Yamaha Montage 1.5 Update Brings Sound, Control & Workflow Improvements

At the 2017 NAMM Show, we talked with Yamaha’s Blake Angelos about the latest update to the Montage synthesizer, version 1.5.

Montage 1.5 brings sound, control and workflow improvements and will be available as a free download Feb 5th, 2017. 

Montage OS v1.5 Highlights:

  • Sound – The OS v1.5 version improves on the sound with new Performances, organ effects and dynamic processors.
    • New Performances – OS v1.5 features over 50 new Performances that focus on the unique Montage Motion Control Synthesis Engine:
    • Organ Performances – The new rotary speaker effect features authentic “rotor” simulation with assignable speed up/slow down. The new effect has improved overdrive behavior for a warm, full vintage sound. The new Performances feature the new rotary speaker along with drawbar control via the faders.
    • New Dynamic Processors and Presence – Dynamic Processors are useful for fine-tuning levels in a mix. The new OS v1.5 processors add even more high-quality options.
  • Control – Montage takes control to the next level with Motion Control. With OS v1.5, it expands Motion Control to give you even more creative options.
    • Super Knob Enable/Disable on Assignable Knobs – By default, the Super Knob controls all Assignable Knobs. OS v1.5 gives you the option to control some or one of the Assignable Knobs. For example, you can release just one of the Assignable Knobs from Super Knob control, so you can adjust a single assigned parameter for finer adjustments. This new feature adds that level of control.
    • MIDI Scene Control – The MONTAGE “Scene” feature is a powerful way to add interactive dimension to a Performance. Scene changes can add Arpeggios, Motion Sequences, Mute Parts and more. OS v1.5 allows Scene change from an external MIDI control source like a DAW or second keyboard. This adds even more control when performing live or during production in a studio.
    • Improved Auto Beat Sync – Accuracy Auto Beat Sync is a very cool feature that derives tempo from audio. In other words, MONTAGE “listens” to the beat like a musician. This could be a live drum kit, drum loop, rhythm guitar or any source with solid, rhythmic time. Once set up and plugged into MONTAGE, that source controls the playback tempo. Drummers may have an emotional moment when they realize that instead of them having to listen to a click track, MONTAGE is listening to and following them.
  • Workflow – There are many workflow and visualization improvements in Montage OS v1.5:
    • New Backup File – The Backup File lets you load and save your entire MONTAGE content to a single file. This includes all onboard flash memory content. This is great if you have to load all of your content from one MONTAGE to another. For example, touring musicians using a backline MONTAGE or church musicians who have a MONTAGE at home and one at church.
    • Ability to Tag Favorites – OS v1.5 lets you easily tag your favorite Performances. There’s also a new “Favorites” area in the powerful CATEGORY SEARCH feature making it easy to find your favorites.
    • Performance View – You can now get a detailed view of key range for Parts and see individual Part Element/Operator states from the main Performance/Home screen:
    • Live Set Improvements – Selected Performances are now highlighted in Orange and you can change the size of the font within the Live Set for much greater visibility.
    • Parameter with Part – When adding Parts to a Performance, you can choose to inherit settings from the Part. For example, when adding a string layer, you may want to bring in just the Arpeggio, Motion Sequence and Scene data but retain the mix settings of your currently selected Performance. This is great for auditioning different sounds while mixing or creating Performances.
    • Monitor Volume for USB Input – OS v1.5 adds USB audio monitor control. This is useful for quickly adjusting the incoming audio level from a DAW or iOS device. It’s also handy when listening to music on the computer from iTunes™, YouTube™ or other source.

You can find out more about Montage OS 1.5 at the Yamaha Synth site.

6 thoughts on “Yamaha Montage 1.5 Update Brings Sound, Control & Workflow Improvements

  1. So….no on board sequencer. I get that most musicians are sequencing on the computer but at this price point and with this power it’s silly to not have a 16 track sequencer on board.

    1. no, the crazy thing is: montage has a built-in 16-track midi sequencer. but it´s utter crap. the board is unuseable in its current state because of it. PLEASE sign my petition at change.org that addresses its shortcomings.

      https://www.change.org/p/takuya-nakata-president-and-representative-director-of-the-yamaha-corporation-help-make-an-update-for-the-montage-synth-a-priority-for-the-yamaha-corporation

      Help make an update for the Montage synth a priority for the Yamaha Corporation

      With the release of Yamaha’s current flagship synthesizer Montage, fans of the now-abandoned Motif series were hopeful that the new instrument would live up to the legacy that the predecessors established. It turned out that it was not what they had wished for. Yes, the Montage has its own proprietary built-in MIDI sequencer, called ‘Direct Performance Recorder’, but unfortunately, upon release, some important features were missing. Basic functions like copying or erasing MIDI data have not been implemented. So far only simultaneous recording of all 16 tracks is allowed – an impossible task with only one pair of hands. One can not fix mistakes made during a recording. There is no point in all of that, due to the fact that we are talking about a couple of kilobytes of simple MIDI data, not memory-intensive WAV files.

      With signing to this petition you ask the Yamaha Corporation to prioritize making an update to the operating system of the Montage synthesizer. These are the recommended improvements:

      – Implement CONSECUTIVE RECORD: It allows tracks to be recorded one after the other, instead of simultaneously.

      – Implement LOOP RECORD: Recording takes place repeatedly over a specified area, according to loop point settings.

      – Implement COPY: This function copies a specified area of recorder data. It is convenient for repeating the same phrase several times.

      – Implement DELETE: This function deletes a specified area of recorder data, and moves the subsequent data to fill the gap. As a result, the measure length will be shortened by the number of deleted measures.

      – Implement ERASE: This function erases all the recorder data inside a specified area. As the erased data is replaced by rests, the original measures will remain.

      – Implement INSERT: This function inserts blank measures into a specified song position.

      – Implement TRANSPOSE: This function transposes the pitch of notes within a specified area, over a +/- 127 semitone range.

      – Implement COPY ARP TO TRACK: It allows to place arpeggios in destination tracks. In a ‘Measure’ field, one would be able to specify the beginning bar of the copy-destination.

      Sign this petition to help make the built-in MIDI recorder of Yamaha’s Montage synthesizer useable.

      https://www.change.org/p/takuya-nakata-president-and-representative-director-of-the-yamaha-corporation-help-make-an-update-for-the-montage-synth-a-priority-for-the-yamaha-corporation

      Thank you for participating.

      Links to this petition have been posted at Yamaha’s official synthesizer forum. Phil Clendeninn a.k.a. ‘Bad Mister’, senior technical sales specialist for Yamaha, has been informed.

      1. I think instead of “consecutive record” you might prefer to use the industry standard term, “Overdub recording”. I think a workstation like this shouldn’t half-ass the sequencer. And it is certainly possible to have a powerhouse sequencer inside a workstation. Korg had a good one. Kurzweil’s K2500 & K26xx had a very flexible sequencer– best-in-class, IMHO.

        Yamaha should have the resources to implement a very good sequencer. Why don’t they?

        1. > instead of “consecutive record” you might
          > prefer to use the industry standard term,
          > “Overdub recording”.

          nope, because the motage already has an overdub recording function, which works ONLY FOR ALL tracks simultaneously – which is completely laughable. the point that i was trying to make is the ability to arm each track separately for recording purposes.

  2. When will they include thr other dynth engines Yamaha has developed? What about the AN engine the Reface CS uses? What about a VL engine?

    I’m not much into sequencing, but if Yamaha at least decided to add their great engines it would be a better contender to the Kronos and the Nord Stage.

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