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    Archived pages: 14 . Archive date: 2012-11.

  • Title: I SATELLITE Retro Futurist Minimal Electro Electropop Music
    Descriptive info: .. retro futurist minimal electronic new wave analog synth electro pop music.. [.. home.. ] [.. bio.. music.. press.. store.. photos.. gear.. links.. ].. I SATELLITE.. create retro futurist electronic pop music inspired by the music and sounds from the golden era of analog synthesizers, the late 70's and early 80's, using vintage analog synths and drum machines for all sounds and textures.. LATEST NEWS.. Saturday, April 27th, 2009.. It was great meeting everyone at the Autobahn 9  ...   with friends and fans.. Here's a video clip of.. Bubbleboy.. from the show.. Saturday, January 31st, 2009.. I SATELLITE is scheduled to perform live at the.. Autobahn 9 Music Festival.. at.. Joe's Java.. in Wilmington, Ohio on Saturday, April 25th, 2009.. This is the first time I SATELLITE has played live since 2003.. Should be a fun time! More info to follow shortly.. MYSPACE.. FACEBOOK.. CD BABY.. BLOG.. E-MAIL.. Web site layout design: Rod MacQuarrie - 2009 I SATELLITE..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE New Wave Music 80s SynthPop MP3 Synth Pop 80's MP3s
    Descriptive info: I SATELLITE Biography.. 's music has been influenced by many artists.. from the 60's to the present.. Following are a list of recordings in no particular order that have had the strongest impact on the sound of.. :.. The Velvet Underground Nico.. -.. The Velvet Underground.. (info).. Neu!.. Neu 75.. (review in process).. Alphaville.. Forever Young.. Berlin.. Pleasure Victim.. Lovelife.. Japan.. Gentlemen Take Polaroids.. Quiet Life.. Yaz.. Upstairs At Erics.. New Order.. Power, Corruption, Lies.. Kraftwerk.. The Man Machine.. Autobahn.. Computer World.. Trans Europe Express.. Men Without Hats.. The Rhythm of Youth.. Folk of the 80's - Part III.. John Foxx.. Metamatic.. John Foxx & Louis Gordon.. Exotour.. Human League..  ...   Fishes.. The Church.. The Blurred Crusade.. Seance.. Roxy Music.. Avalon.. Depeche Mode.. Speak & Spell.. A Broken Frame.. U2.. The Unforgettable Fire.. Gary Numan.. The Pleasure Principle.. Replicas.. Dance.. Telekon.. The Smiths.. The Queen is Dead.. Meat Is Murder.. Enya.. The Celts.. The Cars.. Let's Go.. Shake it Up.. Red Rider.. Neruda.. Saga.. Heads or Tales.. Denim.. Back in Denim.. Duran Duran.. Rio.. Leonard Cohen.. Greatest Hits.. The The.. Soul Mining.. Giorgio Moroder.. E=MC2.. Rational Youth.. Cold War/Night Life.. Steve Kilbey.. Unearthed.. Vangelis.. Bladerunner.. John Carpenter.. Escape From New York.. Coldplay.. X Y.. Eurythmics.. Sweet Dreams (are made of this).. Touch.. Supertramp.. Breakfast in America.. ABBA.. Gold.. Visage.. The Anvil..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE - Minimal Electro Synthpop New Wave Music 80s MP3s
    Descriptive info: BUBBLEBOY REMIXES 12" (WRLC 001).. Released on October 20th, 2004, this limited edition.. (500 copies).. blue vinyl 12" is the first release on the German label.. We Rock Like Crazy.. It includes the original version of Bubbleboy, and 6 additional versions/remixes of the song by various European electronic artists, tracing the life of Bubbleboy from his happy beginnings to his dark and lonely end.. Tracks include:.. SIDE A.. - Bubbleboy.. Freischwimmer.. - Bubbleboy (Muss Zur Marine Mix).. This Fish Needs A Bike.. - Bubbleboy Redux.. SIDE B.. Charly Kent.. : Bubbled Boy.. Solitude FX.. : Bubbleboy Meets Bubblegirl.. Echo West.. : Bubbleboy.. IT & My Computer.. : Le Garcon Est Mort.. Available now through.. (Europe/UK).. A limited number will be available in the US through the.. I SATELLITE Store.. E-mail.. for availability.. AUTO:MATIC (OMEGA 001).. I SATELLITE's debut CD was released in March 2003 on Omeganaut Records.. You can hear sound clips or buy MP3's of the songs on Apple.. iTunes.. (requires installation of iTunes on PC or Mac).. robot p..  ...   Music Non-Stop.. (£11.. 95).. EUROPE:.. ( 12.. AUTO: EP (OMEGA 002).. The AUTO: EP was released as a limited edition of 100 signed copies in March 2003 and quickly sold out.. Tracks included:.. robot be.. ch.. bbleboy: retro mix.. pho.. ograph.. a victory.. f love.. bubbleboy.. instrumental.. COVER VERSIONS.. I SATELLITE has written several cover versions for various tribute CD's and compilations over the years.. Here are a few of those tracks:.. Alphaville - A Victory of Love.. (right-click to download).. (This track appeared on the limited AUTO: EP).. ABBA - I Am The City.. (This track was released on.. Thankyou For the Music - An Electronic Tribute To ABBA.. compilation in January 2004).. New Order - Your Silent Face.. (This track was to appear on Souvenir Records Popaganda Volume 2 compilation.. but the release never happened).. Japan - Life In Tokyo.. (left-click for details).. (This track was to appear on.. Utopia - A Tribute to Giorgio Moroder.. on.. Cohaagen Records.. in Autumn 2004.. but the release has yet to appear.. )..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE CD Reviews Electro New Wave SynthPop Music MP3s MP3
    Descriptive info: Bernhard Lloyd.. - Alphaville.. Brilliant!.. ALTSynth.. www.. altsynth.. Cool and sparse but packed with melody.. I Satellite leaves the pop world behind but still present well constructed songs.. The production work here is also top notch.. Rod MacQuarrie is able to use electronics for his music in a way that recalls but does not copy the early 80s.. If you have to name bands, just know that his music leans away from Erasure and much more towards Japan or Kraftwerk.. iTunes has previews of this wonderful album.. A Lad Inane.. I've been an obsessive New Wave fan for many years.. If I could, I'd live the rest of my life between the years 1978 and 1982 (as the young adult I am now, of course), but because I can't, this CD will have to do.. And boy does.. AUTO:MATIC.. do.. Although the artist's influences (Kraftwerk, Numan, Foxx, New Order, etc.. ) clearly come through, the production on the album (while firmly rooted in the analog early 80s) sounds appealingly modern; it's as though Rod MacQuarrie (the one-man band behind the name.. ) stretched 1982 over the course of 21 years and pretended it never ended.. Although the material on the album is pleasantly varied (the New Order-ish.. 12:15 Friday Night.. and the Depeche Mode-infused.. Robot Parade.. contrasting nicely with the Magnetic Fields/Human League pop of.. I Want You.. ), the sinister soundscapes of.. Automat.. and.. Polaroid.. (the latter echoing the Ambient chime quality of Numan's.. Music For Chameleons.. ) are where I Satellite truly shines.. Lyrically,.. covers similar territory as John Foxx's best work (an ambivalent/emotionally detached attitude toward a Ballard-like metropolis both ripe with technology and rife with isolation), but, thankfully, MacQuarrie's approach is unique and, in the opulent-sounding "Bubbleboy," even playful.. will appeal to fans of ethereal-sounding New Wave,.. Electroclash.. , and the artists cited above.. MacQuarrie may wear his influences on his sleeve, but he's clearly more than the sum of his parts, and he's not a "retro" act.. John Foxx, surely one of the most influential, if often overlooked, electronic pop innovators, summed up I Satellite's motivations and appeal (and several other prevailing artists of the.. movement) best with the following:.. "New architecture containing some appropriated material.. Gene splicing to make interesting mutations, better able to negotiate new environments.. [.. ] using [old] elements to build a new music for the present.. ".. Meg Erben.. Electro Culture Magazine.. If you love early.. Thompson Twins.. , or can entertain the idea of a male-fronted.. Freezepop.. you MUST check out.. ! Rod MacQuarrie's soft melodies are pure ear-candy on poppy tracks such as.. He seriously channels.. (circa 1982) on.. with an added.. type of flare.. breaks down their programming to the bare basics, which completely makes their sound work.. Recommendation: If you like your electro pop sticky sweet.. and very retro, you will love.. Fans of early.. ,.. , and.. , Auto:matic is a must for your music collection.. DJ Martian.. djmartian.. blogspot.. ALERT! Sensational new synth-pop artist:.. Track,.. - the voice sounds EXACTLY like Gary Numan, and the music sublime icy synths! If Cursor Minor rocked your boat last year, wait till you listen to this! The synths sounds also remind me of Swedish synth pop band Covenant.. - another Gary Numan-like performance, wow this is impressive - futuristic vocoder, spacey production, visions of autobahns, yes Kraftwerk creep in, and then it all goes into a spiralling synth vortex like John Foxx.. Utterly stunning, if I were an A&R manager for a large independent label, I would sign.. immediately tomorrow! According to.. this album was released February 20, 2003.. Obviously I am not looking in the right places! Also available at.. and more stunning reviews.. Gary Flanagan.. - Nightwaves Magazine #14 - October 2003.. I was immediately struck by the analogue puritanism of this disc.. It is bright, clean and sets.. far apart from the rest of the synthhounds out there.. is the real deal.. there are no virtual synths or computers on this album.. It is completely comprised of authentic synths and drum machines from the late 70's and early 80's.. This guy has keen pop smarts and a great ear for melody, and his pleasant vocals really compliment the unique lyrics.. This guy doesn't just follow the crowd.. There is a distinct air of intelligence at work here.. This disc has a happy pop sheen, but that's not to say that it is saccharine.. "Automat" is so gleefully retro- it oozes new wave cool.. This is pure synthpop at its best (and smartest).. Alexander Pohle.. backagain.. de.. Some time ago, an old friend told me about.. from the US of A as a wonderful 80s sounding Electro project in the vein of bands and musicians like Ultravox, John Foxx, Human League, Alphaville and other heroes of my youth.. At once I contacted Rod of.. and very soon held this album in my hands.. is some kind of 80s-Retro-album, which will be loved by all fans of the good ol times.. The album opens with the instrumental and very rhythmic Robot Parade , followed by the very poppy Bubbleboy , which reminds me a bit on Trans X or The Buggles.. After listening to this track the first time, the melody never leaves the ears again.. This would ve been a Top 10 hit in the early 80s! Next is I Want You.. Did you ever think, that the musical change of Heaven 17 after their first album Penthouse Pavement was not the best idea? Then, I Want You is the perfect track, also with a certain Gary Numan feeling.. Retropolis is another instrumental piece, which reminds me a bit on early, experimental OMD-album tracks.. 12:15 Friday Night is a great Minimal-Wave song with reminiscences on Erasure on their first two albums, while the album title track Automat is my favourite song, sounding like the early Human League.. Simply a brilliant masterpiece of today s Electro music! Then comes the Kraftwerk-like Polaroid.. Where In The World is possibly the most actual sounding title on Auto:matic.. If you like some Swedish Synthie-Pop bands from the 90s, you know, what I mean.. The last instrumental track is Orlon , very driving, very minimalstic with a lot of sound effects.. The album then ends with Out Of Space , another 90s Minimal-Synth-Wave song.. What can I say about this unbelievable Electro album? It is definetly one of the very best Synthie-Pop albums, I heard in the last years and a must have for every 80s Pop fan, who likes any of the above mentioned bands.. Forget all the boring Future-Pop acts and get.. instead.. Even if the sound and the song structures are pure 80s, the music does not sound old-fashioned, so the term Modern-Retro-Pop describes.. perfectly.. Danny King.. - Synthetic Vision Magazine #12.. This debut release from this American solo artist was described on the Plastiq Musiq website as being vintage analogue electro pop with sharp production, sing-a-long melodies and old synthesisers and drum machines a plenty , that clearly sums up the 10 tracks that are on offer here, there is certainly a touch of Gary Numan, John Foxx and Ultravox among others through out the album itself giving that clear early-80s feel to the album.. There are many excellent tracks here including the superb I Want You and the stunning 'Automat' with its waves of analogue synths that crash from everywhere, vocoder led vocals  ...   indeed a cerebral piece of work.. Dim the lights and sit back enjoy the cosmic journey as robotoids perform their monotonous march through ten synthetic traxz that run the gamut of love, pain, sex and pleasure in the 21st century.. Though introspective and deserving of your full attention.. does offer up a mind numbing electronic robotic rump shaker in Where In The World.. It's an electronic concoction made up with a jigger of Ladytron, a shot of OMD served up in a frosty electrical goblet provided by Ganymede.. It intoxicates you so that you don't realize that you left your seat and are dancing in the middle of the floor.. In 12:15 Friday Night and Bubbleboy you'll find soft and sweet cosmic electricity the like Numan has never delivered.. In both songs the electricity is playful, frothy and cuddly and displays.. 's knowledge of the basic principles of creating catchy electronic pop.. So childlike these tunes that you don't realize that though playfully disguised as bubbles and harmless sparks the electronics are imbued with so much energy that you don't realize that you are playing with power.. As big electric-blue bubbles float from your speakers and lazy electricity languishes about the room you are caught completely off guard when the electric bubbles begin to pop and overwhelm you and the languishing electronics start to mercilessly and continuously jolt you.. As his electronic angst moans like solar winds through the Milky Way galaxy you close your eyes and you can almost see the fingers of.. work the keyboards in Out of Space.. also delivers some hard electricity in the Adult vein in the science gone mad Automat.. In I Want You synthesizers wail as you sail the solar seas on a Numan-like rocket ride into deep space.. On this trip you don't feel alone and alienated as again.. takes the best Numan influences and leaves behind Numan's trademark aloofness.. So, just sit back, relax and let this space boy take you on a journey through the cosmos that you will never forget.. Space travel with Gary Numan is a lonely sometimes-depressing dramatic symphonic space opera, but space travel with.. is just plain fun.. Don't burn it, buy it.. Maurizio Pustianaz.. chaindlk.. org.. is a project headed by Rod MacQuarrie.. Unfortunately I've got no additional information about the guy and his website is still waiting for the final touch so it can't be helpful either.. Anyway, from what I can hear his heros are people like Gary Numan (good his I Want you that makes me remember good tunes like Music For Chameleons ) and various classical influences such as Kraftwerk (see for example the instrumental Retropolis ) or sometimes echoes of Howard Jones along all the good 80's electro wave that made my day in those years.. His sound is based on analog gear (the various Jupiter and Juno series along with Oberheim synthesizers and Roland old drum machines plus tons of other stuff) with the classical square wave sounds with those cool sweep fading sounds.. As general atmosphere.. sounds like a record produced at the end of the 70's and maybe if better produced the CD would sound a little more powerful but songs like Automat , Where In The World , Out Of Space and the already mentioned I Want You are good in any case without caring about sound production or else.. Listening to this album you'll get that sense of dreamy science fiction mixed with pop that made you love the same heroes that Rod loves, so if it isn't clear enough, this is worth a check.. Got it? ;-).. electronic-body-music.. (.. EBM erlebt momentan die Rückkehr der Clonkrieger, eine Old School -Band nach der anderen klettert aus dem Untergrund und erfreut die Electrojünger mit mehr oder weniger guten Repliken alter EBM Helden.. Und der Synthie Pop??? Der jetzt auch.. aber Synthie Pop ist wohl für.. der falsche Begriff, vielmehr handelt es sich um ein Revival der guten alten New Wave und der New Romantic mit einem Touch minimal Electro.. erinnert an Erstlingswerke wie Speak Spell von Depeche Mode, an Zeiten als Visage oder die Soft Cell noch die Charts erstürmten und anführten.. Aber auch Anleihen an Elektropioniere wie Kraftwerk sind zu vernehmen.. Der Mix aus dem ganzen ergibt ein Soundgebilde, das einem die Tränen in die Augen treibt, vor Nostalgie und vor Freude!!! Und das alles auch noch ohne in irgendeiner Form verstaubt zu wirken.. Hier sollte sich so manche EBM Revival Kombo mal ein paar Scheiben abschneiden.. Auf einzelne Tracks will und kann ich in diesem Review nicht eingehen, da das gesamte Werk eine Stimmigkeit besitzt, weil alle Lieder für sich gut sind und als Gesamtwerk sowieso.. Die CD des amerikanischen Ein-Mann Projektes ist ein Muss für jeden Nostalgiker, für jeden der die 80er erlebt hat und für jeden der die 80er für das beste Jahrzehnt in musikalischer Hinsicht sieht.. Auch jeder Depechie der sich die alten Zeiten zurücksehnt ist in den Händen von.. bestens aufgehoben.. Langsam sollte ich überlegen ob ich nicht doch ein Album des Monats einführe, denn wenn diese geile Scheibe es nicht wird, welche dann.. Volle Punktzahl, keine Diskussion (Full Score.. No Discussion).. RATING: 5/5.. e-lectric.. Aus den USA flatterte mir kürzlich diese Scheibe mit dem metallisch-grauen Rolltreppen-Cover ins Haus.. Presseinfo? Fehlanzeige.. Naja, mal reinhören, wird wohl wieder gruselig-säuseliger US-Synthipop mit hunderttausend unnötigen Remixes sein.. FALSCH !!! Weit gefehlt.. Schon an den ersten beep-blonk-Tönen des instrumentalen Openers Robot Parade zeigt sich, daß hier jemand seine Elektro-Lektion gelernt hat.. Beim Aufschlagen des Booklets blickt einen ein sympathischer junger Mann hinter einem Keyboard an: Rod Macquarrie heißt der Herr über einen respekterheischend großen Maschinenpark.. An einer Heerschar von Moog, Arp, Oberheim, Jupiter, Juno, Korg und wie sie alle heißen, kreiert Mister.. seine Tracks.. Und wo seine Vorbilder liegen, läßt sich beim Hören von Auto:Matic leicht feststellen.. Neben den üblichen Verdächtigen, sprich Kraftwerk und Human League, dürfte der Gute vor zwei Jahrzehnten eine Überdosis OMD erwischt haben, insbesondere die leicht gezuckerte Souvenir -Variante von 1981/82.. Ach ja, und Gary Numan: dem Meister der weißen Schminke scheint I Want You gewidmet zu sein - authentischer geht's kaum.. Zehn Tracks lang entführt uns I Satellite in die Welt des Synthipop der alten Schule - selbst das Coverartwork im retro-futuristischen Stil paßt hier bestens.. Lupenreine Synthetiksounds gepaart mit harmonischen Melodieläufen und einer angenehmen Stimme - einige mögen es als kitschig bezeichnen, ich hatte aber jede Menge Spaß mit dieser perfekt gemachten Old School-Scheibe.. E:Volution Music Page.. Das Photo einer Rolltreppe.. Grau-schwarz.. "Auto:matic".. Ja, automatisch läuft sie, so eine Rolltreppe, gemächlich und millionenfach bewährt.. Irgendwie passt das Cover zu dieser CD, denn das was das Ein-Mann-Projekt.. aus den USA da auf CD veröffentlicht hat, ist eben alles andere als bunt, schnell und modern.. Der Focus liegt hier ganz klar auf einer Zeit, die zwangsläufig mit dem Jahr 1989 endete: Den 80iger Jahren.. Jetzt, 14 Jahre später, wirkt dieses Werk daher wie eine Zeitreise in die Vergangenheit.. Eine Zeitreise, die mir wieder einmal vor Augen führt, was für ein tolles Jahrzehnt die 80iger Jahre doch für die elektronische Pop-Musik waren.. "Auto:matic" lässt diese Zeit noch einmal eindrucksvoll mit tollen Melodien und einer angenehm-soften Gesangsstimme zurückkehren.. Stilmäßig schwebt der.. dabei irgendwo in der New Wave- / Synthie-Pop- / Minimal-Electro- Galaxie der 80iger, seine Signale (Sounds) sendet er offenbar überwiegend analog.. Und trotzdem kann er es noch locker mit all seinen "neueren Kollegen" aufnehmen.. Also: Echt empfehlenswert, diese CD!..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE Electro MP3's SynthPop Music New Wave MP3s Free MP3
    Descriptive info: I SATELLITE STORE.. Currently available items:.. I SATELLITE -.. BUBBLEBOY REMIXES 12".. WRLC.. 001.. - October 2004.. Limited edition.. blue vinyl 12" with full-color sleeve.. Includes the original version of Bubbleboy and 6 reworked versions of the song by various European electronic artists.. Price: $14.. 99 plus shipping.. Quantities are limited.. Please e-mail for availability.. Omega.. - March 2003.. rade - 4:05.. bbleboy -.. 4:00.. you -.. 4:27.. polis -.. 4:47.. 15 friday night -.. 4:34.. at -.. 5:42.. roid -..  ...   this release are available.. here.. Can be purchased at.. Also available in Europe through our friends at.. Annalogue Records.. in Germany (each CD exclusively signed).. - Limited Edition AUTO:MATIC Button Set.. 11 buttons (one per song and one album button) depicting the tracks on the.. release.. Price: $4.. - Black t-shirt.. Black T-shirt with illustrations from the.. Front:.. Back:.. T-shirts are high quality black Hanes Beefy-T pre-shrunk cotton with white silkscreened front and back.. Price: $9.. Please e-mail for sizes and availability..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE Photos Kraftwerk Japan John Foxx Electropop MP3s
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  • Title: I SATELLITE Vintage Analog Synths Moog Oberheim Sequential Roland ARP
    Descriptive info: news.. OMEGANAUT.. Omeganaut is I SATELLITE's recording studio consisting of primarily vintage analog synths and drum machines from the 70's and early 80's.. Eventually I'll be creating pages for every item with photos, sound samples, and additional information.. Synths & Samplers.. Akai S-950.. - I'm a huge fan of the sampler in the MPC-60, but I prefer the sequencer in the MPC-3000.. I bought this sampler to give me the best of both worlds - rock-solid sequencer timing and crunchy lo-fi drum samples.. It has a better sampling rate than the MPC-60 as well, so where the MPC-60 didn't sound good, on hi-hats and such, this sampler excels.. A great sampler from the late 80's.. ARP Omni.. - Q: What do Kraftwerk (Man Machine, Trans Europe Express), The Cars (Let the Good Times Roll, Best Friend's Girlfriend, Moving in Stereo, etc.. ), Kansas (Dust in the Wind), Modern English (I Melt With You, Someone's Calling, etc.. ) all have in common? A: They all feature the original ARP Omni for strings, filter sweeps, and synth textures.. Although temperamental (I had to replace 49 tantalum capacitors and a bunch of resistor packs and transistor arrays to get mine fully functioning) it's a wonderful sounding string synth, and is capable of a great Moog like bass sound too.. Unlike the Omni 2, the Omni routes the synth circuit through an ARP 4075 filter, the same filter used on the MKIII ARP Odyssey and Quadra.. Greg Hawkes preferred the original Omni due to its more electronic sound.. It certainly has surprized me how great it sounds.. Somewhat limited, but you can't get a bad sound out of it.. One of my all-time favorite synth sounds is the Omni Viola through with Waveform Enhancement through the built-in Chorus.. ARP String Ensemble SE-IV.. (rebadged Eminent Solina) - I wanted one of these for years, and finally found one for a reasonable price in early 2009.. It's sort of a one-trick pony, but what it does it does very well.. Probably the nicest sounding strings due to the wonderful chorus circuit.. It was used by Joy Division, New Order, and the Cure.. Gary Wright used it on Dream Weaver through a MuTron BiPhase.. Crumar Performer.. - This synth has both a brass and a string section.. The brass section can actually be used to create a pretty nice bass sound, but generally it's pretty weak.. Nothing like the Omni, that's for sure.. What this synth really excels at is very fragile, wavery, modulated strings.. No other string synth has this type of sound, so I just can't justify selling it.. It can be pretty noisy so it's probably a good idea to permanently attach a noise gate to this synth.. Nick Rhodes used it to good effect in Duran Duran and described the sound as "plasticky".. Logan String Melody II.. - This is one of my favorite string synths.. It has an independant attack/decay envelope for each note press.. Other string synths like the ARP and Crumar use a paraphonic design so each note shares the envelope across the entire keyboard.. That makes the Logan unique sounding and capable of more expressive playing.. The strings sound very beautiful, not as lush as the ARP String Ensemble, but more like a Mellotron.. At one time in the 70's it was the string synth to own.. As used by Rational Youth on Cold War, Night Life.. Moog Minimoog.. - I've owned several Minimoogs through the years, but the 1972 Moog Music Inc.. one I currently own is the best sounding Mini I've heard or owned.. I tend to use it mainly for bass sounds, but it also excels at lead sounds and percussive filter effects.. It lacks oscillator sync, and the envelope section is somewhat limited, but it sounds so nice I have to admit it is my favorite monosynth.. The later Minis were too perfect sounding, and lacked a certain thickness to the sound.. They had light colored wood, with a honey glaze that wore off over time and started to look pretty nasty.. My current Mini is solid walnut, and although it has a few cracks in teh wood and marks here and there, I could never sell it.. About 8 years ago I almost did.. I had it packed up and brought it to my work, waiting for FEDEX to pick it up.. I was trading it for a Rev.. 3 Prophet-5.. I suddenly realized that I'd never find another like this one, and retrieved it just as the FEDEX guy was about to take it away.. My Mini was made in 1972, making it one of the first post-Musonics Mini's off the assembly line.. It's a very early model with white carved vinyl mod/pitch wheels, but not early enough to have the clear wheels.. The tuning is rock solid and I've never had any issues with drifting oscillators, despite it not having the updated oscillator mod as on the later Mini'ss.. Perhaps that's why the later Mini's I've owned didn't sound as nice? As used by Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Vince Clarke, and many others.. Moog Multimoog.. - I've owned 3 Multimoogs over the years and still have one of them.. I've debated selling it but lately I've been getting more out of it.. The Multimoog is probably the most expressive monosynth from the 70's that is best played by hand to get the most out of it.. I have yet to figure out how to trigger the expression circuit externally.. It uses a really odd 1.. 2 volt/octave keyboard scaling but most high-end CV converters can be adjusted to compensate for this (Kenton Pro-4).. The sound is typical Moog, though the oscillators and filter are not as pure as the Minimoog and Source (I notice the filter gets grainier/dirtier as you play higher notes).. I think it's best for expressive basslines and touch sensitive sound effects or lead sounds with a bit of vibrato on the aftertouch.. It was one of Moog's attempts to create a better, cheaper, more performance-oriented Minimoog.. It's the big brother of the Micromoog, and is basically the same as a Micromoog with an additional daughterboard added on for the second oscillator.. You'd be hard-pressed to get the sound of a Mini out of it, but what it does give you is aftertouch control over sync, VCO, filter, etc.. It also has a touchpad for pitch control, which has some benefits over the traditional pitch wheel, but some drawbacks as well.. I love the basslines you can make with this synth, and how you can add a little post-vibrato to the sound.. It's also a great lead synth, but the filter isn't as nice as the Minikorg.. As used by Saga on pretty much everything they ever did.. Kraftwerk used the one-oscillator version, the Micromoog, for the bassline on The Model.. You can get the same sound by using only one oscillator on the Multi.. Moog Polymoog.. - I bought a Polymoog for $100 in a pawn shop about 10 years ago and my tech was able to fix it for about $25.. It was a bit beat up but it had a cool 70's vibe to it with lots of fake vinyl wood, black plastic, and aluminum painted logos.. A friend came over and recommended I sell it because it would eventually break down and be costly to repair.. I didn't have any effects units to run it through at the time, so I remember thinking it sounded kind of thin and weedy at the time.. I owned a Jupiter-6 with a great Vox Humana patch, along with a D-50, and since I couldn't control the Polymoog via MIDI, I decided to sell it.. It broke during shipping.. Fast forward 10 years and I started to develop a fascination for vintage string synthesizers from the 70's.. As I started to research what was being used on certain songs, I realized that the Polymoog was what I was hearing on many of my all-time favorite songs.. Japan used it on Gentlemen Take Polaroids.. Visage used it on their first two albums, along with the CS-80.. Gary Numan used it on pretty much every good album he ever made.. In fact, I'd say the Polymoog MADE Numan and when he stopped using it his fame dwindled.. Jimmy Destri of Blondie used it on Call Me and Heart of Glass and preferred it over the CS-80.. The Buggles used it on Video Killed the Radio Star.. And Kraftwerk used it - a lot - on Man Machine and Trans Europe Express.. I now know how they got certain sounds that I was curious about before.. My friend Stefan owns Kraftwerk's Polymoog, and has used it to great effect on his Silicon Scientist releases.. So I decided to give it a second chance, and bought a broken Polymoog Synthesizer (model 203a) on eBay in mid-2009.. It is one of the last models before they came out with the preset Keyboard version so it's still labelled Polymoog Keyboard.. It was accidently shipped to my old mailing address, 3 hours away in Detroit, so I had to arrange to have it shipped to my new address.. I was lucky it made it, because it was basically wrapped in blankets for padding.. Fortunately it arrived in near mint physical condition.. My tech got it working again, and I installed new LED's in it since most had burnt out.. It is now one of my favorite polysynths.. I think I like it better than the Jupiter-8 for the depth of sound you can coax out of it.. It has an other-worldly sound that no other synth can make and is capable of some of the spookiest sounding strings of any synth I've owned.. It takes some time to figure it out, but once you discover that the presets are not actually presets but starting points for shaping the sounds, it opens up a whole world of tonal possibilities.. I can get an ultra-realistic piano sound out of it, and very realistic strings.. The strings are simply amazing.. The LFO section is excellent for adding movement to any sound.. The resonator section can totally warp the sound and add an almost human vocal quality to the sound.. You can also route other synths through the resonant filter.. It has velocity control from the keyboard, and probably one of the best feeling keyboards on any vintage synth.. It has a pitch bend ribbon for bending notes or chords.. It has multiple outputs, for creating an amazing surround sound.. The filter section is a bit limited, but it's a Moog filter and it does have a cool Sample & Hold effect which can be blended into the overall sound.. Overall, this synth doesn't get the credit it deserves, and after owning many synths through the years, including the venerable CS-80, I have to say that the Polymoog ranks as one of my all-time favorite polysynths.. It's no wonder they are climbing in value.. Moog Source.. - Moog Music were the first to add knobs to a synth, and the first to remove them - on this synth.. Not the best claim to fame as it signaled a move away from the more ergonomic, utilitarian control surfaces used on synths in the 70's towards preset patches that nobody bothered to change.. I remember Guy Fletcher from Depeche Mode claiming in Keyboard Magazine that he had this synth for a year before realizing he could modify the sounds on it.. The most famous use of the Source is the bassline of New Order's Blue Monday.. Rational Youth used it on most of their tracks on Cold War Night Life, and.. ZZ Top.. used it for arpeggiated basslines on the Eliminator album.. While attempting to work on a cover of New Order's Your Silent Face, I realized I just couldn't get the sound I was after with any other synth, including the Minimoog and MIDIMini.. It took me some time to track one down in mint condition, and after owning it for a year or so I added an Encore MIDI kit for more patch locations and better external control.. But the MIDI kit ended up wiping out all of my cool patches, and in the end I realized that the MIDI interface just wasn't immediate enough and hindered sound creation.. So I sold it.. About a year later I spent quite some time trying to track another mint one down.. I eventually found another and had to pay through the nose to get it.. This is the synth I go to for sync-bass sounds that I can't get on the Mini or Multimoog.. The interface is a bit difficult, but once you get used to it, it's not as bad as, say, a Voyetra-8 or Microwave.. There are only 16 places to store patches, but it actually forces you to explore the synth more instead of relying on patches all the time.. Mine is an MKI model, which I prefer to the look of the MKII models.. The MKII added Roland DIN sync connector for the arpeggiator, but added black screws all over the front of the synth and an ugly black square on the back next to the tuning knob.. My controller already has arpeggiator sync, so I have no need for that feature.. The early models look nicer and cleaner overall, on the face and on the back.. Overall, a great synth for basslines.. As used by New Order, Depeche Mode, Rational Youth, ZZ Top, The Twins, etc.. Oberheim OB-X.. - Probably the most ergonomic, easy to program polyphonic synth I own.. It also has the biggest, baddest sound of any synth I've heard (excluding the Oberheim 4-voice, which I found more difficult to program).. The OB-X excels at subtle strings and pads but unlike the OB-Xa and OB-8, you can also use it for cross-modulation effects.. The levers are a bit strange, and almost seems counterintuitive, but you can sweep the second oscillator with the pitch bend lever.. I love this synth so much that I dedicated a whole.. page.. to it.. It was the main synth used by Japan and Killing Joke and was also used all over Rush's Moving Pictures album, most notably at the beginning Tom Sawyer.. And according to the track sheet cards on.. this article.. with Bob Clearmountain, it was also used on Roxy Music's Avalon for string sounds, most notably on the b-side "Always Unknowing".. Rumor has it the OB-X was the synth responsible for Van Halen's Jump intro.. Although Eddie Van Halen owned an OB-Xa, apparently he used an OB-X in the studio to create that massive pad sound.. After hearing both, I'm inclined to agree.. Oberheim OB-Xk.. - A basic keyboard controller from the early 80's.. I love all of the options it has, but the keyboard itself is uninspiring to play - a bit on the spongy side.. The arpeggiator input is a brilliant feature, and any trigger source can add a syncable arpeggiation to any MIDI synth, which gets sent out the MIDI output and can then be recorded into your MIDI sequencer.. Aside from my string synths, I can control nearly every synth and drum machine in my studio from this board.. The only thing it's lacking is a sustain pedal input.. I wish the power supply wasn't a walwart; the little 9 volt plug keeps getting bumped out of the socket and turning off the controller.. My KX88 blows it away for most things, but it's still a valuable controller for the arpeggiator feature and synth action trills.. PPG Wave 2.. 3.. - I used to own a PPG Wave 2.. 3 about 10 years ago.. It had an absolutely amazing sound, but a somewhat difficult interface.. Soon after I bought a Waldorf Microwave with Access programmer and PPG cards, and compared them side by side.. The Waldorf sounded muffled, probably due to the CEM filters.. I sold the PPG in order to buy a System-700 modular, thinking the Waldorf would suffice, and realized my mistake soon afterwards.. The Waldorf had an annoying, well-documented click at the beginning of the envelopes that was nearly impossible to eliminate.. The PPG had SSM chips in it, which gave it an incredible presence in any mix.. And it was easier to program than the Microwave.. Needless to say, I sold the Microwave, and in mid-2009 I bought another PPG 2.. 3, had the software updated by Alex of.. Virtual Music Synthesizer Service.. , and replaced the keyboard bushings and backlight.. It's now ultra-stable, and sounds amazing.. It's one of my all-time favorite polysynths, and definitely my all-time favorite digital synth.. Great for pads, strings, percussive effects, and the sharpest basslines known to man.. It was used by Ultravox, Saga, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, and Alphaville on Forever Young.. Roland CMU-810 CompuSynth.. - A very rare Roland monosynth that was released by Roland's DG (Digital Group) back when digital was the buzzword of the day.. Basically a small 2 VCO monosynth in a small metal box with a layout similar to the MC-202, but sounding more like an SH-09.. No keyboard, only CV/GATE inputs.. It was designed to interface with the CMU-800 CompuMusic computer interface and looks a lot like it but with blue graphics instead of red.. It has a built in mixer input to route a synth or drum machine through it, CV control over VCA (sure wish it was VCF instead), LFO delay (as on the MC-202), noise source (as on the SH-101), and nice metal sliders with Jupiter-8 fader caps.. I owned two at one time, sold them both, eventually bought one of them back again, only to sell it to pay for another synth.. Recently found another one and hopefully won't be selling this one anytime soon.. The CMU-810 packs a lot of punch into a very small, metal enclosure.. It's amazing how great it sounds.. Roland D-550.. & PG-1000 - Rackmount version of the D-50 with the optional (and essential) programmer.. The D-50's Sample + Synth architecture became very popular in the late 80's.. Even with the programmer, it's a deep instrument to get your head around.. I think the early digital synths had a lot of character, moreso than the synths that came out in the early 90's.. In fact, while the samples used in the D-50 aren't the best, I like the overall sound of the D-50 more than the JD-800.. There's one main reason I've kept a D-50.. It was used all over Sleeps With the Fishes by Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook.. All of those haunting swirling textures are classic Roland D-50.. Roland Juno-60.. - This was my first analog synth and it was the synth that started my analog synth addiction.. I love the arpeggiator and the bell-like tones you can get out of it.. It's also good for bass sounds.. However, the chorus is so noisy I've permanently removed it from all of my patches.. Sometimes I turn all the waveforms off and just use the sub-oscillator, which sounds amazing and hollow (as used on Bubbleboy).. It was used by Enya on pretty much everything she did.. I like it better than the Juno-106.. The Juno-6 has a slight edge due to a full slider for the HPF as opposed to a notched one on the 60, but the patch saving and DCB interface are a plus in the 60's favor.. One of Vince Clarke's favorite synths.. Roland Jupiter-4.. - The Jupiter-4 was Roland's first polyphonic synth.. I read somewhere that it was originally going to be called the Roland Space Bird, which is funny because you can get both bird chirps and spacey sounds out of it.. It's surprizing that they used a 4 in the name since generally the Japanese are superstitious about the use of the number 4 (apparently it rhymes with death).. The JP-4 has 4-note polyphony, an awesome arpeggiator, built-in chorus ensemble and hold function, 10 presets including one labeled "The Force", the best range of any LFO on any synth I own (can go extremely slow or fast), a wonderful filter, and Compuphonic written in futuristic lettering across the front panel.. While the custom memory locations are limited to 8, it's possible to stack a memory chips and install a toggle to icnrease the memory locations.. If anyone has any information as to how to perform this mod, please let me know.. I have the memory chips, but I don't have the know-how to do it.. In many respects (filter, arpeggiator) I think the JP-4 sounds better than the JP-8.. While stock it doesn't have any way to control the synth externally, you can add CV/GATE inputs to it (the connections are on the voice boards).. I have an MPU-101 dedicated to this synth.. It was pretty much the quintessential New Wave synth, used by Nick Rhodes (first two Duran Duran albums), Depeche Mode (Vince would carry it on the subway to gigs), Vangelis (Bladerunner), Yazoo (Upstairs at Erics), Gary Numan (Telekon), Simple Minds (Sister Feeling's Call, Sons & Fascination), Tears for Fears (The Hurting), Trans-X (Living on Video), etc.. I used it through a Chorus Echo on the extended intro to Life In Tokyo.. Roland Jupiter-8.. - One of my favorite synths.. It simply oozes quality, from the futuristic metal end panels to the colorful buttons and sleek vinyl-clad metal chassis with heat vent slots across the top.. It was a departure from the drab black and gray of Roland's 70's synths and it appears they took some design cues from Yamaha's CS-50/60/80 series.. The JP-8 was probably the peak of Roland synthesizer design.. It blows away the Jupiter-6 with it's beautiful string and pad sounds that almost sound like they have reverb built in.. I've owned 4 of them over the years and each one sounded a bit different from the other.. The earlier models tended to have more problems, but (at least to my ears) sounded a bit thicker and lusher.. Various upgrades were made along the way to improve their reliability and stability.. The earlier models were had a 12-bit DAC (as opposed to 14-bit), had flickering LED screens, and a dark black/brown metal face vs.. more of a metallic gray on later models.. The later models had DCB included (resulting in a smaller Roland logo on the back of the synth) and are known as JP-8a models.. My current JP-8 is an earlier model with the excellent Encore MIDI kit that adds MIDI in and OUT (for data only - boo), velocity and/or aftertouch controlled VCF and/or VCA, and double the memory locations.. Mine apparently has had some updates as well because the LED doesn't flicker and it's very stable.. The filter on this one self-oscillates, something none of my other JP-8's could do.. Perhaps it's an internal adjustment or Roland decided to remove this feature on later models? As used by Alphaville (Forever Young), Simple Minds (New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain), Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran (he still owns his and used it extensively on their first 3 albums), Greg Hawkes of the Cars (Heartbeat City), Blanc Mange, Howard Jones (New Life), Modern English (After the Snow, Ricochet Days) and numerous other New Wave acts in the early 80's.. Roland SH-1.. - One of my favorite Roland monophonics.. After buying this SH-1, I decided to sell my System-700 lab cabinet because I could get similar bass sounds out of the SH-1 (the attack is a bit less sharp than the 700) and I really didn't think the 700 was worth 10 times an SH-1.. The SH-1 has an awesome filter and is great for bass and noise effects.. I've read elsewhere that the circuitry inside the SH-1 was based off the 700.. The noise circuit on the SH-1 is definitely better sounding than the System-700 and the trigger input can be routed to the LFO to round out bass sounds (similar to the 700).. It blows away the SH-2 and proves that more oscillators does not necessarily mean it's a better synth.. As used by Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, and OMD.. Roland SH-3.. - One of Roland's first synths, the SH-3 is a great little synth, a one-oscillator scaled-back version of the SH-5.. While limited, it has an awesome filter, white/pink noise, and the ability to mix waveforms at any available footage for complex textures.. There were two versions of this synth, the SH-3, and the SH-3a.. Apparently the SH-3 infringed on a Moog filter patent so Roland reworked it and re-released it as the SH-3a.. There aren't many SH-3's out there.. My SH-3 is currently sitting in a box, waiting to be repaired and modded.. It's physically a bit too long of a synth so I bought a Kenton CV/GATE kit for it and intend to create a custom enclosure for it and turn it into a sound module.. One of these days.. Sequential Prophet-5.. (Rev.. 3) - I've owned a number of Prophet-5's over the years, three Rev.. 3's and a Rev.. 2.. Each version had its strengths and weaknesses.. The Rev.. 3 was smoother sounding, more immediate from a programming standpoint, and much more reliable.. 2 was always in the shop, in fact, my tech had it for 3 out of the past 5 years.. The SSM chips were also rarer than hen's teeth.. So I sold the Rev.. 2 and kept the 3.. I found my current Rev.. 3 in mint condition for $400 in a Detroit Craigslist ad a few years ago, but it was non-functioning.. After being repaired, it's now ultra-stable.. I love this synth! As used by Japan, Tears for Fears, Gary Numan, Nick Rhodes, Men Without Hats, OMD and many others.. Univox MiniKorg 700.. - The Korg Minikorg (Univox 700) was Korg's first synthesizer and is one of my all-time favorite monosynths.. It's probably my favorite synth for leads.. It came out in 1973 and was rebadged as a Univox product for the US market.. It has a great 12db dual high/lowpass filter (controlled by two sliders labelled traveller), an awesome vibrato (standard or delayed), portamento, adjustable repeat (for staccato notes and primitive sequences), expansion (filter amplitude) and brightness (resonance) circuits, and two chorus effects.. There was an upgraded model (the 700s or Minikorg 2) that added another oscillator along with noise and ring mod features, but I've heard the scaling is too difficult to keep in sync between the two oscillators and I've not used that model.. The Korg Maxikorg took the Minikorg to the next level (basically 2 700s synth engines in one box) but I haven't had the pleasure of even seeing, let alone owning one.. Greg Hawkes used his 700 on practically every Cars album.. It was Vangelis' first synth (and a favorite), Kitaro claimed it was his favorite synth, and according to Martyn Ware in this.. interview.. , it was used it on the first couple Human League albums (including Being Boiled).. Depeche Mode also used a 700s on Speak & Spell.. Yamaha CP-30.. - A large somewhat portable electronic piano that folds up into a suitcase.. I guess it was more portable than a CP-80.. Gary Numan used it a lot on several of his releases.. So did Greg Hawkes of the Cars, with an ARP Omni and Minikorg stacked on top.. Supertramp used one as well.. It can have a very eerie quality to it, especially when you detune each side in stereo.. There are a few toggles to change the sounds, but they're all pretty basic.. There's also a harpsichord toggle.. I've thought about selling it because it's just too huge for my studio.. It's very noisy, probably the noisiest piece of gear I own, but they sell for so cheap and it's so hard to ship that it's just not worth selling.. Yamaha CS-15.. - Cool little mono synth from Yamaha - basically two CS-5 synth engines in one, with separate HZ/Volt inputs on the back so they can be triggered separately.. It has a very thin sound, which can actually sound very nice once it's multitracked.. HZ/Volt inputs are a bit of a pain requiring a non-standard MIDI converter to trigger it, but my Pro-4 handles it fine.. It has a really cool feature where you can set each synth to glide up or down to a specific note.. This effect was put to good use at the beginning of The Human Leagues' "Love Action" off of Dare! It is also used a lot by Eddie Bengtsson of Sista Mannen Pa Jorden.. He once told me it was his favorite synth.. Yamaha CS-50.. - The CS-50 is the little brother of the CS-80 with only 4 voices and no memories.. It's missing the pitch bend strip, chorus/tremelo effects, and the keyboard brightness controls.. But it has the same voice cards as the CS-80 with one changed resistor resulting in a bit brighter sound than the CS-80 overall.. It does some things better like fast trills since it has more of a synth keyboard action.. I've kept mine in case I need to steal chips to repair my CS-80 (knock on wood), but it's a great synth in its own right.. As used by Men Without Hats on Rhythm of Youth.. Yamaha CS80.. - Back in 1996, I was on a family vacation in Nova Scotia, and met up with an Analog Heaven member in Halifax, who was the genius behind the SH-101 NovaMod.. He had a mint Yamaha CS-80 in his studio that he had just sold to a friend in New York for $900.. At the time, due to their poor reliability, they were selling for less than a Prophet-5 on the used market, and were not that desirable.. Now you'd be lucky to find one for under $12,000, with some mint examples selling for more than $25,000, and even more with MIDI.. I had always heard of this famous synth, but had never seen one in person.. The CS-80 was impressive looking, and just oozed quality.. It was capable of very expressive organic textures via it's fully-weighted keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch (any key could be used to introduce a bit of vibrato or filter to subtly effect the sound) and velvet pitch-bend strip (if you swiped it left-to-right you could change the pitch an entire octave but if you swiped it right-to-left you could go down into the subaudio frequency range).. Serial numbers for the CS-80 started at 1000, with the highest in the 1900's, meaning there were only around 900 of them even made.. The more stable oscillators were introduced around the mid-1300's so the later ones are the ones to get.. Back in the 90's it was a pipe dream for me to own one, and I knew it was unlikely I'd ever see one again in person.. Due to the CS-80's popularity on the 70's touring circuit, very few are left today.. A few years later I was at my synth tech's and he had just bought a beat up CS-80 that he was attempting to restore.. In order to get it to tune properly, he had moved the power supply to a separate box outside of the synth, but it still wouldn't stay in tune.. I played it, and was not impressed.. Fast forward 10 years to 2006 and I bought a CS-50 in near mint condition.. After spending some time with it, I realized just how great the synth engine was on the CS series of synths.. Imagine doubling that, adding a weighted keyboard and built-in chorus/tremelo, and memories! I decided to add a CS-80 to my short list.. A few weeks later I ended up buying a CS-80 expression pedal on eBay with the hope of eventually finding a CS-80 to go with it.. A week later, a CS-80 showed up on eBay for $3000, formerly used by Genesis for a cross-Canada tour.. The seller was kind enough to drive it from Chicago to Detroit in the back of his pickup truck and helped me set it up in my basement.. What a monster! I set it up and had to wait 3 days before it stabilized and tuned up, but since it was a later serial number with the more stable oscillators, it remained in tune the entire time I owned it.. I sold it a year later because I was worried about it one day breaking down and not being able to find anyone within 300 miles who could fix it.. Bad mistake.. I ended up hurting my back moving it and I'm still feeling the pain to this day.. In mid-2009 I started getting the bug again, and decided to start hunting for a mint CS-80 with a later serial number.. I ended up winning another expression pedal on eBay, and wouldn't you know it, two hours later, a CS-80 (minus expression pedal) showed up on eBay in mint condition with the original chrome legs and plexiglass music stand.. I sold off about 40 items in my studio to get it (including my MC-4b, Rev.. 2 Prophet, Voyetra-8, and several guitars).. It took me 3 months to get it, and it was fully serviced and tuned prior to shipping.. When the freight company set the 300-pound crate on my driveway, I wondered how I'd get it into my studio.. My son and I dragged the crate through the snow on a ladder around to the basement entrance and within hours I had it set up in my studio.. Amazingly it was perfectly in tune, and in mint condition.. It's one of the few analog synths that feels like it's a part of you, and  ...   another! Obviously, by making all of these trades, eventually I was left with an SH-1 and SH-5 that supposedly replaced the sound of an ARP 2600 and MS-20.. Not!.. Whether or not I keep a synth comes down to a number of factors: 1) Can I afford the space it takes up? 2) Do I have access to a tech who can even repair it? 3) Does the sound-making power justify the cost, or is the price just inflated based on a particular artist using it? 4) Is it rare or one-of-a-kind and will it go up in value over time? 5) Is it in mint condition (usually a rarity)? 6) Can I closely replicate it with anything else that's more reliable and less costly? I can't afford to own every synth ever made and have no desire to do it! It's a pain keeping what I own actually working and I simply don't have any more room in my studio for anything else! I've found that the more synths you own, the less you learn to master them all, and the more flagship synths you own, the less you mess around with the smaller synths, which is a shame.. IMO, every synth has something going for it, something unique that makes it worth playing, even the cheapest analog synths of the era like the Moog/Realistic MG-1 or SH-101.. People often ask me which synths I'd recommend for someone just starting out.. IMO, the Juno-6/60, Prophet-600, Six-Trak are great all-purpose polysynths that will give the beginner the most bank-for-the-buck and are a great starting point for learning analog synthesis.. The Pro-One and SH-101 are two of the best all-purpose monosynths for the money.. I firmly believe that the Six-Trak blows away most analog synths being made today, pricewise, sonically and feature-wise.. The DW-8000 is also a very good starter synth if you want to create organs, basslines, guitar sounds, or are looking for more of a late-80's PPG sound.. In the long run, you need to make choices based on what works in your music and what doesn't.. The cheapest way to find out is to find someone who owns a synth or two and try them out.. Another cheap way is to scour eBay or pawnshops for deals and buy low/sell high.. Whatever you do, research what you want, what version is the more highly desirable, and be careful not to buy broken synths on eBay.. You'll have a hard time reselling them if you don't like them.. Here's a list of gear I've owned over the past 15 years or so and sold for one reason or another:.. Akai MPC60.. - An awesome sequencer/sampler, especially good at creating crunchy drum sounds.. I had it upgraded with maximum memory and Marion SCSI interface.. It was built like a tank and looked impressive in my studio setup.. But although the low frequency sampled sounds were better than in the MPC3000, the sequencer was not as precise, and the processor was slower, resulting in a bit of lag when you pressed the buttons or copied sequences, and slightly less accurate sequencing compared with the 3000.. The layout and build quality was superior to the 3000, but it wasn't good at sampling high-frequency material.. At some point I really didn't have the space for both the 60 and the 3000, so I ended up selling the 60 and buying an AKAI S950, which has the crunch of the MPC60, with the added bonus of optional higher frequency sampling, all in a rack unit.. Paired with the precise sequencer and drumpads of the MPC3000, these two machines give me the best of both worlds!.. Akai MPC1000.. - In July 2005 I took on another job that resulted in me having to travel out of State during the weekdays.. So I bought this to see if I could use it on the road to come up with songs in my spare time using sampled synths and drums.. But the MPC1000 just didn't cut it.. The interface was unintuitive compared to the MPC60 and MPC3000, and it just didn't work well for the style of music I make.. Akai weren't thinking when they neglected to include x10 changes to the scroll wheel for sample trimming.. I was spending way too much time spinning that little wheel just to trim a simple sample! So I took it back and bought a Yamaha RS7000 instead (see below).. ARP 2600 (grey-face).. - A nice sounding and great looking semi-modular synth, but I found it to be poorly constructed and a strange bulky shape that really didn't fit into my studio setup without taking up too much space (more like a suitcase than a synth).. I've owned two of them and sold them both.. Most people don't bother to use the keyboards that came with them, but just hook it up to CV/GATE and trigger it that way.. Maybe that's the main issue.. when triggered from CV/GATE, I usually stuck to basic sounds, and it was difficult to program from my master keyboard on the other side of the room, so I didn't use it as much as I thought I would.. Almost every famous artist who used this synth primarily used it for percussive sounds, which it does very well.. For the money, an Odyssey through a spring reverb will get you very close in a much more compact package with a built-in keyboard.. I think the most fun I had with the 2600 was triggering it from two ARP Sequencers (in series or parallel).. But even then, I found the white-faced ARP Odyssey could make a lot of the same basic sounds and for the money 2600's are going for these days ($2500+), the Odyssey was a much better bargain and much more compact.. Over time I found the best use for this synth was for filtering other sounds.. Eventually I'd like to find one of the earlier grey Tonus models, as I hear they sound better, but for now.. my white Odyssey will have to do.. ARP Odyssey.. (white-face) - I generally don't have good luck with ARP synths, but there's something about the sound of the Odyssey, and its older sister the 2600 that just fascinate me.. I say sister because the ARP synths tend to have a more feminine quality compared to the Moogs of the same era.. The layout of the synth is a bit strange compared to most synths, so it takes some time to figure it out.. The sliders are brittle and collect dust, the build construction is poor, and they're always breaking down.. So what's to love about it? The filters are simply the sharpest, nastiest, most percussive of any synth I own.. They can shred speaker cones.. I love it for leads, bass, and percussive effects.. John Foxx used it almost exclusively on Metamatic, and it was the synth of choice for Billy Currie of Ultravox.. I spent so much money on mine over the years maintaining it that I decided to sell it.. Maybe one day I'll buy another, but it's unlikely due to the maintenance issues.. ARP Sequencer.. - Probably the best feature-laden hands-on analog sequencer I've ever had the pleasure of using, if it wasn't for the sliders and jacks that were so poorly constructed.. They are brittle and small and tend to fill with dust over time, and before you know it one or two sliders aren't working 100%.. I've owned three of these sequencers over the years but don't regret selling any of them.. They worked best with ARP equipment and I'm not a fan of ARP's quality and construction.. I wish someone would make a modern analog sequencer with the gating feature of the ARP, rackmountable, inputs/outputs on each channel, and without any syncing issues.. I'd probably buy one in a heartbeat.. Boss DS-2.. (long dash/silver screw) - A distortion pedal found in most metal guitar rigs.. Not that impressed with it so I sold it.. Emulator III.. - Probably the best-sounding sampler ever.. Analog filters, 16 bit sampling, lots of control options, 16 individual outputs, harddrive, SCSI port.. But can be fragile and difficult to service though.. I sold mine because I just didn't want the hassle of having to maintain it.. As used by Depeche Mode on Violator.. Genoqs Octopus.. - A really cool concept for a sequencer, but in practice I found that it lagged while being slaved via MIDI/DIN Sync.. I liked the look and feel of it, but it really didn't fit the type of music I wanted to make.. Korg Mono/Poly.. - I keep buying Mono/Poly's and thinking that I'm going to use them, only to sell them again.. I've owned four or five of them over the years.. I think the best thing going for it is the filter and the arpeggiator running through 4 separate VCO's.. But that gets old pretty fast, and once you realize how difficult the synth is to control from CV/GATE, it ends up getting used very little.. The Mono/Poly has an identity problem.. It's really bad at being a polysynth, and it's not a very good monosynth.. It fails to be good at any one thing because it lacks focus.. The build-quality is extremely cheap, with really ugly fake-vinyl clad particle board construction that tends to disintegrate over time.. I prefer the MiniKorg's simplicity and sound.. Korg MS-20.. - Often called the poor man's 2600, the MS-20 is a semi-modular synth that looks very cool on stage.. However, the patching is extremely limited, and the HZ/VOLT triggering makes it difficult to control in a MIDI setup.. The best thing going for it is the filter, which has been cloned and released in a small pedal format called the Frostwave Resonator.. I don't think the Resonator sounds as gritty as the MS-20.. It's close, and you have CV control over everything, but after A/B'ing them, I sold the Frostwave.. I've owned three MS-20's over the years and sold them all.. It looked cool, but it was basically a modular MiniKorg and not worth the high price-tag for the limited modular features.. Even so, it's one of the synths I wish I had kept.. It's shape made it difficult to incorporate into my studio setup.. Korg MS-50.. - I bought my MS-50 from Rogue Music and it never worked, so back it went.. Wish I could have tried it out.. MemoryMoog.. - This synth came out after Bob Moog left Moog Music, and was supposed to be a polyphonic Minimoog - 6 Minimoogs in one.. And that was the problem.. It dominated the mix, and sounded too huge for it's own good.. I loved the interface on it though.. This is the synth that was used all over Heartbeat City by the Cars, and was responsible for all the arpeggiated/sequenced stuff on.. ZZ Top's Eliminator.. album (not the Jupiter-6 as some have stated).. It was the kind of synth you didn't move once it was in a certain place in your studio or you'd have to send it off to the tech to be repaired.. I'll certainly miss it, I'm sure, but the fear of it breaking down for good brings some relief.. Moog (Realistic) MG-1.. - Probably the cheapest Moog you can buy.. It had some unique endearing features, but space constraints forced me to let it go.. It was too limited for the amount of space it took up and the outputs were very noisy.. Moog Prodigy.. - I've owned two of these little synths and sold them both.. It sounded like a cheap Moog and rarely stayed in tune.. Used by Depeche Mode and Howard Jones.. Oberheim Matrix-12.. - Thought by many to be the ultimate analog synth but I beg to differ.. It's a nice-sounding synth with a lot of modulation possibilities, but poor interface.. It sounds very 1985 to me with a slightly digital sound and mushy envelopes.. It's a good synth for pads, strings, and evolving textures.. Pretty much everything is software-controlled which expands its sonic potential, but limits its ease-of-use.. All the parameters are hidden behind multiple pages - a "matrix" menu structure with only 6 knobs that are prone to failure and nearly impossible to replace.. The LED screens are essential to knowing where you are at any given point, but they are also prone to burning out and are not currently replaceable.. I think you get the point.. The early Oberheim synths (OBX and SEM for example) have much more character, sound a lot nicer, and have a much better interface than the Matrix-12 and Xpander.. Tom Oberheim agrees.. Oberheim 4-Voice.. - This synth was too huge for my studio.. Each voice was very limited, and it took way too much time to program the same sound four times.. Once I got the OBX, which had a very similar sound, I sold the 4-voice.. Oberheim OB-8.. - I've owned three OB-8's, and have yet to find one that didn't constantly need servicing, or didn't have issues with random missing notes or voices that were out of tune.. I think the 2nd page matrix had a lot to do with the instability of this synth.. It sounded great, but what a pain! I A/B'd it next to my OB-X, and found that in many ways the OB-X beat it for weird sounds, and definitely sounded thicker than the OB-8, so I sold the OB-8 and didn't look back.. Oberheim SEM.. - A great little module (with an excellent bandpass filter mode) made to compliment an Odyssey or Minimoog, but I sold it for $1000 and didn't regret it in the least.. No noise source, limited functionality.. Like the 2600, I think the best application for it was as a filter for other sounds.. Oberheim Xpander.. - Half a Matrix-12, with CV/GATE inputs for each voice and MIDI too.. I've owned two of them, and would probably buy another one were it not for the hard-to-find spare parts.. As on the Matrix-12, the LED displays tend to burn out (and are no longer made) and the 6 main rotary encoder knobs wear out sooner than traditional pots.. You'd better have some spare parts lying around if you have one of these synths in your studio.. Octave CAT.. - A clone of the Odyssey, with a few additional features, and lacking a few features.. It was a noisy beast (I mean it hissed even when no sound was coming out and required a noise gate if you wanted to use it in a recording) but it did have a really nice growly filter sound.. Supposedly one voice of the Voyetra-8, but I think the V8 sounds so much better.. I found the Odyssey covered most of the sonic territory of the CAT, so I sold it and kept the Odyssey.. No regrets.. Octave Plateau Voyetra Eight.. - A timebomb waiting to happen.. Loved the sound.. Hated the interface.. Only one guy in the USA could service them, and from my previous experience I couldn't trust sending it to him.. Sold it earlier this year for fear that one day it would break down and be worthless.. No regrets whatsover.. Roland D-50.. - I sold this and bought the rack version, the D-550.. I still like the look of this synth, and if you get into programming it with a PG-1000, you can come up with some really neat evolving textures with it.. I think the main reason I still have the D-550 is because it was used to great effect all over.. by Pieter Nooten and Michael Brook and they sell for so cheap it's not worth selling it for the sounds you can get out of it.. Roland Juno-106.. - Basically a more clinical, thinner-sounding version of the Juno-60 without the arpeggiator.. A nice synth, but the voices tend to go out.. and the parts required to fix it are no longer available from Roland.. I think the Juno-60 sounds much warmer, looks nicer, and has better-quality sliders and pots.. Roland Jupiter-6.. - I never really liked this synth that much except for one sound I was able to get out of it that sounded very close to a Polymoog, which isn't saying much since the Polymoog was a very weedy sounding synth.. I think the JP-6 is to the JP-8 what the Juno-106 is to the Juno-60 - a scaled-down cheaper version that sounds thinner.. True the JP-6 has a band-pass mode, and some additional features, but overall it seems to have a more brittle sound than the JP-8.. I put a Europa upgrade kit in mine, which added many over-the-top features to the synth that I never used.. Overall, the Jupiter-8 blows it away.. - This is my all-time favorite synth for its wonderful textures, sheer power, usability, reliability, and sonic palette.. I really don't think the Jupiter-8 can be beat by any other synth out there, except a CS-80 in mint, fully-functioning condition, which is getting to be quite a rarity.. The two are often compared, and it looks as though Roland took quite a few design cues from the CS-80 (2 layered synths, slotted heat vents, colored buttons, etc.. ) I've owned 4 Jupiter-8's over the years - two 14-bit, and two 12-bit.. There were pros and cons to each model, but overall I prefer the 12-bit models.. The 12-bit models look much nicer, a darker black gunmetal compared to the lighter charcoal gray plastic look of the 14-bit models.. The 12-bit models also have a fuller, richer sound - possibly due to the slightly detuned oscillators - I'm not sure.. I compared identical patches between models and there was a noticeable difference.. I've never had any tuning issues with any of them.. My first JP-8 was a 14-bit model.. It was absolutely mint and I used it on pretty much every track on the AUTO:MATIC album - actually, I think I used it on every track I've ever recorded! It's probably the only synth I've owned that I never had any issues with or had in the shop for repair.. I bought it from a Russian ballet dancer in Los Angeles in 1996.. He had bought it in Japan, brought it with him to the USA, and had an Encore MIDI kit installed in it, which disabled the DCB port.. I'll never forget opening the huge wooden crate and looking at a mint Jupiter-8 for the first time.. But playing and hearing it was sheer bliss.. It quickly became my favorite synth.. I bought a second 12-bit model from Robert Lamm of the band Chicago around 1997.. It was a very early model with J.. L.. Cooper DCB retrofit kit installed.. Before he shipped it to me he decided to clean it up with some caustic cleaner which melted the front panel and took all of the gloss off the keys.. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the condition and sold it within a few months.. My second 14-bit JP-8 had an integrated Ultimate Support aluminum stand and looked absolutely stunning.. but I couldn't afford to keep two Jupiters at the time so I sold it.. In early 2007 I sold my first 14-bit JP-8 for twice the going rate and no sooner had I shipped it out and I immediately regretted it.. It was shipped FEDEX overnight and despite packing it for battle, FEDEX managed to dent it in transit.. Soon afterwards the market dried up and the prices started to climb.. It took me several months to find another but it was worth the wait.. I ended up buying it off a fellow Alphaville fan who had it since the late 80's.. It's a 12-bit model and it sounds better than any I've owned in the past.. It looks stunning in dark black with Encore MIDI installed.. What's interesting is the filter self-oscillates, which wasn't the case with my previous 3 Jupiters.. This one's a keeper!.. Roland MC-202.. - Another of those thin-sounding Roland toys from the mid-80's.. Basically a scaled back MC-4, a synth, and chiclet keyboard in a small plastic box.. Cute! I bought it thinking I would use it as the core of a portable studio.. But you can't save your sequences in the 202, and if you turn it off, you lose them for good.. What was Roland thinking? Some have claimed that the 202 is basically a CMU-810 in a plastic box with a sequencer and keyboard.. But the MC-202 has no noise circuit and sounds much thinner than the CMU-810.. Roland MC-4b.. - A great CV/GATE sequencer from Roland.. There's something about the hands-on approach and attack and timing of CV/GATE sequencing that MIDI simply can't match.. It was basically an upgrade of the MC-8, meant to interface with the System 100m modular.. I had two at one time, complete with OP-8, OP-8m, and MTR-100 cassette backup unit, but recently sold the entire system to help fund the purchase of a CS-80.. I wouldn't have sold it otherwise.. But thinking back, after using the MC-4b to program my cover of Japan's Life In Tokyo, the process was so time consuming that I literally got burnt out from writing songs for a very long time.. Roland MC-8.. - Huge, ancient, digital sequencer with limited memory - it took about 20 minutes to back up a typical sequence to cassette tape.. And you could never be sure if you had really saved your sequence.. It did allow you to trigger either a Roland or Moog modular (via global switch) - but it was a shame you couldn't do that per channel.. Very time consuming to program, I don't miss it one bit!.. Roland MKS-80 and MPG-80.. - I've owned three of these, both the early and later revisions, and thought they basically sounded like a slightly beefed up Jupiter-6 in a rack, with aftertouch and velocity.. Sounds like a lot of the synths of the late 80's, slightly digital.. The Jupiter-8 blows it away.. Roland SH-101.. - Another of those thin-sounding Rolands from the mid-80's, but still a very aggressive synth, especially for bass.. I think the SH-1 is a much nicer sounding synth overall, but the SH-101 packs a powerful punch for the price! The SH-101 looks like a toy (in three colors and with optional keytar accessory) but is capable of a lot of cool sounds and effects.. I only sold mine because I own a CMU-810, which is basically an SH-101 in a compact metal box without the keyboard and sequencer, but with the addition of a delay on the LFO.. Due to the odd shape, I could never find a place to put the SH-101 in my studio setup.. The CMU-810 sounds better for some reason and I've never been able to figure out why.. Guess I should open it up and take a look under the hood! I'll probably pick up another SH-101 some day, and add a Kenton filter mod to it again.. Roland SH-5.. - I bought my first SH-5 from Bill Vorn of Rational Youth.. It's probably Roland's ultimate monophonic synth.. It's like a miniature modular synth with two syncable (hard or soft) VCO's, two separate LFO's, white and pink noise, Sample & Hold, dual ring mods, and extensive modulation capabilities.. But the best feature of all is the wicked bandpass filter that rivals the Oberheim SEM and 4-voice.. Too bad the bandpass filter can't be externally controlled.. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.. The SH-5's front panel layout separates the various features into sections similar to a modular synth.. The orange lines running across the top make it easy to understand which of the various LFO's and Sample/Hold circuits can modulat parameters within each section.. It's a great synth for sound effects.. I ended up buying another and then eventually selling both of them.. I'll miss it, no doubt.. As used by Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle and Rational Youth.. Roland System-100.. (complete) - I used to own a complete System-100, boxes, manuals, speakers and all.. It was basically two basic one-oscillator SH synths combined with a really poorly-designed sequencer, a basic mixer with spring reverb, and two cheap speakers.. It took up way too much space for what it could actually do, with too many cables to connect everything resulting in loss of sound quality.. It's modular capabilities were very poor.. actually, it wasn't a modular at all, but a basic semi-modular design with jacks where you could patch in to hear how your sound was evolving up to that point.. It was mainly designed to teach young kids the art of synthesis (which is quite evident from the childlike manual drawings), and despite looking like a spaceship's console, it was really a very simple synth design.. Once I bought my SH-5, which has the exact same filter circuitry, many more modulation options, and a wicked bypass filter, at one third of the typical System-100 selling price, I realized it was time for it to go.. Roland System-100m.. (5 module system) - A basic modular synth with an inflated pricetag.. Sounds like a (very limited) modular SH-101.. The one I owned tended towards the noisy side (poor signal/noise ratio) with really cheap jacks and slider caps.. The System-100 and 700 look and sound much better.. Roland System-700.. (7 block modular system) - This was an impressive looking and sounding modular system that filled up an entire wall of my studio.. Roland basically copied the look of the ARP 2600 and Moog Modular, and made the interface more user-friendly.. It took me years to find every block and put together the complete system, and then I turned around and sold it for $18000.. The wing cabinets contained a lot of filler modules that just took up space.. I guess Roland ran out of ideas and had to make their modular look larger-than-life.. They used the knowledge and experience gained from developing this synth to create a lot of the mono and polysynths that came afterwards.. The sound was huge, the interface was great, and the oscillators were extremely stable, but some of the components (the little chrome switches) were prone to failure, and it was difficult to work on due to the design of the modules.. When I really got into the synth, I found that the main block and sequencer was all I really needed or used.. With the full system, I spent so much time making patches, that once I had them created, I didn't want to change them! When triggered from a MIDI sequencer, I'd have to run across the room to make adjustments to the sounds.. I should have just kept the main cabinet and sequencer and called it good.. It was simply worth too much as a complete system to split it back up.. For the money, you'd be better off with a System 100m or MOTM modular which fits nicely in a rack.. Hopefully one day they'll come out with a System-700 filter module.. (lab series) - Smaller version of the above, but lacking many of the coolest features of the main block (bandpass filter, more inputs, phaser, etc.. Many of my favorite sounds and textures could be duplicated on the similar sounding SH-1, so I sold it.. This is one of Richard Barbieri's favorite synths.. He still owns it, and used it all over Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids, mostly as an effects device, triggered by drummer Steve Jansen.. Roland TB-303 Bassline.. - Over-rated bass machine with a cool but complicated sequencer.. I've owned 4 of these over the years and always end up selling them because, for what it can do, I can't ever justify keeping it for the amount of money they go for on eBay.. These days you can buy a Minimoog for the same amount of money.. I'd probably buy one if I saw one for $500, but then someone would probably offer me $2000 for it and I'd end up selling it again.. :-(.. Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer.. - Digital/Analog hybrid drum machine Sort of a souped up TR-707 with the addition of some analog sounds.. I've owned three of them over the years and always end up selling them.. Nice programming interface and integrated MIDI, but in my opinion the TR-808 blows it away.. Most of the early versions have sync issues, so buyer beware.. Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 (Rev.. 2).. - Sounds great, but very unreliable - an unreliability that caused me a great deal of frustration, worry, and agony over the years.. Yes, the SSM filters are somewhat brasher sounding than the CEM filters in the Rev.. 3's, but at what cost to the wallet and one's sanity? After A/B'ing it with my Rev.. 3, I found I was actually a bit happier with the immediacy and creamier sound of my Rev.. 3.. And after my tech had it for a good 3 years out of 5, I decided it was time for a parting of the ways.. Even after I sold it the new owner discovered new issues with it.. No regrets and I'll NEVER buy another.. Sequential Circuits Prophet-600.. - A cool beginner's synth for the money (I'd say it's tied with the Juno-60 for most bang for the buck), but when you have a real Prophet-5, it's a waste of space and I found it never got used.. Sequential Circuits Prophet-10.. - Too big for my studio, and the sound of 20 oscillators beating against each other was really overkill.. At some point it begins to sound like mush; a nice, big, huge mush, but when are you ever going to use that in a song? The factory MIDI was very basic and always suffered from stuck notes.. You'd be better off with two Rev.. 3 Prophet-5's.. Looked cool though.. The little LED's that told you which voice was playing (and the programmable EQ) were really great features!.. Studio Electronics MidiMini.. - Basically a Minimoog in a rack, but it sounds quite different.. It's especially good at making percussive sounds.. The glide is more like the glide on an ARP synth, and the sound is more percussive and punchy, with a less organic sound than a real Minimoog.. I prefer the sound of the Minimoog, but I like the added velocity/aftertouch control and oscillator sync and other features in the Midimini.. Still, how many bass synths does one need? I sold both of mine because the Minimoog and Source cover my bass needs already and I prefer keyboards over rack modules.. Waldorf Microwave w/ Access Programmer.. - Punchy digital wavetable synth with analog filters.. Unfortunately the envelopes had this annoying.. clicky sound.. that was nearly impossible to remove without dialing back on the attack envelope.. It was a nightmare to program, even with the optional programmer.. I rarely used it and when I did it frustrated me.. Yamaha DX1.. - Very pretty synth.. Basically two DX7's in a huge wooden shell with lots of LED's and an awesome keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch.. This was the next evolution of the massive (and awesome) CS-80.. I sort of regret letting this one slip through my fingers, although I probably would never have used it in a song.. It was too big for my studio, the programming was still extremely difficult, and it still sounded like a.. well.. a DX7.. Good for clangy mid-80's type sounds (if you like that sort of thing).. Yamaha DX7.. - One of my first synths.. It was very difficult to program and had that digital mid-80's sound.. Not a good choice for your only synth.. Beware of early models that had a limited MIDI spec and responded in OMNI mode only which requires the purchase of a MIDI channel filter.. No regrets letting this one go, although apparently Eno swears by his.. :-).. Yamaha RS7000 Music Production Station.. - I bought this sequencer thinking it would be great for coming up with ideas while on the road that I could later incorporate into my studio (triggering real synths).. Although it offered a lot in a small package (MIDI sequencer, sampler, sounds, drum kits, etc.. ), it was not quite small enough to carry in a suitcase, and the build quality was poor.. But my main problem with the RS7000 was not its size, but the fact that it lacked an easy way to erase a phrase or portion of a phrase.. My MPC3000 and MPC60 both offer this feature as a button on the face of the unit, as you hold down keys in real time, for instant erasing of any notes, tracks, or sections of a pattern.. On the RS7000, you have to dig deep into a menu, twist a knob, press select, and that's just to get to the erase screen.. To their credit, the Yamaha engineers really packed a lot into a fairly small package.. There are many synth sounds and drum kits to choose from, but they are a little too dance oriented for my taste, and difficult to implement and modify, making the experience of setting up a simple bassline cumbersome.. The grid and step mode programming are probably the best I've seen on any sequencer, but even the step mode is frustrating in that if you pass the end of a bar you can't go back again without scrolling all the way to the end.. It really is a shame Yamaha didn't spend more time thinking about how musicians actually work.. I guess this experiment just confirmed that the MPC3000 (and MPC60) still reign in my studio as the most intuitive, utilitarian, practical, user-friendly, hands-on, MIDI sequencers ever made..

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  • Title: Nu Wave Electro New Romantic Electroclash Synth Pop Italo Disco Links
    Descriptive info: Here are a few sites you might want to check out:.. annaloguerecords.. My friend Marc Shaffer from Solitude FX runs this record label specializing in vintage cold wave sounds from the late 70's/early 80's.. Pretty much everything who puts out on his label is excellent, most notable The Silicon Scientist (see below)!.. metamatic.. John Foxx has teamed up with various musicians from Louis Gordon to Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie, and Steve Jansen (formerly of Japan), and is still making some of the best electronic pop music the world has to offer.. One of the very few artists that continue to inspire me these days.. Clan of Xymox.. clanofxymox.. Ronny Moorings is the mastermind behind the darkwave group Clan of Xymox that saw the light of day in 84/85 and after touring with Dead Can Dance, ended up signing to Ivo's 4AD label.. Along with Anke Wolbert and Pieter Nooten (who released the amazing Sleeps with the Fishes with Michael Brook), Ronny and Clan became one of the leaders of the original goth movement with a sound somewhat like Robert Smith meets Andrew Eldritch.. My favorite releases are Clan of Xymox, Medusa, Twist of Shadows, and Hidden Faces.. The Clan has changed throughout the years, but Ronny remains as prolific as ever.. thechurchband.. The Church are simply one of the best bands ever.. Steve Kilbey is an amazing songwriter/lyricist, and bassist, and Marty Wilson Piper is one of the best guitarists ever.. I prefer their earlier Rickenbacker janglepop sound to their later space/prog-rock, but the songs are still amazing and they're still one of the best live bands ever.. They're touring the US this Spring - I'll be seeing them for sure!.. joyelectric.. I first heard the music of Ronnie Martin back in the early 90's when he was part of the house music duo Dance House Children.. It's safe to say that I wouldn't have come out with any songs if it wasn't  ...   latest technology - Linn LM-1 Drum Computers and PPG Waves - on the excellent.. Atomic.. album.. I would have loved to have seen these guys live back in the 70's.. They were shaving their heads and wearing silver face paint before the Blue Man Group were out of their diapers.. Sista Mannen På Jorden.. smpj.. tk.. Eddie Bengtsson is the synth pop genius that heads this excellent electro-pop band out of Sweden.. For those who don't know, Eddie was the songwriter behind Sweden's.. S.. P.. O.. C.. K.. (as Captain Eddie B.. Kirk), the main vocalist and songwriter behind.. PAGE.. , and with Mats Wiberg formed the duo,.. (Last Man On Earth).. Some people have called him the Swedish Vince Clarke.. From what I have heard, they're not far off.. Although the vocals are entirely in Swedish, the music really shines through and all of the sounds are created using vintage analogue synths.. He's also in another project called.. This Fish Needs a Bike.. (see entry below).. The Silicon Scientist.. myspace.. com/thesiliconscientist.. If first heard Stefan Bornhorst's music when a friend gave me a demo of a project he was working on called Dreams Encoded.. I was very impressed with the quality of the songwriting.. Later I found out he was working on a new project under the name The Silicon Scientist.. I checked it out, and ended up buying all of his releases on vinyl through.. in Germany.. Stefan uses a lot of vintage string synths including a Polymoog formerly owned by Kraftwerk and a Mellotron.. The result is fantastic, and he's one of my favorite current artists.. I highly recommend "Windows on the World", The "Colourblind" and "Bookmarks".. tfnab.. Yet another Eddie Bengtsson project, this one with English vocals.. will be releasing a full-length CD this spring and also contributed an awesome rendition of Bubbleboy for the.. Bubbleboy Remixed.. 12" that came out.. in Spring 2005.. Check out the MP3's at..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE Review - The Velvet Underground & Nico Andy Warhol
    Descriptive info: The Velvet Underground & Nico.. - The Velvet Underground - (1967).. So what's an electro-pop artist doing reviewing an avant garde band from the 60's? Weren't the 60's all about the Beatles, Bubblegum Pop, and the Beach Boys? Perhaps if you were following the popular music trends of the day, yes.. But the VU could care less about trends.. They were ignoring the pop trends of their era and doing things their own way.. If you're a trend follower, you'll be listening to the latest bands on the charts, and you'll always be.. hip.. on what is currently.. cool.. accepted.. by the music industry.. If you listened to this album for the first time today, your memories wouldn't be of the year it was released, but of the year you bought the album.. To me, good music is not necessarily the music that's released today.. In my opinion, music shouldn't be confined or defined by decades.. Music is timeless.. I was first introduced to the Velvet Underground in late 1983 while reading an interview by.. R.. E.. M.. guitarist Peter Buck.. He mentioned VU as a major influence and, being a huge fan of.. at the time, I had to check out every band they recommended.. Soon after, my friend bought the first VU album.. We weren't prepared for the cacaphony of sound we were about to  ...   other half come crashing down on you like a ton of bricks.. My favorites are the light ones,.. Sunday Morning.. Femme Fatale.. Pale Blue Eyes.. All Tomorrow's Parties.. There She Goes Again.. I'll Be Your Mirror.. There are others that are sort of mid-tempo blues, like.. Waiting for the Man.. Run, Run, Run.. But the album would be nothing without the contrast, the sheer cacaphony of.. European Son.. Venus in Furs.. The Black Angel's Death Song.. Some of my favorite artists have covered Velvet Underground songs.. , Icehouse,.. covered.. Big Star covered.. Echo the Bunnymen covered.. Heroine.. Sister Ray.. David Bowie Bauhaus covered.. Waiting For the Man.. Sisters of Mercy,.. , Joy Division covered.. OMD covered.. And there are so many more.. They were a huge influence on practically every band I know.. I've always wanted to do a cover of the song.. , and I'm sure one day I will.. Just an awesome song! When I listen to this album today, it brings back some really good memories.. from 1983 of course, not 1966.. In my opinion it's a timeless classic and simply one of the best, most influential albums of all time.. Check out.. thevelvetunderground.. co.. uk.. or.. The Velvet Underground Web Page.. for more info on the Velvet Underground.. View a.. list.. of other albums I SATELLITE will be reviewing in the near future..

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  • Title: I SATELLITE Japan's Life In Tokyo Giorgio Moroder David Sylvian
    Descriptive info: Life In Tokyo.. I SATELLITE's cover of.. is finished.. There are two different versions of the track, a.. radio edit.. for.. Utopia.. , a Moroder tribute compilation coming out on.. this Spring, and an.. extended.. version with a longer intro.. The intro right before the song kicks in is supposed to mimic the sound of a bullet train going by.. Right-click and click "Save Target As.. " to download the MP3's to your desktop:.. Life In Tokyo (radio edit).. - 7.. 0 MB.. Life In Tokyo (extended).. - 8.. 6 MB.. The following instruments were used to make the track:.. MC-4b MicroComposer (x2).. Roland System-700 (bass left).. Minimoog (bass right).. Roland SH-1 (buzzy bass lead).. Roland CMU-810 (low arpeggiated lead).. Roland Jupiter-8 (phased strings).. Prophet-5 (rev.. 2) (arpeggiated bassline).. Roland Jupiter-4 (through a Space Echo for the spacey stuff).. Oberheim OBX (chime sound).. Roland PH-830 Stereo Phaser.. Mu Tron Bi Phase.. Roland SPH-323 Phase Shifter.. Roland SBF-325 Flanger (x2).. Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo.. Lexicon PCM-80 (reverb and delay).. Lexicon PCM-41 (delay).. Korg SDD-1200 Stereo Delay.. I really wanted this to be an authentic tribute to the work of Giorgio Moroder and Japan.. But more than that, a tribute to the synths and sequencers of the pre-MIDI era.. No MIDI or computers were used in the making of this track.. All notes were keyed into  ...   well.. A special remix of the song was released and did slightly better.. In all there were 11 different versions of.. released over the years.. One of them is simply the instrumental version of the track slowed down to half speed.. I actually like the track Japan recorded before.. better, the Moroder-inspired.. It's one of my favorite Japan tracks, but Moroder had nothing to do with it, otherwise I would have covered that one instead.. Japan broke up in 1982 just as they had reached the peak of success with the.. Tin Drum.. It is rumored that Nick Rhodes approached David Sylvian to produce Duran Duran's first album, but he turned them down.. Duran Duran ended up copying Japan's sound and look and went on to great success.. :-( You can read more about Japan at the excellent.. Nightporter.. Web site.. You can read more about Moroder at the.. Giorgio Moroder MySpace Site.. Lyrics.. There's always something left inside here.. I've really nothing much to lose.. It seems so sentimental.. Why should I care?.. Somewhere the sound of distant living.. Welcomed in high society.. It seems so artificial.. Oh ho ho.. Life can be cruel.. Another vehicle heads for sunset.. No other providence will do.. They're only buildings and houses.. Enjoy the track! Send me an.. e-mail.. and let me know what you think!..

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  • Title: OBERHEIM OBX Review - OB-X Samples Sounds Photos OB-Xa OBXa SEM
    Descriptive info: I chose to review this synth first, because I simply love it to death and have used it on practically every track I've ever done.. Most people know it as the synth that Rush used on the intro to Tom Sawyer.. But it was also one of the main synths.. Richard Barbieri.. used to make the wonderful exotic synth textures in the group.. Peter Forrest in his.. A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers.. says that Richard used an OB-Xa, but every book, picture, and video I've ever seen shows him playing an OBX.. It was also the synth used by Killing Joke to make those great shimmering string sounds on practically every song on their.. NightTime.. release (1985), and of course Rush used it all over.. Moving Pictures.. among others.. Money Pit?.. Oberheim synths are known for having a huge sound, but a poor maintenance record.. The more stable they got, the worse they sounded.. I personally think the instability of the OB-X is the reason it sounds so good.. My Rev.. 2 OB-X has had its share of problems, that's for sure, but ever since I had mine overhauled by Tony Clark, who runs a nice web page about the OB-X.. , it's been perfect.. Tony replaced the pots on every voice card with high-res pots making the tuning procedure a lot easier.. My OB-X rarely goes out of tune now since Tony worked his magic on it.. I've probably sunk more money into this one synth than any of my other synths, but it was worth the money, and I'll never sell it.. The Sound.. I've owned quite a few Oberheim synthesizers over the past 12 years, from the standalone SEM, to the 4-voice, OB-8, Xpander, and Matrix-12.. But my favorite for sound and ease-of-use is the OB-X.. It sounds huge, wonderful, and very much alive.. I find as time goes by that I prefer the sound of the synths from the 70's to those of any other era.. This is certainly true of the OB-X.. Whether it's the discreet components that were used, or the slightly out-of-tune VCO's that thicken up the sound, or a combination of these factors, all I know is it sounds beautiful.. Tom Oberheim said he prefers the sound of the earlier Oberheims, the SEM and OB-X, to the later models.. I would have to agree.. The OB-X blows away every single virtual analog or modern digital synth ever made.. It has so  ...   OB-X in action (more to come):.. *OB-X THX.. (218k MP3 file).. *OB-X Sweep.. (115k MP3 file).. *OB-X Tom Sawyer.. (94k MP3 file).. There are more sounds and samples on.. Tony Clark.. 's web site.. OP-X Softsynth Plugin for Reaktor.. For those of you who haven't been able to track down a real OB-X, or just don't want to deal with the hassles of repairing and maintaining one of these vintage beasts, I recommend checking out the OP-X plug-in for Reaktor by.. Sonicprojects.. I'm normally not a big fan of softsynths because I believe that a synth is more than just the sounds, and all of the sonic subtleties of the OB-X simply cannot be emulated.. But this plug-in is a pretty good attempt.. And it takes the softsynth idea one step further by slightly detuning a number of variables (VCO'S, VCF'S, ENV'S) on powerup to emulate a real OB-X.. It sounds remarkably close to a real OB-X, but the filters still sound a bit thin to my ears, and it still sounds a little too perfect.. It would be nice if Sonicprojects took the idea one step further and allowed the synth engine to evolve, emulating the gradual degradation of components over time, and incorporating the temperature changes that result in slight detuning issues, so that no two OP-X softsynths would be alike.. There could be an aging component that can be sped up to emulate years of misuse and abuse and temperature changes, so that the softsynth eventually sounds like most OB-X's out there! :-) If you could then save these settings as different OP-X's, that would be pretty amazing.. I've suggested it to Peter at.. and he's going to see if he can do it.. In the meantime, if you want to check out what an OB-X can do before tracking down the real deal, or if you prefer to work with softsynths and computers and actually like tweaking sounds with a mouse, then the OP-X may be your answer.. There are side-by-side comparisons of sounds on their site, but they also attempted to recreate the above sounds using their plug-in.. You be the judge.. Sonicprojects OP-X THX.. Sonicprojects OP-X Sweep.. Sonicprojects OP-X Tom Sawyer.. Photos.. (to be added).. Who Used the OB-X?.. Roxy Music (Avalon).. Richard Barbieri (Quiet Life, Gentlemen Take Polaroids).. Rush (Moving Pictures).. Killing Joke (NightTime).. *Thanks to Mark Henley for the soundclips.. of other equipment.. will be reviewing in the near future..

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