NAMM 2017: Accessibility of Yamaha Montage Confirmed

by Hector Ibarra

Arguably some of the best news to come out of my attendance to this year’s Winter NAMM show was confirmation of the Yamaha Montage keyboard workstation. Taking the place of the Motif XF as Yamaha’s flagship synth, the Montage hit the market last year with a brand new take on what the Motif was for so many years. However, with all the new features introduced with this new unit came the addition of a touch screen, a change from the Motif, an instrument¬†which many blind and visually impaired keyboardists relied on for over a decade as, at times, the only professional keyboard workstation that was fully accessible. The addition of the touch screen raised questions about the accessibility of the Montage, and with any issues of the sort being a drastic loss for the blind and visually impaired community in the options available to us when it comes to intermediate to professional keyboards. However, in an interview with a Yamaha representative at the 2017 Winter NAMM, it was confirmed that all tasks accessed via the touch screen are “fully redundant with keystrokes” which will allow equal access without the use of the screen. Also revealed was a speech feedback feature which was being encorporated into certain Yamaha products. At the time of this post, it can only be confirmed that it is present in certain features of some of the models of the Yamaha¬†DTX series of electronic drum kits.

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