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  1. CassieDennis
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Monday, 20 March 2017
Our own Bad Mister has launched a new series on FM-X Exploration. Check out the first of this 4 part series here.

Use this discussion string to weigh in on the lesson.

And stay tuned - more to come soon!
Responses (19)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you Cassie for the announcement and thank you Phill for this great FM-X exploration.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi all,
thanks to Bad Mister for that well useful explanations.
My problem is, to bring up the Performance into the Montage.
As a blind user I only can use Montage Connect to see the name of each Performance. In MAC I can't see any Load or Save Button. Only text-fields and two Buttons that are not discripted for us. One mor Text called Autosync and I think 8 checkboxes.
Is it posible, to load the Performance directly into the Montage above a USB-Drive?
That's the only way I can use the example Performance.
And when I understand it right, so I can play with the eight Knobs and the sliders to change the OP parameters.
Any help is welcome.
Rainer
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
There is not an easy way to load an X7B file directly to Montage using the Montage itself.

First, let me try to give some practical advice for the here-and-now:

I do not have a MAC - but maybe there is a similar feature you can utilize. I'll describe how to load the P4.X7B file using Montage Connect without having to use the graphic interface.

1) Extract P4.X7B.ZIP to a known directory like C:\X7B\P4.X7B
2) Press window key, then type "CMD" then return to bring up a command prompt ("DOS box" aka console)
3) Change to the Montage Connect directory. For me, it's C:\Program Files\Yamaha\Montage Connect - so in the command prompt, I would type:
cd "C:\Program Files\Yamaha\Montage Connect"
4) Run Montage Connect from the command line. It accepts X7B files as a command line parameter, so in the command prompt, I would type:
"MONTAGE Connect.exe" C:\X7B\P4.X7B
5) Doing this would automatically load P4.X7B into Montage connect. You should have "Auto Sync" selected which would handle automatically transferring the X7B to Montage. I believe Montage Connect enables this by default.

Alternatively, you can also drag-and-drop the P4.X7B file into Montage Connect. By this, I mean if your desktop has a "Montage Connect" icon you can use to launch Montage Connect - then also place the P4.X7B on your desktop. Click and hold P4.X7B and drag it on top of Montage Connect. This will also automatically load P4.X7B as if launching from the command line (console).

Other help:

Were you able to follow BM's response and assign voice-overs to the 5 buttons on the bottom of Montage Connect?

Bad Mister:
Along the bottom of the App left to right are
1) RECALL
2) SONG IMPORT
3) SETUP
4) LOAD
5) SAVE


Your previous response:
Hi Bad Mister,
thanks so much for that help. Now I can give the buttons names with VoiceOver. It is very helpful.


For Yamaha:

I think accessibility and just general usage could be improved if keyboard shortcuts were implemented. In windows, I would suggest

ALT+R = Switch to Recall (press recall button)
ALT+I = Switch to Song Import
ALT+P = Switch to Setup
ALT+L = Switch to Load
ALT+S = Switch to Save

When in the load menu:

ALT+F = Switch to file text entry area
ALT+L = Switch to location text entry area
RETURN key = press the LOAD button

... and similar shortcuts and enhancements for the app.

Then one could not have to rely on the text and just use keyboard shortcuts to use montage connect.

The "Tab" key should also be able to move to the next field which is currently not supported.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Bad Mister! Great stuff! One thing thow: I like to reproduce your example not only by turning the knobs but also by changing the settings manually so I really understand what the parameters do. Because unfortunately, turning the knobs does bot change the parameter values on my display. (why not, btw?) I understood everything fine except and could set the values manually to hear sound changes except knob 6, OP AEG Offset. What exactly is offset, and how to change this manually in the operator level window?

Also: where does the neat stereo effect of that performance come from? I can´t figure that out...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It's a series... in four PARTS... Use your ears first (I think I explained that) then we will explore and see what is going on at the parameter screens. Music: teach the ears first, the eyes later :)

where does the neat stereo effect of that performance come from? I can´t figure that out...

Stereo effect is coming from the FM-X Pan and Alternate Pan parameters.

Stay tuned!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
[PERFORMANCE] (HOME), then [PART CONTROL], then Number A [1] should show the knob values.

or

[PERFORMANCE] (HOME), then touchscreen press PART 1's name, then [EXIT] to dismiss the side popup window.

Remember the knobs have modes and you have to get the knobs in the correct mode before addressing the intended target.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
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Hi Jason,
thanks for that very well discription. I find one another way to load the file into the Montage Connect App. I looked on my USB-Drive. And the filename tells me, that it is a Montage Connect file. I press ENTER and what is happend. It brings up the file into Montage Connect and through to the Montage directly. So I can play with the Knobs and Sliders well.
I will test the shortcuts You telling me in Your discription soon as posible and give feedback, if it works well under MAC too.
Once again the explanations are very helpful to understand FM-synthesis.
Rainer
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
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Hi Jason, thanks, that helps, now at least I see what the knobs are assigned to on the touchscreen and the knob values. But I also meant that the values in the porgramming window don´t change when turning knobs, for example if a knob is assigned to feedback and I turn the knob, the feedback value does not change but stays at 0. Not helpful to program with the knobs if you cannot see the values you´re programming.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
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Gabi wrote:
But I also meant that the values in the porgramming window don´t change when turning knobs, for example if a knob is assigned to feedback and I turn the knob, the feedback value does not change but stays at 0. Not helpful to program with the knobs if you cannot see the values you´re programming.


The offset values are internally known and not displayed. Montage only shows current superknob position and assignable knob positions. However, no parameters (like volume, pitch, feedback, level, FEG decay 2 rate, Insertion Effect A Parameter 1, and so on - no parameters will show the current working value as changed by the offset.

As you are wishing here - real-time visual feedback of parameters changing due to motion sequence, control gestures (moving knobs and such), etc. would be very helpful for you - and I've requested the same before.

https://yamahasynth.com/forum/next-firmware-update-%E2%80%94-suggestions#reply-14822

... and some other times before that. I agree I think it would be a useful tool in the kit to use in combination with ears and other menu-driven options available now. There's more than one application of using a mode where parameters show their offset value.

Instead, you're going to have to work the other way (if you want really want to arrive at the value). I'm going to ignore cautionary tales of why you wouldn't want to do this. People are motivated by different things, learn different ways, etc - so as long as you're not hurting anyone or yourself - I assume it's OK to proceed. At any rate - you'd need to search for what COULD be offsetting values - there's really only one place to look first - and the menu has the words "source" and "destination". You have to scroll through the list (of sources) to see everything - because there's no menu or diagram which shows you all sources/destinations in summary format. This could be improved. You could jot down all the destinations and the source. Destinations under direct control of a controller (like mod wheel, pitch bend, assignable knobs, etc) only have one level of a curve to look at. Superknob automation or lanes are going to have another level - "pulses". The FM X7B isn't dealing with pulses - so you can clear this off the table.

For all the ribbing I got for working out the "math" of curves - I really didn't have another way of "seeing" what the offset value was without doing this because the feature you've requested to use doesn't exist. You're therefore, if you want to continue down that path, "forced" to figure it out from the ground-up.

That's ("forced";) in quotes because of course, you could decide not to bother and paint with broader strokes. Which is valid - after seeing what the destinations are - just get a general idea of the "shape" of the curve and don't worry so much about the actual value. Know if the value is going to up linearly when you spin the knob/wheel clockwise (or get a feel for the relative direction) - or get a feel of how the knob or wheel will accelerate the value differently in different regions of the knob/wheel travel - or know if it's going to go up then down - you get the picture - just broad strokes and use your ear to confirm (or the other way around - use your ear and look at the curve - "yeah that looks about right";).

In the context of this tutorial, it's not bad to do work on your own outside of the scope handed to you. Once the series is completed - it would be worthwhile to work through the material at face value, taking the suggestions as-is and not worrying about the values unless the tutorial tells you something about values like it did for the different spectral forms. Even then the point was it's easy to hear when the spectral form changes - so the value doesn't really matter so much when you just hear the very hair of a turn that changes the spectral form. Using the assignable knob positions makes it easy for you to work out the parameter value if that has any relevance to you (using your ear first).

The request for feature changes is outside of the scope of the FM-X tutorial - so that's a separate topic.

I guess think of it like this - your karate grand master is telling you to practice fighting him while blindfolded. Sure it would be easier ("better"? at least for your perceived chances) if you fought with full sight. But there's some kind of reason why the grand master is having you do this - heighten your senses, or ... something. So trust the process and you're bound to learn a thing or two about being becoming a more proficient student of karate.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 9
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Thank you. I guess it´s better to program on the touchscreen and use the knobs for real time manupulation only. It just gets too complicated otherwise.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
This is still deviating from the FM-X tutorial - probably best in its own thread. But I'll follow the tangent ...

Since assignable knobs using parameters as destinations are OFFSETS (and assuming unipolar, you use positive offsets) - then you can set, in your performance, the target parameter to 0 (instead of whatever it would otherwise be) and make sure your curve sets input=0 output=0 through input=127, output=127 (an input=output linear curve). That way, whatever the knob value is will be the same as what the destination's internal value is. Because the assignable knob value will be the added offset - and the starting value is 0. The assignable knob value shows the input value - and since input = output (using the correct curve) - you can just look at the screen with the knob values and know what's filled into the parameter destinations. It is, however, up to you to program the default parameters (in the programming screens) to 0 such that this will work.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Finally! the missing Montage manual...! I've been looking all over for this one, thanks Yamaha/Bad Mister...I feel like I have something I can use now - this lesson was great! I had been doing the FM-X INIT and alls I could get was the same sine wave over & over. having real examples like this (and the tutorial patch was awesome guys) ok looking forward to the upcoming classes in this. Also - would be *awesome* if Bad Mister could walk us through creating one of the Montage presets...for example the FM Boogie Synth Bass patch, and walk us through how that is created on Montage. :)
THANKS!!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 12
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks. Standby, I was looking for a unique way to have folks discover some of the basics of FM-X. Hopefully, this is helpful.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 13
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I just went through this. Very cool. But the Feedback knob didn't seem to do anything, even though I tried many different configurations. What do I need to do to hear the effect of that knob?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
You should be able to hear a difference using the algorithm selected when operator 2's level is 99, operator 1's level is 80, and all other operators set to level 0. Adjusting the feedback should increase the brightness and having maximum feedback should produce a saw wave.

Feedback will control the level of feedback for the single operator that has a feedback loop in the given algorithm. For the demo (which uses algorithm 81 thus far), operator 1 has the feedback loop. I haven't loaded it up to make sure there isn't a programming issue - but I'm assuming the default feedback level for the performance (X7B) is 0 and using the assignable knob for feedback allows you to increase the feedback (offset) to the maximum feedback level.

An example of another FM synth showing the feedback result, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FkSJ3nTkvI

Note that the DX7 algorithm for the first 2-operator programming in the video - DX7 has the operator numbering reversed for these two operators vs. Montage. Montage has operator 2 on the bottom (carrier) and operator 1 (modulator) feeding operator 2. The DX7 is reversed. So when you're looking at the video - you can pretty much follow along except think "op1" when he says "op2" and think "op2" when he says "op1".

The reference is really for the first part where he demonstrates feedback.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 15
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Michael Trigoboff wrote:

I just went through this. Very cool. But the Feedback knob didn't seem to do anything, even though I tried many different configurations. What do I need to do to hear the effect of that knob?

In general, when the Feedback loop is on a Modulator its influence will ultimately result in timbre change of the Carrier it is directed to... this can be subtle or dramatic, it depends on what else is happening at the time. When the Feedback loop includes a Carrier its influence is usually very apparent. (In the Algorithm 81 its on the Modulator)

On the P4 Performance.... set the Part 1 Assign Knobs as follows:
AsgnKnob 6 = 100 - allows for EG Level to be significant (this is the shape of the Modulator's influence)
AsgnKnob 7 = 100 - by OP1 Decay = OP2 Decay we ensure that as long as the sound is held the Modulator will influence the Carrier
AsgnKnob 8 = 100 - allows the Carrier sound to sustain longer while key is held

All others at 0.

https://YamahaSynth.com/images/MontageSnorkel/CustomerQA/FeedbackExm.png

As you raise the FEEDBACK AsgnKnob 5, you will hear a fairly dramatic change. As you approach maximum, you can hear Feedback create a bit of chaotic noise.

If the "EG Level" and "OP1 Decay" are maxed, you can get a really gritty noise when Feedback is raised.

Also try different areas of the keyboard, as the influence can be scaled across the keyboard. Often lower notes reveal more as when playing high and adding even higher harmonics, sometimes (quite often actually with FM) you are creating symphonies and sounds only your dog can hear. So if you are not hearing the response be sure to try lower, mid and then high ranges when sonically testing the results.

AsgnKnob 5 = 64
AsgnKnob 6 = 100
AsgnKnob 7 = 100
AsgnKnob 8 = 100

in the mid and bass ranges makes a hollow tone...
Raise Feedback (Knob 5) to 127 and the sound is entirely different
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 16
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks, Bad Mister, that worked great. Excellent tutorial.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 17
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Hello,

I would like to learn FM-X with these tutorials on my MODX.

.X7B files are different from .X8B ones and are not compatible with MODX Connect (File Load Error) when renaming them.

Does a converter exist ?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 18
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hello,

I would like to learn FM-X with these tutorials on my MODX.

.X7B files are different from .X8B ones and are not compatible with MODX Connect (File Load Error) when renaming them.

Does a converter exist ?
Thanks for your interest in the FM-X tutorials... a version of this series of articles will be made available for the MODX (with appropriate files) shortly.

The "CONNECT" files are not transferable. We'll see if we can get compatible files posted in short order.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 19
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