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  1. charlie
  2. MONTAGE
  3. Tuesday, 09 May 2017
Hey,

First post! I'll summarise my feature requests here and for the brave you can keep reading ;)


Improved handling/importing of multiple user samples from USB storage
Sample start and end point editing in the UI
Sample start and end as mod destinations
Additional filter types available for drum instruments


The montage is just about the nicest sounding and most fun sampler I've used and I love hearing my customs samples alongside those lovely FMX & AWM tones, using the sidechaining to create some lovely, thick, cohesive beats and atmosphere beds. Yamaha really did such a great job on how this thing sounds and the ease of use to get to really creative places.

However, the user waveform loading and handling is very primitive...I would love to see even small uplift in the capabilities here.

For example, the process of loading multiple samples from USB storage is really tedious. Multi-selection would really help here, as would the ability to display sample files on the storage, i.e in list view.

I have software tools to create Motif instruments and could pre-build things of course, but sometimes I love to be able to spontaneously grab some recordings of my outboard synth noodlings or some drum samples that fit the track and chuck them into the montage to go to work on them with those lovely filters and effects. The process of importing these one at a time is a buzzkill and crucially wouldn't seem to take much work to improve (*my complete lack of knowledge of development cycles notwithstanding)

Secondly, some additional control of the imported samples would really (really, really) lift the sampling experience. Being able to set sample start and end points would be fantastic...and if I am dreaming, having start point available as a mod destination would be utterly awesome for creating moving beds of atmosphere or creating movement in samples synth patches etc.

Last of all, it would be superb to have access to the larger group of filter options in drum instruments, since they sound so nice. This board is almost the perfect modern sampler with the combination of UI, DSP and raw, sheer sound quality, which as a hardware sampler freak I am somewhat particular about.

Oh one more, does anyone know if there is a published roadmap document for Montage in terms of when new updates are due and what they aim to contain?

All views my own of course, just wondering if anyone agrees!

The montage really is superb and I'm 100% glad I chanced it without really hearing it. :)
Responses (5)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The montage is just about the nicest sounding and most fun sampler


I'm sure you mean keyboard and not sampler. Montage is not a sampler, which is why they will tell you all of these features have been left off Montage.

I personally agree that some features such as loop points (without audition) and, in addition, properties such as forward/reverse should be something I can edit. This "blind" editing would be good for creating novel sounds and not necessarily precision looping which would still be handled off-line.

I also agree about the destinations which can "fool around" with the sample properties. This opens up unique sonic capabilities with AWM2.

Even the functionally (ignoring the destination request) we're both asking/wishing for is primitive. I'd be happy with capable+primitive vs. the less-than-capable state of today (with respect to on-board sample parameter editing). The destination request is a nice-to-have and would certainly allow for more readily developing those "over the top" type sounds - although more subtle work could be done as well.

I don't think loading samples with Montage's USB is anything that's going to improve soon. This falls into the category of "Montage is not a sampler". I'm kind of OK with this since I do not regard building a "PART" based on samples to be a spontaneous act. I do consider "warping" the parameters as one - so I've also asked for the same types of parameter upgrades before. But for multi-samples: I do agree with Yamaha that you are better served with software tools. I do not agree with the strategy however - to use 3rd party tools developed for a previous keyboard at cost. Using the offline tools before was a value-add because you could use the on-board interface. Now, since the on-board facility has been taken away - this does naturally present a customer satisfaction issue (taking away a feature) which was not back-filled with a free solution within the first year of release and still counting.

... I fully expect a difference of opinion and respect that sometimes solution providers get out of sync with certain customers.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 1
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I have software tools to create Motif instruments and could pre-build things of course, but sometimes I love to be able to spontaneously grab some recordings of my outboard synth noodlings or some drum samples that fit the track and chuck them into the montage to go to work on them with those lovely filters and effects. The process of importing these one at a time is a buzzkill and crucially wouldn't seem to take much work to improve (*my complete lack of knowledge of development cycles notwithstanding)
If you have the tools to create Motif (we assume you mean Motif XF) instruments and you can pre-build things - then I do not have to explain to you how much quicker, easier and efficient it is to do this off-board (on the computer). It is literally drag-and-drop easy.

Your thinking here about spontaneously grabbing some recording and using them in the Montage is very much available (and as yet widely unexplored) try inputting your spontaneous audio and feed it into the A/D Inputs. The A/D Input is now more a part of the synth then previous models... not only does it have its own dual Insertion Effects, but much about it can automated. It can even act as a tempo source.

Your 'complete lack of knowledge of development' is obviously shared by many (don't let that deter your dreams, or your requests, we have folks with that knowledge) - the "sampler" NOT being in the Montage is one of the reasons it is the powerful synth it is. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but because you do not have all the (lets call it) "baggage" that goes with managing, manipulating and editing of Sample data in the Montage firmware, left room for the vastly improved synth engine you are enjoying (and at a price not much more than its predecessor - an important consideration in product development).

The Montage does, in fact, load Waveforms right now. 'Best tools for the job' is the concept - sampling and editing and sample management on the computer is a 'best use' - I should not have to explain that if you are familiar with Motif XF and the Melas Waveform Editor. It's drag and drop, then export a File.

Currently, the Montage does not load samples for use in Normal AWM2 creations... it loads Waveforms - it is compatible with Waveforms developed for the MOXF, the Motif XS/XF. Waveforms are Yamaha-speak for a collection of samples. So currently I can load the hundreds of samples that are used to create the Chick Corea Mark V Rhodes, or the S700 Acoustic Grand, or the Bosendorfer Imperial Grand in a single operation. And I don't have to sweat the details.

For those who are interested in creating your own data (from the sample level) you will just have to be a bit patient. In the meantime, I highly recommend you take up your spontaneous-ness and try out feeding audio into the Motion Control engine via the A/D Input. What you may discover is a new world of possibilities you have not even considered.

My position at Yamaha has allowed me to see many things come and go, and one of the things I've learned over these many years is: Most people tend to look back - because the past is familiar. They 'know' or think they know what they want to do, and they ask why doesn't my new thing do it like my old thing (not always, but it is a general way of thinking). When the DX7 came out - the lament was "it doesn't have filters, how can I do what I (already) know how to do to get timbre change".

I used to do exactly what you described with my Motif XF because it lent itself to importing AUDIO, setting Loop Points, mangling and otherwise manipulating audio samples... that was one of its strong points... having a built-in Sampler.... and one that was integrated into the Sequencer as well.

When I first got Montage, I looked for that and when I went to NEW WAVEFORM, I realized that the Integrated Sampler was gone. The Montage left that function out, but what I did discover was that an entirely new function was presented. The A/D Input not only was able to send audio through the engine, you could use it in dynamic and radically new ways.

First, thing I tried was routing live audio through the A/D Input and explored the possibilities. Was it the same as messing around with samples Start, End and Loop Points in the Motif XF? no. But it opened some new avenues of sound making I had not even considered.

Future Workflow:
Use the computer to prepare your audio clips, and snipets into proper Waveforms... Load literally hundreds of Samples at a time (and you only have to load them that one time!!!) because they will already be collected into Waveforms; they then can become a permanent (well, 'semi-permanent' because you can delete them when you want) part of your Montage.

Secondly, some additional control of the imported samples would really (really, really) lift the sampling experience. Being able to set sample start and end points would be fantastic...and if I am dreaming, having start point available as a mod destination would be utterly awesome for creating moving beds of atmosphere or creating movement in samples synth patches etc.
Again, there is no "sampling experience" with Montage... sorry. There is no sampler. Mixing up the ability to LOAD Waveforms with the ability to Sample can get you into trouble here. I too, would love to see audio Start Point available as a Destination... returning to the old Yamaha A4000 and A5000 feature set where this type of things was available. We all have a "wish list" - and we all are guilty of looking back to the familiar. My wish list is probably a lot longer than yours (not trying to be competitive here but I do have quite a list... and I also have some very good knowledge of development cycles and the like...) so this may not be fair...

I could bore you with the results of market research (but frankly, if what *most* users are doing or find compelling features, doesn't agree with what YOU want to do, it serves little purpose... but you have ask yourself those hard questions...

I'll just say, you recognize the power that is the Montage. This partially due to what they choose to concentrate on initially, and what they left out. And that this is just year 1 of the Montage era...

Oh one more, does anyone know if there is a published roadmap document for Montage in terms of when new updates are due and what they aim to contain?
There, of course is roadmap for future updates, no it is not published.

Ask Apple is there a roadmap for future updates on any of their devices. Secrecy on such things is not limited to just music technology - ask Ford what they plan on doing next year... no harm in asking, they just simply will not tell you. This really doesn't need to be explained.

That said, Yamaha has said that there will be updates - it's a part of the product plan - the initial success of the product in the marketplace does nothing but ensure this will happen. Thanks for your thoughts and requests, they are important to the whole process.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I, of course, have some suggestions and or complaints regarding Montage, as well, every thing man made. I even found the new Rolls Royce to have a few disappointments.
Phil Clendeninn has made a truly excellent statement regarding the Montage as it is.
The one thing about Montage that makes-up for other personal disappointments is this: It is the sound and response dynamically. A great keyboard.
I hope Yamaha will, as Phil mentions, continue to support, improve and develop new instruments that evolve from the excellent start.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
All the people say h24 like a mantra : "The montage it's not a sampler "but why it have half of the function of a sampler ? in this way it seems like an unfinished sampler
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Good one :) good sense of whit
Phil !
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 5
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