Yamaha has released version 2.0 firmware and operating system for its flagship do-it-all synthesizer, the Montage. It is a free update to all Montage owners, and newly-shipped units will of course arrive with it pre-installed.
In the video at bottom, Blake Angelos of Yamaha demonstrates some of the new features. (Without that lighting, he need have no fear of the flying purple people eater.) For those unfamiliar with Montage, a couple of things about it are a big deal. Firstly, it contains two synth engines: a fully multi-timbral PCM-based engine with premium sounds, next to an eight-part, eight-operator FM engine with formant capabilities reminiscent of the FS1R. Then, motion control is essentially very sophisticated automation of multiple parameters, with real-time control mapped to the knobs and faders. The pulsating "SuperKnob" acts as a meta-macro, that is, it can sweep groups of groups of parameters, all with independent polarity and scaling.
At its launch, I reviewed the Montage for another publication and likened its modulation and animation capabilities to that of a large modular synth. Version 2.0 makes it easier to work with in a number of ways, the quick summary being:
- Backward compatibility with all Performances (combis, multis) from the Motif XS and XF.
- Ability to load legacy FM voices, such as those from the famous DX7, via Yamaha FM Sound Converter software.
- New screens and modes for quickly assigning parameters to physical controls.
- When in the controller page of the main display, moving any control now shows all and only the parameters that control affects.
- Navigation streamlined to involve fewer screen-touches and button-presses.
- Global setting for the A/D (external audio) input now overrides the setting at the Performance level. (Useful for gigs where the input is used for the same mic or instrument throughout.)
- Global tempo override works similarly.
For a thorough overview, check out this page on Yamaha's blog.
We have more synth news from NAMM to post yet, so stay tuned!