We hope you had a good start in 2024. In the first week of January we received a huge and heavy package from a well-known company. Inside of it there was their new flagship synthesizer, an impressive 88 note hammer action instrument with lots of controls and synthesis capabilities and, what's especially interesting for SampleRobot, new user sample features.
The name of the instrument is Yamaha Montage M8x.
In SampleRobot the previous gereration Montage is fully supported with dedicated exports for library (*.X7L) and user bank (*.X7U) formats. Nevertheless there was a limitation when it comes to the number of elements that could be used in one sound. This was 8 in the previous models, meaning that only up to 8 velocity layers could be used. Since SampleRobot can address 127 velocity layers some projects needed to be downsized to 8 layers. This is history now. Another good thing on 'M' is that the user sample memory has been boosted from 1.75 to 3.7 GB allowing for more and longer multisamples in direct access.
Yamaha was also so kind to provide us with their new generation format description to make use of Montage M's advanced sample management within SampleRobot. At the moment we are investigating this. It is planned to include the new Montage M export as an additional option in SampleRobot with an upcoming update. We'll let you know as soon as it is available.
One feature that really impresses us on the new M8x is the polyphonic aftertouch. Unfortunately it's not available with the smaller M6 and M7 versions. The polyphonic aftertouch on the M8x is reminiscent of the mighty Yamaha CS-80 and allows for nuanced and precise articulation of sustained notes. One can have fun for hours even with simple patches exploring new ways of expression.