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  1. John
  2. MONTAGE
  3. Saturday, 03 August 2019
A very common set up for those of us using the montage for gigging is to have a weighted controller on the lower tier (in my case an SL-88) and the montage 7 on the upper tier. The Montage 7 being the slave. Many users of the Montage have complained that the Part MIDI receive channel cannot be assigned. I have owned all Motifs from the Classic to the XF series. Parts were customizable to receive channel number assignment. They were not fixed to the respective part number but could be adapted to work seamlessly with the master. Not with the Montage. It can only receive Ch 1 on Part 1, Ch 2 on Part 2, Ch 3 on Part 3 etc. This is totally unacceptable and unjustified. Fortunately, I have Cantabile 3 software that allows me to create the once popular midi receive part channel assignment virtually. It is $99 a year (I have been using it as my VST player on my windows machine). I was teetering between the Kronos and the Montage. The audio interface integrated into the Montage was the selling point for me. I never thought that the MIDI ch Receive for each part would suddenly be removed. However, it has. My question is: Will Yamaha change this serious deficiency? I love the Montage, otherwise. I plan to keep it. I am disgusted with the choice to hard code the Part Midi Receive channel.
Responses (16)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
this issue (and some another) is insane, this issue is deseperate, and the fact to not have a clear answer from yamaha team designer is for me the sign that i may leave the boat before it sink.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I have the Montage as my lower tier keyboard, Kronos on top tier, Nord G2 Engine for good measure, and a small NUC computer in my Gig Rack running Top Ten Software's Cantabile Performer, which is my MIDI Processor and Live VST host. I need to be able to play Montage Parts from the Kronos and Kronos Timbres from the Montage and vice versa, and both keyboards need to drive the VST instruments I have in a song and the Nord G2 Engine.

My MIDI setup therefore is a "star configuration", with the computer as a hub, so that all MIDI goes through Cantabile. Therefore, I get around the Montage MIDI limitations by leaving it in single channel mode and any MIDI channel mapping/splits/layers to/from the Montage are handled by Cantabile. If you have a similar need to mine, the free version of Cantabile lite is well worth checking out, or you can try the paid for versions for 30 days for free before you need to license it.

This works for me, however, I think Yamaha should fix this limitation for musicians who do not want computers on stage but need to integrate the Montage into a keyboard rig where it is not necessarily the Master Zone Master mode driving external devices, but Performance Parts that need to be driver from external devices. If my Yamaha EX5 and Motif Rack ES allow you to allocate any receive channel to any part in Performance Mode (EX5) or Multi Mode (Motif), and of course my Kronos, then why not the Montage?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Yes. Having been a long time Roland customer from the Juno 106 to the D-50, to the JV-80 to the JV 2080, I finally vacated Roland because of the intentional paradigm of the base unit, and then a bunch of expansions needed to get the actual sounds you want (stupid, and expensive). Found the Motif Classic (had everything), then bought the ES, then the XF. Intensely satisfied. Looked forward to getting the Montage, and eventually did on 7/8/19. I have entertained Korg since the introduction of the Radias engine. If Korg coughs up a decent integrated audio interface and Yamaha doesn't change this stupid MIDI channel issue (which they probably won't), I am pretty certain that I will go with Korg (with their integrated C3 and integrated Radias engine). I am nothing but a single grain of customer sand on a beach of Yamaha customers, so whatever. Montage is a beast, otherwise. But the use of MIDI flexibility for live is the bulk of my bread and butter. Not necessarily the studio application of it. I'll limp along for a year. See what happens. I can't really adjust to this need to jimmy rig the Montage with an external device for midi mapping. The whole reason for getting the Montage was to eliminate the need for an external audio interface for quick set up and breakdown, especially for shows with multiple bands.

Montage, a powerful keyboard with a YPG-235-like MIDI interface. Umm......what?!!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
In the absence of a clear message why this won't/can't be changed - I can understand why some would have a satisfaction issue when they look at a relatively large community of similar users who also are not seeing an official response to what they've requested (either "we can't do this because ...", "just hold tight, it's being actively worked", or the actual firmware with the feature).


Yes, I think I`ve got a satisfaction issue...

I am waiting for more than 3 years now for an official response from Yamaha.

Yamaha, please let us know what the status is.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It's not hard to build a house on a concrete foundation. But if you build a house on top of dirt - it becomes difficult to retro-fit a foundation even though it's super simple to have one poured from the start. Sometimes you paint yourself into a corner. I can't say either way if the knots are too tangled to untie and re-align. I haven't seen Yamaha come out and make any calls either way. The inference is that the foundation analogy (or a spaghetti bowl) is closer to what's there than a slip-knot ready for reconfiguration.

I do think they have the message loud and clear. Civil nudges to threats and plenty between. Compelling use cases from keyboardists and also "trusted" sources such as previous 3rd party application development partners.

The energy spent on pushback (summary: do it the new way) suggests this isn't in the near-term pipeline (or perhaps not in the pipeline at all) to address. That's the tea leaves. In the absence of a clear message why this won't/can't be changed - I can understand why some would have a satisfaction issue when they look at a relatively large community of similar users who also are not seeing an official response to what they've requested (either "we can't do this because ...", "just hold tight, it's being actively worked", or the actual firmware with the feature).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
All the excuses from Yamaha of technical complexity and Montage internal architecture. Yet if you use any DAW or hardware MIDI router that simply duplicates or redirects one channel into other(s) and sends to Montage, it works like everyone is asking for. Not convinced it’s a moon landing inside Montage if it’s so easy outside of it. If it truly is, Yamaha has a software architect / team issue they should resolve before their next major endeavor.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks again Jason. Thanks Falk, I wasn't aware that the AWM2 was relted to the number of elements and the complexity of associating multi part programs.

If the MIDI receive can be remediated (somehow) I think the Montage is the baddest keyboard out there. A system with a quality integrated audio interface, better sounding than the Motif XF (I have A/B'd them and my montage sounds better than my XF, CFX sounds fantastic!), superb as a controller, seamless integration with VST player software and DAW's, the acquisition of tempo via the A/D input to accommodate arpeggiation with a live drummer and a lot more (I am still exploring the motion control). (display is a little weak when set as a second tier keyboard). Fingers crossed.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My guess is that the multi part instruments primarily result from the fact that the AWM2 part of Montage is still based on the 8 element architecture of the Motif XS/XF and that there was no other way to realize modern instruments using a large number of velocity layers (e.g.CFX) within that architecture.

Secondly, I believe that the fixed midi receive channel thing is linked to the fact that there are the multi part instruments. Maybe Yamaha did not find a convenient (or user friendly) way to ensure the multi part instruments are working properly when midi receive channel can be set freely.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I can't find the ideascale.


https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com

... and this idea probably covers what you want:

https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Free-allocation-of-midi-channels-in-Montage-Midi-IO-mode-multi/209732-45978

It's pretty popular - approaching the century mark in upvotes.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
However, the feedback does outline that it would be nice to have a more-or-less comprehensive list of features that are differentiating from the last generation product. Both things added and things removed. Then I could have spent less time looking for things that didn't exist. Or perhaps could have offered more information pre-sale for some.


Very, very true. I guess the "false advertising" statement was simply an expression of frustration. You are correct that the Montage has enough Single Part sounds to facilitate a single channel. Also, recording on all channels and dissolving the part to separate channels after the fact (as demoed by Bad Mista) is a way to avoid the cumbersome task of copying and pasting to other parts/channels associated with a sound. Yes, there are workarounds, and my Cantabile software can handle it. I love my yamaha products. I have not sold any of my other Motifs (maybe I am a hoarder). Montage PSR-like MIDI handling is atrocious. Great sounds, better than the XF in my opinion.

Thanks for your gracious response to my tantrum about false advertising.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
A DAW can use a multi channel instrument - you just cannot use conventional one-track-per-instrument means. You would copy the track "n" times to cover an instrument that uses "n" PARTs and assign the output MIDI channel to the corresponding PART #. Typically there are single-PART versions of instruments. If there are examples where there is only a multi-PART version and is something that last generation (Motif XF) would have been a "voice" - then this would be a reasonable suggestion to add a (usable) single-channel version of this instrument. I cannot recall seeing any specifics where users have found a case where there was not a single-PART version.

False advertising a bit heavy-handed. Marketing bullets and specs rarely, for any manufacturer's keyboard, goes into this level of detail. The association of MIDI channel to "slots". It was a rude awakening - because one has an expectation set by previous generations - but it was advertised that Montage was different from previous generations. A departure where several items were not carried forward. And MIDI channel flexibility was just one of those things in that "Montage is simplified" bucket (unfortunately).

However, the feedback does outline that it would be nice to have a more-or-less comprehensive list of features that are differentiating from the last generation product. Both things added and things removed. Then I could have spent less time looking for things that didn't exist. Or perhaps could have offered more information pre-sale for some.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I foresee a lot of used Montages for sale if the Kronos gets a solid quality integrated audio interface. I am seeing that the incredible multipart sounds in the montage do not jive with DAWs either. DAW can only use Single part instruments per channel nullifying complex multi Piano or Rhodes sounds. This is looking like a Microsoft Windows 8 trajectory. Microsoft kept saying, "It's fine! Just learn it!" Then Windows 10 had to be released as an "okay, okay.....it wasn't fine!" Not good. If the Montage didn't have such a great integrated audio interface, I would have immediately returned it to Sweetwater for a full refund due to inaccurate description of the product (incapable of assigning multipart receive channel).

I can't find the ideascale.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Jason

I will hit that forum. I have owned the Motif Classic, ES and XF. I was so excited about the integrated Steinberg Audio Interface, that I didn't research the MIDI Receive issue. Seemed a fairly obvious point to maintain channel receive flexibility that Motifs always had.

As I said, I use Cantabile Performer 3 for live integration which has the flexibility to fool the Montage into receiving several midi channels from one channel on my bottom tier 88 key controller.

I have never, ever heard any pads or textures as rich and exciting as Omnisphere 2.6. I use it to start our shows and it is a huge crowd pleaser. I love fading it in as a kind of "the show is beginning" and hear the crowd start cheering (even at small events). Unfortunately, the Yamaha and Korg giants cannot out perform Omnisphere. Also, as a seasoned hammond player, none of the Korg or Yamaha leslie or hammond sounds give that rich "wooden cabinet" feel. So I integrate Blue 3 and IKmultimedia Leslie through the Montage audio interface. Both Blue3 and Omnisphere are Software instruments that are superior to any hardware synth (yes, even the Nord, which is hard to believe).

Still, I am a happy owner of the Montage for the sake of the high quality sounds and audio interface. The MIDI is just stupid. Touchscreen is not that impressive either. I had to laugh at Yamaha's "History of the development of the Montage" video when the developer said, "We carefully designed the display to match any lighting condition ranging from sunlight to a dark stage." Ummm......no. You didn't. The montage is on my second tier and the display is absolutely terrible, and virtually unseeable in sunlight. I had to resort to mapping live sets to select via the buttons or else.

Thanks Jason. Off to Ideascale!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 13
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
There's no disagreement on what your point is. Just saying that there's a long line of the exact same sentiment. The exact same arguments. Clear and compelling reasons why this missing feature would benefit users and the platform. There's no disagreement here. I'm one of the former folks in that line making these same points.

I haven't always been thrilled with the treatment of suggestions or feedback. That's documented as well. So no disagreements here.

FYI - there's another forum that's the "new" place to suggest changes to current and future products (Ideascale). That may be a better place for suggestions and related feedback.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Jason, you said:
Most of the folks holding their breath for this feature have expired. Still, good to have some measure of users who could benefit from assigning MIDI receive channels freely and how that would be used. May help influence something. Squeaky wheel and all that.


This is not the point, the fact is that all of those that pretend to have an instrument really compatible with the MIDI standards are tired of the present Yamaha´s arrogant attitude, ignoring and despiseing the historical customers that have sustained the company over years, spending thousends of dollars in the company´s products.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 15
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It's hard to throw a rock at the forum subjects without hitting your request.

https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/management-midi-channels-with-montage-7
https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/how-to-assign-each-part-to-its-own-midi-receive-channel
https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/set-the-receive-channel-of-each-part-individually
https://yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/midi-on-the-modx-same-as-montage-or-moxf
https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/midi-2
https://www.yamahasynth.com/ask-a-question/v1-20-setting-the-receive-channel-of-each-part-not-possible-by-design/oldest

Between the release and now there have been several more -- just stopped after the first few hits.

The pushback from Yamaha support has been fairly consistent on this one - you can dig up the past responses and judge how far further uphill you'll be able to push this rock.

I've presented this as a competitive disadvantage on the MIDI implementation front vs. Kronos (and other flagships) as you have. Also Karma support was dropped past Motif XF due much in part due to the inability to assign MIDI channels freely to PARTs (including overlapping channels).

Myself I have several options to handle the MIDI routing. DAWs do it in the studio and I have Camelot for live -- if I ever need that. I'm not a fan myself of integrating non-dedicated hardware/software and do not have such a dedicated solution (although those do exist).

Most of the folks holding their breath for this feature have expired. Still, good to have some measure of users who could benefit from assigning MIDI receive channels freely and how that would be used. May help influence something. Squeaky wheel and all that.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 16
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