the end - it is not abrupt. It does what is called “roll off”...

In fact, the specs you read typically will tell about the flatness of response from this frequency to that frequency, referencing a point where it drops off -3dB below flat.

Now let’s talk musical Frequencies: that’s what we care about
To get a better grasp of how frequencies work and how we hear... we can use musical scales and recognize that each note played is not just a single frequency, but each note has its own set of upper harmonics (overtones) that are in play... making the sound intelligible.

The distance between the lowest note on an acoustic piano (A27.5) and the “A“ an octave above (A55) is just twenty-seven and a half cycles per second. But the distance between the “A” above middle “C” (A440) and an octave above it (A880) is a whopping four hundred and forty cycles per second.

Most people go, “okay, so what”. But this explains a lot, especially when you think musically... think about what sounds good, clear and intelligible from what sounds bad, crowded and muddy... these are all words used to subjectively describe sound (there are many many more, but unnecessary for the point to be made)...

The Point: the distance in cycles per second gets wider as you go up the scale. This sonically explains why playing an Aminor7 chord (A-C-E-G) starting with A440 is something you might do, while playing that same (A-C-E-G) voicing starting on A27.5 would never even cross your mind.

To truly understand how frequency and our hearing work... in general, high frequencies add intelligibility to sound. Musically, we need to talk about harmonics - whole integer multiples of the Fundamental note. The “harmonic series” describes the balance of frequencies making a musical tone...

Harmonics are whole integer multiples of the Fundamental pitch - the Fundamental is usually the loudest and the higher you go the softer and less frequent the multiples become. Each musical instrument (each sound for that matter) has its own unique arrangement of output levels of these harmonics. It is critical in our being able to identify what we are hearing. The harmonic structure of a trumpet will be different from the harmonic structure of the trombone or flugelhorn -- even if they play the same pitch. It is the harmonic structure (the level balance of the upper harmonics) that allows us to identify each and every sound. Sonic fingerprint.

Double the frequency you go up an octave.
110 x 1 = the Fundamental A110
110 x 2 = A220 an octave higher than the Fundamental
110 x 3 = E330 an octave and a fifth above the Fundamental
110 x 4 = A440 two octaves above the Fundamental
110 x 5 = C#550 two octaves + a major third above the Fundamental
And so on... each getting softer and softer.

Without the upper (softer) harmonics or overtones, your ability to identify exactly what you are hearing becomes less and less possible.
Hold a conversation with a friend, while talking place you hand in front of your mouth... or better... in the world of today, surely you’ve noted the less intelligible sound of conversations these days as people attempt to communicate through layers of fabric... when you mess with the upper harmonics, words are more difficult to identify.

Muffled, dark, rounded, dull, are words we use to describe sound deficient in high harmonics. You want your speakers to be able to deliver both lows and highs... and do so evenly across the range we care about!

Hope that helps.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks, Bad Mister.
Happy New Year.

I know about those harmonics, overtones....and found it curious that some headphones (Yamaha HPH-MT5) dedicated specifically for music production were announcing a range 20-20000 while I heard some fellows commenting they couldn't live without their 35000 tweeter.
Overtones allows us to distinguish a trumpet from a pipe organ, but the extension of higher tones must reach a point to be considered as unheard.

I recently started using a software to overcome the lack for linear recording the songs I play in my Fantom 8 (sorry, I cannot reach so far the level Montage provides but promise I will buy your next hardware) and it shows the loudness of the frequencies...
Well, most of my songs rarely go above A6 (if it does, only for a very short time) , and I see tones/overtones registered above C8 are really thin... well below some -50dB. Linear recording Sound Visualizer.jpg
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say humans cannot hear 35,000Hz... we don’t need to, our equipment is not spec’d to reproduce this. And quite frankly, we don’t want to hear this frequency, trust me! The high frequency spec is ensure that a transducer product (be it a microphone or a speaker) can deliver the 20,000 cycles per second with the same energy it can deliver all the other audible frequencies.

Can some tell if it does not? — you betcha! There are folks, called “golden ears”, who can detect these things.
It’s not that they can hear 35000Hz, they probably cannot... but they can detect a roll off... after all, 35kHz is less than an octave above our 20,000Hz limit.

The point of specifications is show how the device covers the useable (audible) range evenly. To do so you must be able to exceed 20,000 cycles.
If you are a musician, or you are older than 7 years of age, you start to lose your ability to hear that 20,000 fairly soon (don’t panic, but do turn any abusive volume down and you should avoid extreme volume for longer periods of time). Human hearing specification vary per individual and by no means is it a flat curve...

A demonstration I used to do in my Audio Engineering class to illustrate this point... the console had a built in test tone oscillator — you would send different frequencies to the Tape machine during alignment (there’s a skill I haven’t used in 30 years)

It’d send a 100Hz signal through the system and bring the level up to 0VU
Next I would flip the switch to send 1,000Hz (1kHz) tone
Then finally I would send 10,000Hz (10kHz) tone

I would ask: which one was louder?
The answer is going to be subjective... because Volume is separate from Level... that was the lesson.
Volume is a subjective judgement based on our hearing not being flat.

It’s the 1,000Hz tone that is loudest in Volume (for us as humans)
Even though all three read out as absolutely equal on the VU meter, clearly as humans we hear best in the mid range!
Each signal is absolutely equal in the amount of work they can do — they all bring the meter, which measures how much work they are doing, to 0VU.

The 10kHz tone never failed to bring everyone to a teeth gritting grin (and memories of their friendly local dentist). People couldn’t wait for it to stop... it’s that annoying. And it is certainly NOT as loud as the 1kHz (thankfully), but then neither is the 100Hz tone
I would make the joke “any one want to go to 20kHz?” A resounding “No” would echo through the room. (I didn’t have one, but was confident that the point was made).

We strive for the most intelligible signal. High frequencies support intelligibility but too much of a good thing is no good either.

Our frequency response is not flat - we definitely hear best in the mid-range. Our hearing “rolls-off” at the high end.
What it equally interesting is what happens at the low end. It’s not the same kind of “roll-off”... it’s more of a break down of continuity

My questions for the musicians in the class would go:
What note does the orchestra tune up to... after the obligatory discussion... we eventually agree on the A440
What is the frequency of the “A” below this...A220, then A110, then A55, and finally A27.5... I would play these pitches for the class.

So the question for everyone: does it make sense that you can only hear 7 1/2 cycles per second below this lowest “A” note?
Can’t we hear 1Hz...?

While everyone was pondering this, I would begin to snap my fingers at precisely 60bpm, until someone figured it out.
The fingers snap sound itself was at approx 1.2kHz but it was, itself, happening at 1 cycle per second... and everyone could hear it, and could agree.

I then would double the speed (go up an octave) by snapping twice as fast.
The frequency of the “snap” sound is like a dot on a page, happening so far apart...as I go up in frequency by placing dots closer and closer together... there comes a moment when the dots are so close together your eyes see it as a line on the paper... this is how it is with sound. “Sounds” below 20 cycles per second break down to separate events. They provide a “Rate” - Low Frequency Oscillator is typically an oscillator specializing in low speeds... we use these to apply musical changes to the oscillator pitch (vibrato), filter cutoff frequency (Wah-Wah), and amplifier output (tremolo).

So if I could snap my finger 440 times in a second (besides my hand falling off) it would output an A440.

You can recreate these experiments with any synth, and DAW Meter and a good pair of speakers.
You can play around with the new Extended LFO... you’ll discover that the basic explanation addressing the overtone series as a linear map... but that makes the basic concept easier to explain, but you’ll detect that as you get deeper into it, you see/hear it does some crazy stuff, and is not just linear. It begins to fold back on itself... experiment with FM-X as you can play with overtones (I recommend: use your ears, use the math to explain what you are hearing).

Last word: the spec’s get used in selling speakers - not because the buyer knows what they mean, sadly, if you are impressed with numbers without knowing what they mean, you may buy something thinking that ‘more’ must be better. Does a 1000 Watt amplifier go louder than an 900 Watt amplifier... (the correct answer is: not so you’d notice). Human sensitivity to increases in power is another thing...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Lovely, thank you so much.

But, "So if I could snap my finger 440 times in a second (besides my hand falling off) it would output an A440."

Mmmmm ...
Excuse me, but aren't we mixing FREQUENCY and TEMPO ?

Regardless of the speed I hit the drum, or blow the trumpet, the result will have a proper frequency, and the harmonics will allow me to tell if trumpet or drum, or am I missing something?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
If you have the money and want to enjoy the Montage in ways you could never have imagined (especially the Pianos), whereby you get the full frequency range with mids & highs that are some kind of magic, then get a pair of these 7" studio monitors:

Frequency Response: 35 Hz - 50 kHz

They are quite pricey, but they will provide a 3 dimensional listening experience like no other, as they are perfectly balanced with a 50W 2" Ribbon Tweeter and a 300W 7" Woofer.
You may or may not want to add a subwoofer for sub-lows, but the Frequency Response is: 35 Hz - 50 kHz

The ribbon tweeter will take your Montage pianos and give you the experience of playing an actual 9' CFX Grand, as if it was right there in the room.

When I demoed the Yamaha HS8's at the music store, using the Montage8 they had at the store and compared them to all other competing speakers in that price range, the Yamaha's were definitely the best sounding of the lot, especially for acoustic pianos; But there was a certain harshness about them in the MIDs that wasn't optimal (only with pianos). After adjusting 2.8k down a bit they sounded better and probably close enough that I could be happy with them. The sales tech kept urging me to try the Adam A7X's, which were double the cost, and out of my price range at that particular point in time. I am not prone to giving in to sales talk, but the tech wasn't pushing me to buy the more expensive Adam's...rather he saw me struggling with getting that unnatural harsh sound out of the pianos on the Montage8 and said that is just the design of speakers in that price range, and that I should be able to hear the difference in what the next level speakers sound like in comparison. So after about my fourth time saying no to hearing the Adam's (because I knew they were going to sound better & I wouldn't be able to unhear them) I gave in demoed them.
Well F@#$%^ they sounded like magic, even better than I expected. Without any EQ'ing on the Montage, closing my eyes and playing the CFX Grands, I had the experience of playing an actual acoustic grand CFX. It literally sounded like it was right in front of me with full 3 dimensional sound. The 2" ribbon tweeters were simply amazing and I had them up to full concert grand volume ... they had "ZERO" harshness in the full range of frequencies, especially the Mids where the Yamaha's struggled a bit. The highs were clearer than anything I've experienced in a speaker before, which is probably where most of the magic comes from...the tweeters.

Since they were not an option for me, I went back to the Yamaha HS8's and tried tweaking the EQ to make them sound better. Since they were the best of the ones in that price range, I decided to buy the Yamaha's and spent the entire weekend tweaking the EQ. I had them very close to where I could be happy with the piano sounds (at actual acoustic grand piano levels), but I couldn't unhear the Adam's that were literally haunting me. I wanted the experience of playing an actual acoustic grand again. So I took back the Yamaha's, saved for 8 months and then ordered the Adam's. They were as awesome as I had remembered at the store 8 months prior, but then I played a softer piece on the pianos and noticed a distortion or rumbling noise as the the piano sustain faded (I also heard it even when playing harder and the mid/low notes sustained to lower volume levels after 5 seconds or so). I checked online to see if this was a known thing with these speakers and found others had also experienced this same phenomenon under specific conditions. I then contacted Adam Audio support and referenced what I had found others were saying in forums, as well as what my experience was. They replied saying they were aware of this "design characteristic" in special circumstances, such as with pianos, and said that their S series do not have this "design characteristic". The S series monitors are double the price of the AX7's, so they are out of my price range, until I win the lotto!

However as started above, if you have the money the Adam S2V's will give you an experience that makes your Montage sound like reality!
The Adam A7X's will also give you that experience so long as you don't play softer notes on the pianos in the low/mid range at full grand volume levels...note that I did not experience this "design characteristic" (which I would call a "Design FLAW";) with the A7X's with anything else, except pianos at that volume level. Every other sound I played (or song), sounded super awesome on them!! Even professional songs that had piano in them (but mixed for radio) didn't have the issue ... except for one Adele song that I found, which had just vocals & piano.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you, Darryl...

I am sure you will like to read a review on those Adams...


I have a pair of Mythos ST, floor standings, 14-30000, and they are awesome. Pipe organs ( I made one out of a mixture of many until I achieved my own idea, even with the air valves opening/closing coming into the scene, how funny !!!! ) at home are better than the one at the cathedral next door !!!!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
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