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  1. Bill
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. Monday, 09 January 2017
I said urgent because I just got the montage last week, my hype became depress already. :(

I am not able to understand this: No sound output on my Mac, neither headphone jack or Digital out to my expensive amplifier and Dynaudio C4 speakers that I used for my home A/V studio.

The only thing I can hear with Mac and Montage together is to set Montage USB driver as "OUTPUT", which drive me crazy.
Can a YAMAHA expert answer me, any defect on the machine or what's hindering me (or you) from doing so?

I downloaded all driver, updated montage os to the latest. Still no sound from Mac output. Don't know what's the problem?

Please don't just answer me I can use monitor headphone on Montage as only way, since that's not what I intended to use for.
I don't care about midi, or daw or whatever. in fact, I don't use it that way. Can't believe you guys don't let me set Montage as input, at the same time Mac audio as output?

Bad Mister, what's your solution for me?


Bill
Responses (15)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I don't have a Mac, but on the PC - if I wanted my computer to produce the sound output from the Yamaha, using the Montage's USB audio output (as an input to the PC) - I would go to the audio mixer, select the Montage, and turn the volume up. Without speakers connected to the Montage - I wouldn't have to worry about "muting" audio from the Montage itself (turning local monitoring off).

Make sure the volume slider is all the way up on the Montage.

On the Mac, I'm leveraging some other instructions:

APPLICATIONS > UTILITIES > AUDIO MIDI SETUP > under audio setup select the [Montage] as the audio output device: "use this device for sound output"


What's confusing is you seem to message that the Mac will never produce Montage sounds - but there's a part where you seem to say you can make the Mac+Montage sound - but aren't happy with the results you get. There isn't clarity in this case what you don't like.

Here's the bit I'm referencing:

The only thing I can hear with Mac and Montage together is to set Montage USB driver as "OUTPUT", which drive me crazy.


BM's environment is Mac based so he can chime in with more detail. Maybe other users can help too.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Bill wrote:

I said urgent because I just got the montage last week, my hype became depress already. :(

I am not able to understand this: No sound output on my Mac, neither headphone jack or Digital out to my expensive amplifier and Dynaudio C4 speakers that I used for my home A/V studio.

The only thing I can hear with Mac and Montage together is to set Montage USB driver as "OUTPUT", which drive me crazy.
Can a YAMAHA expert answer me, any defect on the machine or what's hindering me (or you) from doing so?

I downloaded all driver, updated montage os to the latest. Still no sound from Mac output. Don't know what's the problem?

Please don't just answer me I can use monitor headphone on Montage as only way, since that's not what I intended to use for.
I don't care about midi, or daw or whatever. in fact, I don't use it that way. Can't believe you guys don't let me set Montage as input, at the same time Mac audio as output?

Bad Mister, what's your solution for me?


Bill
Hi Bill,
The answer is a bit complex - but please take your time, you have some expensive equipment and you want to minimize any errors that cause damage. So guessing is not wise.... You can "know" what to do. to answer the question "Why I Can't Setup like this with Montage 8 and Mac?" - is answered, Because it does not work like that. Here's why: (And even if you don't want to work this way, it behooves you to understand what is going on and why it is designed the way it is... sound logical?)

In general, the Montage can be setup to play through any sound system capable of receiving audio directly from its analog L/R outputs (+6dB). Such devices would have LINE LEVEL Inputs jacks capable of handling the Montage outputs signal... Your computer does not have such inputs, and most likely neither does your A/V integrated amplifier. So what to do...?

Even when connecting the Montage to your computer via USB, you would do so in an instance where you are doing audio and MIDI recording. The Montage, in this type of setup, is your audio interface, which means the sound will still comes out of the main analog L/R outputs (of the Montage). The role of the audio interface will be to route audio into and back out of the computer. The audio interface sends signals to the speakers... so whether you use the Montage or some other external audio interface, it is the device that connects to the speakers (not the computer!!!!) The computer outputs the digital audio, and it is the audio interface that converts it into the analog signal that your speaker system wants to deal with.

Headphones and the sound system actually should be connected to the Montage, not the computer. This is when you are setting up to use the Montage in a studio-like situation (for recording, overdubbing and mixing down your performing). I do realize this is NOT what you want to do... but you must realize that is what MOST folks do... One more point on this type of setup:

The Yamaha Steinberg USB driver version 1.9.10 for Mac is a low latency ASIO (Audio Streaming Input-Output) driver, that takes over for the computer's built-in Audio system (which at best is designed for playing back audio, only) In general, the built-in computer audio system, on its own, is not capable of the meeting the timing requirements for recording, overdubbing, and mixdown that, you, as a musician, will require.

You don't really mention what your specific goal is in connecting to the computer. If it just so you can use your sound system - you don't need the computer for that.

The Mac computer, much like your A/V integrated amplifier, cannot really handle the direct LINE LEVEL (+6dB) output from a device like a Montage without some help (intermediate gear). Yamaha built the USB audio interface and MIDI interface capability into the keyboard. The computer requires some software to allow you to select and manipulate the routing of audio and MIDI through the setup.

Audio will be "returned" from the computer to the AUDIO INTERFACE (Montage) and then output from the analog audio jacks of the Main Montage L/R outputs. Not from the computer's built-in audio system outputs.
.
If you want to hear the Montage in headphones, simply connect them to the "Phones" jack on the back panel. Sorry, I know you expressly didn't want to hear that, but that is how that works.

In order to hear the Montage in optimum computer-based studio setup situation you must use an audio interface... this can be the Montage itself (using its main L/R output); or an external audio interface... in which case you would connect the sound system to its audio L/R outputs.

In both situations you are replacing the computer's own built-in audio with a low latency ASIO driver for an external device, and you are using a sound system that connects to the external audio interface's main L/R outputs. That's how it works.

These are the recommendations for setting up to record, overdub and mixdown music with a modern computer. An entire industry of devices (external interfaces each with their own 'driver') exist to help computers become professional recording devices. The computer's own built in audio system can have several 100ms between event and result. If you are hitting the spacebar to start playback, for example, a 200ms delay between hitting the spacebar and hearing music is hardly noticed. However, trying to play along with some music, with a 200ms delay between key-on and the resulting sound would make it impossible to play... thus the whole cottage industry of external hardware interfaces with their extremely low latency drivers!

Any delay of 20-30ms make performing almost impossible. Like a movie with the soundtrack slightly out of sync, its just not possible to play.

From the Owner's Manual:

Audio channels
"The audio signals of the MONTAGE can be output to the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks. When connecting to a computer, use the [USB TO HOST] terminal. In this case, up to 32 audio channels (16 stereo channels) are available when the sampling frequency is 44.1 kHz, and up to eight audio channels (four stereo channels) are available when the sampling frequency is between 44.1 kHz and 192kHz. The output-to-channel assignments are made as follows: [EDIT] > [Part Settings] > “Part Output” in the [General] display.

The audio signals of the MONTAGE can be input from the [USB TO HOST] terminal and the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks. Up to six channels (three stereo channels) of audio can be input to the [USB TO HOST] terminal. Set the output level in the Mixing display or the Performance edit display. The signals are output to the OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jack (two channels.) Also, up to two audio channels (one stereo channel) can be input to the A/D INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] jacks. The signal is sent to the A/D input part of the MONTAGE. For more details, see the Reference Manual PDF document."




What is your exact goal in connecting to your computer? Please don't tell me you want to use it as a conversion device for your A/V system... as explained that will not work because the computer does not have the appropriate INPUT jacks.

Some important DO's and DON'Ts:

_ Do NOT place the volume of the Montage all the way up!!! In spite of previous advice... Protect both your expensive Speakers and your ears. Raise the volume control slider, which is always subjective volume in the computer setup, to taste. It is always the comfortable listening volume control and hasn't NO bearing on what gets Input to the computer, at all.

_ Do NOT guess or make-up your own routing scenarios Mistakes can be expensive. You can always ask! Audio is easy when you know and follow certain rules. When you find yourself adapting cables to make a cable fit a jack, do so because you know that this will work. If you have a consumer level input available on the back panel of your home hifi's amplifier, just because you adapt the 1/4" to the RCA input does not make it a WISE thing to do. An input looking for a -10 input sensitivity is not going to be "happy" with you slamming it with a +6dB Output. It will simply be WRONG... In general, home high fidelity (A/V) gear does not have the type of input and padding necessary to take direct inputs from a synthesizer like the Montage. We don't know what you have but you can verify that with its Owner's Manual. Better SAFE than sorry.

_ Do ask before you leap In general, if you want to get the signal from the Montage into a home A/V type integrated amplifier you can get a small format mixer to act as the signal preparation for your amplifier. A small mixer designed to handle LINE LEVEL Input and output consumer level Output is well worth it. DO NOT JUST ADAPT the cables to fit...

A small format mixer that would be able to take the LINE LEVEL input from the Montage and output a consumer level Output is the Yamaha AG03
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks, Jason,

The Montage 8 is just very fancy and with good sound, therefore I bought to add to my AV system. For fun and some one visit my home I can let him play as a piano for example. I did say only with setting montage as audio output so I can hear audio from my mac and montage. With that I hear my mac's sound (youtube for example) and montage piano with the headphones connected to Montage. This whole thing drive me nut because I have all my HD audio on Mac and sent to D/A and then amplifier to speakers. Now with Montage connect with usb to MAC doesn't work. I simply not able to agree the theory behind it, in short, YOU HAVE TO SET MONTAGE AS INPUT AND ALSO OUTPUT DEVICE. At least in my case with MAC. Totally not understandable.

Jason, according to what you said. Does it work with PC's audio output while using Montage as audio input? Please tell me more. I am interested in what you said because mac can bootcamo into PC. If that works, I will try, mainly because I have my A/V system integrated digitally. I do want a workable solution.

Thanks again.
Bill





Jason wrote:

I don't have a Mac, but on the PC - if I wanted my computer to produce the sound output from the Yamaha, using the Montage's USB audio output (as an input to the PC) - I would go to the audio mixer, select the Montage, and turn the volume up. Without speakers connected to the Montage - I wouldn't have to worry about "muting" audio from the Montage itself (turning local monitoring off).

Make sure the volume slider is all the way up on the Montage.

On the Mac, I'm leveraging some other instructions:

APPLICATIONS > UTILITIES > AUDIO MIDI SETUP > under audio setup select the [Montage] as the audio output device: "use this device for sound output"


What's confusing is you seem to message that the Mac will never produce Montage sounds - but there's a part where you seem to say you can make the Mac+Montage sound - but aren't happy with the results you get. There isn't clarity in this case what you don't like.

Here's the bit I'm referencing:

The only thing I can hear with Mac and Montage together is to set Montage USB driver as "OUTPUT", which drive me crazy.


BM's environment is Mac based so he can chime in with more detail. Maybe other users can help too.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
BM,

I think now you know what happen to my set up and why I don't understand why I can't.
I know you said "latency" means important part as music production. But I do not agree you can't let my setup work when I am not using it as music production.
We have USB TO HOST, and USB DEVICE ports on Montage, both not able to make it work? I read from Montage Q&A, if I want digital output, I can use USB audio, what kind of device I can use? I don't see your AG03 has digital out. With that said, can I use the USB DEVICE port to connect to my MAC instead?

Thanks,
Bill
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
HI BM,

This was from the official FAQ.

-----
MONTAGE has Digital Output?

MONTAGE does not have Optical/Coaxial digital out, but MONTAGE has USB Audio. You can use digital out via USB Audio.
-----

Do you know how this can be done?

Thanks,
Bill
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
BM's advice about not cranking the volume slider all the way up is good. The more correct direction (from me, in my original response) would have been - make sure the volume slider isn't all the way down. Since it sets the volume - and you could be muting the part unknowingly. For me, "all the way up" (for the volume slider) is at the 50% mark so I have headroom in both directions.

Given what you say about the usage model of the Montage - maybe you do need to limit the gain on your Mac input (lower the "recording level";) so guests can't blow out your speakers if full blast (Montage slider all the way up) would really do that. This is another consideration entirely, not really the crux of your thread. Back to the main topic ...

If I want to hear the USB audio on my PC - first I unplug my studio monitors from the Main Outputs as, for me, the easy way to stop sound from coming out those speakers.

I "always" have the Montage as USB MIDI output and a USB 2.0 cable between my PC and the Montage's host USB port.

I go to the PC and config the audio - Right click on the speaker, select recording devices, pick the Montage "Line" device - select the "Listen" tab, make sure the check box for "Listen to this device" is checked, make sure "Playback through this device" is my PC's internal soundcard (although if I had a high quality DAC, I would pick that instead). Now when I play the Montage, it sounds out my laptop speakers.

There's noticeable latency - so it's a horrible setup for anything I would do. But perhaps Mac does a better job or you're OK with the latency introduced over USB.

I recognize the above is PC-centric, but maybe there can be parallels drawn.

Speaking of parallels ... if you did really use a virtual windows machine inside OSX - then your latency is going to be fairly horrible jumping through all those hoops. You'll dial up the keyboard player's frustration a few more notches - which may be part of what you're going for.

There's different ways to do this - but I'll trust your decision of using USB vs. the alternatives.

Since my goal is to enjoy playing the keyboard - I would put all my fancy audio equipment on the back end of Montage instead of the Mac. The Montage itself is already fancy "HD" equipment in its own right - so I have the Montage playing my PC sounds rather than the other way around. I'm more OK with the latency of the PC beeps and buzzes and other sounds.

However, I do understand you have a different focus - so hopefully this helps you achieve your goal.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Quick update now I have my keyboard back online - the main volume slider does not affect the USB volume. The set of 8 sliders (PART/Element/operator) do affect the USB volume.

Overall USB volume is set with the boost (negative, zero, or positive) +12dB as max boost - and also by setting the Master volume ("Mst";) in the mixer (which is not the same as the master volume slider).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks for the reply.

Using Boot Camp, I made my mac become a PC (a hardware level real PC not emulated or virtualized). After downloaded the Steinberger USB driver, Windows allowed it work in a way that montage as input and on board digital out as output. But the result is not optimal. I don't know how to describe it entirely since I still am not aware totally if I miss something. Yes, I feel the latency, the youtube playing and my key press not in sync. But more of a problem is that with my Montage 8, the higher 20 keys of the 88 are not audible (muted), and the key sensitivity changed in a fashion I may call it "retarded", the key attack is gone. The result so far with windows not meet with my standard as an audiophile. :( Do you have the issue that I encountered? Are you satisfied with the way you setup with PC?


Bill
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I do not perceive any difference with the attack - but the latency does disassociate the attack with the keypress - so maybe that's more the issue.

II don't have an 88 key plugged in (76 is my main board) - but I do press octave+ 3 times to cover the extended range of notes and they all play out my laptop speakers. Make sure you're auditioning a performance that covers the full range of the keyboard. A drum kit will not, for instance. You can check if there's anything wrong with USB itself by plugging in the earphones straight into the Montage to see if you can hear the same audio response - or a different one. If the silent notes match USB - then the problem isn't with that USB/MAC audio path. For the earphones, the main slider does certainly set the volume. Also, "Direct Monitor" should be set to ON (Utility->Audio I/O menu).

As I mentioned before, I would never use this configuration (Montage as input to PC - PC producing Montage from Mac soundcard audio output) due to the latency and also because my laptop speakers are no match to the studio monitors I have connected directly to the Montage with a balanced connection. Therefore, my configuration routes the PC audio out to the Montage for the Montage to "play" out the studio monitors which are connected to Montage's OUTPUT L/R jacks. There is still latency, but the latency is between the computer sounds (as you say - videos, etc) and the Montage. As long as you mute all sound except for the sound directed to the Montage (in this config) - then you will not really know there is any latency and your Montage playing will naturally (automatically) sync up with the PC sound output which is routed out your Montage Main L/R.

I'm only guiding you here because you have stated not being happy with the results taking the path you originally intended.

However, I believe you see the general audio routing you were asking for does work - with the latency drawback.

You can adjust latency somewhat by changing the driver's buffer size. From windows:

1) Mouse to lower-left corner and click on the windows icon.
2) Type "yamaha" (without quotes) - this should present you with "Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver" - click on this
3) Tab over to the "ASIO" tab. Device should be selected as "MONTAGE". Change the buffer size to the lowest value.
Note: for me, I have this already as my setup and still the latency is too high for real-time playing.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 9
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Let me put it in simpler terms.... it is not recommended, at all, to use your computer as a conversion device for digital audio as you are attempting. The Montage, like most pro gear, seeks a way to avoid using the computer's internal audio card and audio output. Completely avoid using it.

You can either setup the Montage as your audio soundcard (in which case you need to connect the sound system to the Montage audio outputs) or you can use an external audio interface (in which case you need to connect the sound system to that audio interface).

You cannot satisfactorily use you computer and its built-in audio system to work for the Montage. It simply is not designed for it.

If you wish to play the sound of the Montage through your speakers, (which I believe is your ultimate goal) you need to connect the analog audio outputs of the Montage to the amplifier responsible for powering the speakers. The Montage is not designed to send digital audio into a computer to come through your computer's built-in audio system. (It is trying to avoid that system altogether).

It is designed, however, to go through a device like a small format mixer which, if it has consumer level audio outputs (-10), you could possibly connect to your A/V amp... in this instance a small format mixer is the right tool, your computer is expressly the wrong tool... for what you wish to do.

I explained to you how it was designed to work, so you would possibly understand WHY your proposed method IS NOT GOING TO WORK.
Perhaps you still believe otherwise, but at least now you have an explanation of why it's not recommended, and you'll decide either to change your connections or just listen in headphones, instead.

But the computer is the wrong device in this instance to take incoming digital USB audio and route it to your computer's soundcard output. That will not work in a satisfactory manner, period.
If you wish to use digital USB audio, once the audio leaves the Montage, the audio travels out of the computer still digital, and is returned either to the Montage via the same USB for D-to-A conversion, or Out via USB to an external audio interface for D-to-A conversion.
Again, it is the device doing the D-to-A conversion that connects to the sound system!

The input options on your A/V equipment are down now to just analog inputs, probably RCA (consumer -10) inputs. The AG03 has -10 RCA audio Monitor outputs in addition to its other output options...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks, Jason and BM,

Last night, I finally make it work for me..

It's beyond my expectation that I have got so much from you guys' help in this forum. There are still at one point in the signal routs not fully meeting HD audio requirement from my point of view. :) Because, with BM's theory Analog signal has to be in a section of the rout. Which now I understand and that's why I make it work. But just with that section (analog signal), why not able to be digital in real time playback along with Montage and monitoring? think possible?

As an audiophile, I have my home AV studio all digitalized. I'd say none of those monitor speakers on the market attached to Montage 8 (in Guitar center, or even at NAMM show) can generate good enough sound to my ear, except B&W 802 diamond, and this Dynaudio C4. I have both. These are expensive and so as my amplifiers from Macintosh and Pass Labs. In fact if I bough any of those monitor speakers, it makes my sound system look awkward.

I have system with volume control all digitalized. I didn't dig too much into Montage synthesizer before I bought the Montage 8. I realize BM's point and Jason's explanation. Luckily in my bed room I have Tascam UH7000 USB preamp, I was only using as headphone preamp. Now with it, it solve my problem. This preamp has very low noise level at -120db, and has a superb A/D chips and variety input/output options . The signal feed to my speakers is awesome! I am satisfied now. But only pondering one thing.

Down to here. Need BM again. :) . Forget about mine using mac problem. Isn't it possible that in the R&D time for the Montage or its future models, a digital audio out jacks solve all my question in once?


Bill
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Digital out ports create a problem for the manufacturers in the sense that it provides another tool for dumping the original audio recordings for presets and 3rd party libraries.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Intellectual Properties wise?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 13
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Down to here. Need BM again. :) . Forget about mine using mac problem. Isn't it possible that in the R&D time for the Montage or its future models, a digital audio out jacks solve all my question in once?
There is no problem having an all digital audiophile system. All power to you! But it is a problem when you start to think that more than few people have your particular requirement. They don't.

The digital (USB) output on Montage is for recording. The analog output, btw, is nothing to be sneezed at, I think even the best audio ears on the planet can even recognize this, in fact, almost anyone can. The USB output scheme is 32 audio channels.... a simple coaxial /optical (stereo) output for a very niche, within a niche market, is not there. Previous synths have had it, after market research showed it was very seldom used.

Certainly not out of fear of someone dumping the data (that's a bit paranoid), certainly not out of fear of intellectual property loss, but simply to keep the feature set within a target price zone. Perhaps in a world where price is no object you could have every output option available, until then, we have to stick with those most often used.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi BM,

Thank you, your thoroughly reply to this forum is beyond my expectation.
I don't regret to own my Montage 8.

Bill
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 15
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