I have been playing with a Synclavier Regen for a little over two weeks now. I posted two quick bits of music using sounds I created on it over a period of about a week. Anyway, I am ready to give my first impressions of this impressive instrument.
I am going to divide this post into three main parts. The first will be a bit of history, the second a very quick description of the synth engine, and the last will be my impressions. At the bottom, perhaps a fourth section, I will put some recordings, starting with the first two I made, but others may be added later.
Oh, and here is one now, which will also be at the bottom. It is an atmospheric song. You can listen while you read the rest of the post.
Over the weekend I wrote and posted a new song (what’s new ;) ). I pretty much improvised a few lyrics in the middle section (more about it later), but I don’t think my singing is as cringe worthy as some I’ve posted… Anyway, without further ado:
The story for this is that I was playing with a few string synth sounds. Yes, I love string synth sounds and have “collected” quite a few. I had three new ones I wanted to test in a real world setting out of this world/spacey, Pink Floyd influenced soundscape. The first sound you hear, which is also the “stabs” in the center section, is an attempt to get real close to 1970’s String Synths. The second sound, I just called “Shimmers”, and you should hear those little shimmering tones through the long held chords. The third, which I have used in a recording once before, is a sound influenced by something I heard from an Oberheim OB-Xa. I use it here mostly to thicken the sound. OK, at one point I didn’t think it was thick enough, so I added a “big organ’s bass pedal” sound – I think you can hear the rumble at about 45 seconds in when it enters.
I recorded a new song the other day and put up a video. I think the animation I made for it is pretty cool – watch for the animation! Anyway, it is only two minutes long and I do not sing. Yea, no awful voice! So here it is, just a quick ditty:
I was playing around with my music gear on Friday. At one point I decided to try to recreate a bass sound similar to the Arp Odyssey bass sounds that I like on my Prophet Rev 2. Listen to the beginning of the video in my review of the Korg version of the Odyssey to hear what I am talking about. Anyway, I came up with a sound I like, then changed it ;) Playing with my new sound, I soon had a little bass line that I liked. I decided to record it so I could figure out something to play with it.
I mentioned in my coffee share that I wrote and recorded a new song last week. So, here it is!
Well, in just a minute. First, I did a vocal version and hate my voice so I did an instrumental version as well. I left the lyrics up in the instrumental version, so you can see what should have been said. So I will post both before going and farther:
Version with my voice (note – this is a newer version, slightly better, but…):
I just posted a new video. Yeah, after several months of nothing I am doing a new one every two weeks or so… This one is in ways an extended synth solo, similar to For Her Heartbreak (see blog post here). Anyway, here is the video so you can listen while I talk about it:
Similar to the recent The New Year’s Song *, I was playing with the acoustic percussion instruments, my new cajon, tambourine and cabasa. I also put in an electronic drum sound from my Prophet Rev 2. Most of the sounds on this are the Rev 2 except those percussion instruments I mentioned and the solo. I used the minimoog clone, the Behringer Poly-D for the solo.
(*Note about This compared to The New Year’s Song – TNYS is a real song with what I think is a catchy melody. This is a quick jam.)
Two of the photos of Tiberius on my mixer (one also used at top of page) are new and he is on my new mixer while the photo at the end is over a year old and he is on my old mixer. He does look more like a kitten in that old photo! And he no longer wears a collar.
In a post last week I said that I was working on a new song. Well, I finished it over the weekend. It started with a little part I wanted to record so that I would remember it. From there it turned into a real pop song. Yeah, with words and everything!
A few quick comments before I turn you lose with this. Although parts of this recording are “finished”, this is very much just a quick demo, or, if this were one of my stories, this is a rough, first draft (don’t worry – if you have read a story on my blog, it was a rough draft….). I can hear many things I will change if I decided do this a little more seriously. And I might.
One of my recent projects has been recording JS Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor with a synthesizer. I will post the video here in case you you want to hear it but don’t want to read about it. Be aware that I did a few fumbles, but I think overall it worked well.
I just picked up the Korg recreation of the classic analog synthesizer, the ARP Odyssey. I first started playing with the instrument on Friday and it is Monday morning, so this is more of a “first impression” than an actual review. Before that first impression, I should talk about the instrument a little.
A Brief History of the Odyssey
Back in the early 1970s ARP released the Odyssey as a direct competitor for the Mini Moog. The Mini had the famous big, phat sound, but the Odyssey, besides being less expensive, had a lot going for it. It was duophonic (you could play two notes as opposed to the Mini’s one), it had a ring modulator (creates complex harmonics), you could synch the oscillators (forces them in tune with each other, even when you try to force them out of tune), you can put an envelope on pitch, there was sample and hold (S&H), there was a simple high pass filter, and you could do some more complex modulation routings. Continue reading →
Some of you may know that one of my interests is building a playing a modular analog synthesizer. This is an “Old School” instrument where sounds are created by patching different modules together with patch cords. Well, more to it than that, but the idea is that it is a very hands on type of instrument.
An issue with this type of synthesizer is that if you like a sound, oh well, you will eventually have to tear it down. At that point it is gone. You can make a drawing of the patch, a quick schematic. A photo, well, that would be so complicated you will get nothing. Or you can learn the instrument well enough to be able to recreate it later. That’s my goal. Continue reading →