It was quite interesting to see Yamahasynth.com was able to source an interview with a legacy sound designer Scott Plunkett who has also been involved in the programming of sounds for the Montage. While it was no doubt an interesting read regarding his career and history in sound designer and his experience of Montage as a sound design tool one can’t really help but think it was an article which perhaps leaned more towards the synthesis purists. Trouble is the purists are an elitist bunch mainly because they are typically in the minority.
There may be some at the Yamaha Montage offices that are unwavering in their belief that all of the information needed to familiarize and understand the Montage has already been posted to the forum in written tutorials as well as supplementary YouTube video series and so the responsibility of education falls on the shoulders of the consumer.
Whilst dedication and personal motivation is perhaps the only truly proven way one can master an ability there are however other methods to incentivise the initiation of these types of behaviours which can then motivate a wider target audience upon their journey of synthesis enlightenment which ultimately is the aim. With that in mind it would not be a huge stretch of the imagination to suggest someone as so obviously talented as Mr Plunkett shoot a series of perhaps 5 web videos (YouTube hosted) where he deconstructs 5 modern(ish) synth sounds (Popular chart songs modern, past and present) and then recreate them on the Montage in Cubase. Particular emphasis would be placed on
• Sound deconstruction
• Sound design
• Montage workflow
The information contained in these videos (which should be around 15 minutes each – could be longer if required) would potentially have the power to unlock the Montage from a sound design perspective that judging from the posts both here and on various forums has alluded many owners thus far. It would be particularly useful because it is indeed a very powerful synth that at present is woefully underutilized in the inexperienced hands of many. Fortunately, we have not traveled back in time to the dark days of the 1980’s when all programming information was stored on thick user manuals of the DX7’s era, in fact, we can quite easily record short videos tutorials demonstrating specific functionality cheaply and quickly.
Perhaps the team at Yamaha Montage could discuss such a video series as a toolset aimed at users interested in sound design that would benefit from visual learning (many of us do) as is a common, practical and a relatively inexpensive medium in 2017. Logistically as Scott is an employee of Yamaha (forgive if I am wrong) it could be argued that gaining access to him, should not be considered a major challenge and in the same vein perhaps production costs could be also be kept down?
Recently I read the long-awaited Sound on Sound magazine review of the Montage which pretty much said that the Montage whilst a good synth currently does not do convincing analog synth emulation (FM was good) and that for the price it lacks the versatility of its competitors, for example, the Korg Kronos 2. It would, therefore, be even more helpful to Montage owners (potential and current) if Yamaha could provide the aforementioned tutorials demonstrating the most efficient, with real-world examples of ways to use the synth within a sound design capacity.
Another question for the Yamaha Montage Team – will the Eventide / Rupert Neve software that is currently available on the high end mixing desks be available for purchase (for a reasonable price) to download on the Montage in the future? Apparently, there is sufficient DSP (according to forum sources) to run these high-end plugins and from a sound design perspective, they would very useful. Think Behringer and the inclusion of TC electronic quality effects in their recently released analog synths.
For those on the forum who make ambient and unique patches, to be clear I am asking Yamaha to create a video series with one of their experienced sound designers replicating modern and not so modern synth sounds e.g.
1. Synth sounds in the current charts (Diplo / Christine and the Queens etc)
2. Synth sounds that’s was a success in the charts in the last 5 years (Armand Van Holden etc.)
3. Synth sounds that’s was a success in the charts in the last 10 years (Prodigy, The Orb, Moby) etc)
What we will gain is a good fundamental working methodology of someone who understands the Montage intrinsically and importantly synthesis.
This is not the moment to say ‘I have no problem programing the Montage – if you just take the time to read the manual and practice it will open up for you and you will be able to program beautiful landscapes’. This is not an attack of the Montage this is a request for help aimed at the people who are able to provide it.