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Pure Analog Circuit

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Jason
Posts: 7909
Illustrious Member
 

Thanks Sam for the reference. Was interesting to see how the D/A interpolation works in a general (well behaved) DAC model.

The best advice already given is to use your ears and analog vs. digital domain according to taste.

You can use Montage as your final 2-channel mix-down in the analog domain then go through yet another ADC (because most media will end up digital) or you can selectively take PARTs and run them through the same process leaving the other PARTs in the digital domain or just leave everything in the digital domain. Your ears may not find enough of a difference relative to the work involved - or you may hear "night and day" (according to your personal perception) and decide to go through a few extra steps.

 
Posted : 19/07/2017 6:36 pm
 c
Posts: 0
Active Member
 

ok I need to resurrect this with the release of Montage M since there has been improvement. Something I dont understand. Do Montage and Montage M users only benefit from the PAC using the 1/4 line outputs on the back? If using the Audio over USB to the computer we don't get that feature? What have I been hearing all these years using USB? How about using Headphones?

 
Posted : 13/11/2023 12:08 pm
Christopher
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

[quotePost id=124470]ok I need to resurrect this with the release of Montage M since there has been improvement. Something I dont understand. Do Montage and Montage M users only benefit from the PAC using the 1/4 line outputs on the back? If using the Audio over USB to the computer we don't get that feature? What have I been hearing all these years using USB? How about using Headphones? [/quotePost]
It’s my understanding this is only a benefit for the analog outputs. It’s not even part of the headphone out as far as I can tell. It makes sense since this is all part of the DAC’s and analog output circuit. Having said this, it is an incredible advantage! For live playing it is great.

So, like way back at the beginning of this thread it will be a subjective decision with some experimentation whether to record these outputs. IMHO, adding an extra digital conversion through whatever audio interface is used will have diminishing returns and using the direct USB to DAW will be the best. Given all the ability to improve/alter the audio in a DAW will be the best solution.

 
Posted : 13/11/2023 2:04 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

Do Montage and Montage M users only benefit from the PAC using the 1/4 line outputs on the back? If using the Audio over USB to the computer we don't get that feature? What have I been hearing all these years using USB? How about using Headphones?

As far as I know the information in the Quick Guide is both current and correct. See page 27:

[USB TO HOST] terminal
Use this terminal to connect a computer via a USB cable, allowing you to transfer MIDI data and audio data between
the devices. Unlike MIDI, USB can handle multiple ports via a single cable. For information about how this instrument
handles Ports, refer to the Operation Manual.
NOTE
Audio data sending capability for the instrument is a maximum of 32 channels (16 stereo channels) at a sampling frequency of
44.1 kHz or a maximum of 8 channels (4 stereo channels) for a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz.
Audio data receiving capability is a maximum of 6 channels (3 stereo channels).

See that note? Sampling means DIGITAL not analog.

Also see page 29:

7-11 OUTPUT (BALANCED) jacks (TRS balanced output)
Use these TRS balanced output jacks for outputting the audio signals from this instrument. For mono outputs, use only
the [L/MONO] jack.
7-12 [PHONES] (headphone) jack
Use this standard stereo phone jack for connecting a set of stereo headphones. This jack outputs audio signals identical to those from the OUTPUT jacks.

The last phrase is the key: 'identical to those from the OUTPUT jacks'.

USB is digital - OUTPUT and HEADPHONE jacks are analog.

 
Posted : 13/11/2023 4:02 pm
Jason
Posts: 7909
Illustrious Member
 

Any analog output should have some benefit of "PAC" which, to me, just means good PCB routing practices to isolate the analog path from noise. Since PAC is said to be "better" this time, I have a feeling that PAC also involves component selection which can edge out performance.

In terms of importance, the Main L/R outputs are most important to be clean. If running analog (as I believe most keyboardists do at a gig) then these will be the source of your sound. The assignable outputs are also analog and may or may not have the same attention to detail - but I don't see a reason to skimp on this. And headphones are a "mirror" of the Main L/R although not the exact same (balanced vs. unbalanced, electrical levels, etc). Even with these differences, headphones benefit from much of the same analog signal path as Main L/R has.

Ultimately, none of this really matters. It's a matter (in terms of analog) of if you like the sound coming out of Main L/R, Assign L/R, and the headphones. You can put your own judgement call on these individually by hearing the keyboard while using a setup that is similar to something you know (like your current keyboard's sound reinforcement and similarities in the room). By room - I mean it may be difficult to judge at a music retailer during peak hours with lots of competing noise or just a room that's a different size or speaker placement is different, etc.

You don't have to really understand what "PAC" is. It's easy to understand if you like how something sounds. None of the marketing really matters since you, the keyboardist, is who determines if something fits/exceeds your needs or not.

 
Posted : 13/11/2023 6:26 pm
Christopher
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

I will post this video because it seems some people are confused about the analog out sound quality of the M series. An understanding of what aspects of a circuit can improve sound quality when digital to analog conversion is taking place and then the components used and yes, the PCB design when building the final output level and quality. Part of this is single to noise ratio, but there’s also other considerations. Just like the difference between the -10dB “consumer” or +4dB “pro” level for instance. One really only needs to ask why some audio interfaces sound and perform better than others.

I notice because there are similarities between the original Montage many who have not played or own the new Montage assume they understand and can quantify the differences. It’s been a major stumbling area in the initial information given and IMO has caused a lot of confusion. This is starting to diminish as more people like myself are owning the M series and get the first hand experience.

I see some elude to “marketing terminology” however seem to miss it when it counts. The phrase “identical to the analog outputs” when talking about the digital USB output is in actuality more a general explanation than specific.

I post this because this guy has owned many Montage’s and also the new M. It’s a quick talk about the PAC of the new Montage and real world experience.

Watch at minute 12:15 mark

 
Posted : 13/11/2023 11:18 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

The phrase “identical to the analog outputs” when talking about the digital USB output is in actuality more a general explanation than specific.

??? - Can you tell us where you saw that phrase being used?

I quoted from page 29 f the manual and it doesn't use that phrase. This is the quote from above:

7-11 OUTPUT (BALANCED) jacks (TRS balanced output)
Use these TRS balanced output jacks for outputting the audio signals from this instrument. For mono outputs, use only
the [L/MONO] jack.
7-12 [PHONES] (headphone) jack
Use this standard stereo phone jack for connecting a set of stereo headphones. This jack outputs audio signals identical to those from the OUTPUT jacks.

The doc first explains the use of '7-11 OUTPUT (BALANCED) jacks.
Then it explains '7012 PHONES] headphone) jack'.

And the doc does say this when talking about the Headphone output:

This jack outputs audio signals identical to those from the OUTPUT jacks.

The 'OUTPUT jacks' referred to are those it just explained for item 7-11. This doc section says NOTHING about USB and certainly doesn't say or imply that USB output is identical to the analog outputs.

So I'm curious where you saw that phrase being used.

The term 'digital' is NOT synonymous with the term 'analog'. it is the antithesis of analog.

I post this because this guy has owned many Montage’s and also the new M.

I haven't found him to be a reliable source of information.

Watch at minute 12:15 mark

Just FYI - you can post a url for that time if you right-click on the video and select:
'Copy video URL at current time'

 
Posted : 14/11/2023 12:00 am
 c
Posts: 0
Active Member
 

Does anyone have a simple answer here about running audio over USB? Is the sound inferior to the outputs and headphones on the back? IN that video Scott says when using the usb we are not even touching analog circuitry. So again my question if thats true why would Yamaha hype up analog circuitry on one hand and then encourage us to connect to our computers using the usb audio interface with Cubase? We were even told with the Montage we dont need a different audio interface. I might add Yamaah Montage support just told me to use a different audio interface to try and solve my problem using third party software like OBS and Windows Game bar recorder. That was troubling to say the least.

 
Posted : 14/11/2023 4:50 pm
Posts: 773
Prominent Member
 

Does anyone have a simple answer here about running audio over USB?

I was trying to give you a simple answer to that by confirming that USB provides a digital signal while the Main L&R and headphones provide an audio signal.

IN that video Scott says when using the usb we are not even touching analog circuitry.

And that is correct.

So again my question if thats true why would Yamaha hype up analog circuitry on one hand and then encourage us to connect to our computers using the usb audio interface with Cubase?

Because Cubase runs on your computer and few computers have high-quality, stereo audio inputs. So to connect to Cubase you use the USB cable to connect to your computer so Cubase can receive the signal.

We were even told with the Montage we dont need a different audio interface.

Well - since the Montage already has a high-quality audio interface you don't need another one. I'm not sure what your question or concern is on this one.

I might add Yamaah Montage support just told me to use a different audio interface to try and solve my problem using third party software like OBS and Windows Game bar recorder.

I can only try to provide an informed answer to that since I have no way of knowing exactly what question you ask them that they responded that way.

My 'guess' would be that they thought you needed to use the digital USB connection but wanted an audio signal. In that scenario the 'cows have already left the barn' (as BM might say) - meaning the digital signal is already going out the USB connection so if you want to convert it back to audio you would use 'a different audio interface' to do that.

The choice of which output method to use depends on whether you want/need an audio signal or a digital signal.

There is NOTHING wrong with USB. It provides a high-quality digital signal that you can configure. This from page 27 of the quick guide.

7-4 [USB TO HOST] terminal
Use this terminal to connect a computer via a USB cable, allowing you to transfer MIDI data and audio data between the devices. Unlike MIDI, USB can handle multiple ports via a single cable. For information about how this instrument handles Ports, refer to the Operation Manual.
NOTE
Audio data sending capability for the instrument is a maximum of 32 channels (16 stereo channels) at a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz or a maximum of 8 channels (4 stereo channels) for a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz.
Audio data receiving capability is a maximum of 6 channels (3 stereo channels).

Using a digital signal allows complete separation of all 16 channels. That facilitates the job of mixing that software like Cubase and OBS do.

An audio signal is, well, audio. If you want to isolate the saxophone it is pretty easy to do if the saxophone has its own part using a digital signal; hence the SOLO/MUTE buttons on the instrument.

With an audio signal you need REALLY good ears if you have an entire orchestra playing together.

 
Posted : 14/11/2023 6:00 pm
Dragos
Posts: 0
Eminent Member
 

[quotePost id=124487]Does anyone have a simple answer here about running audio over USB? Is the sound inferior to the outputs and headphones on the back? [/quotePost]
The answer IS simple, if you have the required knowledge.
It will do you good, if you want to work with audio and computers, to learn a bit about audio interfaces, digital audio, analog conversion etc.

I'll try an analogy:

Imagine you have a very high quality image file, shot with a premium camera.

You now look at that image on different screens (on a computer or on various phones): a low end display, a high end IPS display and a very top of the range OLED display.

The same image will look dramatically different.
On the low end display it will have washed out colours and low contrast. On the IPS it will already be very good, nice contrast, good colours. On the OLED it will be breathtaking, actually better than real life, with blacker blacks and wonderful saturation and contrast.

USB audio is that image above.
Is the raw digital output of the Montage, transferred to the computer without any loss of quality, just like you copy an image from a camera card to your PC.

The output stages of various audio interfaces are the displays above.
The same audio file can sound different, depending on how good the output stage of your audio interface is (and of course, depending on the quality of your speakers or headphones).

A low end interface will have lower quality DACs (Digital to Analog Converters, that transform the digital sound file in electric current that travels along the cables into your speakers) and might sound duller, with less definition, mushy bass than a high end interface with great conversion that gives you low but well defined bass, crisp highs that are not harsh and unpleasant, and so on.

The Montage has a high quality output stage. This means that when you connect speakers to it, it will sound great. The reproduction of the sound will be of great quality and definition.
This will be true of the sounds generated by itself, but also of whatever comes to it from the computer, if used as an audio interface. You can use virtual instruments on your DAW and use the Montage purely as an audio interface, and those will sound good.

USB audio is there for flexibility. You can transfer 16 channels of audio (each part separately) to be further processed in a DAW.
How you listen to the final mix is your choice. You can do it thru the Montage interface, or thru some other, with an even better (or much worse) output stage.

 
Posted : 14/11/2023 6:46 pm
 c
Posts: 0
Active Member
 

ok

 
Posted : 15/11/2023 11:30 am
Posts: 0
Eminent Member
 

So does Yamaha have a standalone DAC that is the same as the Montage M's DAC?

It would be good to have one in the studio and for the stereo.
So much better than the regular Montage FMX? Which I thought was good...

Those of you who have Montage M in the studio, does it sound so much better than your other studio DACs?
What DAC are you comparing with?

 
Posted : 15/11/2023 12:24 pm
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