The unique thing about Pearly Gates is the workflow with which it was conceived.
It has been a long time since I have used a hardware sequencer. In general, they just don’t stack up against the modern computer. Processing power, speed and capacity of SSD hard drives, enormous amounts of RAM, are just a few of the specifications, which are unattainable on any current keyboard, past, present, and probably future or at least in my lifetime.
Flexibility and versatility of today’s plugins, pristine analog-digital converters in the peripherals that attach to them, are only an inkling of the benefits associated with computers and DAWs over proprietary hardware sequencers.
Enter the Yamaha Montage. You can look up the specs but I can tell you in a nutshell, it’s awesome to play. With on-board analog-digital converters, a healthy array of useful sounds and effects, and a sequencer that will not only record accurately and effortlessly every detail of a performance, but will transfer audio and MIDI data via USB or store it on a flash drive. You can also store lots of other data, like patterns, wav files, libraries, and backup data. It can input and process audio from other external sources or instruments and merge them with it’s own.
Pearly Gates is a 10:45 second piece. The reason it isn’t longer isn’t because I ran out of memory, though memory is a factor, if you choose to store huge libraries of sounds directly to the keyboard. Libraries, Waveforms, and Performances can be off- loaded to an external flash drive,
Though it is workable, in my opinion it would be much more powerful, if a hard drive or SSD drive were available, either on-board or as an external interface. Obviously, the cost factor of adding these options was prohibitive in the design and justifiably so, since it’s primary purpose was n life is to make music, not store it. Not everyone needs these added luxuries but loading and unloading from the USB drive is lengthy and tedious, should you wish to. An editor is available as software for MAC and Windows computers, which makes life easier but data can only be loaded in flash memory. Long term storage via digital communications is still only possible via the flash drive. That’s a story for another day and probably won’t bother the average user. it is still very capable and has enough internal storage for any gig or session, with a bit of preparation.
In this piece, I was primarily experimenting with the real-time controls, the motion sequencer, and the arpeggiator, however, admittedly, I did export the tracks into my DAW, as editing on the instrument is limited and clunky, compared to working in a DAW, as previously mentioned. The Montage does sport a very nice LCD color touch screen, though it can’t touch working on a 23” monitor or even a laptop screen.
However, that being the case, laying down the tracks I found to be very gratifying and arguably easier than setting up a session on a DAW, since that would require using a computer, which isn’t always needed, depending on the gig.
I just had to say something about the instrument because it truly inspired the piece. I have never played on something as inspiring, for any length of time. I’m not talking about dabbling for a few minutes in a noisy music store.
Most of what you hear are preset sounds and FX, with a slight touch of the Chazzzman flavor…
So, I hope you enjoy and feel…just a fraction of what I did.😊🙂😋😯🤪