YamahaSynth.com Forums

This is the place to talk about all things related to Yamaha Synthesizers!
  1. Michael Trigoboff
  2. Vanity Monster Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Wednesday, 10 February 2016
There is apparently (if I remember correctly) 1.75 GB available in the Montage for things like user waveforms. Given that you can load up a Motif XF with 2 GB, this is surprisingly small.

Is there a pattern of usage contemplated by Yamaha (e.g. using Cubase's MediaBay), that ensures that this won't be a problem?
Responses (22)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Small? Not really. Small is a relative word, I guess. That 1.75GB is more than twice the size of the entire Motif XF's WAVE ROM. So, I guess it's a matter of perspective. And since the Montage comes with 5.67GB of resident WAVE ROM which is almost 5GB more WAVE ROM than the XF plus then there is the FM-X engine; there will be no shortage of sound generating muscle. Can't expect many who've, perhaps, never played or owned an FM engine, to understand the sonic window the FM-X engine opens. The Montage can hold up to eight sample libraries in memory.

Data sizes vary greatly, from the meticulously detailed over-the-top sessions like the Chick Codes Mark V (400MB) to the extremely popular "Power Grand" (2.4MB), to the CP1 CF Grand (121MB), what you choose to keep additional in the user memory is of course, up to the individual. On average the typical XF Library runs under 128MB... And remember 8 libraries can be resident at a time _ so management of multiple files is really a no- brainer.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Small is 1.75GB + 5.67GB = 8GB or so for a keyboard that costs $4500 while I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone with twice as much memory that's 5 years old and is worth about $150. It doesn't really make any sense. Just saying.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Matt,
But you're wrong. Respectfully, you couldn't be more wrong.
You are talking apples and Jupiter's moons, to you memory is just size and $$ - but this is just a bit naive because your phone cannot access and playback 128 stereo channels of sampled audio and generate 128 notes of FM-X. Really just saying you need to understand a bit more about memory types/cost and what it takes to access and playback audio in the type of access times demanded by a musical instrument. Your phone is in a whole different category of device. Just saying, your point is not even remotely credible, no disrespect intended, but really.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Just to clarify that: The Montage doesn't come with "5.67GB of resident WAVE ROM"! It comes with 5.67 GB when converted to 16 bit linear format (but internally, samples reside in a compressed format)! So the physical WAVE ROM (including the 1.75GB of user memory) of the Montage presumably is not 8GB but only 4GB!

@Phil: Can you please comment on the type of Flash that is used in the Montage? Is it NOR Flash that was used in the Motif XF/MOXF series, or is it parallel NAND Flash (as in the PSR-S970; see my post here: https://yamahasynth.com/index.php?option=com_easydiscuss&view=post&id=5331&Itemid=851#reply-5481) which is nearly ten times more cost efficiant than NOR Flash. You said "you need to understand a bit more about memory types/cost"; then please tell us!

BTW: I have heard from at least one seller of libraries that one of the main reasons for creating libraries not bigger than 128MB is that they can be "quickly previewed" in the Motif's 128MB of RAM. It also depends on the type of library: A nice 8 layer piano or rhodes alone takes much more than 128MB (and as you can see -using the example of Korg Kronos and EXS libraries-, with growing user memory, libraries tend to get bigger and probably better: https://shop.korg.com/kronosSoundLibraries). Let's say, I want to load K-Sounds Epic Grand (500MB, 16 bit linear), Chicks Mark V (400MB, WXC compressed), DSF Symphonic Strings (450MB), then there is not much memory left for e.g. a good amount of wav files for backing tracks. I find that quite limiting in the year 2016 (and no, I am NOT WRONG!)

1.75GB of user memory are three steps back compaired to the 4GB of Flash in the Motif (when using two of the 2GB Mutec FMC-07 modules: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mutec_fmc_07.htm), despite the limitations of the Motif concerning the maximum number of waveforms/keybanks per Flash module (which were also home-made by Yamaha due to OS limitations). And yes, at least for me, 1.75GB IS SMALL (no need to discuss or deny that ...)!

Regards, ;)

Jo
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Johannes,
You are misinformed. The Montage comes with 5.67GB of WAVE ROM - the Motif XF comes with 741MB of WAVE ROM. Those are facts.
The XS 355MB, the ES 175MB, and the original had 84MB measuring data in the same way. AWM2 is Yamaha's proprietary method of storing and retrieving audio sampled data. It is one of two synthesis engines in the Montage.

If you wish to load those three sample-based libraries you mention, you can, if you've been streaming your backing tracks from your Flash boards, we might recommend you stream them from a reliable USB drive, instead. That is a great (better) use of the XF's ability to continuously stream wav files from a connected drive, leaving your Flash memory for your loaded libraries. After all, your backing tracks can be streamed in stereo. Leave the 128 stereo audio channel capability for items that need the high speed real-time access that instrument sounds require. (Yes, we can see how in your own mind you're not WRONG) that's not what this discussion is about. It's important to feel you are not WRONG in what you are trying to do, no, you are not WRONG... Just a little confused, perhaps, about the best way to use your memory.

If Montage (reads) like it is "three steps back" for you, really, truly, then so be it. If you are happy with your XF you'll still get many years of good service from it, we're quite sure. :)

The amount and selection of sounds in the Montage, and more specifically, the way Montage handles libraries is based on a lot of thought and a lot on how musicians actually use their gear. This does not mean it will work exactly the way you, as an individual, have been working or envision working... That would be impossible to do - to make everyone happy.

Fortunately, you can stay with the XF - we'll still support it here, but we ask you to place your XF questions in the appropriate forum heading.

It has been my experience that the more some one says how 'backward' and the more they state 'what were they thinking' - the more that person actually wants to buy the new keyboard. I understand, I highly recommend, before you, Johannes, before you back yourself into an Internet frenzied position where you state categorically it is "three steps back"... You at least try playing one. How silly would it be to prejudge anything before you've actually seen or heard one, before youve actually played one? Even assuming you will need the example libraries that you mentioned is premature. Is it not? (Forgive me, don't mean to sound unconcerned about your stated concerns, but I don't really take these opinions too seriously until I'm talking with someone who has at least played one- it exponentially and immediately raises the status of the comment to worthy of listening to it. Because it's the reaction to the actual experience of playing one that counts. Until that point... It's all based on your ability to take a spec and translate it to anything meaningful. You can't tell a plate of mashed potatoes from a bowl of ice cream until you experience it. Why would I listen to complaints about serving temperature until the potential customer has sampled the goods?

I have quotes from people telling me very passionately back in 2001, how Motif would never sell without a floppy disk drive. How it would never sell without a touch screen. No one will use SmartMedia cards, etc, "It,'s 2001, c'mon Yamaha, wake up!" :)

@Phil: Can you please comment on the type of Flash that is used in the Montage?

Sorry I have no comment on your comments here or anywhere else about the kind of memory used or why it was used. If you have questions on how to save and/or load data, I'll be able to help you with that. I deal in "How to..." questions, not "How come... questions!

(I can ask, but then what?)
I trust the people responsible for making the decisions that they have good reason for the decisions made. Turning specifications and concepts into a working musical product, an instrument, is a complex task. If Yamaha wants to explain those decisions it will come in the product documentation, until then its just stuff to read and speculate about between now and the product shipping. Feel free, Speculate away... But reserve your opinion until you've played it, its the best way to be fair to yourself. Even thinking about what you will need to load is a bit premature.

I heard it's based on some area 51 alien technology :)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Bad Mister wrote:

Johannes,
You are misinformed. The Montage comes with 5.67GB of WAVE ROM - the Motif XF comes with 741MB of WAVE ROM. Those are facts.
The XS 355MB, the ES 175MB, and the original had 84MB measuring data in the same way. AWM2 is Yamaha's proprietary method of storing and retrieving audio sampled data. It is one of two synthesis engines in the Montage.


Sorry, but that is just not true! These values do not mirror the internal physical memory space, but rather the size of the compressed sample material when converted to 16 bit linear format (just have a look at your website: "Preset: 5.67 GB (when converted to 16 bit linear format)"; http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/synthesizers/montage/montage6/?mode=model#tab=product_lineup -> "Specs";). Internally, samples reside in a compressed format and take up much less physical memory!

For example, the Motif XS has two slots of Flash memory for WAVE ROM. Each of them has 64MB for a total of 128MB. Thus, 355MB of WAVE ROM (when converted to 16 bit linear format) take up 128MB or less of physical memory internally.

Bad Mister wrote:

If you wish to load those three sample-based libraries you mention, you can, if you've been streaming your backing tracks from your Flash boards, we might recommend you stream them from a reliable USB drive, instead. That is a great (better) use of the XF's ability to continuously stream wav files from a connected drive, leaving your Flash memory for your loaded libraries. After all, your backing tracks can be streamed in stereo. Leave the 128 stereo audio channel capability for items that need the high speed real-time access that instrument sounds require. (Yes, we can see how in your own mind you're not WRONG) that's not what this discussion is about. It's important to feel you are not WRONG in what you are trying to do, no, you are not WRONG... Just a little confused, perhaps, about the best way to use your memory.


If I'm playing live, I want to be able to start a backing track with a press of a single button or key. And the backing track should be best synchronized with a MIDI click (or MIDI clock). For me, it is not a good way to manually navigate to a folder in the USB-Stick and then search for the right wave-file before starting it each time. And can you explain to me how to synchronize a wave-file played from USB with a click (without using a stereo wave-file with the backing track panned left and the audio-click panned right? Or how to change the volume of the backing track on the fly, and independently of the main volume? ;) Believe me, I (and many others) am not confused about the best way to accomplish that...to tell you the truth, I find your proposal (streaming from USB) a little bit "confused" and impractical...

Bad Mister wrote:

How silly would it be to prejudge anything before you've actually seen or heard one, before youve actually played one? Even assuming you will need the example libraries that you mentioned is premature.


I didn't judge about the Montage as a whole! I judged about the small amound of user memory, and nothing else! The libraries I mentioned were just examples using more space than "the typical XF Library" under 128MB. In fact, it is purpose of the user memory to load libraries onto it. If you call me (or my criticism concerning little user memory; I don't have to play Montage to judge about 1.75GB) "silly", you should probably visit a training in good behavior and social manners... ;)

Regards, :)

Jo
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I knew you would like (or understand) the answer, but whatever... Peace.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Okay but wait a minute. Maybe both are correct in perspectives but we're all left hanging here concerning the wave Rom. Apples to apples, separately from compression or not, does Montage literally have 5.67GB of physical memory directly related to the 741mb in the XF? If both numerical figures are presented as both being "when converted to16bit linear format" then they are apples to apples. If one is while the other is not then they are unrelated and should not be advertised in the product comparisons.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
1.75 GB isn't exactly shooting for the moon. jmo, its not a life changer here. the great advantage of yamaha's flash design is you don't have to wait for samples to load into a usable memory location, ala some other boards with "larger" storage memory.

the disadvantage is that type of memory is alot more expensive. hence 1.75. eh, ... a shame we can't mount a pair of FL1024 cards in it for those that are memory hogs.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I think it's important we all keep this in mind.
Bad Mister wrote: … I deal in "How to..." questions, not "How come... questions! …


Notice the ! in "How Come!". Excessive "How come!" questions have got to be wearisome. And for those of us who have professional Yamaha keyboards, we know getting our "How to …" questions answered are invaluable in understanding Yamaha-flow.

--
I understand that voicing dissatisfaction seems like a way to effecting change with a manufacturer. As I don't know about this I can't comment on its efficacy. But remember, Bad Mister is here supporting Yamaha keyboards. And as he has shown & explained, he is here specifically addressing "how to …" questions. He does this reliably & effectively. I think we'll gain more through civility.

--
"Have it all" is elusive.

--
Comparing phone/tablet/computer memory size to Yamaha's music synthesizer memory is meaningless if you pay attention and find what you get in a Yamaha music synthesizer meaningful. If neither applies, what brought you here?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I heard it's based on some area 51 alien technology :)

Or maybe it's the technology that the giant saucer used to play that little tune back in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind… :-)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Bad Mister wrote:

Hi Matt,
But you're wrong. Respectfully, you couldn't be more wrong.
You are talking apples and Jupiter's moons, to you memory is just size and $$ - but this is just a bit naive because your phone cannot access and playback 128 stereo channels of sampled audio and generate 128 notes of FM-X. Really just saying you need to understand a bit more about memory types/cost and what it takes to access and playback audio in the type of access times demanded by a musical instrument. Your phone is in a whole different category of device. Just saying, your point is not even remotely credible, no disrespect intended, but really.


Yeah, I'm not claiming to know anything about computer hardware and so forth. Like you said, "small" is a relative term. No offense taken! I don't mean to diss to Montage in any way, but when you guys use a selling point like "5.67GB of wave ROM", that's really meaningless to me. I bought a 5TB hard drive for like $150 last month. I'm just saying it sounds ridiculous in this day and age. Sure, you're selling to professionals who might know what that means. I'm just an amateur musician. I don't know anything.

Cheers,
Matt
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Matt wrote:


Yeah, I'm not claiming to know anything about computer hardware and so forth. Like you said, "small" is a relative term. No offense taken! I don't mean to diss to Montage in any way, but when you guys use a selling point like "5.67GB of wave ROM", that's really meaningless to me. I bought a 5TB hard drive for like $150 last month. I'm just saying it sounds ridiculous in this day and age. Sure, you're selling to professionals who might know what that means. I'm just an amateur musician. I don't know anything.

Cheers,
Matt

Hi Matt,

This memory thing is relative to the previous Yamaha XF flagship which had 741MB of wave rom as compared to the 5.67GB in Montage. So in RELATIVE terms you can notice the significant change. With this comparison we are comparing apples to apples. Let's say that your cell phone memory is a bowling ball and it's large and fast traveling down the lane. Now let's say that the Montage memory is a baseball traveling at 97 miles per hour because it can. The bowling ball is larger in size and weight but it can never do what the baseball can do like the memory in the Montage. They are both memory (balls in my example) and they both accomplish their objectives but they are significantly different in their design capabilities.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 13
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Matt wrote:

Bad Mister wrote:

Hi Matt,
But you're wrong. Respectfully, you couldn't be more wrong.
You are talking apples and Jupiter's moons, to you memory is just size and $$ - but this is just a bit naive because your phone cannot access and playback 128 stereo channels of sampled audio and generate 128 notes of FM-X. Really just saying you need to understand a bit more about memory types/cost and what it takes to access and playback audio in the type of access times demanded by a musical instrument. Your phone is in a whole different category of device. Just saying, your point is not even remotely credible, no disrespect intended, but really.


Yeah, I'm not claiming to know anything about computer hardware and so forth. Like you said, "small" is a relative term. No offense taken! I don't mean to diss to Montage in any way, but when you guys use a selling point like "5.67GB of wave ROM", that's really meaningless to me. I bought a 5TB hard drive for like $150 last month. I'm just saying it sounds ridiculous in this day and age. Sure, you're selling to professionals who might know what that means. I'm just an amateur musician. I don't know anything.

Cheers,
Matt

Of course the size of the user memory is very small for 2018.

You don't know anything ?.

Don't think like that because thinking like that will lead others to decide your thoughts instead of your self .
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi --

Just a few thoughts...

"Access and playback 128 stereo channels of sampled audio and generate 128 notes of FM-X" Phil makes a good point here. This is a real technical challenge. In order to sustain this kind of polyphony and DSP for effects, one needs at least three different memories, where waveform memory is only one type. The Montage (and Genos, and PSR-S970) tone generator is a bandwidth-hungry computational engine.

Yep, the Montage waveform memory is ONFI-compatible NAND flash. I took a quick tour of the Montage platform here: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/montage-hardware-platform/

I won't enter the memory size fray. As soon as someone says "4GBbytes," then the next person will say "8GBytes" and so on. (Ah, the Internet!) Folks do have their needs and I'm not going to judge or dictate.

What I will say. AWM2 is a complicated, evolving technology including compression. That's why it's called "Advanced Wave Memory." It's not just a marketing term. The compression part has allowed Yamaha to squeeze a large amount of high-quality content into insanely small physical space (i.e., physical wave memory). They have over 3 decades experience doing this. My old pal still in the studio: TG-500 with 8MBytes waveform ROM and I still have love.

One final point. I believe that the limiting factor (for Yamaha) is not the physical size of the waveform memory as much as the process and resources needed to make the high-quality, musician-satisfying content to fill it (samples and voices, er, performances). Same can be said for the Montage's sibling, Genos.

Hope this helps -- pj

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/contents/music_production/synth_40th/history/chapter03/index.html
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 15
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I assume Yamaha's design team made these decisions in developing its new flagship months or even years before its launch. Presumably, Yamaha re-engineered its product-concept to remain relevant in a shifting marketplace with the predominance of software-based instruments (where expansion-RAM is ample), and where full-fledged hardware "workstations" may be becoming less-relevant. Roland made their last workstation in 2008, the Fantom G. The Fantom's memory was expandable—to a whopping 1GB! However, what Roland did with that 1GB expansion was pretty amazing. Then in 2011, Korg introduced the Kronos. The latest model, "Kronos 2," comes with a 64GB SSD (≈62GB, formatted), with additional space to accommodate a user-installed second SSD (user-tested up to 1TB). And, to Korg's credit, Kronos' SSD-streaming technology definitely can benefit from additional SSD storage (though few users may require such ample storage).

Clearly, Yamaha is marketing something different in the Montage—a performance-oriented keyboard with improved sonic capabilities, and with class-leading DAW-connectivity. Kudos to Yamaha for taking this bold step forward.

From what I can gather, I'm guessing the Montage's physical memory totals 4GB, with factory-compressed waveforms occupying approximately 56% of that physical RAM (leaving 1.75GB available for user RAM). Since it's no longer marketed as a workstation, I suppose the design team deemed this amount adequate for the majority of their customers (that neither system RAM nor any other kind of memory expansion is available is another marketing decision).

Since I own a Kronos 2 (a recent purchase), the Montage's RAM capacity is less important to me. The Montage's 10,000 arps, improved sonic-engine, and built-in multi-channel I/O is what's attracting me to the product. Yamaha has long been a champion of computer connectivity (e.g., mLAN16E, FW16E, etc.), and the Montage represents the simplest, lowest-cost ("nothing else to buy!";), most advanced iteration of such connectivity to date. For those invested in full-fledged DAW-based music-creation, the Montage may be the best "sound-module" yet. For those who've always yearned for that "Motif sound" (people like me), this is Yamaha's latest and greatest, and I can't wait to get my hands on one!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 16
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I tend to agree that its not a great capacity in current times. When i heard about sample robot being free with the Montage i thought wow that will be amazing. Then i remembered Ive almost filled up my Montage so it wont be of any use to me anyway.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 17
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Scott wrote:

I tend to agree that its not a great capacity in current times. When i heard about sample robot being free with the Montage i thought wow that will be amazing. Then i remembered Ive almost filled up my Montage so it wont be of any use to me anyway.


I have basically settled on using the memory on my Montage on a per track/album/gig situation rather than a one memory fits all type scenario. So I'm filling the USER memory for whatever's needed at the time. It takes around 20+min or so to change it from one "sound world" to another (filling it with my own waveforms). This is my personal workaround.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 18
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Interesting debate. :D

I must confess that I do not understand why Yamaha have set a specific FLASH size, which on paper does seem a tad on the small size in this day and age, but it seems to do the job for the libraries I have loaded (i.e. I haven't ran out yet), and I have sample streaming from SSD in my Kronos for really heavy weight stuff that I want in a "board".

BTW the Montage and Kronos make a nice combination - I have a Montage 7 for bottom tier duties (replaced my trusty EX5) and a Kronos X 61 for top tier duties.

And I also have in my gig rig a PC (about the size of a paperback novel) with a 500GB SSD and 32 GB RAM upon which I can run any heavy weight VST instrument including sample heavy ones like Omnisphere or Kontakt. I use this for all of my audio steaming for backing tracks, running light shows, etc. The PC is also a MIDI routing hub for everything I have on stage. So I guess I am saying the Montage FLASH size is fine for me in this context. :)

If I were to hazard a guess (and it is only a guess), then I would say that Montage designers have factored in the growing prevalence of computers with cheap storage in use on stage, and thus prioritized on certain Montage features instead, which works for me. When I looked at my likely stage needs for the next decade, I came to the conclusion that two of the top flight boards and a tuned PC were the solution for me.

Also, it is not often just size but what you do with it (did I really just say that ;) ). Over at EX5Tech at the turn of century we delivered an amazing Mellotron sound set that fitted all the important waves in 16MB of FLASH. My SY99 is "maxed out" with a whopping 3.5MB of user sample memory, and I have another 2MB via a WaveBlade Card which puts in more user sample memory via the WAVE CARD slot, which was designed as ROM only, but a friend and myself delved into how to make a RAM version (my friend's work) and write the software to transfer samples into the RAM in the right format (my work). Even with "just" 5.5MB of user memory in total the SY99 still sounds awesome. :)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 19
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Derek wrote:
BTW the Montage and Kronos make a nice combination . . .

Hey, there Derek! I recognize your post-content from the Korg Forum! So glad to hear you say that! I recently had a Motif XF for a few days (which I loved!), but had to return it due to a problem. Now, I think a Montage is in my future since a B-stock Montage 6 or 7 isn't that much more than a mint-condition Motif XF. I have to agree, in the short time I had the Motif, I expect the Montage to be a terrific companion to my new Kronos! (I actually owned a Motif XS8 for a brief period before I got my Fantom G way back in 2008).

I also pretty much have my heart set on Spectrasonics' Omnisphere 2 as my sole software-instrument app/AU library for my Core i7 iMac (48GB RAM + 500GB SSD). But the more I seem to learn about my new DAW (Apple Logic Pro X), the more I seem inclined to stay all-hardware (the Fantom G's recorder is just so damned easy to use and keeps things really simple, plus, my 10-year-old G still makes some fantastic sounds—all with only 1GB of RAM!).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 20
  • Page :
  • 1
  • 2


There are no replies made for this post yet.
Be one of the first to reply to this post!
2021 © Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved.