Yamaha Montage M Synthesizer offers 400 Note Polyphony, New Virtual Analog Engine + Polyphonic Aftertouch


Yamaha gets back into the virtual analogue synth game with the Montage M: new AN-X engine joins enhanced AWM2 and FM-X sound generators in flagship workstation keyboard.

To no one’s great surprise, Yamaha has launched the Montage M, a new flagship workstation synth. Like its predecessor, the Montage, this looks to be aimed at the ‘serious’ gigging musician, and combines multiple sound-generating technologies into one keyboard.

Yamaha today officially announced the new Montage M synthesizer, their new flagship synthesizer keyboard line, including the 61-key Montage M6, 76-key Montage M7, and 88-key Montage M8x with polyphonic aftertouch.

The highlight for many will be the new AN-X engine, an attempt by Yamaha to capture the warm sound and feeling of real analogue synths. This takes its name from the AN1x, a fondly-remembered Yamaha VA synth from the late ‘90s, and offers three oscillators with a choice of five waveforms (two saws, triangle, square and sine), a noise generator, two filters with a choice of ten filter types, ring modulation, pulse width modulation, a waveshaper and more.

If you want your synth to sound a little more ‘vintage’, you can dial in some voltage drift or make use of the ‘ageing’ functions.

In addition to the expanded synthesis options, the Montage M offers twice the user memory, new expressive options, an improved user interface, upgraded analog circuitry and more.

Yamaha also announced the Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P.), which replicates the Montage M in your favorite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). E.S.P. enables you create, edit and mix Montage M Performances anywhere – even without the hardware.

Despite this new analogue-esque engine, like the previous Montage, The Montage M is very much an ‘all-rounder’, and other types of sounds are covered off by improved versions of Yamaha’s pre-existing AWM2 and eight-operator FM-X engines. The end result is up to 400 notes of polyphony.

The Montage M: the 61-note M6 and 76-note M7 are designed for ‘synthesists’ and ‘keyboardists’ respectively, while the enhanced 88-note M8x promises to give pianists what they need. The action is ‘weighed’ rather than ‘hammer’, and you get polyphonic aftertouch for enhanced expressive control.

Yamaha claims that it’s “reviving the expressiveness of the legendary CS-80 and DX-1,” both of which had polyphonic aftertouch keyboards.

Other spec sheet highlights include 9.97GB of preset WaveROM, 16 libraries (with 640 performances per library), 3.8GB of user flash memory and a VCM rotary speaker emulation.

New in the Yamaha Montage M:

  • New AN-X sound engine recreates the 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 aging settings to simulate vintage synth behavior
  • Improved AWM2 sound engine offers 128 Elements per part, for ultra-high-definition sound creation.
  • 400-note polyphony across its 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
  • Other features:
    • Twice the memory over its predecessor with an increase from 5.67GB to 9.97GB of Preset Wave memory, and an increase from 1.75 to 3.8GB of User flash memory.
    • New sounds and instruments, including pianos, orchestral instruments, drums, and more.
    • Expressive and dynamic FM Synthesis with 8-operator FM-X engine.
    • VCM Rotary Speaker effect simulates the motion of a classic rotary speaker cabinet. Plus, the new organ drawbar fader setting simulates the vintage “pull out” drawbar organ behavior.
    • 16 Library slots let you store up to 10,240 additional Performances (that’s in addition to the over 2,700 performances in the presets), facilitating quick searches by Category, Name and Attributes.
    • The upgraded Pure Analog Circuit included in MONTAGE M reduces noise and improves the dynamic range, crosstalk, low-frequency phase, and distortion rate, resulting in clearer sound at all volumes. You’ll also find the sound has more detailed low-mids and presence.
    • Unique Expression
      • Polyphonic Aftertouch lets you to individually modulate held notes with pressure. GEX also provides key repetition behavior typically found in grand pianos.
      • 5-segment ribbon controller with 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 buttons to control 16 Parts per Performance.
      • All the Performance Controls – from the Keyboard and Faders to the Super Knob and Sustain, as well as the Sound Engine, are now in High Resolution. Because of the fine resolution, you’ll find the MONTAGE M behaves in a smoother and more “analog” way.
      • Interact with sounds in a variety of ways, including Motion Sequences, which dynamically automate synth and effect parameters, and can even be synchronized to tempo; the Super Knob, which controls dozens of modulations in a single gesture; the Envelope Follower, which modulates sound from the A/D input or another Part; and more.
    • Enhanced LED lights and colors on MONTAGE M faders, Performance, Live Set and Category Search offer visible, instant feedback, vastly improving the user interface.
    • Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P.) replicates the MONTAGE M in your favorite 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. The full version will be available in Summer 2024.
    • Upgraded navigation enables quick, intuitive sound editing and operation. 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.
    • 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.

Yamaha Montage M Audio Demo:

MONTAGE M is available to pre-order with the following pricing:

• MONTAGE M6: $3,499.99
• MONTAGE M7: $3,999.99
• MONTAGE M8x: $4,499.99

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