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Montage & Montage M - Uncommon or hidden settings/parameters

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Select the Part —> EDIT —> “General/Pitch” —> “Element Settings”
Currently, the “Ex Elem Sw”, which allows you to increase the number of Elements (Element Count) as you require, the 8 radio buttons that show activity disappear and the number of Elements will be shown along with an overall activity meter.

Alternatively: From the HOME screen select a Part —> then using Knob 6 under Main Display set “View Mode” = “Part Info”. Here you can see the first 8 Element Switches, Element Levels, Slider position and a radio button indicating which Element is currently sounding.

If I'm not mistaken that ability to see the activity of the first 8 elements is available in both the old Montage, and the two Modx versions.

As I ask in one of my recent threads my concern is that there doesn't appear to be any way to get that information for elements 9-128 without having to select each element one at a time.
https://www.yamahasynth.com/forum/m8x-can-you-determine-if-a-given-element-is-sounding-without-being-on-the-edit-screen-for-that-element

Is it safe to assume, as I ask in tha thread, that based on what you just posted that the answer is NO for elements 9-128?

Without that ability, and the ability to know if the element switch for an element 9-128 is even on, it makes it pretty hard to analyze an existing part to know just what elements it is even using, let alone how those elements might be grouped together.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 7:03 am
Darryl
Posts: 784
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Topic starter
 

Wow, so is it that the AWM2 Element radio button lights are indeed no longer there in the Montage M..!? I guess maybe there isn't enough room for all 128 of them on the screen, and as unfortunate as that would be I might be able to live without it and go by ear only, as long as I am still able to quickly mute/unmute Elements and Operators..!?
But they could easily have a dedicated screen just for the AWM2, which would show the radio lights of all 128 Elements, and use the display knobs to navigate through the Element matrix 16 x 8 (rows x columns), allowing people to see when they light up, as well as select, mute, unmute & solo specific Elements..!?

One thing I really would not want to live without when programming a PART on the Montage M (if ever am able to get one), whether it's AWM2 or FM-X, is the ability to use the the physical 'buttons' to select Elements & Operators, then press the 'Mute/Unmute' buttons for each of them. Is this Montage classic functionality 'also' gone from the Montage M?, as I don't see 'Mute' buttons on the Montage M for Elements or Operators, and for me, this is essential for when listening to specific Elements/Operators very quickly, especially when blending two velocity layers of a piano together..!?
If "Mute/Unmute" button functionality is gone from the Montage M for Operators & Elements, then I might as well be programming sounds using a MODX on the main screen, as this was one of the defining and main differences between the Montage & MODX when creating/tweaking sounds. If this was "Taken Away" on the M, then all the nice cleanup they did on the right side of the Montage M & moving much of that functionality to the left, has actually made it far less than the Montage classic, as I "depend" on the bottom 2 rows of 8 buttons on the right for selecting & muting/unmuting Elements and Operators for every sound I work on. I thought all this would have been moved to the left with either the row of 8 buttons at the very top and/or the row of 8 at the very bottom (where the Scene buttons used to be), but if they moved all this to the left, but dropped and didn't include selecting & muting/unmuting Elements & Operators on the Montage M, then how are people supposed to mute and unmute them? Using the main screen?, because if so, they basically reduced the Montage M to a MODX for that functionality when editing and programming sounds...

Hopefully this is not the case and the bottom 8 buttons on the left (&/or top 8) allow people to easily mute/unmute Elements and Operators... Losing this functionality would be a really really bad redesign, a travesty, and WHY would they take such useful functionality away? So I am hoping this is note the case!
Talk about Uncommon or hidden settings/parameters, these could be so hidden on the M that they are literally unfindable...
I'm perfectly OK with moving things around whereby it makes more sense, and when I first looked + watching/reading about the Montage M changes in the right side buttons & functionality being moved to the left, I thought all that functionality was 'moved' to the left (not 'DROPPED'), but to remove the functionality that is so essential and so extremely useful, would be really bad and many steps backwards IMHO. I'm hoping someone tells me differently and that the Montage M still has this functionality without having to touch the main screen to do so (like on the MODX) ... not that it affects me, but I am just not a fan of seeing design changes that appear to be for the better, but are actually for the worse!

If they dropped the radio lights on the screen on the Montage M, I just don't see how they didn't also drop the ability to Select and Mute/unmute Elements & Operators via buttons & show on the screen, because where would the yellow 'm' for mute show on the screen to indicate that the operator is muted? Did Yamaha basically do all this moving of functionality around, drop all the best, most useful stuff for AWM2 and FM-X, all so that it's designed to easily program the AN-X, at the expense of the other engines..!?

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 2:55 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

If I'm not mistaken that ability to see the activity of the first 8 elements is available in both the old Montage, and the two Modx versions.

As I ask in one of my recent threads my concern is that there doesn't appear to be any way to get that information for elements 9-128 without having to select each element one at a time.
https://www.yamahasynth.com/forum/m8x-can-you-determine-if-a-given-element-is-sounding-without-being-on-the-edit-screen-for-that-element

Is it safe to assume, as I ask in tha thread, that based on what you just posted that the answer is NO for elements 9-128?

Without that ability, and the ability to know if the element switch for an element 9-128 is even on, it makes it pretty hard to analyze an existing part to know just what elements it is even using, let alone how those elements might be grouped together.

Yes, you said that… you repeat it again here. Seeing you somewhat ‘defeated’ and running to IdeaScale I thought I’d give you my usual: “What you can do now” while you await whatever update may or may not ever come… (frankly, you can see the Element activity same as you always could — 8 Elements per Part at a time).

When creating an AWM2 sound like the “CFX Concert” as found in the MONTAGE M, you would create the multi-Part, single instrument, by building it within the 8 Element AWM2 architecture… using 4 Parts (as they did in the first generation’s version of “CFX Concert”). Originally it took four Parts.

To make it 18 Elements, in one Part, you simply increase the Element Count for Part 1, then COPY Elements from the other Parts into the Extended Element locations. Voila.

Using the Element COPY/EXCHANGE function (which is context sensitive), located [SHIFT] + [EDIT] while working on your Elements.

To build an 18 Element acoustic piano you could use multiple Parts linked by KBD CTRL to build your instrument. Set so that they play as one multi-Element/multi Part sound — then it is a very simple matter to Extend the “Element Count” on the first Part, and COPY the additional Part’s Elements into those Extended Element slots.

Take Part 2’s Elements and COPY
“Part 2, Element 1 —> Part 1, Element 9”
“Part 2, Element 2 —> Part 1, Element 10”
and so on… easy, peasy. Until you have all 18 Elements in Part 1 (Delete Parts 2, 3 and 4).
Gives you the ability to construct your sound without trying to view 128 radio buttons on one screen — I’m not even sure that would actually be useful to see all of them at once.

Many of the multi-Part, single instruments that feature Extended Elements are made this way.
Advantage they occupy less real estate, and use only one channel when recording Out via MIDI.

Things to try:
_ If you wish to add a String Ensemble to the MONTAGE Ms “CFX Concert” - increase the Element Count from 18 to 19, or enough to accommodate the number of Elements you wish to add. Say, for simplicity’s sake, I want to add the Single Part “Ens Mix” (string orchestra in a single Element)… place “Ens Mix” in Part 2. Head to the Element screen of Part 2

Take Part 2’s Elements and COPY it into Part 1
“Part 2, Element 1 —> Part 1, Element 19”

Extra Credit:
You will gain an understanding of what makes a good candidate to merge like this based on the advantages and possible limitations in having these instruments combined in a single Part… they are literally joined at the hip when it comes to things like Output Routing, Reverb Send, etc.

But because in AWM2 each Element has an Oscillator, tuning/EG/Note and Velocity ranges, its own Filter and Filter EG, its own Amplitude and Amplitude EG, its own EQ, its own LFO, even its own Routing to the Insertion Blocks, you do have some flexibility when joining two different instruments like this.

But future development of this simply makes the AWM2 engine exponentially more powerful.

Hope that helps you use what you have now.

And, yes, you can divide an Extended Element Part to separate Parts (for study purposes) your 18 Element acoustic could have
Part 1 — 8 Elements velocities for soft- medium
Part 2 — 8 Elements velocities for ff and above
Part 3 — 2 Elements hard strike no dampers + KeyOff noise
Radio button activity for each Part. If you are really curious about what a programmer did. (Analysis as you said) Once you build your own Extended Element Part, however, you realize that you already know how it works — because you will have constructed it. (Highly recommended) You may not see this yet, but hopefully you’ll get there.

@Darryl Set “View Mode” = Part Info
This will show you how each Part is constructed… AWM2 you have Element On/Off, volume slider, volume value, and your radio button activity indicator per Element.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 3:03 pm
Darryl
Posts: 784
Prominent Member
Topic starter
 

[quotePost id=124099]
Take Part 2’s Elements and COPY
“Part 2, Element 1 —> Part 1, Element 9”
“Part 2, Element 2 —> Part 1, Element 10”
and so on… easy, peasy. Until you have all 18 Elements in Part 1 (Delete Parts 2, 3 and 4).
Gives you the ability to construct your sound without trying to view 128 radio buttons on one screen
Many of the multi-Part, single instruments that feature Extended Elements are made this way.
Advantage they occupy less real estate, and use only one channel when recording Out via MIDI.
[/quotePost]
Ok, so I see how easy it is to "build" an 18 Element PART from multiple other PARTs, but how can we easily break down what's in the 18 or 128 Element PART so that we can tweak it, test parts of the functionality (like watching a group of Elements properly Cycle through when they are 'grouped' and their XA Control is set to 'Cycle'..?

— I’m not even sure that would actually be useful to see all of them at once.

How could it NOT be useful to see them all when utilizing the various XA Controls and setting them properly, testing to make sure they are set right and working the way you need it to. It's ESSENTIAL!
People depend on seeing Elem1, Elem2, Elem3...Elem8 on the screen and especially to see the yellow 'm' on the left of each Elem1 or OP1 block when "muting" various Operators or Elements. This functionality is essential for modifying/programming FM-X sounds especially. It's how FM-X synthesis is done. You NEED to be able to mute the carriers (& see the yellow 'm' to know they are muted) in order to properly program that Op stack and blend the various Op stacks together to get the sound. So, I am wondering if they did remove this functionality to see and to use buttons to mute/unmute, did they do so because the focus was on rearranging everything so the AN-X was easy to program, at the expense of FM-X and AWM2 programming?

For the 128 Elements of the AWM2, they could easily have added a screen (just like they added many new screens which appear to make AN-X programming great) that shows a matrices of the Elements with the green radio lights, the yellow 'm' for mute:

Elem1, Elem2, Elem3 ... Elem8
...
Elm125, Elm126, Elm127 ... Elm128

The 8 button on the left (either the 8 at the top or bottom) could be used with the up/down arrow to navigate. Or possibly the main screen knobs as well.

So, currently how does one mute/unmute FM-X Operators to program an FM-X PART ? (without touching the screen like the MODX is limited to)

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 3:28 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

Ok, so I see how easy it is to "build" an 18 Element PART from multiple other PARTs, but how can we easily break down what's in the 18 or 128 Element PART so that we can tweak it, test parts of the functionality (like watching a group of Elements properly Cycle through when they are 'grouped' and their XA Control is set to 'Cycle'..?

See my answer above! Basically, when you understand *how* they are made, it becomes easier to analyze them, and easier to construct your own — with the knowledge you gained from the original MONTAGE/MODX/MODX+

So, currently how does one mute/unmute FM-X Operators to program an FM-X PART ? (without touching the screen like the MODX is limited to)

Dedicated [MUTE] buttons on the front panel.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 3:30 pm
Posts: 779
Prominent Member
 

Yes, you said that… you repeat it again here.

The simple reason for that is because this is where you chose to comment on it rather than in the thread I created to make people aware of the missing functionality as regards elements 9-128.

then it is a very simple matter to Extend the “Element Count” on the first Part, and COPY the additional Part’s Elements into those Extended Element slots.

Where you will never again be able to see info about those elements without visiting them one at a time. And the previous 'mute' element functionality appears to be totally missing as regards extended elements.

Gives you the ability to construct your sound without trying to view 128 radio buttons on one screen — I’m not even sure that would actually be useful to see all of them at once.

To borrow a quote of your own - 'You may not see this yet, but hopefully you’ll get there'.

Sadly, you seem reluctant to come right out and say NO, you do not have direct access to elements 9-128 other than by visiting each edit screen one at a time.

Given that you spent several decades working for Yamaha I can empathize with your apparent sensitivity to perceived 'critisism' of one of their products, especially a brand new introduction like the Montage M models.

I hope you will try to understand that the questions and comments of most people, including me, are NOT intended as criticism but rather as a result of trying to understand both the features AND the limitations of the instrument.

Neither you, nor Yamaha, should take our questions and comments personally.

@Darryl Set “View Mode” = Part Info
This will show you how each Part is constructed… AWM2 you have Element On/Off, volume slider, volume value, and your radio button activity indicator per Element.

That info is limited to the first 8 elements of the part. That 'Part Info' view does NOT have an Element SW parameter that allows you to select other groups of 8 elements as you can on the control assign screen.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 4:41 pm
Posts: 779
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@Darryl

as well as select, mute, unmute & solo specific Elements..!?

Glad you mentioned that 'solo' thing.

Going, going.......GONE! Gone from the displays altogether. And only available using Front panel buttons and only for elements 1-8. I've created another thread for that and will add a new IdeaScale suggestion.

and especially to see the yellow 'm' on the left of each Elem1 or OP1 block when "muting" various Operators or Elements.

The ONLY mute functionality I have found on the M8X is using the front panel MUTE button to mute that works ONLY for the first 8 elements and only one element at a time.

I haven't found any MUTE switch on the individual element screens of any element 1-128. The screen for each element does have its ON/OFF switch that you could turn OFF for testing. But bad things await if you accidentally forgot to turn it back ON because I have found NO WAY to tell if an element switch is ON/OFF for elements 9-128 except by visiting its edit screen.

For the 128 Elements of the AWM2, they could easily have added a screen (just like they added many new screens which appear to make AN-X programming great) that shows a matrices of the Elements with the green radio lights, the yellow 'm' for mute:

I've already suggested on IdeaScale adding a similar screen to show element ON/OFF status. I hadn't even noticed the missing MUTE functionality for elements 9-16 - good find.

The 8 button on the left (either the 8 at the top or bottom) could be used with the up/down arrow to navigate. Or possibly the main screen knobs as well.

Another of my IdeaScale suggestions was to add 2 knobs at the bottom of a part's Osc / Tune screen so you could use those knobs to select parts and elements rather than use the dropdowns and scrolling.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 4:58 pm
Posts: 779
Prominent Member
 

Basically, when you understand *how* they are made, it becomes easier to analyze them, and easier to construct your own — with the knowledge you gained from the original MONTAGE/MODX/MODX+

The presumption there is that a user actually HAS prior knowledge from owning a previous Yamaha instrument.

That doesn't apply to customers that are NEW to Yamaha or synths altogether or that have owned competing products.

Dedicated [MUTE] buttons on the front panel.

Again - those ONLY apply to the first 8 elements. As far as I can tell there is no way at all to MUTE elements 9-128 even if one was willing to do it one element at a time.

IMO that is a rather glaring omission and a reduction in functionality that we 'original' owners have become dependent on.

It would be very helpful, again in my opinion, if someone from Yamaha would be forthcoming about what functionality IS and IS NOT available in the new M models.

Someone in the company surely knows those details. One item a features list might be:

Ability to MUTE an element

Montage Modx Modx+ Montage M
Yes Yes Yes Yes*

* - only elements 1-8 can be muted

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 5:06 pm
Darryl
Posts: 784
Prominent Member
Topic starter
 

[quotePost id=124101]

Ok, so I see how easy it is to "build" an 18 Element PART from multiple other PARTs, but how can we easily break down what's in the 18 or 128 Element PART so that we can tweak it, test parts of the functionality (like watching a group of Elements properly Cycle through when they are 'grouped' and their XA Control is set to 'Cycle'..?

See my answer above! Basically, when you understand *how* they are made, it becomes easier to analyze them, and easier to construct your own — with the knowledge you gained from the original MONTAGE/MODX/MODX+[/quotePost]
I feel that it's going to be increasingly difficult to explain many different "Uncommon or hidden settings/parameters" to new Montage M owners (compared to how it was with Montage owners) who have never owned a Montage. a MODX(+) or even a Motif.

Helping someone who's completely brand new to Yamaha products figure out which Element(s) is(are) not Cycling properly in Part2 when there are 2 different XA Control 'Groups' of Elements set to Cycle in the range (Elem9 - Elem28).

It appears that some commonly used and extremely useful functionality from the Montage has been stripped away on the Montage M (definitely for any Elements higher than Elem8), such that the new AWM2 128 Element enhancement is not easily programmable or manageable, and it appears that those things that were stripped away as part of the redesign was to benefit programming of the new AN-X engine and all the focus was on that, not on maintaining all the useful (used) Montage programming/editing functionality for the AWM2 and FM-X engines, although it appears the AWM2 was stripped out more deeply... I (and many others) Up Voted ideas to add the AN-X engine to support those who actually wanted an AN-X engine (which I never cared to have for myself); However I would have 'Down Voted" every VA / AN-X type idea if I knew that Yamaha would add & implement that new engine at the 'expense' in functionality in editing/programming the other 2 engines that I & many others care mostly about.

Maybe Yamaha have off loaded all that editing/viewing functionality to the new Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P), whereby people will be able to see & access everything once again on AWM2 and FM-X via their DAW..!? Kind of like how sequencing, ARP creation & sampling was off loaded to Cubase, other DAW software and SampleRobot on the Montage/MODX... If this turns out to be the case & people will be able to see and edit all AWM2 & FM-X PARTs via a DAW, as easily to better than it was on the Montage/MODX, then I personally would be Ok with that..!! And if it is the case, I think Yamaha would be wise to let people know that it's coming via E.S.P. ASAP!

(I can't speak for everyone though as far as being happy with off loading AWM2 and FM-X viewing/editing/etc. to E.S.P. in a DAW, if that turns out to be the case...)

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 7:18 pm
Jason
Posts: 7930
Illustrious Member
 

Objectively, I find several design choices on the new Montage M which lack "refinement" (editorial comment/opinion). I haven't sat in front of one for much time so I'm being reserved in chiming in.

I do think there are some features of element management that are missing from the UI. At least to facilitate using more than 8 elements.

It would seem in order to get to some amount of parity with the previous gen is to shuffle elements from 9-128 (8 at a time) to 1-8 and turn off extended elements. Then you get back the 8 element activity lights now at the top/middle of the screen instead of the bottom. The shuffle game isn't a new thing nor was it ever a desired thing.

That you can have 128 elements now sort of pulls for a few screens that show multiple elements (more than 8 at a time) to facilitate visualization (which elements are firing off) and editing (job functions and lining up multiple similar to the "all" view provided before).

Hopefully the ESP version of Montage will facilitate editing Performances in ways that the on-board UI falls short. And it may be easier, from Yamaha's development perspective, to push out something in software before committing the feature to a firmware update on the board itself (if said feature is ever actually going to be migrated). Even without improving the onboard GUI - not having to purchase 3rd party tools to edit Performances easily (with cut/paste of envelopes, etc) would be, hypothetically, a big plus. The feature set of next year's more full ESP version is something I am looking at with some amount of anticipation. And perhaps the scaled down version available (soon?) will have better editing features than the onboard UI with respect to >8 element management. That doesn't mean I think the onboard GUI couldn't stand improvement - but if there's a way to get there from here and computer/tablet integration is reasonably refined then I wouldn't mind using an "editor" as I sculpt my Performances.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 9:14 pm
Posts: 779
Prominent Member
 

And it may be easier, from Yamaha's development perspective, to push out something in software before committing the feature to a firmware update on the board itself

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

Software, and updates are malleable - hardware is not.

I think the focus was on this release having all of the hardward needed for what they want to do now and for the next couple of years or so and that 'kick it out the door' became the mantra once the hardware considerations were nailed down.

Probably most instruments made have to try to define the best separation point between what is needed for performance versus what is needed for 'preparing' for a performance - that is, setup and testing of new things.

I have heard a lot of musicians say they don't want to have to take a computer on gigs with them. But then they complain about an 8" screen when even cheap, light laptops have 12" or 13" inch screens.

Seems to me an external screen that can be propped upbehind/on the keyboard could serve both functions.

The whole MUTE/SOLO issue that I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a straight answer from BM about is a case in point. I don't see any real use case for needing to mute or solo an element on a gig. Groups of elements, yes, but then isn't that what the XA control groups are for?

So, as you surmise, I fully expect the ESP software to have substantially more of that 'test and try' functionality available and be able to quickly get the results into the instrument. Hopefully even by being able to use an 'ESP on a tablet' as the actual display used on a gig.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 9:58 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

The whole MUTE/SOLO issue that I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a straight answer from BM about is a case in point.

Again, the straight answer is — it does not work as you surmise. I cannot be straighter than that. I thought you’d like to know how I went about figuring a workflow. Apparently not, good luck.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 10:09 pm
Posts: 779
Prominent Member
 

I thought you’d like to know how I went about figuring a workflow.

No, for the 4th or 5th time, what I wanted to know was if the functionality was there to mute/solo elements 9-128 and maybe I just hadn't discovered it.

The answer should have been NO, that functionality isn't there. I wasn't asking about a way to get around that limitation - just asking if that was a limitation.

We don't need luck. We need straight answers to straight, simple questions. Once we know what functionality is, and isn't present:

1. many of us can find our own workarounds
2. we can ask for help in finding a workaround
3. or the local troll can start their whining and complaining about why they should have to use a workaround.

I generally fall into category #1 but, on occasion, find myself in category #2.

The ONLY time I am seldom in cateogory #3 is when I ask a WHY question. And my WHY questions are NOT meant as complaining but rather 'WHY does it work that way' - to try to understand what went into desigining it the way it is.

My "WHY didn't they do this" isn't meant to suggest that they should NOT have done that or that they should have done something else instead. It is the very simple - "what were the design decisions that led to that solution?" query.

Unfortunately some people, which now seems to include you, take some of my questions personally or as complaining about the way it is.

That saddens me - but then that is really THEIR problem.

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 10:30 pm
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