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  1. Bubba
  2. Vanity Monster
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Saturday, 08 July 2017
I’m new to synths (from before 2011).
Composer of many decades.
Do not play out, though I miss that energy the live stage offers. ;)

My questions are pre-purchase of Montage...And will be one question post to create this thread...And are open to any/all ex-Motif XF songwriters/vocalists who are considering why they should, or shouldn’t wait to see what that crazy company might do next. :D
(I fell into the hype of REFACE! briefly, before a purchase, so I’m trying to learn from what listening too close to Market/Industry Research Analysts can cause!) :o

I have been using KSM44a Shure’s and Senn's e965’s w/phantom power connected into A/D, set to line/stereo successfully with XF thru FW16e into Mac current OS running Cubase 9.
Question: can this be done or something similar on Montage.
Note: I did not use XF’s Sampler function for vocals, as I often found no more of the 16 available tracks for lead and several backup human voice.
I only ran vocals thru XF into Mac/Cubase. Vocal processing done in Cubase.

Thanks in advance.
Responses (4)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Assuming you power the MICs with something external as you must have had to do with the XF - this works.

Montage can route A/D inputs (stereo) to any pair of USB channels (15 pairs - 1&2 or 3&4 or 5&6 ... through 29&30) for audio processing in Cubase.

There are slight changes to add some possibilities of utilizing the A/D input for internal "effects" (side chain, envelope follower) - these are kind of additional "tools" (not something you were using before or mentioned wanting - but just tossing out there what new A/D features Montage brings to the table).

The basics of the input ports as unbalanced stereo pairs and being able to route to digital I/O to the PC are feature bullets which remain the same as the XF in terms of high-level capabilities.

Now the interface is USB and gives 15 stereo outputs vs. the XF's FireWire yielding 7 stereo outputs. I'm calling these outputs with respect to Montage. They would be audio inputs with respect to your DAW.

At one point FireWire was seen as more stable/robust for music use - but capabilities of USB (OS support, drivers, hardware, etc) have advanced enough for Yamaha to transfer over the digital interface to USB 2.0.

The A/D inputs on Montage can be toggled between MIC and Line settings as is the same flexibility as the XF.

One bonus of Montage is that formerly the gain knob was on the back panel of the XF. Montage has moved the gain knob to the front so you can real-time adjust the gain of the A/D inputs if needed.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Jason, I’ve read some of your posts both on this area and on Motif XF forum area, your time-in knowledge shows in your words, you’re good.

Sorry, I forgot to mention the MG102c mixer. It does a surprisingly good job with those condensers, but we’ve got auralex(foam) everywhere.

I’ve another question… This one might certainly be so simple as to exhibit my synth inexperience…
connecting the Motif XF > Montage > Mac/Cubase, how would I go about this safely? And I think I’ve read about the inability of the Montage to accept Motif songs that were created using song-mode, and the Montage does not allow my creating original arps? yes? Please pardon if I misunderstand what I’m trying to convey.

I bought into the marketing for the 40th Anniversary White XF, I’m sitting right behind it, from Sept ’14, Certainly no regrets as it’s a beauty, white, 88 key Flagship Motif XF, that I can create on without thinking about anything! Big Smile.
So anyway, I learned most of what I do from the black late 2011 XF.
I think both of these deserved the additional components of the Montage.

I think I’m nearing my answer to my original question.:)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The 40th Anniversary was not "hype". They took a great platform - already proven - and bundled quite a bit with the 40th Anniversary. I think you got a flash card and loads of content. I almost bit during that time myself. I liked the white and figured it would be an easy way to tell it's been "fully" updated (in terms of the 40th anniv. stuff) if I were ever to sell it down the line. So you got in on a great opportunity to bundle.

I wouldn't be too concerned about safety in hooking things up. It's going to be a matter of what function you want each board to serve. If you gig - I'm not sure what to say what to do about the size of board to get (Montage 8 vs 7 vs 6). If I was a studio/DAW/not-gigging user, then I would leave the Motif for the keys and perhaps get a Montage 6 (or 7) for the synth action and smaller footprint. Hooking up Motif to the Montage can allow to access all 16 PARTs by keyboard control at once - something you cannot do with the Montage alone without "going against the grain" and using a MIDI loopback cable or otherwise involve a computer in the middle of a loopback type scheme. ... in this scenario the two would be connected via 5-pin DIN MIDI. It would optional if you wanted both to be connected via. a digital interface back to the PC. I would just leave the Montage for that - but it depends on what you're trying to do. Mac does have aggregate ports - so you have more options on what to do without going "off broadway" with the driver setup.

With Montage connected to the Mac via USB you could access (MIDI target) Motif through Port 3.

One downside you may find is transport controls and lack of Port 2 (in Montage) for that facility. If this is a concern, then you may want to connect things up differently and leave Motif in control of the transport controls.

Montage does allow creating your own ARPs. As of an early firmware update this was enabled. Lack of a sequencer means you cannot edit them, on-board Montage, as fully as you could on the Motif series. For this, you'll need to involve a computer either as the starting point - or start with the Montage and save your work off to edit offline then re-load into Montage. Montage's form of editing an ARP is erasing the whole thing and starting over. Even with the sequencer - I found it faster to replay the ARP vs. editing in a sequencer. But my ARPs were not that complex in general - just playing one-line fast runs for aux instruments (harps, etc) I couldn't handle while playing main lines.

It's true there are some limits on what Montage can import and convert. Montage is compatible with Motif XF user arpeggios (.X3G), user voices (.X3V), and waveforms (.X3W). If you want to convert any combination of the two (ex: voices and waveforms) - then use the .X3A format so it contains arpeggios, voices, and waveform data. Motif XF Performance data is not converted.

Here's a rundown - it's just the first page from the search hit:

https://in.yamaha.com/en/products/music_production/synthesizers/montage/compatibility.html

There are hints behind the scenes that converting performances was some sort of stretch goal not yet realized and perhaps will come later. Keep in mind there are other non-stretch items that were "vaporware" type indications early-on that are still under development and not released yet. This is an exception to the general rule that leaks of features generally get released in a fairly timely manner. I would still take an approach that Montage will never offer more than it does now (which, btw, is very unlikely) and not pin hopes on any given feature materializing. This will turn new features into pleasant surprises and keep those features which never come from becoming a disappointment.

I strive to be accurate - but have no real inside scoop. As just another "outside the circle" keyboard player who happens to have purchased a Montage at some point.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Jason, your reply was most appreciated.
Yamaha, I don’t think realizes they need not try to compete with any other competitors as there are none, imho.
I passed on Kronos in ’11. I probably will still hang with Yamaha with this one. But if they resurrect the XF, then built it as before but with all the new Montage features, capacity - usb - motion control, both performers and songwriters would be happy customers.
I was hoping for that when I acquired the White 88. And yes it was a parrrtty back then quite a celebration. Big Smile!
I had made certain 2 one gig flash boards and most of the coupons they included found a home. Discounted coupons for John Melas, Karma, Chick, ...awesome party. But then, little did I know, only one year 4 months later XF would be discontinued … Montage intro’d at Namm ’16.
Party over.

Thanks for the compatibility page.

I’ll probably get a Montage, but I’m happy to know I trusted myself to keep both XF’s. Studio kept, dust covers, no kids anymore, and never travelled to shows, almost mint if not for the years, will make it easier to spend my last four shiny new quarters on a Montage8 (love those weighted keys)
Yamaha has yet to become as bad as songwriters royalties from streaming! :) Ascap seems to be spending their lives talking to Congress.

Jason, have yourself a safe and happy Saturday Night!

The grumpy old Curmudgeon’s out a here! (59)
If Yamaha Japan is listening, " We love ya’ll ! "
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
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