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Pure Analog Circuit

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Posted in another thread by BadMister: "The post D/A conversion 'magic' (Pure Analog Circuit) is mind numbingly good to your ears. You'll hear it immediately. You'll feel it immediately... Next level stuff."

Sounds cool but has me wondering what the recommendation is for recording audio from the Montage. If the Pure Analog Circuit is post D/A, is it better to record the Montage in the analog domain (using the audio outs) or to record in the digital domain (USB audio)? I'm wondering if the audio quality is less impressive via USB since it doesn't have the coloring from the Pure Analog Circuit.

 
Posted : 02/03/2016 3:03 am
Bad Mister
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That, as always, will be a subjective decision.

 
Posted : 02/03/2016 12:15 pm
david
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I also assume that both the main outs and the assignable outs have the benefit of this PAC? Now that this has been brought up I wish the Montage had 6 or 8 more assignable outs or an expansion capability to take full advantage of this PAC on a lot of individual parts. The Tyros didn't have many either, more than the Montage I think, but I liked to route the drum parts out individually to a hardware mixer. The PAC will be of no benefit when routing via USB to computer of course.

 
Posted : 02/03/2016 3:51 pm
 Axel
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PURE ANALOG CIRCUIT....that's not true, only on papers...there's not real electric analogic valves includes in the audio signal circuit, just an software emulation (Tape compression emulation, basically), PURE YAMAHA MARKETING....

 
Posted : 12/03/2016 5:52 am
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Hi there,

Sorry to dig up an old thread but I have recently purchased a Montage and am really impressed with the DA convertors. Soon after hearing them in action I began to wonder about the digital domain and how I will be able to capture such clarity in my DAW. Most likely I will have to track each track individual through the Montage into my audio interface. Time consuming but worth it in MHO. So I began looking for additional information about the DA's in the Montage and came across this thread. I note that one of the posters suggest that the fantastic sound is as the result of 'tape compression emulation' and if is the case would it be possible in future updates if we were able to apply the such an emulation to tracks in the digital domain as that.

Could you please elaborate on the PAC please and the best way to capture the clarity within the DAW ?

Thanks

 
Posted : 28/06/2016 11:30 am
 Sam
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Axel wrote:

PURE ANALOG CIRCUIT....that's not true, only on papers...there's not real electric analogic valves includes in the audio signal circuit, just an software emulation (Tape compression emulation, basically), PURE YAMAHA MARKETING....

Sorry Axel, Yamaha is absolutely correct with the pure analogue circuit claim.

Analogue & digital has nothing to do with the materials used. It has to do with the processing method. So valves are not needed for analogue circuits, transistors & miniaturized electronics; integrated circuits can also be analogue. An analogue system is one where there can be a gradual & direct correlation between input & output. A digital circuit is one where there is a discrete & stepwise relationship between the input (whether it was analogue or not) and the output (whether it is to be analogue or not).

Here are some examples: The growth & decay of an organism is analogue, its DNA coding is digital. A lever is analogue, but a clock escapement is digital. A dial clock has an analogue display, a digital clock has a numerical display. A needle & dial display multimetre is analogue, but a numerical display multimetre is digital. A water powered integration computer is analogue, a mechanical calculator is digital. The valve powered early computers were digital. Amplifiers, whether valve or transistor powered are analogue.

So Yamaha is NOT using marketing hype. The D/A circuit at the output stage of the Montage IS purely analogue. Yamaha have some of the best electronics engineers on the planet, so they know what they're talking about.

 
Posted : 28/06/2016 1:49 pm
 Axel
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Untrue, demonstrate the truth or existence of a real A/D Analog Circuit by evidence, prove it...if you can, the rest its blah blah blah, cheers...

 
Posted : 29/06/2016 7:30 am
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Thanks Sam, really useful information there. The PAC sounds so good!! Its currently got me looking at outboard channel strips because now I need it in my signal chain. In your experience what would be the routing to allow recording of the PAC back into your DAW ? Thanks

 
Posted : 29/06/2016 7:57 am
 Sam
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Axel wrote:

Untrue, demonstrate the truth or existence of a real A/D Analog Circuit by evidence, prove it...if you can, the rest its blah blah blah, cheers...

Hi Axel. Here's more blah blah blah: I forgot to mention that the old LPs were analogue, but the CDs that replaced them were digital. The synths of the 1970's & early 80's, such as Yamaha's behemoth, CS-80 were analogue, though there were no valves to be seen. So, valves have nothing to do with whether a device is analogue or digital. As already mentioned, early computers, such as Eniac used valves (17,468 of them!), though they were purely digital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC

Back to the Montage circuit design: Apart from using analog emulation, VCM, Virtual Circuitry Modelling, in many of its effects, the Montage DOES use pure analog circuit (PAC) It is NOT a software emulation. PAC is a totally hardware circuit. This simply means that since the digital signal when converted to a an analog waveform still has a very slight stepped appearance using an oscilloscope, Many people would not notice this. But some would say it has a 'harsh' sound. Yamaha have gone further & corrected the very slight jaggedness. What Yamaha have done is to use a purely analogue pre-amp that smooths the jagged edges that are not meant to be there, so for example, a sine wave IS a pure sine wave, not one with hundreds of tiny steps on its waveform (rise & fall).

I, for one, accept the proficiency of the Yamaha electronics engineers, and their truthfulness. You can believe what you like.

 
Posted : 29/06/2016 12:24 pm
 Sam
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Tyron wrote:

Thanks Sam, really useful information there. The PAC sounds so good!! Its currently got me looking at outboard channel strips because now I need it in my signal chain. In your experience what would be the routing to allow recording of the PAC back into your DAW ? Thanks

Hi Tyron. I agree with Bad Mister (not always though, as he can testify:D ). It's like the old argument between LP fans & CD fans, in the early 80's. LP fans said that the vinyl records sounded warmer. CD fans said that CDs were more accurate in rendition, and if they wanted a warmer sound they'd turn down the treble.

Yamaha's PAC is more accurate: It doesn't turn down the treble or use a graphic equalizer. The slight jaggedness of the initial conversion (from digital stream to analog waveform) is massaged by their output stage to interpolate any unwanted/unintentional micro splinters of the wave to a smooth wave surface, without simply filtering out signals higher than, say, 5 kHz. So you still retain high frequencies, but without unintended harshness.

As for myself, I use the PAC output. Some would complain that since it will be converted to digital anyway for the DAW, why not simply use the USB digital directly. Well, perhaps there would be some interference between the different digital frequencies. So far I've had great results from simply using the PAC R/L jack plugs. They also reflect better what I hear in the headphones (yes, the boss complains!) & direct monitors.

 
Posted : 29/06/2016 12:47 pm
Blake Angelos
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Hi Everyone:

Just to chime in here...There is a great article by an independent hardware engineer that you might find interesting. I think it has been posted in other places on the forum but it's good to reference it. We didn't solicit this nor did we compensate him. Here is a quote specifically about Pure Analog Circuit:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/montage-hardware-platform/

I quote from the above article:

The separation of the digital and analog electronics and jacks is significant. When the Montage was first introduced, I mentioned that β€œPure Analog Circuit (PAC)” appeared to be an exercise in old school engineering that pays careful attention to board layout, component selection and clean power. The AJK board bears this out. The AJK board contains the stereo DAC and ADC components:

Audio ADC: Asahi Kasei AK5381VT-E2 24-bit ADC (96KHz max)
Audio DAC assignable output: Asahi Kasei AK4393VM-E2 24-bit DAC (96KHz max)
Audio DAC main output and phones: Asahi Kasei AK4393VM-E2 24-bit DAC
The ADC and DACs communicate with the DM board over an audio backbone. Physical separation keeps digital circuits (with fast rise/fall times) away from analog signal paths. The AJK board also has its own voltage regulators. They ain’t kiddin’ about PAC!

People (generally those without any substantial hardware engineering background) can argue all day long about what constitutes what. I'm a musician and I think I have pretty good ears. What comes out of MONTAGE is so stunningly pristine, dynamic, detailed, etc., that is directly related to the Pure Analog Circuit technology within. Lastly, here's an interesting story:

I have a good friend who is a killing keyboardist and organist that works in a music store. On the side he is a demonstrator for a virtual instrument company. I was visiting his store and he immediately called me over to the MONTAGE and wanted me to play the virtual instrument he represents and I said, "Yeah, that sure sounds good" (referring to the virtual instrument) and he said "Yeah, but it sounds better than anything else I have used in the store through MONTAGE, and that includes any of these interfaces (he motioned to a rack of different audio interfaces). Why is that?" I think it has to do with both Pure Analog Circuit and the fact that the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver is very low latency. But virtual instruments benefit from the MONTAGE audio output. So there you have it.

 
Posted : 18/07/2017 8:40 pm
Joel
 Joel
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Thank you Blake, very interesting πŸ˜‰

 
Posted : 18/07/2017 9:43 pm
Jeremy
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Would be great if there was an analog engine to go with it. πŸ™‚

 
Posted : 19/07/2017 12:56 am
Phil
 Phil
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Sam wrote..."This simply means that since the digital signal when converted to a an analog waveform still has a very slight stepped appearance using an oscilloscope, Many people would not notice this. But some would say it has a 'harsh' sound. Yamaha have gone further & corrected the very slight jaggedness."

Sam. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many years, I worked for Benchmark Media Systems- designers and manufactures of some of the finest and most accurate digital-to analog converters, analog-to-digital converters, analog circuitry and digital circuitry.
Your analogy of the oscilloscope is completely incorrect, as well, your entire statement is false.
In fact many in the Pro Audio community claim the so-called stair step scenario. It is entirely false. Go to...

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes

and scroll down to Audio Myths and see why so many misconceptions exist in audio: analog or digital.

 
Posted : 19/07/2017 3:39 am
 Jeff
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I don't care in the slightest what it's called but I trust my ears after 48 years as a musician and live sound engineer.

It sounds great! I use it as my audio interface for live use and soft synths played through it sound so much better.

Omnisphere 2 through the Montage sounds epic!

 
Posted : 19/07/2017 11:04 am
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