Yamaha have announced the upcoming release of Montage M, the latest generation of their flagship synthesizer range. The range comprises 61-, 76- and 88-key models — the M6, M7 and M8x — each of which are powered by a new AN-X engine that recreates a range of classic analogue sounds, boasts up to 400 note of polyphony and provides a wealth of modulation options.
The new engine at the core of the Montage M instruments promises to recreate both the sound and behaviour of classic analogue synthesizers. There are three oscillators equipped with sine, square and triangle waves, as well as two sawtooth variants and a noise generator. A pair of filters provide a total of ten different filter types, whilst ring modulation, FM capabilities and a wave shaper are also on offer, and some additional simulated vintage character can be obtained thanks to the inclusion of voltage drift and ageing settings. The instruments also feature the company’s FM-X and AWM2 engines, which combined with the new AN-X offer up to 400 notes of polyphony, towering over the original Montage’s maximum of 256.
Navigation & Control
The range’s navigation system has also been updated, with a combination of hands-on physical controls and a 7-inch touchscreen providing detailed control over each instrument’s parameters. A row of Quick Edit encoders display their associated controls and values on an LCD display, whilst a Page Jump button allows them to be moved over to the larger touchscreen for more detailed editing.
Yamaha also plan to release an Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P) in early 2024, which will replicate the instrument in a DAW, allowing registered Montage M owners to create, edit and mix without the hardware. The initial version will have the full set of sounds but with limited editing capabilities, with the full version planned for release by Summer 2024.
Performance-based controls are plentiful, too: a new five-segment ribbon controller with a dedicated Hold button has been introduced, and is joined by a Keyboard Hold button which allows users to sustain a chord while freeing up their hands for parameter tweaking. A Motion Sequences feature makes it possible to dynamically automate instrument and effects parameters or create tempo-sync’ed sequences, and a Super Knob allows dozens of modulations to be controlled using a single gesture. Those who opt for the 88-key Montage M8x will also benefit from the addition of polyphonic aftertouch.
Audio & MIDI Interface
Each of the new instruments offer USB MIDI, as well as a 6-in/32 out audio interface that provides virtual instrument monitoring and multitrack audio recording over USB.
Pricing & Availability
The Montage M range is available to pre-order now, with shipping dates to be confirmed. Prices are as follows:
- Montage M6: $3500£3219 including VAT
- Montage M7: $4000£3629 including VAT
- Montage M8x: $4500£4049 including VAT