Once you power on the machine and get familiarized to it you’ll be able to understand and use all of these buttons with more ease.The keyboard comes with a manual, AC power cord and a Cubase AI download info.The synth also comes with an A/D input which allows you to use external audios with the synth’s DSP. With the Montage 8, Yamaha has changed the synth game completely!Thanks to the SuperKnob, you can mix different predetermined effects ranging from swooshing pans, FM fuzz to drenched EQ. Also note that Montage is backwards compatible with Motif XF AWM2 voices too.The heart of the Montage's programming system is the full-colour touchscreen plus data wheel/cursors, though surprisingly the plethora of real-time controls (faders, knobs, SuperKnob etc) don't really get involved with the editing process. The Envelop Follower helps in converting audio to control sources that can control any synthesizer parameter. There's also a pop-up numeric keypad to speed up programming.Add in Motion Control for evolving sounds, the excellent FX engines/vocoder/envelope follower, powerful arpeggiator and 16 stereo out/three stereo in audio/MIDI USB interface, and it all adds up to an extremely powerful/versatile machine - a worthy successor to the Motif.We'd really like to see Yamaha launch some new performance templates where the set-up and routing for drawbars and percussion/vibrato is all done/ pre-wired. The acoustic guitars are also killer (especially combined with the arpeggiator) and the strings, brass and woodwinds are very inspiring.Now some 'to-be-aware-ofs'! This means that the Montage 8 accommodates more samples per instrument and hence more nuanced sounds than the Motif XF. The manufacturer paid attention to all the fine details from the keys, buttons, all the way to the curves and edges ensuring that it looks and feels like a 4 grand machine. Welcome to the new era from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif.Montage sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow. All the buttons, keys and knobs are made of premium materials not just for durability purposes but also to give you the best experience possible.The organ sounds are just as marvelous as the piano sounds. Ideally, we'd like a 73-note weighted version, or a more stiffly sprung waterfall keybed version which transverses synth sounds and pianos nicely without the extra weight. Using them is, however, a lot easier than you think. Ideally, we'd like a 73-note weighted version, or a more stiffly sprung waterfall keybed version which transverses synth sounds and pianos nicely without the extra weight.Now the SuperKnob! Firstly, there's no dedicated 'clonewheel engine' and, though there's a pretty tweakable rotary-effect and some good-sounding B3 emulations onboard, if you want the eight faders to operate as drawbars you have to set them up manually which is time-consuming.As weighted keybeds go, the balanced hammer action keybed on the Montage 8 feels high quality. Be sure to read the manuals and the excellent programming tutorials (under articles>resources at www.yamahasynth.com, and official/user video tutorials on YouTube).It certainly feels tank-like and the controls are very solid with nicely stiff and positive selection buttons, rubberised Nord-style knobs with LED ring dials (that relay knob position at a glance) and eight plastic-capped faders with LED meters that can be assigned to various duties including part volume levels and organ drawbars once set up.The Montage 8 is a heavy beast at 63lbs. First of all, the selection list of the sounds you can use is huge enough to meet your wildest musical dreams. Secondly, the sounds are of all genres and this makes sure that even musicians with the most diversified skills have something to polish their skills with. The FM-X, on the other hand, produces everything from classic FM-based basses to some of the latest EDM sounds. The pipe-organ is on its own level of greatness. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.It really feels like there are no bounds to the Montage's control and sound design possibilities which is great (yet scary too)!There's also no apparent way to adjust the screen's brightness, though viewing is easy at all angles. Navigating the OS and selecting/editing is simple - use any finger to select functions/parameters and change values using the data wheel.
The Yamaha Montage 8’s performance lives up to the hype and this is why the huge price tag doesn’t look so ridiculous once you start using it. However, we found its bounce-back a little sluggish and it struggled to keep up with our fingers on faster runs and single-finger trills - comparing it to our Yamaha U1 upright, the Montage's keybed felt heavier and in need of more positive feedback.You also have to remember that controller assignments are made not just on a common/overall level but also at part level where all the real-time controllers are available for each of the 16 parts and more besides; it's essentially a super-complex digital modular!
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