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  1. lars
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. Friday, 01 April 2016
“The Motif introduced keyboard players to arpeggiator patterns that added realism and musical interest to sequences and live performances. Yamaha called this approach ´Phrase Factory´, and it gave the Motif an edge over workstations whose sequencers worked in linear, tape machine fashion.”
------Keyboard Magazine

dear yamaha synth people,
by not allowing montage users to tweak stock arps WITHIN the keyboard and save them into a user location, you cut the bough you are sitting on. 10,000 arps and no way to modify them? gimme a break. whose crazy idea was that?
Responses (39)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
As far as I understood- Yamaha / BM correct me if I am wrong- there is currently not even the possibility to create a user arp OUTSIDE of the keyboard. You would have to buy a Motif or MOXF for that, the Melas software can't do arps as far as I know.

I find that a strange design decision. Hope it will be corrected. Shouldn't arp editing be somehow part of the motion sequencer?

Not about negativity, I think overall the Montage concept is quite cool and interesting, despite some limitations (1.75 GB user flash is really not much in 2016! But anyway...)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
That's a real bummer if it is true that you can't edit arpeggios on a Montage. 1.75 GB user flash is not bad though IMHO.
  1. more than a month ago
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well, atleast there are 128 free memmorie locations for user arps..

But, i allways tought that the high end synths where supposed to be a source of inspiration, innovation and creativity... so in my book there is something missing, i hope Yamaha realises this soon and adds utilities to create user arps, and save more of them then 256...
  1. more than a month ago
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Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Falk wrote:

As far as I understood- Yamaha / BM correct me if I am wrong- there is currently not even the possibility to create a user arp OUTSIDE of the keyboard. You would have to buy a Motif or MOXF for that, the Melas software can't do arps as far as I know.

I find that a strange design decision. Hope it will be corrected. Shouldn't arp editing be somehow part of the motion sequencer?

Not about negativity, I think overall the Montage concept is quite cool and interesting, despite some limitations (1.75 GB user flash is really not much in 2016! But anyway...)
Shouldn't Arp editing be somehow part of the Motion Sequencer? Actually No, not at all. They are two very separate things.

What possibilities become available in the future is "future stuff" and that's best left for official announcements. Official announcements exist for a reason, and those reasons are not always appreciated, (although they should be).

It was fairly obvious in the past 15 years that arp creation was not as big a feature as those in this thread are making it. Probably why they didn't burden the internal system with that task. You must be the only ones who filled all 256 user locations. Well, if you are one of those people who have, then you know it only takes 2 seconds to load a new batch. And if you're going to tell me you need more than 256 loaded in at a time, then I'm going to suggest you make your music sets a little shorter and less busy :)

I know I shouldn't be kidding, you are all so serious about this point... But c'mon "why so serious"? (Forgive my attempts at humor.)

All of the utilities and supporting items for Montage have not been announced quite yet, so perhaps you don't see the "complete picture" quite yet. I'm just saying: Just allow for that possibility. And if arpeggios is a deal breaker for you at this time, then I suggest you wait until it is solved to your "best-guess" on how you think you'll need to work with this thing you have not even seen yet. You should buy the Montage because you like its sound, and its capability to make your music and to match your lifestyle. If the changes from Motif XF are not what you can bear - that's easy, stay with the Motif XF - it will continue to have the feature set that fits your lifestyle. Leave Montage for those who find it compelling. And if and when the features you require appear, join those who, no doubt, will already be enjoying Montage. Best I can give you at this point.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
BM you're probably right that creating user arps is something you don't do every day. With my MOXF I created only a few in the last 2 years or so. So for me 256 would be good. But it just doesn't "feel" right to have the limitation of 256 non-editable "user" arps in a pro instrument.

Speaking about humour, I have a question for you: some time ago, in another forum, a person (who is not over there anymore) was elaborating on the difference between the "Tyros" and the "Motif" buyer, and said something like "even if you have 8000+ preset arps, the Motif buyer will start asking for doing his own custom arps". You know who that person was? :-) :-)

So you knew what would happen, obviously developers in Japan didn't, please advise them :-)

Apart from that, your conclusion to wait for some time and see how things develop sounds reasonable.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
oh shush, will you, phil. don't insult our intelligence by spreading silly marketing lingo. please be honest. in the past motif customers had zero reasons to create user arps because they rightly preferred to use the onboard pattern sequencer for that kind of ableton-like clip production purpose. now with the montage BOTH pattern creation AND user arp tweaking are gone! what were you thinking, for god´s sake? yamaha wants 3,000 euros for that workflow mess pita? laughable. for comparison: in order to use the cheap roland jd-xi which comes with no sd card slot, one ALWAYS has to run a laptop in conjunction with it, otherwise every jd-xi pattern would be lost after switching off power. with the montage--a high-end product--it basically will be the same. it´s crazy. without external processing and reworking the board is useless. in case you missed it, phil: there is one kylie minogue album that was entirely produced and recorded on a triton studio. i know a guy in the business who still record whole songs on his fantom g. yamaha seems to have little or no understanding of their target audience. you said you created and designed online surveys and polls. for your information: survey participants are often purely driven by the desire to make engineers change specs. they want future products to be DIFFERENT. my guess is that motif users who liked the onboard sequencer did not take part in your survey because they were happy customers. let´s face it: you achieved nothing with your surveys. when montage was announced i was thrilled. i wanted to purchase one immediately. but without basic funcitionality (copying chorus measures within a track, for example) this thing has nothing to offer, workflow-wise. sad. epic fail.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Bad Mister wrote:
You should buy the Montage because you like its sound, and its capability to make your music and to match your lifestyle. If the changes from Motif XF are not what you can bear - that's easy, stay with the Motif XF

Agree 100% BM. Often, it is not the range of features that make great music. It is the LACK of features that forces musicians to apply their ingenuity and work within the limitations.
Did Beethoven complain about the limitations of the 6 octave Broadwood piano he used... a piano quite crappy by today's standards, and absolutely not up to the features level of even a 1970's synthesizer? No, he didn't complain, he knuckled down & made great music with what he had, & did NOT blame his instruments (even though he knew that they could be improved in the future).
Likewise, we should not blame our instruments for our own inadequacies. Some of us are professionals... OK, we have access to many fine keyboards & other paraphernalia to cover a universe of possibilities. Most of us are amateurs and only in it for personal pleasure & that of a few friends. In both cases we must not blame our lack of imagination on Yamaha.
From everything I've seen & heard so far I will be buying a Montage 7 the day it comes out and won't look back hankering for something else. I'll happily use the Montage 7 to the day I die and never ask if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. :)
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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we must not blame our lack of imagination on Yamaha.

oh boy, some company troll already going into damage control mode, posting dumb shit that offends us, the loyal customers. “our lack of imagination”? “OUR”?? :D man, stop distracting attention from the fact that it is the yamaha corporation that lacks imagination when it comes to workflow regarding the montage! being able to tweak arps would have been at least some kind of workaround to sequence. remember: as parent company of steinberg yamaha wants us to purchase a full-blown cubase version later also. that is probably the reason why they left out a sequencer worthy of the name in montage. a $3,000 motif successor that can´t be used standalone is a bad joke. the montage is basically a jupiter 80 which sounds great, too, but was heavily and rightfully criticized by countless commentators at gearslutz and roland clan for – amongst other things – not including an on-board sequencer. yamaha apparently didn´t learn from roland´s mistakes. fact is they screwed up big time and should be ashamed of themselves imho.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
"some company troll already going into damage control mode"

And what is your mode called? Is this your Performance mode?

"but was heavily and rightfully criticized by countless commentators"

Listetning to complaints only is not even close to a proper market research

"fact is they screwed up big time"

No, that's an opinion. You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own facts.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 9
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oh dear, another submissive fanboy /facepalm
how was dinner at the sheltered housing group?
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
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lars wrote:

oh dear, another submissive fanboy /facepalm
how was dinner at the sheltered housing group?

I know it takes all kinds, but your adhom angst is becoming tiresome.
If you aren't here to teach or to learn, or generally be good company, you'd do better to go & design a better synth than the Montage. Slagging off Yamaha (or Roland, Casio, Korg, Nord, or any other company) and calling forum members "troll" & "submissive fanboy" wastes the time that your great intellect could use re-programming the Montage arpeggiator function in machine code to do what you're demanding Yamaha should have done.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
So, you can not write your own ARP?? That is pure nonsense. It is disappointing. I hope still it will be corrected but, sadly,
We know all that engineers and designers are not free, the hierarchies up to them is more focus on economics than on ergonomics, that is our world. Shareholders have more power than consumers, except boycott.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 12
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natalini wrote:

So, you can not write your own ARP?? That is pure nonsense. It is disappointing. I hope still it will be corrected but, sadly,
We know all that engineers and designers are not free, the hierarchies up to them is more focus on economics than on ergonomics, that is our world. Shareholders have more power than consumers, except boycott.


Have you ever used a MONTAGE that you're calling it pure nonsense? Let's no judge something which is not out yet. If Cubase's Arpeggiation system is superior to MOTIF XF's I would rather use Cubase! I bet you can't create them faster and better in any MOTIF compared to Cubase and there wont be any limits on how many ARPs you want in Cubase...
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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So, you need a computer plus cubase with a 4000 euro synth, for just be able to make your own ARP ! No comment!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 14
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If I stick with this already seeming damned machine. They better have tutorials set up and ready to go in regards to every important concern. I'm saying if I have a question or want to be shown something, I best be having an easy time getting to the tutorial I need and that tutorial should be there when the Montage arrives. I do not want to wait to learn something, because they took away something else that everyone loves and uses, and knows. It seems to me that Yamaha created this product, so people will upgrade and spend money on the full version of Cubase, which they want to have become the norm, because selling software once it is complete, is money in the bank. That's a lot more money in their pockets, I don't think you need my masters degree in business, to understand that. If yamaha simply equipped the Montage with an onbaord sequencer, I know they would sell so many more units, maybe a tad more expensive, but who cares at the price its at anyway. But instead they are banking on people's purchases of Cubase 8 upgrade over time, being $299, which its manufacturer is Steinberg, owned by Yamaha. I think I should just get hired so I can fill them in on the potential here: A Yamaha montage, with an onboard sequencer (seems so simple and right), equals the king, maybe, of synths. It cuts out the primary complaint of motif owners, which it is clear yamaha didn't take that into consideration at all, and I get the feeling they are aware of this. Instead they keep an arpeggiater, a tool I not once touched with my motif ES, and I made awesome, kind of mesmerizing actually, beats and songs easily with the sequencer. Bottom line, without the onboard sequencer, everyone is forced to use a DAW. When a company is able to guide the masses, they make a lot more money by virtue. Who wants a stripped down version of cubase? I mean we all just bought the most powerful "stage piano" ever. This results in upgrading to full version of Cubase. Because we already spent a few thousand dollars, what does it matter to upgrade for $299. I think anyone who does not agree that yamaha would truly sell more units with an onboard sequencer, is part of the movement of the Yamaha wool being pulled down over our eyes. The sequencer does not need to be effected with all of the bells and whistles of the Montage precisely, it just needs to be there, if they want to actually appeal to customers using their previous products. I mean they pretty much guarantee that motif owners will love the Montage. Maybe if the Montage came with a spot in a, hands on class locally, then I would be more open to learning and looking beyond a simple, but key piece of the motif series. (Seems that this could be a great business idea) Anyway, since it does not have this, one honestly could slap a completely random brand name on this and advertise it as a whole new synth, which would not have any connection to motif. But, no they indeed create a tie between the motif and the montage to get gullible and less knowledgeable, but still smart and striving to create awesome music, people like me to buy into it. I'm thinking I'm going to opt out. . .but then I won't have the "most powerful synth ever", which has been claimed every year when any new synth from any company comes out and my music won't compare to that of the Montage owners. We just all have to remember that, no music we hear now or have heard in the past was created by a montage. I'm not taking shots at anyone kindly helping people on here, more so just can't believe the guys in Japan. It's just ludicrous. I can't take it though any more. Writing all this shit. Not being a workstation, just has put a lid on the fire of anticipation and leaves many people in a shitty forced situation, if they choose to walk the path of a machine that can't create on its own. I wish it was that easy to say ok screw the Montage I'm just going to get this kind of older unit, that has a sequencer, but will be replaced by something better by next year or even six months maybe. Geeeeeeeeeezeee. If I have any more thoughts and questions it will be because I decided to try it out. No more complaints from me. It is just to much to have your hopes and anticipation of the successor of the motif squashed. Thanks. One last thing, it turns out that not just the people were mislead but also larger audio/music companies were to. This was written in January, I won't name the company, but look this. It is infused with misleading and false information. Especially the end.
The title of this article states yamaha had arrived with its new flagship "WORKSTATION". I guess it's one of the only "workstations" that doesnt have an onboard pattern/track record. Anyway here is the article, pay attention to the end.

Yamaha corporation has been breaking boundaries in music technology since it was founded in Japan more than a century ago. Though it originated as a piano and organ maker, in 1887, the company has since branched out into many avenues of manufacturing, developing products as diverse as motorcycles, sporting goods, and industrial robots, to name a few. However, despite its expansion into other markets, Yamaha has always kept its eye on the musical prize, consistently delivering innovative products such as the groundbreaking DX series FM synthesizers, and highly influential Motif workstation keyboards.

Building on the legacy of these two iconic keyboards, Yamaha has just announced its new flagship workstation synthesizer at the 2016 NAMM show: the Montage. Combining elements of the DX and the Motif, the Montage employs the powerful Motion Control Synthesis Engine, which comprises two sound engines in one: the AWM2 (synthesis and sample based sounds) and FM‐X (Frequency Modulation synthesis.)

Powered by proprietary Yamaha technology for data compression and playback, the AWM2 engine provides realistic sound reproduction and features nearly 10 times the waveform capacity of the Motif XF. This means that the Montage allows for far more samples per instrument than the XF, and thus a far more nuanced sound. The FM‐X engine is capable of producing everything from classic ’80s FM-based basses and bells, to harsh, cutting-edge modern EDM type sounds. It features 8‐operator FM architecture and 128‐note polyphony, allowing for a massive array of sound-design options.



Like the Motif, the Montage features 16-part multi-timbral operation, but it comes with a full range of all-new sounds, like the Yamaha CFX Premium Grand Piano, detailed new strings and woodwinds, and select content from the DX and TX family, all modernized to take advantage of the Motion Control Synthesis Engine. Also, Montage is directly compatible with Motif ES/XS/XF Voices, allowing you to transfer your favorite presets and get all of your sounds together in one place.

The Montage comes in three 61-, 76-, and 88-key configurations. The Montage 6 and Montage 7 feature premium FSX semi‐weighted synthesizer action with aftertouch, while the Montage 8 features fully weighted keys with balanced hammer action and aftertouch. Other notable features include a large color touch screen, a “Super Knob” control that can control multiple parameters simultaneously, dual insert FX for all 16 parts, powerful pattern sequencer, and an arpeggiator that allows up to 8 arpeggio parts at once.

Jan, if your reading. You've made some pretty bitchy comments to people, including me. But maybe this type of crap, might be why some of us thought it was an actual workstation and came with an onboard pattern sequencer, thus purchasing the product. Alrighty then, until I decide I'll be non existent in this board. Thanks for everyone's help.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 15
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I have a feeling, besides the Yamaha consumer research that we were never surveyed concerning whether true or not, that some serious DSP/power consuming processes due to the ONE-performance mode design would have been a huge hurdle for a hardware synth to overcome. It's not there because it was too much to handle without significant design delays, considerable cost increases etc. or cuts in other areas of the conceptual design. I still wonder about the additional sounds engines implied in the menu by "dot, dot, dot". You'd have to have a removable panel or service tech install new circuit board such as AN, VL etc. to achieve such an upgrade. I wonder does Montage have internal expansion bays. If not, then engine upgrades would mean buying the Montage XS. Anyone care to pop the top and find out? They might not want us to know so of course you'll have the threat of voiding the warranty. I repair these things in my sleep so I might take mine apart soon.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 16
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Dear Ryan,

Of course I'm reading.

"f I stick with this already seeming damned machine. They better have tutorials set up and ready to go in regards to every important concern. I'm saying if I have a question or want to be shown something [...]"

I gotta hand it to you: that is one hilarious ultimatum.

A couple of FYIs:
1. my "bitchy" (as you put it) comments were directed at people with clear attitude problems, which even BM noticed. For instance, there was that gentleman that was getting all frustrated about a product that he doesn't have. I tried to explain to him that there's no point to it and that I had my own doubts about the Montage as well, but perhaps the Montage was not a synth for me. He drew the least possible conclusion and proceeded with his attitude so then I created that diagram for him.
2. your "I bought the Montage 8 for $3199" thingy didn't work for two reasons:
2.1. I haven't visited that thread until today after reading your "complaint" here, and you've already edited it out - I only saw that because it still remains quoted in other's posts. You did manage to fool a couple of by-standers though, kudos to you.
2.2. $4000 vs $3199 makes absolutely no difference in "spend ${fair_amount_of_money} because of one totally vague sentence ("if you owned a motif you will love the Montage";) and without carefully studying the specifications". Money is not an issue for me either. I just don't spend it on things I don't need.
3. Calling me "a jerk" (which you did in the "SEQUNECER" thread) or using the word "bitchy" pretty much defeats the point of you complaining about my posts. In other words, if you want to criticize one's behavior - yours should be at least a bit better.

"But maybe this type of crap, might be why some of us thought it was an actual workstation and came with an onboard pattern sequencer"

OMG. READ. THE. SPECS.

Yamaha will still sell tons of Montage. Because of its FM-X engine, Motion Seqs and THE modulation matrix. Not because of one vague sentence.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 17
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david wrote:

I have a feeling, besides the Yamaha consumer research that we were never surveyed concerning whether true or not, that some serious DSP/power consuming processes due to the ONE-performance mode design would have been a huge hurdle for a hardware synth to overcome. It's not there because it was too much to handle without significant design delays, considerable cost increases etc. or cuts in other areas of the conceptual design.


I'm not sure what you mean. "It's not there"? What is it that is not there?

I still wonder about the additional sounds engines implied in the menu by "dot, dot, dot". You'd have to have a removable panel or service tech install new circuit board such as AN, VL etc. to achieve such an upgrade. I wonder does Montage have internal expansion bays. If not, then engine upgrades would mean buying the Montage XS. Anyone care to pop the top and find out? They might not want us to know so of course you'll have the threat of voiding the warranty. I repair these things in my sleep so I might take mine apart soon.


I don't think you need extra hardware for additional synthesis engines. After all, they managed to build a DSP that withstands generating 128-note polyphony of 8-operator FM. That's 1024 wave generators running at once. That's pretty huge. Add 16 dual insert effects and system effects on top of that. With that much power I'm pretty confident it could withstand an AN engine capable of, say, 60-note polyphony (6 * AN1x). Via means of a simple software update. It's 2016, isn't it? ;)

If that's indeed the case, they're probably holding off the development of additional engines until they've seen some convincing sales figures.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  3. # 18
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
All the missing features we're discussing like ARP editing, a real MIDI sequencer, more sound engines, sampling etc.

I'm not sure how it process everything internally but the PLGs of AN, FM, VL etc.of the past were always circuit boards and not software programs. Maybe Montage has crossed over into a software capable system but if so, is a soft synth as good a sounding system as a hardware synth?
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 19
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
david wrote:

All the missing features we're discussing like ARP editing, a real MIDI sequencer


I would hardly believe that this has anything to do with DSP or resources (that's at least I understood that you were implying). They simply decided there was no point to porting the sequencer to the new OS and redesigning it for the new UI. That checks the "cost increases" box. Yamaha decided to aim for the DAW-folk market (which I bet is the majority of those buying such expensive machines) and that's that. Makes perfect sense to me.

I'm not sure how it process everything internally but the PLGs of AN, FM, VL etc.of the past were always circuit boards and not software programs. Maybe Montage has crossed over into a software capable system but if so, is a soft synth as good a sounding system as a hardware synth?


I'll oversimplify here, but the gist is: remember - they (the PLGs) were all purely digital instruments (and their hardware chips were also running some kind of software). Basically any digital hardware can be recreated using software (think of old 8-bit computers emulated on modern computers). And software that runs on a specific hardware (for instance PLG150-AN) can be translated to run on a different hardware (Montage) (you could for instance, rewrite an old 8-bit game so that it looks pixel-for-pixel the same and runs under Windows).

So basically you have two options:
- either you leave the old software intact and emulate the hardware (at the expense of performance)
- or you translate the old software to run on your new hardware.

In either of these cases the question of "as good sounding" comes into play only when the signal leaves the digital domain - in a DAC.
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