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True "performance" synthesisers.

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BJG145 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:48 pm

BJG145 wrote:It's a beautiful thing, there's no doubt.

https://youtu.be/Uhtar8FlgzU?t=65

Hope you Easel fans and sceptics all read the feature on this amazing lady in the current SOS.

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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:48 pm

Yes of course - fascinating read. Here's the online link:

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/kai ... elia-smith

...although it does irk me reading yet again that she was loaned a '60s-built Buchla 100 for a year by a generous neighbour.

What are the chances of that eh? (answers on a postcard please ;) )


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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:25 am

Martin Walker wrote:Yes of course - fascinating read. Here's the online link:

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/kai ... elia-smith

...although it does irk me reading yet again that she was loaned a '60s-built Buchla 100 for a year by a generous neighbour.

What are the chances of that eh? (answers on a postcard please ;) )


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She’s very interesting, I’ve listened to a lot of her music, but for some reason it doesn’t hit the spot for me, same sort of vibe, in the modular world, Richard Devine, Scanner, Alessandro Cortini, all very good, but just leave me a bit cold, of course it may be that I’m just not getting it, and I’m sure a lot of people feel that way about my music.
One thing these people all have in common is that they have loads of gear, I’m not generalising but it’s normally the people that only have one instrument that are always the most interesting musically to me.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BJG145 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:34 pm

Arpangel wrote:One thing these people all have in common is that they have loads of gear, I’m not generalising but it’s normally the people that only have one instrument that are always the most interesting musically to me.

Of course, so you'd never consider including some of the other synths that she uses, like the 2600, Synthi and Moog Grandmother. Why contaminate the purity of a single machine? ;)
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:03 am

BJG145 wrote:
Arpangel wrote:One thing these people all have in common is that they have loads of gear, I’m not generalising but it’s normally the people that only have one instrument that are always the most interesting musically to me.

Of course, so you'd never consider including some of the other synths that she uses, like the 2600, Synthi and Moog Grandmother. Why contaminate the purity of a single machine? ;)

The more you’ve got, the thinner you spread your concentration and knowledge.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby The Elf » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:06 am

Arpangel wrote:
BJG145 wrote:
Arpangel wrote:One thing these people all have in common is that they have loads of gear, I’m not generalising but it’s normally the people that only have one instrument that are always the most interesting musically to me.

Of course, so you'd never consider including some of the other synths that she uses, like the 2600, Synthi and Moog Grandmother. Why contaminate the purity of a single machine? ;)

The more you’ve got, the thinner you spread your concentration and knowledge.
I find that choice, and the individual quirks of each machine I grapple with, inspires me.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BJG145 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:43 pm

Arpangel wrote:I love my Moog Grandmother

Arpangel wrote:the Buchla is way more inspiring, and original, and makes me do things I would never have dreamed of, the ARP is a beautiful synthesiser capable of really amazing things, but not as open ended and bottomless as my Buchla, if money was no object I’d automatically get this 2600 as well

Hmmmmm
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:36 pm

We've got a lot of work being done on the house at present and a builder asked me the same question I've been asked countless times before.

"How come you need so many synthesizers?" (well, they used the term 'keyboards' but I chose to let that one pass).

Of course the One True answer is lengthy and I've got to the point in life where I recognise that so I dumbed it down to a 2 sentence response covering the gist of them all having their own character, and alluding to the fact that an orchestra comprises many players using different instruments ....

... all of which is true, but thinking about it subsequently I mentally conceded that I could write music using any of most of them as solo instruments. Then again I also think I'm better off for having all of them at my disposal because they do have very different characteristics and even if I don't use some of them as often as others, for those occasions where one is needed it really saves a lot of time and gives a better result.

So I think of them like airbags in a car, only instead of doors and dashboard I imagine them in the roof, on the back of the front seats, on the floor, on the gearstick and everywhere else one could imagine.

It's hardly life and death when it comes to the synth but how many times might one need any given unit in a roomful? Not many perhaps but when the need does arise you are jolly glad you have it. Oberheim brass required? Step to the right and pick the second one down. Ooh, suits you Sir!

Musicality is about the person, not the gear, but I am also a huge believer in the muse and in the right tool at hand for any given job. That's why I have so many tools in my toolboxes distributed around the house. Granted I can't find any of them at present, but I know I've got a sidereal scrunchett adjuster somewhere and when the need comes for one, the time spent hunting for it will be well spent :D
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby N i g e l » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:46 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:"How come you need so many synthesizers?" (well, they used the term 'keyboards' but I chose to let that one pass).

....so I dumbed it down to a 2 sentence response covering the gist of them all having their own character, and alluding to the fact that an orchestra comprises many players using different instruments.

Precisely ! Good job he didnt know you had VSTs as well !
;)

The different instruments of the orchestra have different colours and textures which can be combined to produce an overall picture in no end of styles.
You can make music with just one instrument, eg a harpsichord but you are locked into a genre and limited in what can be achieve.

A Synth that did all the colours and textures would be very expensive & time consuming to develope let alone learn how to use the different flavours - subtractive, FM, sampling, physical modelling, granular, wavetable, formant......


"Re: True "performance" synthesiser," probably means the Hydrasynth ?
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby zenguitar » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:54 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:... I mentally conceded that I could write music using any of most of them as solo instruments.

You could, indeed, write music of a very high order using any one of your collection. But there's a massive gulf between writing music and creating a musical performance. And that's the shortcut right back to your orchestra analogy ;)

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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Rich Hanson » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:41 am

It's an interesting argument. There's a part of me that hankers to simplify: eschew the sequencer and go back to a standalone recorder and play everything by hand using one synth - the KingKorg could cover all the bases I want synth-wise (subtractive, FM, a handful of samples) - but then I like having my various toys to hand too and I'd probably hate it if they weren't there, but I do sometimes feel I'm paralysed by choice. There are times, though, that I have the suspicion that I only have them to show off :D

I did something similar with my guitars, slimming down to two acoustics, bass and my Variax. Great as the latter is, it wasn't until it wasn't there that I realised how often I used to reach for my Telecaster!

Perhaps I should buy a simple 8 track and set up an alternative recording space to see how I get on with it.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:44 am

BJG145 wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I love my Moog Grandmother

Arpangel wrote:the Buchla is way more inspiring, and original, and makes me do things I would never have dreamed of, the ARP is a beautiful synthesiser capable of really amazing things, but not as open ended and bottomless as my Buchla, if money was no object I’d automatically get this 2600 as well

Hmmmmm

I like to think I could get away with using just one instrument, but it’s just not possible.
There is something very admirable about someone who "seems" to use just one thing, but in reality regarding electronic music that’s rarely the case.
Brian Eno used the EMS Synthi a lot, but he also used other things, Todd Barton uses the Buchla Easel a lot, but he has other stuff too.
The bottom line for me is that everything I own produces it's own unique sound, there isn’t one magic box that can do it all as much as I’d like that.
I have a Novation A-Station that has some of my own favourite sounds, it’s indispensable, so is my Alesis Micron, and my Moog, and Micro Freak, all of these things are unique, and if I sold any of them not only would I loose some of my signature sounds I would also not be able to replace them with alternatives, there aren’t any. So I’m stuck with having to use multiple things, whether I like it or not.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby N i g e l » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am

Rich Hanson wrote:.....Perhaps I should buy a simple 8 track and set up an alternative recording space to see how I get on with it.

I have such a set up, HD recorder & synth workstation , for trying things out and jamming.
Its nice to get away from the computer but I think it would be hard graft to produce a complete project (like was done in "olden times"!). Its so much easier to set up the bare bone song structure on a PC with a mouse & screen, cut and paste.

The recorder has 2 essentials - MIDI sync to the workstation and USB for file transfer to the PC.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:27 am

N i g e l wrote:
Rich Hanson wrote:.....Perhaps I should buy a simple 8 track and set up an alternative recording space to see how I get on with it.

I have such a set up, HD recorder & synth workstation , for trying things out and jamming.
Its nice to get away from the computer but I think it would be hard graft to produce a complete project (like was done in "olden times"!). Its so much easier to set up the bare bone song structure on a PC with a mouse & screen, cut and paste.

The recorder has 2 essentials - MIDI sync to the workstation and USB for file transfer to the PC.

I couldn’t go back to a studio without a computer, it’s how I make my music, I still have my tape based Portastudio, but I just use it as an effects unit.
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