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  1. Peter
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. MONTAGE
  4. Saturday, 06 October 2018
Hi - Sometime soon, I'll be purchasing a Montage, which will take the place of the Motif XS6 that I now use with Cubase. In this post, I'll give you my current rig, describe my present workflow, and then I will sincerely appreciate answers to my questions about the transition to Montage.

The Current Radd rig:
Windows 10 (automatically updates)
Cubase Pro 9.5.21 (64bit)
Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver V1.6.6
Firmware Version IEEE1394 V1.07
Motif XS VST Editor V 1.6.4
Motif XS6 connected to my PC via Firewire
Motif XS Extension V1.6.1 for Windows.


Future rig: Montage connected to same computer

I'm a full-time producer of jingles for radio/TV, and make extensive use of the many features of this arrangement, including:

Remote and other "physical" control of Cubase

Four pre-set audio groups (Bass/Keys/Drums/Guitar) of sounds going to preset group
channels in Cubase

In each project, I rely heavily on Motif arpeggios which I record to MIDI tracks, then
manipulated/edit/assign there. This is especially true of drums - - almost all of my drum
tracks have begun as Motif arpeggios. (and they're awesome!!)

I do not typically "render" or record MIDI tracks to audio - - everything stays as a MIDI track, right up to final mixdown. (this is my preference - -with jingles, we have to make many sudden changes/edits to things for a variety of reasons, and keeping things as MIDI tracks makes this more easy for me).

Regarding my transition:

I own 2 Cubase licenses, so I'll be able to become fluent in "Montage" with a separate laptop, so this won't interupt my daily work or deadlines.

Here are my questions:

1. Even though there isn't a VST Editor for Montage, it seems from the videos I can achieve the same process with Montage Connect, yes?

2. In the Cubase/Montage videos I've seen, you all record your sequenced Montage tracks as audio tracks into Cubase. I would prefer keeping them as MIDI tracks in Cubase, BUT with the ability to send those sounds into separate Cubase Group Channel tracks. Can I?

3. Can you give me a quick "sales pitch" on the ability to control Cubase (remote - - controlers - - Quick Controls - - etc) with Montage, or at least refer me to a video I haven't found?

4. Will projects, with mixers settings / patches - -all of that, save and load up as easily as they do on my current rig?

5. Can the Montage, via USB, deliver the same amount of audio + MIDI tracks as my current setup?

6. Anything else I should know?

I really appreciate it! Pete Radd
Responses (5)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Pete,

Welcome... we’ll try to give you straight answers to your questions...

1. Even though there isn't a VST Editor for Montage, it seems from the videos I can achieve the same process with Montage Connect, yes?
Yes. It runs as a VSTi plug-in and once setup can run completely in the background. It can be set to Auto Sync, which will automatically capture all your MONTAGE settings when you SAVE the Cubase Project; and it will automatically restore the Performance to the MONTAGE next time you open the Project.

2. In the Cubase/Montage videos I've seen, you all record your sequenced Montage tracks as audio tracks into Cubase. I would prefer keeping them as MIDI tracks in Cubase, BUT with the ability to send those sounds into separate Cubase Group Channel tracks. Can I?
Yes. There are many ways to work. You can design your own workflow. Much of the routing will be very familiar as mLAN/FW type flexibility has been moved over to MONTAGE... now via USB.

You’ll now have Dual Insertion Effects for all 16 Parts , plus the A/D Input Part at all times. You’ll have 32 bus audio Outputs, 3 Stereo bus Returns; if and when you do render Parts as audio. I must warn you there are some things you can setup with the Motion Control Engine that involve real-time audio input interacting with the Synthesizer engine and this kind of thing must be captured as audio (that maybe one of the reasons why you see so many videos focusing in on the audio routing capabilities) ... but feel free to work as you desire.

3. Can you give me a quick "sales pitch" on the ability to control Cubase (remote - - controlers - - Quick Controls - - etc) with Montage, or at least refer me to a video I haven't found?
Please see the following:

DAW Remote Feature

4. Will projects, with mixers settings / patches - -all of that, save and load up as easily as they do on my current rig?
Eventually! I say that because there is no way to quantify “as easily”... I did tons of tech support on Motif XS with FW and, yes, it did have nice tight integration. It does my heart good to hear you say that it was something you considered easily... many found it challenging, but good to hear!

Configuration should be straight ahead, the things you are used to will fall right into place. I want to say it will be even easier, but anything new has a “getting used to it” (learning) curve so “eventually” - after a few times working with it you’ll be right at home.
Getting used to working with MIDI in the MONTAGE is where the challenge will be. It offers some new wrinkles.

5. Anything else I should know?
Yes. As I mentioned MIDI is where the MONTAGE is very different from the Motif-series. The MONTAGE can and often does transmit on multiple MIDI channels simultaneously.

Cubase has a New Project > Recording Template > for MONTAGE multi channel recording... this will be very helpful.

This sets up both MIDI and Audio (you can use just the MIDI). But significantly, it sets up 17 MIDI Tracks. One for each MIDI channel, and one for System Exclusive messages. Each has been setup with the INPUT TRANSFORMER, such that each can only record the designated MIDI Channel and rejects all others, and allows your System Exclusive message to be isolated on a separate MIDI Track.

You’ll want this because the Super Knob is a macro controller that can be addressing several MIDI Channels simultaneously. It can be set to send Sysex. The SCENE (snapshot memory) recalls are also set to send Sysex. Think of these as “automation”... you’ll be able to isolate a MIDI track and also solo the “automation” along with it.

Example, in performing string orchestra sounds on the MONTAGE you may be playing different sections of that orchestra in separate Parts. First violins in Part 1, second violins in Part 2, violas in Part 3, cellos in Part 4, contrabasses in Part 5... 5 MIDI channels - as you move this macro controller you can be making certain sections louder while others get softer, and others do not change all simultaneously. You may want to solo the violas on Track 3, but you’ll also want to hear how they are responding to the Super Knob movement (Sysex) which is isolated on its own track.

It is these Multi Part Performances, that will present the challenge for you. Especially if you like to keep everything as MIDI. A lot of what they offer benefits greatly from using multiple MIDI channels. But the MONTAGE ‘swallowed’ the Motif XS, figuratively speaking... so you will find all of the sounds you are familiar with as Single Part programs. They are also compatible so you can convert your XS Libraries to MONTAGE. I think you’ll find it is entirely possible to work exactly as you do in the XS... One Instrument Part, one Track, one Channel.

We are also confident you’ll discover new ways to work as well. And because it is so quick and easy to render audio, you may find this enhances your workflow. Rendering a temporary audio is as quick as playing it back once... then keep the MIDI data in a muted folder. This will allow you to use the big Multi Part programs along with other sounds...

If you setup the MONTAGE as an “EXTERNAL INSTRUMENT” you can use the “FREEZE” function (like you would with soft synths) then you can just open another instance of the MONTAGE and have the ultimate level of undo (the original MIDI data). “Freeze” creates a temporary audio file, it mutes the MIDI tracks, and thus frees up your hardware for more MIDI.

Hope that helps.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Someone else can pick up the DAW nitty-gritty - I'm not best for that.

Montage transport controls are relatively new. Here's the article for those: https://www.yamahasynth.com/montage-category/montage-os-v2-5-using-the-new-daw-remote-feature-in-cubase

USB+MIDI is similar to the FW (firewire) setup of XS in the basics - the plug looks different and the underlying protocol is different - but the result is largely the same. Montage has more audio channels vs. your XS.

For audio: digital inputs to Montage mirror the digital inputs you saw on XS. No real difference there. The digital outputs from Montage are similar to how the XS worked. There is a pair that has the effects applied (Main L&R) like XS. Then there are a lot of isolated pairs which represent outputs with no effects applied (like XS). The difference is that Montage offers 16 more channels of digital outputs. XS offered 14 and Montage offers 30. Montage has 16 stereo capable PARTs - so all but one PART can have its own dedicated digital stereo pair (total PARTs 16 minus one PART = 15 , times 2 for stereo = 30 channels).

MIDI is "the same" as firewire. You have 3 ins and 3 outs like XS. Each Port should have a familiar layout/meaning as previous Yamaha generations.

Montage Connect doesn't replace a VST editor. It can save and recall setups - but cannot directly manipulate the settings like the previous generation editors could. Overall, there is less functionality - or, to put a positive spin on it - more "focused" functionality. If it works "the same" depends on how you were using the editor in your workflow.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
gRADDittude to the tag team of Bad Mister and Jason. :-)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 3
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
One minor point, the Motif XS had 16 FW Outputs as you know, the MONTAGE has 32 USB Outputs.
The XS had the Main L&R plus 14 Assignable FW Outputs which could be odd/even stereo pairs or individual mono outs as you required
The MONTAGE has the Main L&R plus 30 Assignable USBOutputs which can be setup in odd/even or individual mono outs as you require.

The XS all Parts assigned to the Main L&R could avail themselves of the System (Rev/Cho), the Master FX and the Master EQ. Any eight of Parts routed to the Assignable Outputs could recall their Dual Insertion Effects on the way out by FW
The MONTAGE All Parts assigned to the Main L&R can avail themselves of the System (Rev/Var), the Master FX and the Master EQ. All sixteen of the Parts can always access their Dual Insertion Effects.

If you BYPASS the System, Master FX and Master EQ, same as in the XS, the Main L&R simply becomes another odd/even stereo pair
capable of recalling its Dual Insertion Effect.

The MONTAGE features additionally a dedicated Dual Insertion Effect that is available for the A/D Input. The A/D Input Part can be routed to any of the 32 USB Bus Outputs.

Then there are a lot of isolated pairs which represent outputs with no effects applied (like XS).

Just wanted to straighten out the Effects allocation... dual Insertion Effects can definitely be applied to Parts assigned to any of the 32 bus Outputs.
Same as was true in the XS with its 16 bus Outputs!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Wow. I really appreciate the info, as always. :-)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 5
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