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Questions about John Melas Tools

11 Posts
6 Users
Posts: 120
Estimable Member
Topic starter

I have some questions about John Melas Tools (JMT) that, if it is possible, I prefer to see answered by the own John Melas.

My main problems with Montage are related with the form that are sorted the Performances and with the total unpractical search engine that does not allow a quickly and universal way for to find the sounds that I need, mainly if I am onstage but also when I am sequencing with Cubase.

The problem is NOT that I cant understand how to find the desired Performances or how to recall them using MIDI Bank Select & Program Changes but the LARGE amount of time that I loose doing it.

The main cause of this time lost, in my opinion, is the complete lack of a logical order in what the Performances are sorted, mixing pure electronic sounds with FX and orchestral sounds in an erratic manner.

So my questions to John Melas are the following:

1) Considering that the Performances are stored in firmware (a type of flash memory):
Is it possible with JMT to re-sort the presets and to reassign the MIDI Bank Select & Program Change that each preset has assigned?

2) With the same considerations of the question above:
Is it possible with JMT to delete the undesired preset Performances for to reduce the near 2600 Performances to a more manageable number that allow to a human brain to remember more or less what contains each Performance?

3) Is it possible with JMT to group Performances in MIDI Banks for to create custom User Libraries?

4) A more simple option:
Is it possible with JMT to swap the position between two Performances?

Posted : 15/08/2018 12:30 am
Posts: 7879
Illustrious Member

1) no

2) no

3) not sure exactly what goal is. If to swap to empty slot in user or library then yes

4) yes

Email jm if you want a response from him directly.

Posted : 15/08/2018 1:17 am
Posts: 1049
Noble Member

Hello Pablo

- Swap is available from one user bank to one other user bank in total lib :

Extract from the Total Lib pdf Manual :

It helps you exchange the position of Performances between different banks of the same file. Select the Performances you want to move and copy them to the clipboard using the Copy command. Then right click on the destination position where you want to send the Performances (ie in a different bank) and select the Swap command. The copied Performances will be pasted to the new position and the existing Performances in the new position will be moved to the original position of the copied Performances!

It's not available in the same user bank, you need to drag and drop performances in this case.

- You can made your personnal group of performances in Total Lib by creating a "Performance Library".

File > New > New Performance Library
it open the new file.

File > Presets > Presets Performances
It open the preset performance list.

Copy the preset and or user performances you want to the new performance Library and store it on your computer.

If you want to use it, you need to have total lib open and connect to your montage and open the performance list, it's only a list on your computer for quick acces, you cannot transfert this list to the montage.

Not sure it's really what you want to do.

- On Montage you can also use favorite function to "mark" the performances you want to use and select favorite in category search to reduce your selection choice to the performances you like.

Perhaps it's not what you think about, but it's also a another way to reduce the list of performances for your selection.

Posted : 15/08/2018 10:18 am
Posts: 120
Estimable Member
Topic starter


Thanks for your reply but it is not useful for me.

I need to transfer all the editions to the Montage and of course to have independence from my computer.

I ask myself why the people from Yamaha insist in a stubborn and persistent way to prevent users from configuring their synthesizers in the way that is most useful and practical for their own purposes.

At the same time, each new update of the operating system generates an invasion of new Performances, never requested, that congest the operation of the Montage without any need.

It is as if they wanted to use the synthesizers of the users as street propaganda posters of the company's own interests.

At least this is evident with the Montage.

I also own a CP4 Stage and all the settings of Performances can be modified or edited at the will of the owner of the instrument without any limitation and so it has been with all the synthesizers that Yamaha has created in the past (at least from the DX7).

The idea that the firmware is untouchable is at least ridiculous.

The company would have to be honest with its customers and tell them frankly what is the reason why they are prevented from making a wide custom use of the synthesizer for which they have paid so much money.

Posted : 15/08/2018 6:10 pm
Posts: 7879
Illustrious Member

Presets have never been able to be touched in Yamaha keyboards. The CP4 has no preset performances - they are all user.

When this is done (making all performances user, so you can lose them if you overwrite them) - the general way to recover from overwriting a user performance you didn't intend is to restore the factory user data from a disk/file/USB/etc. You'll end up initializing your custom user data usually when restoring the errant deleted factory-programmed user data.

You can still organize your keyboard like your CP4 by ignoring presets - if you wish. Copy anything you want into the user area (640 slots). When searching for your user performances, press [CATEGORY SEARCH] 3 times instead of once. This should show only your user area. You can also do this without buttons by touching the touchscreen filter "All" (Bank) and change this to "User".

It's a little extra work - and that may be the rub for you. One benefit is that you never lose the factory restore disk (it's always inside Montage).

I don't use [CATEGORY SEARCH] when I'm looking for sounds on the stage. I use them to find sounds to place first - then place what I want in Live Set. Live Set can have any order I want. It can also be accessed by MSB:LSB:PC tuples - so I can abstract from any order Yamaha picks for MIDI addressing. Typically, I will edit a preset performance - so most of my performances are sitting in USER (copies of presets with modifications). Rarely using a preset as-is, the ordering for me is irrelevant.

I do think [CATEGORY SEARCH] could be improved. I'm not thrilled with the lack of being able to "check off" multiple filters (Like single-PART AND FM, or multi-PART AND AWM2). It may be nice if you could somehow restrict the keyboard to a category in [CATEGORY SEARCH] and force the keyboard to keep that filter going even when exiting [CATEGORY SEARCH] - maybe some kind of SHIFT function. So when you [INC], [DEC] or use the DATA DIAL to move to the next/previous performance, it will skip anything which does not match your filter. So you can just stick to only one main category or one main+sub category.

I think this would still leave you wanting - that none of this is sufficient. I do understand your points and your feedback is valuable in aggregate. Hopefully some available management feature will help you better navigate.

The Motif way - or the way of some previous keyboards was to place copies of the presets in the user area. Currently the user area is too small for this (to put 2k+ into 640 slots). And probably not helpful either. You can customize your own user area however you see fit and treat the preset area just like an expansion floppy.

... it's not lost that I you likely already understand this already and the current system is not sufficient for your usage.

I'm just not sure I agree that untouchable presets are ridiculous. Motif was that way. Presets, in Yamaha speak, have been "rom"-based for a while (untouchable). They just moved the factory CD inside Montage. Factory CDs have never been able to be modified. I'm not saying that history is never wrong - just that it is not a new Montage concept. Or even a Yamaha-centric concept. If the user area was 4,064 Performances and came pre-loaded with 2k+ factory-programmed user performances (matching the ones that are currently read-only Presets) - I'm not sure that would drastically help anything. This would match the CP4 design. The Performances would be out of order and you would have to do the same kind of work to get them in order as you currently do to either create a live set or make user-bank copies of the presets in the order you want.

Posted : 15/08/2018 7:42 pm
Posts: 120
Estimable Member
Topic starter


First of all, Montage is not a instrument for beginners, it is probably the most complex synthsizer ever made.

So you should not think solutions that apply thinking in the the user as a beginner.

Think that with the DX7, in spite of its complexity a much more simple synth, far more than the 90% of the instruments that were sent to repair, had their memory programs unmodified.

I know very well this issue due I was tech support of Yamaha between 1984 to 1989, the years of the DX7.

If with the DX7 was near impossible to instruct (and pretend effective results) to a common customer about how to program the synth.

With the Montage, that´s exponentially more complex and in a more lazy age , to pretend a "democratic aproach" considering that all users, independent of their knowledge and experience, will be capable of to program or to make a deep usage of the synth, is simply an illusion.

The reality is that Montage is not for beginners.

It is possible to build an organ or a sampleplayer with the sounds of the Montage with lots of fashion lights, buttons and funny faders, very fashion, and for most people will be the same thing, because they will NEVER program the Montage as the device that it is.

In this moment I ask myself why did Yamaha built the Montage. ¿¿¿As an engeneering challenge???

The cold fact is that Yamaha is disapointing to those that really are the natural users of a complex instrument like this:
All the musician that have a long history as users and customers of the Yamaha synthesizers and MIDI machines, and that really can´t understand the arbitrary decisions that the company took with this instrument.

The users that know about FM synthesis or how to work with complex waveform synthesizers do not need or want of preset Performances due they know how to program a synth. To have only user programable memories is much better.

Thousends of sounds are not a benefit but a hindrance, a few hundred of classical examples of "sound categories" as a guide is enough the rest should be users memory.

But if Yamaha pretend to expand the universe of trained users what should be done is exactly the same that they did with the DX7: Teach in deep and with technical documentation the basis of the synthesis process and the MIDI protocol as it is in binaries.

When I say this I am not referring to procedures of pressing buttons but to the phisical theory that underlays behind the sound engine.

Equally in my experience a knowledge like this is not for everybody.

Posted : 16/08/2018 4:12 am
Posts: 7879
Illustrious Member

We agree on the fundamentals. I have routinely expressed that design should be elegant. Complex, perhaps, under the hood - but easy to use at the UI level (buttons, knobs, touchscreen, etc).

How you choose to frame the organization of the content provided with your Montage is a choice you're free to make.

Posted : 16/08/2018 7:10 pm
Posts: 1070
Noble Member

where can I get the PDF manual for the librarian? it did not come with my download. I don´t really know how to use this software without a manual. the only youtube tutorial I find is in portugese.
can someone please upload the manual here or tell me where I can find it?

Posted : 17/09/2022 6:58 am
Posts: 66
Trusted Member

where can I get the PDF manual for the librarian? it did not come with my download. I don´t really know how to use this software without a manual. the only youtube tutorial I find is in portugese.
can someone please upload the manual here or tell me where I can find it?

I only have the Windows DEMO version and there the manual is included. Just press F1.

Not sure about the MAC version but I would guess a search in the installation directory will reveal a pdf manual as well.

Posted : 17/09/2022 7:21 am
Posts: 1571
Noble Member

On the Mac, go to the Help menu. The first item opens the manual.

Posted : 17/09/2022 1:13 pm
Posts: 1070
Noble Member

thank you Martin, I pressed F1 and the manual pops up. I never knew. Unreal! (I guess you just tought me something about Windows)

Posted : 17/09/2022 1:15 pm

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