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  1. Benedetto
  2. Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Thursday, 14 January 2021
New Yamaha Synth products will be presented on January 20th and 21st
WEB LINK - YAMAHA NEW SYNTH
The successor of the Montage? A Reface 2? The successor of the MX?
Few considerations.
Obviously when there are synth news, it is always nice to think about your personal wish list, but in the end I think we need to remember that at the base of new releases there are two essential components to analyze: the market and technology.
Let's start with the market: considering the period (Covid) and the countless presence of excellent analog synths on all market segments (from the under 1000 euro range with Behringer and Korg in the foreground, up to Moog One, passing through Prophet babies and OBXs, which apparently will be two), I would exclude the presentation of an analog. Among other things, resuming development of this technology in this period in which slowdowns in supplies on a world scale are known would be crazy.
The second factor to consider is technology.
In the digital field, for now Yamaha has followed two paths: the first is that of using a generic DSP, not particularly powerful, capable of creating different types of synthesis and effects. Let's talk about Yamaha's proprietary DSP, the SSP2 heart of the Reface CS (analog modeling), and Reface DX (4-op FM), both known for their limited polyphony.
The second is that of the use of more powerful chips but with a semi-rigid structure: we are talking for example of the SWP70 which guarantees, for what we have seen, up to 128 + 64 independent voice channels with predefined synthesis + a programmable part dedicated to effects. As is known, the SWP70 synthesizes the 128 voices of polyphony (stereo) AWM2 + 64 FMX of the MODX or in double version the 128 + 128 voices of the Montage.
I believe that soon, with the hypothetical new firmware of Montage and Modx, we will have definitive confirmation of the impossibility of implementing new synthesis techniques with this chip which would be confirmed programmable only for the effects part (the only one that has had substantial innovations with firmware development).
The new Yamaha product could follow one of these two paths: take advantage of SWP70 which, with economies of scale, costs a few dollars and present a new low-end synth with the well-known FMX and AWM2 engines and tones similar to those of Montage and Modx.
On the contrary, the second path could be something that uses a new Yamaha chip and that could show us the path it wants to take in the coming years: in this regard, I believe that there is no alternative to the implementation of new synthesis techniques, from the super demand Virtual Analog (Roland teaches!), to switch between the much desired Physical Modeling and Wavetables.
A new model, let's say a hypothetical synth with 256 AWM3 - 8 Giga of Flash and 256 FMX2 voices would be an unforgivable owngoal.
We will see !!!
The countdown starts
Responses (19)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
For the curious, this information comes from the Yamaha Brand page for the NAMM replacement this year "Believe In Music". Under sessions are the following:

Sessions
New Yamaha Synth Product First Look
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
New Yamaha Synth Product Integration
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
New Yamaha Synth Product Playthrough
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
New Yamaha Synth Product
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM


Times are in EST.

These are the only "Sessions" currently listed - so you can see focus will be on some "new synth product".
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
This could be new Reface products, as well as a new colour Montage &/or MODX (blue?) along with the announcement of OS updates 4.0 for the Montage and 3.0 for the MODX...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
While we're speculating: I'm personally hoping to see a CS companion to the YC61 and CP88/73. :)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
This could be lots of stuff. I haven't necessarily seen the same leaks I've tended to see this late before a major announce. Empty space can be filled with anything.

"New Yamaha Synth Product Integration" makes me wonder if this is MIDI 2.0. The "prototypes" for this were based on Motif XF and Montage. If it was a new synth or rack then MIDI 2.0 would provide a neat way to "integrate" between two or more keyboards. That may mean a firmware refresh to make the other synths in the family "talk" to the new one (using the more advanced configuration features in MIDI 2.0).

There's not a whole lot of confidence behind any of that being correct.

Integration may mean into the studio like usually we see that term used. Normal software interoperability with Cubase and the like.

"First look" seems to infer that we haven't seen it before. So only updates to Montage/MODX doesn't seem like that's what this is all about. But that's soft ground too.

It will be interesting to see what's in store. Not too long before the reveal and I guess plenty of time for a shadow/outline of the product to get pushed out still if it is new gear.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
New hardware replacing Montage without a video teasing us all for at least a single week...?
Don't think so.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My guess is the update will be software based. If there was a hardware upgrade there are a lot of point for possible leaks being more 3rd parties are involved with hardware bring hardware to market. Software is internal process and a virtual NAMM makes keeping leaks under control much easier.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
MY GUESS!

There's definitely a new synth coming, of some significance.

There's been a bit of a bout of "final" vids for the MODX and Montage, freeing up everyone on staff to focus on promoting the new synth.

Above the MODX but sort of 'under' the Montage, despite probably being 3/4 of its price.

Pads and some sort of Sampler type facility for them and a step sequencer that runs across the pads, and another synth engine that's more like a VA with digital oscillators that can blend.

Maybe even the FM-X engine as an oscillator for the VA-type synth.

So four sound sources. FM-X, AWM, Sampler and a sort of somehow modelled-like VA with better envelopes for more traditional amplitude control.

Expect programmable and step/sequence like motion control but not SuperKnob, just a third mod wheel or ribbon that does pretty much the same thing as the SuperKnob in terms of being a super programmable mod controller.

And a much better touchscreen.

Also a workstation-like editor available on the touchscreen, that's seemingly arbitrary in its limitations and suffers significant and irritating workflow issues. Safer to think of it as an arranger than a sequencer.

More portable than a Montage, less so than a MODX.

Plastic body like with the MODX, but a bit better quality, but same keyboards as the MODX, so it doesn't devalue the USP of the Montage.

Uses the same two CPUs as in Montage, so the upgrades and extra sound engines will probably be able to be added to the Montage, but not to the MODX.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Instead of integrating VA or other tech into Montage/MODX - could be a dedicated unit to drive up add-on sales. The CS80 was floated on ideascale by Yamaha R&D - which is a possibility. Seems like the market already has CS80 remakes out there so this wouldn't be so revolutionary in terms of what customers could get - it would maybe just be done "better". I still don't have enough clues to have any confidence in what the announce would be.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Well, it appears that the joke is on all of us...

According to Yamaha, the "New Yamaha Synth Product" is the already introduced YC73/88...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I am aware of YC's BHE and NW longer keybeds. It, the YC announce, doesn't quite resonate as something requiring all of those sessions. And doesn't seem the kind of "new" suggested. I could be wrong, of course, but do not see the YC news as the "new synthesizer product". Although, technically, these two new YC offerings do fit that description.

.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My best guess is that there will be a full sized CS synth with MODX-like integration (DAW control, USB Audio+MIDI), including audio input for external processing. Hopefully related to the questions the R&D team did about a possible CS-80 inspired synth.

I personally don't think MODX/Montage or even Refaces will be replaced with newer versions, since the market for those is still going strong. Last christmas I was even considering a Reface CS, but settled on a SHS-500 as my first keytar.

But what I truly hope for is a brand new multi-color scheme for the MODX, in brand new bright colors: blue, white and green! :D (this is sarcasm)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
So looks like I’m probably okay to start pulling the plastic off my new Montage? Yamaha “booth” info is about new features of firmware 3.5.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Not sure what would have you not pull it off. OS 3.5 was release around 6/1/2020.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 13
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I took delivery of it Wednesday of last week. I ordered it before I saw all the speculation of a new model. If they launched a successor this week it was going to get returned.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Well, the veil has lifted. No new hardware - at least not from the "Believe In Music" sessions. The session names are now less secretive:

Yamaha YC-series: YC73/YC88 Overview
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: Audio/MIDI integration in a studio or livestream setting
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: Keyboards, Synths & more playthrough
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: VCM and FM Organ
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM


... so this is YC as other(s) have guessed.

Meanwhile Korg released a bag full of new synths. That's pretty common - Korg goes through hardware fast.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 15
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Well, the veil has lifted. No new hardware - at least not from the "Believe In Music" sessions. The session names are now less secretive:

Yamaha YC-series: YC73/YC88 Overview
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: Audio/MIDI integration in a studio or livestream setting
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: Keyboards, Synths & more playthrough
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Yamaha YC-series: VCM and FM Organ
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM


... so this is YC as other(s) have guessed.


Yup, the joke is on all of us...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 16
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
No joke really. Notice I try to stay measured in my expectations. The normal "tea leaves" were not there to declare any strong notions that new platforms or refresh to Montage were happening. I'm happy for no refresh to Montage. So it's not all bad.

And those who were saying YC is stagnant due to their perception of the firmware release schedule - more of a product line indicates more of a commitment to the YC line overall.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 17
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Disappointment... but oh well, that's a very Yamaha-like move. I remember when they hyped us up for a White version of the Montage :D
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 18
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
White version timeframe had a fairly significant firmware update too. I'm glad there's no Montage replacement - not that I thought that was ever very probable. Then again, I didn't think YC would be it - but it is. I'm sticking to the silver lining (for me, at least). Montage lives another day for possible platform updates.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 19
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