CatSynth Pic: Luna and Keyboards

Beautiful black cat Luna strikes a “noir” pose atop one keyboard and next to another.  Submitted by Matthew Vasquez via our Facebook page.  I really like the way the stripes of light play against the keyboards, which in turn heighten the black cat’s figure.

This is Luna is not our Luna, but looks so much like her!  You can read our more recent tribute to the late great Luna of CatSynth here.

Identification of the synths/keyboards left as an exercise to the reader.

CatSynth Pic: Shadow and Brodie

Meet Shadow and Brodie, two new synth-cat friends.  Here we see them singing along to a tune played on an M-Audio Axiom keyboard controlling an off-screen synth or software instrument.

Submitted by Anne Corwin via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Eli and Yamaha Reface DX

Handsome tabby Eli poses with a Yamaha Reface DX synthesizer. Submitted by Elias Laughton via our Facebook page.

Like Sam Sam and Luna, Eli was a shelter cat.  We always love hearing about shelter cats finding their forever homes.  If you are looking for a new feline addition to the family, please do consider adopting a rescue!

The Yamaha Reface DX is a reissue of the DX line from the 1980s, specifically, the 4-operator models like the DX27 or TX81Z.  It lacks some of the TX81Z’s features like alternate operator waveforms but adds some new elements like continuing feedback and each operator.  You can read more about it at Yamaha’s official page.

 

CatSynth Pic: Zelda the Grey with Ableton Push and Arturia Keystep

Zelda the Grey returns, with an Ableton Push controller and Arturia Keystep.  From skaterdays on Instagram.

@zelda_the_grey is sleeping on the job again in the music studio.

 

 

UnPopular Electronics (Robair + Djll), Lx Rudis, Franck Martin at Robotspeak

It’s been a little while since we last attended Church of Thee Super Serge at Robotspeak in San Francisco, but we made a point of going this past weekend.  For those who have not been there or read our past reviews, it’s an almost-ever-month show on a Saturday afternoon with live hardware-synthesizer performances.  As the name suggests, some acts do include Serge synthesizers, but it is not required, and a wide variety of instruments are used.  All three sets are featured in our most recent CatSynth TV episode.

The first set featured Lx Rudis performing on an Oberheim Xpander, a somewhat underappreciated instrument from the 1980s.

Lx Rudis on Oberheim Xpander

At its heart, the Xpander is a 6 voice analog synthesizer, but with a complex array of digital controls that can be programmed and applied independently to each voice.  Lx Rudis took full advantage of these, especially the LFOs and lag generators, to create subtle and minimal metric patterns.  He constantly moved voices in and out, configuring them on the fly, in a way that was very expressive and musical.  I particularly liked the sections which had staccato rhythmic textures against slowly moving timbres deliberately out of sync with one another.

Next up was Franck Martin, who performed a solo set on a modular synthesizer with several standalone instruments.

Franck Martin

Martin’s setup included a Moog Subharmonicon, which he built while attending Moogfest this year (we at CatSynth are a bit envious), as well as a DFAM (Drummer From Another Mother).  There were also additional voices provided by Braids and Plaits modules from Mutable Instruments that he could bring in and out using a touch-plate interface.  The result was a slowly changing beat pattern with an eerie inharmonic voicing and gentle undulation.

The final set featured our friends Gino Robair and Tom Djll teaming up as the brilliantly named Unpopular Electronics.

They had a wide variety of gear, including Serge panels in addition to Eurorack modules and standalone instruments from Bugbrand and others.  In addition, Gino had an interesting small case that included touchpads.

The music was frenetic and intense, an avalanche of pops and hits and loud cloudlike tone clusters.  And there were trumpet sounds entering into the mix at various points.  But there was an exquisite detail to the madness with changes among the different instruments and sounds, and musical pauses and rests before the pair dived back into the frenzy.  There were also many moments of humor and not just Djll’s book about why there aren’t any Zeppelin-style airships in the United States.

In between sets, it’s fun to browse around Robotspeak and see what’s for sale, or on display in the big glass case.

It’s also quite dangerous, as I am often tempted to leave with another module or instrument.  On this occasion, I exercised restraint, but probably not next time…

CatSynth Pic: Dave, microKORG, and Mini Kaoss Pad

Dave sitting on microKORG

Dave (we’re pretty sure it’s Dave), sitting on top of a microKORG synthesizer.  Actually, two microKORGs!   That expression is priceless 😸

From Karl Lee Avery via Facebook.

We also espy a familiar red Korg Mini Kaoss Pad.  We have one of those around here somewhere.

CatSynth Video: Cat rings service bell to make dark ambient music with a modular synthesizer

Cat rings a service bell to that is fed into an audio signal chain as part of this ambient electronic composition.

By Andor Polgar on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

The signal path: Poes rings the service Bell for food, the microphone picks up the sound, which then goes through a stereo volume pedal (it’s for attenuating the chewing sounds). Make Noise Maths is used as an envelope follower, which controls the sound of the Erica Synth Black Wavetable Oscillator.

https://instagram.com/_andormade
http://andor.cool

We at CatSynth absolutely adore this video and feline performance.  And we are thinking about ways to get Sam Sam into a live synthesizer performance 😸

CatSynth Video: Cat listening to Modular

From brycepyne on Instagram.  What critters indeed?  I like the mixture of long tones and decorative details.

CatSynth Video: Mr. Maximillion in “Look Out Noise”

A new video from our friends Charles Whiley and Mr. Maximillion.

“Look Out Noise”
🎼🎶🎚🎛🎚🎛🔊🎧🎹
💖🤩😼🔊🔊🔊💖😻😺

We espy quite a few of the usual suspects, including their Novation Peak, JoMoX Alpha Base, Source Audio Nemesis, and Oberheim Matrix 1000.  This time I also notice a JoMoX Moonwind, a T.C. Electronics rackmount effects box, and more.  What gear did you notice in the video?

We espy quite a few of the usual suspects, including their Novation Peak, JoMoX Alpha Base, Source Audio Nemesis, and Oberheim Matrix 1000.  This time I also notice a JoMoX Moonwind, a T.C. Electronics rackmount effects box, and more.  What gear did you notice in the video?

 

 

CatSynth Pic: Lucy, Elektron, and Modular Synth

It seems to be the week of the Elektron Octatrack, as we have two or three of them in today’s pic.  Also featured are the adorable cat Lucy, and a large modular synthesizer system.  I recognize a Make Noise Tempi and Rene on the bottom row – we have that pair here at CatSynth, too.

Today’s photo comes to us from Lucy’s Instagram @dropzone_lucy

If you are on Instagram, please follow us at @catsynth, and you can tag your own pics #catsynth to be featured in a future post.

If you are on Instagram, please follow us at @catsynth, and you can tag your own pics #catsynth to be featured in a future post.