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NAMM 2016: Yamaha Montage Synthesizer

As NAMM approaches, not a day goes by that new product information is leaked, and it's usually about a synthesizer. This time, however, it's about the Yamaha Montage, and we're happy to report more than just rumours! This is the new flagship of Yamaha synthesizers.

Three new flagships

You read right - there are in fact three new flagships! Under the bonnet, these machines are all the same, but available in 61 keys, 76 keys and 88 keys. The look will be familiar, as Yamaha prefers a design that has been proven to be successful. It's clear to see that the Motif XF was an inspiration for this new synth. With its enormous capacity, the Montage has so much more to offer than a couple of slight improvements.

Two sound engines

Yamaha uses two engines for the Montage: AWM2 and FM-X. The AWM2 engine is pretty well-known, as it has provided excellent reproductions of countless sounds in the past. The Montage, however, has almost ten times the capacity of the Motif XF. Its polyphony is doubles, as is the number of effects! In other words: the possibilities are endless. You may think a capacity of that size would partially remain unused, but in actuality, it will be completely utilised, and you'll end up with better-sounding music productions.

FM synthesis

The other engine, the FM-X, is a real FM engine. FM synthesis was a remarkable discovery that reached the peak of its commercial success with the Yamaha DX7 in 1983. The reason for its popularity was simple: the synthesis method is extremely expressive and behaves very musically. Combining this engine with the AWM2 in the Montage was a smart move by Yamaha. We're tempted to say, with the Montage, you won't ever need another synthesizer... until Yamaha unveils another new model in a couple of years!


The controls of the Montage are typical Yamaha: faders and LED encoders on the left and the management section on the right. This time, however, they've added an element worthy of 2016 - an elegant touch-screen display in the middle to easily navigate through the Montage. Another new feature is the Super Knob, which is a special encoder that can drive various parameters at once.

The Yamaha Montage synth isn't called a flagship for nothing, as it offers plenty of ways to amuse yourself for years to come. It's also another reason to wonder which is better - hardware or software. An instrument like this one is certainly a high contender! Keep your eye on the product pages for delivery times and pricing.


For more news, check out our NAMM 2016 news feed!

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