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The power of a synthesizer is not to imitate but to create !!
This is a brief discription of the instruments I use. My setup is made in let say 35 years and consist of a mix of analog and digital synths. Every instrument has its own character. In the past I own a SC Pro one and a Solina string synthesizer. They were good sounding synths but with both I had a lot of technical problems. I sold them.
My all time favourite Roland JUNO 106
Well that's clear. So simple, uncomplicated but nevertheless a fantasic sound. It was my first real polyfoon synthesizer (6 voices/oscillators, full MIDI implementation, 128 user presets). The first time I hear this JUNO was at a synthesizer workshop. From the start I had to buy this one. Bought new
in the early 80's. Most of the time I am using it for the "dark string" and other pads in combination with a sequencer/arpeggiator and a delay it can create lush ritme patterns.
Recently I had the "voice chip" problem, its fixed with clone's" and sounds still fantastic.
The good old Korg Lambda ES 50
Not to forget, a incredible stringsynthesizer, at that time (late 70's) it was a kind of polyfonic synth but actually it was a tone dividing down technique from the electronic organs.
This one is a heavy beast, real wooden cabinet, and registers like a organ (see picture).
But the sound, I love it, in my opinion better than the famous Solina (made in the country where I came from. It contains three oscillators, see right picture (each of them tuneable) and for each note a seperate envelope (adr-type). So every key has its own enevelope where the Solina had just one for all keys. The sustain on this machine is the "organ" name for release. It are all a kind of presets which can be slightly modified. Bought second hand in the late 80's
Nevertheless, a straight forward, good sounding string synthesizer.
The famous fm-synthese based Yamaha DX27
Good for solo work. Nice patches from the internet, one of my favorites was "O lord" and a factory preset Old E-piano. Everbody knows the DX 7, there it all started (although it was not the first fm-synth). But that was a 6 operator synth and was more powerful. This one is based on a 4-operator fm-synthese, but good enough for making weird sounds ore just to imitate. I think that at the end there were more 4 operator synth (ore soundchips in computers) build than 6 operator. There is also a MSX computer which is from Yamaha wich a 4 operator synth, the CX5m music computer.
The Yamaha CX5m
The CX5m computer was a combination of a MSX (msx-dos-based) computer and a Yamaha synth unit. I used this for the "vibraphone" sound.
The computer contains a cartigdes for programming fm-sounds. Later I bought a second hand a memory cartrigde (64K) to store selfmade voices. A truly problem of the computer is the external power suply which is connected to the computer with a multiple pin connector. I bought a second MSX with powersupply and a lot of cartigdes and extended memory as a backup just in case of.
my mother keyboard without sound, the KURZWEIL MIDIBOARD
A heavy Midi controller board. It has pianolike wooden (balanced) hammered keys. Two midi out, a arppeggiator, programmable midi functions to control (group of) synths and a lot of another MIDI functionality. This is the machine I mostly use to create the sequences (with the appaggiattor) in my music (beside the Doepfer Dark Time sequencer). When I bought this machine (2e hand) it was in combination with a Kurzweil pianomodule. It contains some famous piano samples of Kurzweil but also a few (very good sounding) string and organ sounds.
The KAWAI K1 r (in a older setup) in combination with the other soundmodules,
Roland U220 (sold), Korg 05r/w and the Kurzweil Micro Piano
No filters, it is impossible, well it is. But this rackversion of the Kawai K1 has some nice drumsounds I frequently use and a there is good imitation of a prophet sound. Nice to have around.
the WALDORF micro Q
Wish I had the keyboard version, what a good sounding and versatile synthesizer.
When people ask what is the first synth you buy after your gear is stolen, it is the Waldorf. The menu structure is tricky (because there are so much possibility's) but there are enough knobs for direct controlling and the most important synh funtions are direct acceseble. Bought second hand.
Do you want a good sequence, a nice pad, a Moog bass imitate, the Waldorf has all of it.
And for the bass sounds, the MOOG little phatty
What can I say, a synthman without a Moog, impossible. The looks, the sound, but be carefully with that baby, the base sound can drive your gear to the limits. And because it is real analogue it sometimes has to be tuned and don't think for a quik play, it needs to warm up.
I own the Tribute edition and did the factory upgrade to the LP2.
The digital Korg DS-8
What a beauty. The DS-8 is the only Korg equiped with Yamaha Fm-synthese. I bought it second hand and it was not in a very good condition. One key was broken and the internal memory was erased due to a battery change and shows the terrible glitch mode display. I cleaned the keys and fixed the broken key and restored the original banks with a old labtop (Pentium III). After that the Korg could show his big advantage, the sliders for hands on control and some beautiful sounds.
and a Realistic Concertmate MG-1
The Realistic was not cheap at all, I paid 300 € but it is a real old Moog. After cleaning the foam inside (one of the big problems of this synth) and cleaning outside it was ready for making music, and.... it did. This is what I like, you turn on the power, and instant after some knob twisting and sliding a warm nice Moog sounds appears. Both the Little Phatty and the Concertmate MG-1 are Moog's with there caracteristic Moog sounds but so different.
here some more pics of the Concertmate MG-1
The backside with handwritten serial number, the front left side, and the terrible condition of the "protecting" foam.
And a virtual analog with suprising sound and features, later I put some selfmade wooden side panels to it.
The Kawai K4
I love the sound of the K1r and decided to buy this one, especially the Choir sounds...
the little stringer, easy to handle.
VERMONA PERfoumer MKII
A German analog monsters, discrete components, no memory and a lot of real knobs....jammy. So pure.
These in Greece build little synths do have an incredable lot of power.
Behringer Deepmind 6
It is analog but with a huge amount under the hood menu's, in the future I will use this one instead of my old 106 at my performances.
Beside these synths I bought a second hand Roland JV880 with the JV 60-70s board, a standard tool with some sublime sounds.