New Yamaha MontageM

I sold my Montage7 some months ago. I was sure no new hardware workstation would be interesting for me but… Take a look here:

A game-changer for musicians, the 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. 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.

Does it mean I will be able to play Montage M sounds live with GigPerformer without the hardware workstation?
That would be deadly interesting!

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That certainly seems to be the case. What kind of processing power will be required remains to be seen, but this seems to be the way the industry is heading.

If it is really that way I will buy it. But we will know only when VST will be out. Q2 2024.
And I don’t think that a Montage M is made with a processor more powerful than an Apple M1 or Intel i7.
It is software that drives (embedded and slim OS).
Another good reason to wait and see.

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You are right, the Expanded Softsynth Plugin (E.S.P.) could be a game-changer for musicians. But my understanding is that only owners of the MontageM-Workstation can use E.S.P. on a computer regardless of the hardware. I probably won’t buy a Yamaha Montage M just to have E.S.P. in GigPerformer.

I am so stupid that I am considering that chance. But only if I see a real VST working well in GigPerformer without any MontageM connected. I will wait until real release of that plugin to see if it works and how.
Yamaha sources mention about big and hard development. Big software projects can fail too.

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Yes, you are issued a code when purchasing a new Montage M that will allow you to access ESP when it becomes available in 2024.

On a related topic, has anyone had issues with GP and the Montage M trying to send a program change to a patch in one of the user libraries? I’ve had no problems doing this with the Yamaha MODX+ series (or any other synth) but the new Montage doesn’t seem to accept it.

Old Montage had a simple button on main page of every preset to detect program change number to call it. I used it a lot with GigPerformer and worked perfectly well.
Be careful that Montage is a multi port midi device, only one is the right port for program changes. You have to choose the right port to perform midi actions.

Could you not sort of recreate the M with GP, assuming you have enough synth plugins? AWM, ANX, FMX… so many software equivalents out there right? Me with what I have now I can probably match that with Kontakt 7/Sine/Spitfire, OpSix (or FM8), & my bazillion VA stuff (my favs being the Geforce oberheim synths).
If so, the issue then becomes the hardware interface. I love my CP88 keys, & I’ve got enough controllers with faders & surfaces from Soundforce, plus NI Kontrol kybrd(mk2)…but how to make it all, umm, feel integrated…like, as one? That seems like the advantage of something like the M - to be quick with calling up different sounds etc on the spot during rehearsals. I’m still exploring Gigperformer, but that would be really great if I could mash everything together & make it feel like one workstation like the M.

Yes. You can with expert actions. I strongly think that software vst are more flexible and powerful than workstations. But 10 gigabyte of wonderful Yamaha samples and sounds can be interesting. I will test and decide. As a home instrument Montage M8X seems to be a nice device, keyboard response is reported to be wonderful. A wonderful expensive toy…

I played one of these Ina store last week…it did not move nor inspire me the way the Korg Oasys did

Any rumour about a new Korg monster coming soon? I never had a chance to touch an Oasys…

Good question. It would have to be pretty astonishing to consider one.

Because there are rumours…


Nothing serious, only comments on YouTube.

I played a Montage M8X last Friday. I wasn’t involved enough to turn interest to purchase.
Keys are wonderful, polyphonic aftertouch is great. New ANX engine is fine. But the whole thing is not brand new. I hear the same quality as the old one. With a strange feeling that I wasn’t able to explain. I compared with a Nord Stage4 and an YC88. The YC seems much more dinamic with e-pianos and acoustic pianos. I guess sampling are the same…
But it was hard to compare fully because headphone amplifier in MontageM is really weak.
So, I am happy to decide that I am not going to get it…

Another issue to think about if you’re considering getting a Montage 8 either version is the weight.

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Plan was to buy M8X, leave it at home and use its VST live. So weight wasn’t an issue.

We will see if the VST will be available and what features it provides.

I agree. It seems Yamaha will make available an intermediate version on Q1 2024 (only presets playing) and a full version some months after. So this software is not ready and we will check it when it will be available.
As I wrote here my interest went down after a test in a shop.