Yamaha has introduced Montage 3.0, a massive update to their flagship music synthesizer. They’ve also announced plans to bring most of the new Montage features to their more affordable MODX synthesizers.
The updates include alternate tunings, a new 16-track sequencer, new virtual analog synthesis capabilities, a wave folder, new performances, enhanced USB capabilities and more.
Yamaha has also introduced a new style variant for the Montage, the Montage White.
To introduce the new synth model, they released this retro-futuristic-tacular video, celebrating the Yamaha Synth Story, with a little inspiration from Cats on Synthesizers In Space:
Here are the details:
MONTAGE OS v3.0 & MODX OS v2.0
Yamaha has announced a major update to both the Montage and MODX firmwares. The update adds major new features and also brings their Montage & MODX keyboards closer together. With the exception of the Montage-only DAW Remote feature, all of the new enhancements found in MONTAGE OS v3.0 are included in MODX OS v2.0.
MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0 add several new synth engine enhancements and new Performance content:
- Wave Folder – The new Wave Folder effect increases harmonic content by “folding back” threshold-exceeding amplitude peaks. Unlike clipping that chops off the top of the wave, the Wave Folder “folds” the peaks back in. The MONTAGE Wave Folder is available as a Part Insertion Effect (including A/D Input for external instruments and mic input), Variation Effect and Master Effect.
- VCM Mini Filter and Mini Booster – The new VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) Mini Filter and Mini Booster are available as Part Insertion, Variation or Master. The VCM Mini Filter is a classic four-pole 24 dB/octave filter. Cutoff, Resonance, Dry/Wet mix, Input Level and Output Level can all be assigned to a Motion Sequence Lane, the Envelope Follower or the physical controls (Super Knob, Assignable Knobs, Modulation Wheel, etc., on MONTAGE and MODX). The VCM Mini Booster is related to the VCM Mini Filter. This boost/EQ effect functions like an EQ and booster, providing a tone shaping and saturation effect
- Extended LFO – The Extended LFO brings high-speed modulation to the MONTAGE and MODX. You can use it to generate interesting pitch, filter or amplitude modulation that goes well beyond the slower oscillation of a standard LFO. The high-speed nature creates cool granularity that enhances synth leads, pads, comps, special effect and more. With the standard LFO the Speed parameter range goes from 0-63 (0-42 Hz) for AWM Parts. When the “Extended LFO” is set to ON, the Speed parameter range extends from 0-415 (0-1356.59 Hz). These higher speeds generate interesting sounds when modulating Pitch, Filter or Amplitude.
- Each of these new sound enhancements – Wave Folder, VCM Mini Filter and Mini Booster and Extended LFO – can all be customized for real time control using Motion Control. Assign parameters to the Super Knob, Motion Sequence, Envelope Follower and more and create your own custom set ups.
- New Performances – There are 52 new Performances highlighting the new sound additions in MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0.
MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0 also include new Control enhancements, including an all new Pattern Sequencer.
- The Pattern Sequencer extends the MONTAGE and MODX Performance Recorder with multitrack loop-based sequence recording. Each Pattern has up to eight Sections and each Section has up to 16 Tracks. During Section recording you can set the length of a track from one to 256 measures long. Each track can be different lengths making for interesting variation. For example, a Section could have a four-measure drum part, an eight-measure bass part and a 32-measure keyboard part and each part will loop according to its section length.
- Super Knob Scene Link – Building on the Super Knob Link feature introduced in the previous OS version, this enhancement allows you to save Assignable Knob links to the Super Knob within a Scene. This is great for building arrangements by setting specific Super Knob levels and Assignable Knob links per Scene. You can recall them during Live Performance or in conjunction with the Pattern Sequencer.
- Keyboard Control Recall in Scenes – You can now recall Part Keyboard Control (Kbd Ctrl) from a Scene. This allows you to set up which Parts can be played simultaneously. In the example below, Part 1 could be a piano part, Part 2 a string layer, Part 3 a bass split, Part 4 a synth pad and Part 5 a synth comp. Any combination of Parts can now be recalled with a simple scene change. This new feature enhances the way a single Performance can be configured and controlled.
- USB MIDI Host – With MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0 you can now connect a MIDI controller directly to the USB TO DEVICE Port on the back. This allows you to connect MIDI keyboard controllers, drum pads other alternative controllers with a simple USB MIDI cable.
- Hybrid MIDI I/O Mode – As the name suggests, the new Hybrid MIDI I/O Mode is a combination of the Single and Multi MIDI I/O Modes. In this new mode, Parts with KEYBOARD CONTROL “On” controlled by Global MIDI channel, everything else controlled by the Part channel. This allows you to use cool Multi Part Performances like “CFX Concert” or “Seattle Sections” in combination with other Single Parts for additional backing tracks.
- Rhythm Pattern (New for MONTAGE – MODX makes adding a drum Part with Arpeggio to a Performance easy. Now that functionality is added to MONTAGE. Just press and hold [SHIFT] then press [CONTROL ASSIGN] and the Rhythm Pattern screen appears for you to select a drum kit along with a corresponding drum Arpeggio.
- Global Tuning – For musicians who play music in alternate tunings, Global Tuning allows you to set the entire instrument to a specific tuning. MONTAGE and MODX have always had this feature but only within a Performance. Like Global A/D or Global Tempo – features added in previous OS updates –Global Tuning affects the entire instrument when engaged.
MONTAGE OS v3.0 is expected to be available ‘very soon’, with MODX OS v2.0 following in late October. See the Yamaha Synth site for more info.