Martin Harris. Now, there’s a person who loves his job!
Even though the camera work is a little shaky, I recommend the Montage demonstration by Martin Harris of Yamaha.
Martin’s demo concentrates on acoustic and electric pianos, section and solo strings, brass, Irish whistle and pads — all from a cinematic perspective. Not much EDM here.
I like Martin’s demonstrations because he adds information about sample and voice development. Even though he calls it a “whistle stop tour,” it’s more like a tour of the world. Yamaha have traveled the world to sample the best instruments and players. Here are a few examples as mentioned by Martin:
- Section and solo strings: Seattle
- Brass: Los Angeles (L.A. horns)
- Classical men’s choir: Germany
- Classical boy’s choir: Estonia
- Flamenco guitar: Madrid
- Brazilian percussion: Sao Paulo
- Turkish percussion: Istanbul
- Iranian percussion: Tehran
- Middle Eastern percussion: Bahrain
- Irish whistle: Ireland
Before people complain about the cost of a top-of-the-line keyboard like the Montage or Tyros, they really should take the cost and time of sampling and voice development into account!
The Montage CFX grand piano is all new sampling. Martin stated the compressed total waveform size as 300 Mbytes, approaching 1 GBytes uncompressed. At demo time (April 2016), the Montage CFX was the biggest sampled piano in the Yamaha line. The Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos are also new sampling.
Guitars also got an update. Martin and Gibson steel guitars were sampled. The sampled Telecaster is a $60,000, 1957 vintage Tele. Martin mention how, in the past, Yamaha removed the dirt from samples. Today they leave in some of the idiosynracies, charm and character.
If you enjoyed Martin’s demo, here are a few blog posts to check out. Last April, I made a list of new waveforms in the Montage vs. the Motif XF. I also wrote a thought piece about waveform memory size and sample development.
New sound development, including sampling, is a continual, on-going process at Yamaha. In an era when waveform memory is relatively big and inexpensive, sound developers need to work overtime in order to fill available memory space. I think the limiting factor now is the amount of time and human resources available to produce new samples and to program new expressive voices.
Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski