this forum shows lately mostly negativity towards Yamaha with the MONTAGE, where I find it to be mostly positive. this is the purpose of my post.
this is purely my own opinion.
I'm not affiliated with Yamaha in any way, and I'm not a fanboy either (I have keyboards from Korg, Nord and Roland as well).
1. the MONTAGE is one of the most powerful machines ever made. its the SOUND that counts. if you take ANY sound category (maybe except for Rhodes electric pianos, because the FM e. pianos are the best ever heard, and hammond organs which are sort of esoteric) the MONTAGE trumps let's say the Kronos, in any way, sound wise.
It has thousands of useful sounds. The Motif import (which is now complete) is just the icing on the cake.
Think about it - what other synth in the market allows such backwards compatibility PLUS a world of new sounds? nothing. can the Kronos import Triton? no. could the Roland Fantom G import Fantom? no. can the MONTAGE import Motif? yes! now EVEN performances. wonderful.
2. I saw people saying stuff like "shit update. I expected a new engine" or "why all other manufacturers push analog while Yamaha are pushing FM" and also "Yamaha AWM2 is over 20 years old.. improve your tech already!"
AWM2 as a name is just semantics. the AWM2 engine is nowhere near what was offered on the SY series for example.
for that purpose, Yamaha could've just named it AWM-X and than it will be fine, no?
this engine is so powerful - you could do anything with it, just like a virtual analog synth. except that your oscillators are samples! 8 parts in a performance, each part has 8 elements, each elements has its own LFOs and envelopes.
an analog "engine" would've been a nice to have, but nothing more, it wouldn't improve much on the MONTAGE.
why FM-X and no analog? Yamaha stood firm behind FM technology for many years. FM-X is NOT FS1R! its much better. to synthesize FM sounds on the MONTAGE is pure bliss. MONTAGE has tons of great FM performances which can't be heard anywhere else.
let's take the Korg Kronos for example. does it have an editor? did Korg make an editor for it? No.
you have the free PCG tools which hardly count as a Kronos editor.
fortunately for us, we have John Melas tools with a librarian just on the way.
3. "8 libraries are not enough" "only 2gb memory"
8 library areas are VAST. we never had the ability to load this amount of data -
more than 2000 PRESET performances, 640 USER performances, and 8 x 640 library performances? this is almost 8000 performances in the box!
now except the Kronos, which uses SSD, which other synth support more than 1GB of non volatile memory? the Nord Stage 3, which was just released - has now 2GB of non volatile ram.
Roland never had more than 2GB on board.
This kind of non-volatile memory is pretty expansive to manufacture.
The Kronos takes 2 minutes to load, 3 minutes if you load it with more heavy sounds.
I don't need terabytes of sampled data like NI Kontakt to have good sounds. I'd take MONTAGE sounds or even Motif sounds any day for playability over Kontakt libraries.
It's the SOUND DESIGN that matters. and with Yamaha we have the best sound design. the Kronos, unless you buy many expansive libraries, doesn't even come with a decent Clavinet sound.
4. "its not a workstation"
I think that the amount of people who sequence onboard (on a Motif, or on whatever) are just too small a percentage.
even back in the older Motif days, or the Triton days, I, and many studio owners never sequenced on board.
the MONTAGE is meant to be a players instrument and not a studio production machine. and I thank Yamaha for not bloating the machine with those features.
I understand you may not like it, if there was a workstation feature in the MONTAGE I wouldn't mind. but I rather Yamaha put their R&D elsewhere.
luckily, most of the users are not forum users. Yamaha should listen to users but should always separate the wheat from the chaff as there's too much noise and people complain about many irrelevant things.
the perfect synth will never be for anyone.
I thank Yamaha for manufacturing a quality unit like the MONTAGE and not giving me another bloated (in my opinion) "workstation" with features I never used and never will use.
Thanks for a great update!
and let me tell you this, if the future, a MONTAGE successor will happen and it won't fully backwards support the sounds I have today on the MONTAGE, I'll never sell it. it's wonderful.
Thanks for reading, and lets hear you ranting all over again in the comments.