- MONTAGE Updated to System 3.5
- Cross-platform Compatible with MODX!
- CHAOS! Unheard-of Sounds Now Possible Through the New Smart Morph Function
YAMAHA's flagship synthesizer, the MONTAGE, has been updated to System 3.5. Recent synthesizer updates also see the addition of new waveforms and preset sounds, but with this update we also get a totally new set of features, which makes the synth feel new again.
New features added with MONTAGE 3.5 include:
• Addition of the Smart Morph function
• MODX File Import now possible
• New functions with the Pattern Sequencer
• Addition of from-scratch Performances
• Interface and performance improvements
That's a lot of powering up going on there, but the big topic in the list is the addition of the new Smart Morph function.
Another thing is that the MODX, a more mobility-focused version of the MONTAGE, can now transmit user files and libraries back and forth with a MONTAGE. Thanks to this, any sounds and settings a user has on their MODS can be sent over to a MONTAGE, with the end result being that the same sounds and settings are now available on the MONTAGE.
Of course, if you update your MODX to Version 2.5, you can gain the same features as available with this new version of the MONTAGE OS.
As the name includes "morph," we know there is some kind of transformation going on from one sound to another, but to leave it at that—a simple morphing between two sounds—would be to make a huge mistake.
The MONTAGE and MODX can have sounds that contain up to 16 parts. But with the Smart Morph function, part 1 contains the "parent" sound (FM-X engine), while parts 9 to 16 can be allocated to other FM-X sounds, for a total of 8 different sounds, which the synth then analyzes on its own, and creates a morphing patch from.
Of course, there's no need to assign sounds to each part, in parts 9 to 16, so you don't have to have 8 parts in total. If you assign fewer sounds, the morphing possibilities just decrease, and the potential for drastic sound changes follows suit.
On the Smart Morph edit screen, in the performance mode, say we have sounds assigned to part1, and also parts 9 to 16.
Once you've assigned the sounds, you press the LEARN button at the lower right of the display, upon which the MONTAGE will begin its analysis and literally learn what's going on between the sounds. Once this is complete, the five sounds that have been assigned will be indicated by five white points on the screen, and a capture-like display will be shown.
This screen color codes the sounds, representing the positioning of the sounds and the FM-X high and low parameter ranges through the use of light and dark colors, respectively. And, as there are 32 X 32 positions in the matrix there, a total of 1,024 different positions is available, meaning there are 1,024 different actual sounds at those points. The spaces between the five white points have all been calculated and assigned (learned too) by the synth itself, and as the FM-X parameters are not "broken" in the process, new sounds come into being in those spaces.
People who have ever edited FM synths will know, but depending on the algorithm and parameter values, the sound itself can break down and fall into just noise. With Smart Morph, though, this doesn't happen, as the synth itself will realize which points in the matrix these kinds of breakdowns will occur, and go so far as to even change the algorithm to avoid such happenings. This is nothing short of phenomenal.
Naturally, you can use the motion sequence—another huge feature of the MONTAGE—very smoothly here as well, to end up with fantastic sounds which you'd have never imagined possible. We think it's a great feature that you can save these new sounds the MONTAGE has number crunched for you.
We also think that being able to use the huge touch screen to morph and control the sound is fantastic!
Compatibility with MODX
With this update, the lower-on-the-ladder model MODX (it's the same innards so don't look down on it!) also receives an update to Version 2.5, which adds not only the Smart Morph function, but also sound and setting cross-compatibility with the MONTAGE.
We think you get the idea that by simply updating to the latest version, you can breathe new life into your MONTAGE or MODX synths!
Demo & Review Video
It's not easy to put into words all of what these new features (especially Smart Morph) can do, so be sure to check out the Demo & Review Video!