CatSynth pic: Cat on a Sequential Prophet 5 (in Space)

Cat on Prophet 5 in space

From Cats on Synthesizers in Space.

Interesting looking grey kitty on a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 analog synthesizer, one of the first fully programmable polyphonic analog synths, the Prophet 5 is the most classic synthesizer of the eighties, made from 1978 -1984 —————- I find the image of the cat most striking.

NAMM: Dave Smith Instruments and Sequential Prophet 6

Our first stop at NAMM 2015 was Dave Smith Instruments. And they certainly had big news, with both the acquisition of the legendary Sequential Circuits (aka “SEQUENTIAL”) brand name and their first instrument under the new name, the Prophet 6.

We were able to talk with Dave Smith himself about the “new old name” and the new instrument.

The Prophet 6 itself is quite a sight. It includes the industrial design, lettering and other features from the Prophet V, and includes custom component based VCOs and analog filters.

Sequential Prophet 6

It has a rich sound that ranges from the lusciousness of the Prophet 12 to the nastiness of the Evolver, though it doesn’t really do the same things as either of those instruments. As described in the video, it doesn’t have the complexity and feature set of the Prophet 12, but it’s not intended to. It is it’s own creature, and probably best as a lead synth used in conjunction with others. And it was definitely fun to play.

Amanda tries out the Prophet 6

It does appear that both the Dave Smith Instruments and Sequential brands will be used on future offerings, which we look forward to seeing and hearing.

NAMM: MIDI at 30

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), the protocol that we use to connect musical instruments together, has officially been around for 30 years now, and the occasion was being marked with an exhibit at NAMM:

There were some of the earliest instruments as well as those demonstrating how it is being used today. The Yamaha Disklavier series was quite prominent, as an instrument that is both acoustic and a MIDI device at the same time. There was also the Prophet 600, a forerunner to the Prophet 12 we reviewed yesterday and the first commercially available instrument to implement MIDI.

In the middle, between “1983” and “2013”, were a few of the devices I remember from the mid-1980s.

I had a Yamaha box (a sequencer) with the same beveled shape as the TX7 pictured here. And I was quite interested in the Atari ST computer, though was never able to get one. Both devices seem quite primitive today. Unlike the analog synthesizers that we have been reviewing, earlier digital devices don’t seem to hold up as well. Nonetheless, the MIDI protocol itself is still vital for much electronic music-making, despite its well-documented limitations in speed and resolution.

CatSynth pic: Mimi and Drumtraks

From our friend Eric Pochesci of Polynominal, some more pictures of Mimi, this time with a Sequential Drumtraks:

I also thought this was a great sepia-tone photo, and quite well posed with Mimi pushing one of the buttons. Look for more of Mimi in the next few days.

We would like to remind readers that they can always submit your own cat-and-synthesizer or cat-and-music pictures via facebook, twitter @catsynth, or using our handy submission form.