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  2. MONTAGE
  3. Friday, 26 February 2016
I've got the basic one, but that doesnt tell me the nuts and bolts of the synth engines, which is what i want to know about.

I've owned many of the FM synths since the DX7 (DX 7 11, 9, 21, 100, SY 77, TG 33, TX 7, 802, FS1R, DS-8)

So well familiar with FM synthesis and can make heads from toes just by reading.

But I need to sell other gear to buy it and having the full manual will allow me to do this asap.

I know if I have to wait to long I'll loose interest so please hurry up Yamaha.
Responses (21)
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We doubt only one thing in your post... that you will lose interest! :)
The Reference Manual will be posted (sorry if this sounds trite and/or flippant, but it is not) as soon as it is finished. Truly.

In the meantime, we have this forum where you can ask questions and hopefully, receive informative answers. On the FM scale from simple to complex, the FM-X engine in the Montage very much resembles the 8 Voiced Operators in the FS1R engine. For those not familiar with this late 1990s rack module, it featured 8 Voiced (musical) and 8 Unvoiced (noise) Operators that combined to make a formant engine... which was close to being able to "speak", as in create understandable words... A combination of fixed frequency sounds (noise components) for consonants, and musical tones for the vowel sounds. Well, take the musical side of the FS1R (sorry no formant synthesis here), with the 8 Voiced Operators, and the 88 Algorithms and combine that with the Motion Control engine and you have what's new about FM-X.That and the increased speed of envelopes, filters, effects, etc., etc.

The combination of FM + Motion Control = FM-X
And for those that enjoy and understand FM, this the exciting thing... Imagine modifying a Modulator ... In FM you know the Modulator's influence on the Carrier causes the resulting tone to change. You can use virtually anything to modify an Operator... Both internal and external sources are available. It could be the amplitude of another Part, an arpeggio, your drummer's kick drum, your guitarist's rhythm, any microphone input... Almost anything you try creates something interesting, and opens another doorway of endless possibilities!

First thing I tried (cause I wanted to see what would happen) was using an arpeggio's rhythmic pattern to influence the output of Operators 5 and 7 (which were Modulators) and the results were amazing... almost anything creates a dynamic, useable and interesting result. Unlike RCM which, frankly, had a small window of functionality (using audio as an input to the Operator - which as you probably know went straight to noise. The more complex the modulator the quicker its influence on a Carrier turns to chaos, noise).

The Super Knob is the gateway into Motion Control (assigning the influence to a physical controller), then you can even build your own Motion Control Sequences and use those to modify the results, and the Envelope Follower which allows you to use the "attack-decay-sustain-release" of any audio to impact a portion of your sonic creation.
  1. more than a month ago
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Thanks for the prompt reply, guess i have to wait.
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Hi, Bad Mister.

I am curious about one thing. First you've confirmed my suspicions that FM-X is very close to the voiced operator architecture of the FS1r, but why did Yamaha not include the unvoiced operators and Formant Synthesis/Sequencing? The FS1r had so much potential, but was hamstrung a little by a hard to use interface and lack of formant sequence editing tools. But it is still capable of some amazing sounds.
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Derek wrote:

Hi, Bad Mister.

I am curious about one thing. First you've confirmed my suspicions that FM-X is very close to the voiced operator architecture of the FS1r, but why did Yamaha not include the unvoiced operators and Formant Synthesis/Sequencing? The FS1r had so much potential, but was hamstrung a little by a hard to use interface and lack of formant sequence editing tools. But it is still capable of some amazing sounds.
That, Derek, is what we call a "how come" question...which never has a satisfactory answer. So we don't normally deal with those here. Because they always begin with "because..." And never satisfy anyone. And I doubt if any one person could answer it.

In my opinion, this version of FM is ideal for the Motion Control Engine... The FS1R was years ahead of its time. And if you remember it... I can recall people constantly swearing they heard the FS1R speak or sing... In spite of the fact there were no samples, it was pure synthesis! And the question they would ask "how do I get my voice in there", which shows about what understanding the unit had. Well, the A/D Input and the Vocoder in the Montage will satisfy the quest "to get my voice in there"... without the user studying phonetics.

Programming formant shapes is not for the casually involved. Besides with external input capability to the Motion Control Synthesis Engine, and the built-in Vocoder, the potential for actual musicians (non-rocket scientist level musicians) to use their own voice to interact/modify the FM-X engine exists in a form that (actually) will be used.

For user control over formant shaping to exist, it would require an audio recorder, FFT analysis, and lots and lots of number crunching capability to even structure a simple vocal phrase. Not only is this not a real time process (yet), it's complicated! Contrast that with the fact that almost anyone can make noise into the business end of a microphone and get really compelling results modifying FM-X with Montage. You may not agree, but it is certainly a much more user friendly way to involve the user in synthesis. (IMHO)

The vocoder can be used in modifying the Montage synth engine in ways that are immediately compelling and fun... (And most importantly: yield a musically useful result). Compared to the amount of math and science needed to make the FS1R engine say "Ladies and gentlemen may I have your attention please", it's a no-brainer.

Science does not always make a great product. While the amount of math and science in any musical instrument is astounding, it is a fact that you can play saxophone extremely well without knowing anything about Bernoulli's principle or how it facilitates sound in a single reed instrument and allows airplanes to fly.

Any way thanks for the question. Have you studied phonetics?
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Hey BM, will phonetics be thoroughly explained in the completed Montage manual? :)
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No, if you were reading this, you needed to study phonetics if you wanted to program your own words using an engine like in the FS1R. We don't think that is something musicians want to do right at this juncture. It is far more fulfilling (musically speaking) interacting with this implementation of FM (as in FM-X) than any previous Yamaha FM iteration. If you want the Montage to interact with your vocals, for example, this Motion Control Synthesis Engines allows for intuitive interaction between external sources, like vocals, and the synth engine. Not only does the A/D Input have its own Part, it has its own dual Insertion Effects, it has access to the System Effects, and it can be a control source inside the synth engine. You can automate it or have real time control assigned to the A/D Input Part's Insert Effects via the Super Knob. You can create "Envelopes" with your vocals for other Parts to "Follow" using the "Envelope Follower". Vocals can be a Side-Chain source... Etc., etc.

While without seeing, hearing, playing or programming a Montage, one might lament that it doesn't have this or that from some previous iteration of FM (or whatever your favorite past synth tech was) but that's to be expected, you haven't seen it, heard it, played it or programmed it yet. So your thinking is just theoretical. So at this point you'll have to trust me, (sorry, best I can do until the release...) I think they did a pretty good job in selecting this implementation of FM for use in this particular engine. Since studying phonetics is not on the top of the list of any synth people I know (currently), unVoiced Operators can wait for some future product or a time where it is common place for musicians to understand the science of creating vocal sounds from scratch using a keyboard. :)

I'm just saying, using a microphone to make your vocal sounds is far easier (and likely to be used).
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  3. # 6
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Bad Mister wrote:

No, if you were reading this, you needed to study phonetics if you wanted to program your own words using an engine like in the FS1R. We don't think that is something musicians want to do right at this juncture. It is far more fulfilling (musically speaking) interacting with this implementation of FM (as in FM-X) than any previous Yamaha FM iteration. If you want the Montage to interact with your vocals, for example, this Motion Control Synthesis Engines allows for intuitive interaction between external sources, like vocals, and the synth engine. Not only does the A/D Input have its own Part, it has its own dual Insertion Effects, it has access to the System Effects, and it can be a control source inside the synth engine. You can automate it or have real time control assigned to the A/D Input Part's Insert Effects via the Super Knob. You can create "Envelopes" with your vocals for other Parts to "Follow" using the "Envelope Follower". Vocals can be a Side-Chain source... Etc., etc.

While without seeing, hearing, playing or programming a Montage, one might lament that it doesn't have this or that from some previous iteration of FM (or whatever your favorite past synth tech was) but that's to be expected, you haven't seen it, heard it, played it or programmed it yet. So your thinking is just theoretical. So at this point you'll have to trust me, (sorry, best I can do until the release...) I think they did a pretty good job in selecting this implementation of FM for use in this particular engine. Since studying phonetics is not on the top of the list of any synth people I know (currently), unVoiced Operators can wait for some future product or a time where it is common place for musicians to understand the science of creating vocal sounds from scratch using a keyboard. :)

I'm just saying, using a microphone to make your vocal sounds is far easier (and likely to be used).


Nice one BM, yep I had use 2 software editing programs to get my own f-seq into my old FS1-R, wasnt easy or much fun but the results were unique.

With env follower and fm and samples and synth engine and motion seq and effects, all, i expect, with in easy reach, should be FUN and produce unique results.

Looking foward to being in front of one and see where it can go!

Release dates?
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  3. # 7
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May 2016 is the target.
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Bad Mister wrote:

May 2016 is the target.
Thank you Bad Mister, For all the great information that you, And your colleagues have been supplying. I pre-ordered my Montage during namm 2016.. Montage, surely will be another outstanding synthesizer for Yamaha ! And me .....That I am sure we'll see many future user updates.. Through all these many years with Yamaha, it's always wonderful to have such great support. I've been a professional artist for over 40 years , And Yamaha has always helped ,, Through those years help me live my musical dream... I thank everyone at Yamaha.. Can't wait to get my new Montage plus my 4 free, Yamaha products.. Just a great release, Yamaha always caring about the customer !!!!!! Kind regards,, Totally Kenny
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  3. # 9
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Bad Mister wrote:

No, if you were reading this, you needed to study phonetics if you wanted to program your own words using an engine like in the FS1R. We don't think that is something musicians want to do right at this juncture. It is far more fulfilling (musically speaking) interacting with this implementation of FM (as in FM-X) than any previous Yamaha FM iteration. If you want the Montage to interact with your vocals, for example, this Motion Control Synthesis Engines allows for intuitive interaction between external sources, like vocals, and the synth engine. Not only does the A/D Input have its own Part, it has its own dual Insertion Effects, it has access to the System Effects, and it can be a control source inside the synth engine. You can automate it or have real time control assigned to the A/D Input Part's Insert Effects via the Super Knob. You can create "Envelopes" with your vocals for other Parts to "Follow" using the "Envelope Follower". Vocals can be a Side-Chain source... Etc., etc.

While without seeing, hearing, playing or programming a Montage, one might lament that it doesn't have this or that from some previous iteration of FM (or whatever your favorite past synth tech was) but that's to be expected, you haven't seen it, heard it, played it or programmed it yet. So your thinking is just theoretical. So at this point you'll have to trust me, (sorry, best I can do until the release...) I think they did a pretty good job in selecting this implementation of FM for use in this particular engine. Since studying phonetics is not on the top of the list of any synth people I know (currently), unVoiced Operators can wait for some future product or a time where it is common place for musicians to understand the science of creating vocal sounds from scratch using a keyboard. :)

I'm just saying, using a microphone to make your vocal sounds is far easier (and likely to be used).


Thanks BM. I was sort of making a funny about the "thoroughly explained phonetics" in the Montage manual. Guess I failed because I left off the "wink" but I did add a "smile".
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
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Bad Mister, you need not study phonetics to program your own words using a FS1R!

All you need is a well designed software which converts a wave into a FSeq.

Proof is the following soundfiles I made with my FS1R with the help of FSeqEdit, a fantastic software by Wouter van Nifterick (thanks Wouter, and shame on Yamaha for not having released such a software!):

https://soundcloud.com/user7685921/bad-mister-no-phonectics-raw (parameter Pitch =fseq)

https://soundcloud.com/user7685921/bad-mister-no-phonectics-chords-1 (parameter Pitch =fixed)

Ok, *programming* such a software requires good knowledge of Fourier transform and of voiced/non voiced detection, but *using* it does not (you can drive a car without knowing how to design a combustion engine).
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Ha!Ha! Yamaha is a hardware company. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone. ;)
(And shame on you for not taking the opportunity to create and market your own software). :)
No, you don't have to be able to design the combustion engine to drive. I agree. But we're talking 1999 FS1R. The software to do what you are so proud of was not cheap at the time... Maybe three times the price of the hardware was back then - plus you needed a real computer to run it.

As to what's on tap in Montage now, well it's quite different from what you worked on there, quite different... A different direction. Different concept. New engineers, new ideas, new concepts. If you liked that, then according to you, by building the tools to "create your own", and do so in real time, building that into the instrument (and NOT depending on external software) is a GOOD thing, right? Right?

And we certainly know where the other 8 (unVoiced) Operators are, if that time comes 'round again. That's awesome you've created Fseqs... The FS1R was clearly, way, way ahead of its time. Arguing with me about how cool FS1R is, is preaching to the choir.
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  3. # 12
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Bad Mister wrote:

Ha!Ha! Yamaha is a hardware company. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone. ;)
The software to do what you are so proud of was not cheap at the time... Maybe three times the price of the hardware was back then - plus you needed a real computer to run it.


Well, Yamaha, in collaboration with emagic, did release a customized version of Sound Diver for the FS1R.

At that time it was certainly possible to add a wave to FSeq conversion to it, given the fact that emagic already had the knowledge and the experience needed to do that: they had developed a specific version of SD for the Kawai K5000 additive synth which included a wave to additive conversion based on Fourier analysis to extract the frequencies and the amplitudes from the spectrum of the wave and to generate sysex data including the amplitudes of each harmonic and the values of their respective envelopes giving their evolution over time, which looks very similar to the frames that make FSeqs...
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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Bad Mister wrote:

Derek wrote:

Hi, Bad Mister.

I am curious about one thing. First you've confirmed my suspicions that FM-X is very close to the voiced operator architecture of the FS1r, but why did Yamaha not include the unvoiced operators and Formant Synthesis/Sequencing? The FS1r had so much potential, but was hamstrung a little by a hard to use interface and lack of formant sequence editing tools. But it is still capable of some amazing sounds.
That, Derek, is what we call a "how come" question...which never has a satisfactory answer. So we don't normally deal with those here. Because they always begin with "because..." And never satisfy anyone. And I doubt if any one person could answer it.

In my opinion, this version of FM is ideal for the Motion Control Engine... The FS1R was years ahead of its time. And if you remember it... I can recall people constantly swearing they heard the FS1R speak or sing... In spite of the fact there were no samples, it was pure synthesis! And the question they would ask "how do I get my voice in there", which shows about what understanding the unit had. Well, the A/D Input and the Vocoder in the Montage will satisfy the quest "to get my voice in there"... without the user studying phonetics.


Fair point (the "how come" question), and I had in my mind that FSEQs may have been "exchanged" for motion control, so will be interested to see what they have to offer.

I was never too interested in getting my voice into the FS1r, so no I have never immersed myself deeply in phonetics, it's more the creative possibilities of the totality that intrigued me, but I'll confess I have not explored the FS1r as much as I wanted to as too many other synths and priorities for sound making vie for my attention.

The one cool thing about the FS1r, though, is if I want a subtle bit of extra motion or a sound that is a little different to the rest of the sounds in a song, the FS1r is what I usually go to to get it. It has a character all of its own.

Thanks for taking the time to provide a detailed reply. It's an interested read, even if I may not agree with all of it. :)
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  3. # 14
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The one cool thing about the FS1r, though, is if I want a subtle bit of extra motion or a sound that is a little different to the rest of the sounds in a song, the FS1r is what I usually go to to get it. It has a character all of its own.
Just because of the questions raised here, I called up a Performance that uses a Drum Arpeggio (Part2) fed into a Vocoder assigned to Pad sound in Part1 - talk about a unique sound! Using the extensive Side Chaining possibilities in Montage, I also fed the Drum groove into an FM-X Part but only to affect the Output Level of two (FM) Modulators (OP5 and OP7), the audio of the drum strikes "speak" through the Vocoded Pad, and adds this awesome rhythmic harmonic timbre change to the FM-X pad sound.

You begin by thinking... Hmmm, I wonder what'll happen if I do this? I then changed the side chain source from a drum groove arp, to an actual musical arpeggio phrase and the interaction takes you places you know you've not been before.

Getting movement and animation from FM has always been possible, but now (FM-X) so many new ways to do this are available. Then you say to yourself... I wonder what else I can use as a source. Sure it's got Side Chain Compression, even MultiBand Compression, but Side Chain Modulation also includes RingModulation, Dynamic Filter, Dynamic Phaser, Dynamic Flanger, and the Vocoder.

So naturally, a microphone means virtually anything can be a source to modify something about something else! What works is really a matter of experimentation. There is also the ENVELOPE FOLLOWER - where one sound can create an 'envelope' for another to 'follow'... Again the audio of a Part interacts with the destination Part... Where Side Chain compression removes ("ducks";) one Part with sound of another, the Envelope Follower allow you to create a situation where the target sound or sounds are activated by the source sound's energy.... At the Element/Operator level of programming, if you wish. Assign the intensity to the Super Knob...

Last thing I tried before retiring last night was creating some Element Pan movement based on the notes of an arpeggio phrase...
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  3. # 15
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"Last thing I tried before retiring last night was creating some Element Pan movement based on the notes of an arpeggio phrase..."

That sounds very interesting. Certainly this wasn't possible on XS/XF, right?
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  3. # 16
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AMP parametrer Pan = scaled
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  3. # 17
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The download section has been updated:

MONTAGE Reference Manual (& others)

Cheers,

hp
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  3. # 18
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Great news! Is a "Data List" pdf coming as well? If so, any ETA?
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  3. # 19
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It's there as well, under "Montage6/7/8 Data List"
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