The Yamaha Montage: the “Mother of all Synths”
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the new Yamaha Montage – and for good reason. It is an absolute beast of a machine. Yamaha pushed the envelope of what synthesizers are capable of with the new Montage, prompting publications like Music Tech to call it, “the mother of all synths” and, “possibly the biggest synth ever made”. The Montage has barely even made it to stores, and it’s already turning heads both in the music industry and among hobbyists.
Resoundingly, the first impression of every review has been how incredible the SOUND is. Quietly for years, Yamaha has been bringing in the best sound engineers on the planet to construct the sounds for the Montage, and their painstaking attention to detail clearly paid off. Everything, from the strings of the actual Seattle Symphony Orchestra to the massive 9-foot CFX grand, sounds absolutely incredible. To quote Keyboard Magazine (who gave the Montage their coveted ‘buy’ stamp of approval), “Montage’s sound quality is so good, and its real-time performance control so engaging, that it may well be one of the most influential synthesizers of the next 15 years.” This thing truly is a artist’s dream.
The Montage is first and foremost a performance instrument. That’s not to say it can’t function as a workstation, but the folks from Yamaha focused their design and also put heavy emphasis during the rollout that this is NOT intended to be a workstation. Accompanying the high praises for its sound, the Montage is also being lauded for how effortless it is to use, especially in a ‘live’ setting. The new Motion Control Synthesizer engine – which is actually made up of two separate engines, the Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) and the state of the art Frequency Modulator (FM-X), either used individually or in tandem – ensures that any changes on the fly happen instantaneously. And, thanks to the new Seamless Sound Switching (SSS) technology, they happen without interruption. The patented new SSS technology makes switching from one sound to the next audibly indistinguishable – which is ideal for the live performer.
The next generation of Frequency Modulation engine, dubbed the FM-X, is what really makes this instrument shine. The sounds are incredible, as is the layout, but it’s the Montage’s ability to morph these sounds into endless colors and textures that is really driving the hype. Building on the legacy of the groundbreaking DX-7, and the more recent Motif, Yamaha has exponentially increased the capability of the new age synthesizer with the Montage.
It may sound cliché, but you really do have to hear the Yamaha Montage to believe how incredible this machine sounds, and use it to fully understand how remarkably easy and fun it is to use. You do not have to be a professional to derive hours upon hours of musical pleasure from the Yamaha Montage. Come stop by the Asheville store and try it out for yourself!