Yamaha has just announced the new Montage M range of synthesizers with three new models aimed at different players, the M6, M7 & M8X. With a new AN-X engine to produce high-quality analogue modelling with unique features like voltage drift and ageing functions to produce a more vintage sound, this looks like a serious addition to Yamaha’s range.
It’s interesting that Yamaha are using the label ‘synthesizer’ rather than ‘workstation’ or ‘workstation synthesizer’ as other brands like KORG have with their flagship keyboards like Nautilus. The Montage M boasts everything a workstation does like multi-engine capability, loads of filter sets, a complex mixing and performance workflow along with tons of processing power and I/O. It’s great to see Yamaha also considering different players with the three models – the M6 for predominantly synth users, the M7 for a more keyboard-like feel and the M8X for pianists looking for real weighted response.
Might be time for a refreshed Workstation comparison!
Here’s what Yamaha is saying:
ELEVATE YOUR EXPRESSION
For synthesists, keyboardists and pianists, MONTAGE M inspires new sound exploration with expressive control for making music.
NEW AN-X ENGINE
A revolution in authentic analog sound, control and behaviour, the AN-X engine recreates the warm, classic sound of an analog synthesizer with a host of sophisticated modulation options.
･Three Oscillators with 5 waveforms (Saw 1, Saw2, Triangle, Square and Sine) and Noise Generator
･Two filters with 10 filter types
･Pulse width modulation
･Oscillator Self Sync
･Ring modulation, FM, and wave shaper
･Amp EG with drive
･LFO for both amplitude and filter,
･Voltage drift and ageing settings to simulate vintage synth behaviour
Integrated into the Motion Control system, the AN-X Engine allows you to create expressive, unique analog sounds to your heart’s content.
Experience realism and detail with MONTAGE M’s improved AWM2. Offering an incredible 128 Elements per part, AWM2 allows for smoother transitions, giving you an expansive canvas for ultra-high-definition sound creation, especially for “nameable” sounds such as piano and strings
400-NOTE TOTAL POLYPHONY
A significant upgrade from the original MONTAGE’s 256 notes, MONTAGE M offers up to 400 notes of polyphony across its three engines:
･128 notes for AWM2 Preset Waveform Parts
･128 notes for AWM2 User Waveform Parts
･128 notes for FM-X Parts
･16 notes for AN-X Parts
GEX ACTION WITH POLYPHONIC AFTERTOUCH (MONTAGE M8x ONLY)
Available exclusively on MONTAGE M8x, GEX Action elevates your performance and sound creation with Polyphonic Aftertouch – a revered synth control found in the legendary CS-80 and DX1. Polyphonic Aftertouch allows you to individually modulate held notes with pressure. GEX also provides key repetition behaviour typically found in grand pianos.
NEW PERFORMANCE CONTROLS
MONTAGE M introduces new performance controls: a 5-segment ribbon controller with a dedicated HOLD button, a new KEYBOARD HOLD button for sustaining chords while using knobs to edit, and a Portamento on/off button and dedicated Portamento time knob.
DEDICATED KEYBOARD, PART AND SCENE CONTROL
You’ll find a dedicated Keyboard, Part and Scene Control buttons to control 16 Parts per Performance. This intuitive control, particularly beneficial for live performances, improves overall usability and adds dimension to each Performance.
EXPANDED SOFTSYNTH PLUGIN (E.S.P.) (COMING EARLY 2024)
A game-changer for musicians, the Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P.) replicates the MONTAGE M in your favourite Digital Workstation (DAW). Free for all registered MONTAGE M owners, E.S.P. allows you to create, edit and mix MONTAGE M Performances anywhere you happen to be – without the hardware – offering an unprecedented level of stage and studio integration. We are planning on releasing E.S.P. in Early 2024. The first version will have all the MONTAGE M sound while being limited to basic editing. The full version will be available in Summer 2024.
FASTER, MORE INTUITIVE NAVIGATION
Upgraded navigation enables quick, intuitive sound editing and operation. You’ll find features like a new 512 x 64 LCD screen, 6 touchscreen display knobs, and a PAGE JUMP button that moves what’s in the LCD screen over to the larger 7” TFT Color touchscreen for deeper editing. The dedicated Navigation button shows an overview of a Performance. Just touch a graphical object on the screen to jump to that parameter for deeper editing. The dedicated Navigation button allows you to go directly from the “surface” of a sound to the deepest part.
USB MIDI AND MULTICHANNEL AUDIO INTERFACE
Simplifying your studio setup, MONTAGE M offers a USB MIDI and multichannel 32 output/6 input audio interface. Streamline MIDI recording, virtual instrument monitoring, and multi-track audio recording through a single USB cable, so you can spend more time being creative.