CatSynth Video: Roland re-201 space echo + iPad fugue machine + electric violin

From abertronic on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

“Another one of my restored space echo’s now for sale on ebay.

Ive got an iPad with the app ‘Fugue Machine’ playing through one input and live electric violin on another. Just a quick jam showing that this space echo is working as it should.

My cat loves the space echo… unfortunately she cannot be left alone with it because she’ll chew up the tapes!

ROLAND Re-201 Space Echo $899USD
Its just been cleaned, serviced and checked. Cosmetically very good condition!
Internally and externally cleaned. Pots cleaned and lubricated with contact cleaner.
Serial number: 653577
PLUS! 1 tape installed and 5 spare tape loops!!! (new loops)

Pinch roller and tape heads are in excellent condition. Sounds great , with minimum wow and flutter.
Very nice unit!
Full service has been done on this unit including polished tape heads.
youtube demo coming soon…
SHIPPING
$145US SAL economy Air (approx 1-2weeks) .
This item is 100v 50/60hz you may need a power converter depending on your country.”

CatSynth Video: Cat In Modular Synthesizer

Happy #caturday 😻🎛 #synthcat #catsynth 🔊

A post shared by Matt Levy (@machew) on

From Matt Levy (machew) on Instagram. Watch the full video for the cat 😸.

A lot of familiar modules in this modular synth, including Make Noise Rene and Tempi, some TipTop audio, and more.

CatSynth Pic and Video: Cat Full of Ghosts tbar Module

From Cat Full of GHOSTS on YouTube, via matrixsynth. Watch for the cat in the video 😺

“The tbar is a unique unipolar/bipolar variable voltage source and attenuator made by Cat Full of Ghosts Electronics. It boasts beautiful white and gold pcb front panel, walnut stained bamboo ply and matte black bolts. The tbar also boasts a visual feedback led under the + sign so you can monitor the cv you are passing in attenuator mode.

This module will make you feel like you are flying a space ship. It has a smooth motion a firm throttle and solid construction.

The tbar allows for more nuanced control of cv parameters. Why twiddle a cramped knob when you can slide a tbar? It is great for performance and studio use.

The output can be configured to: 0-5v, -5-5v, 0-9v or -5-9v via jumpers on the underside.

This unit is 6hp wide and 51mm deep. It draws current relative to what it is driving but you can expect around 40-50ma on the +12 and -12 rails.

www.catfullofghosts.com”

Available at Patchcable and Turramurra Music.

CDP at the Make-Out Room, San Francisco

Today we look back at the May 1 performance by Census Designated Place (CDP) at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco, as part of the monthly Monday Make-Out series.

We were all very excited to play this show. And then things started going awry. First, our synth player Tom Djll was ill an unable to make the gig. And when we were about to go on, I found myself with cable faults and other technical issues. I had actually anticipated many things and had several redundancies, but also a few blind spots, particularly around 1/4” cables. That will not happen again. And after the anxiety of those mishaps in front of a packed room, we played on, and it turned out to be a great show. We played very well, indeed the heads of the various tunes came out as well as I have heard them, and the energy throughout was great. We even had folks dancing in the audience.

You can see a bit of our set in this clip, featuring our newest tune Marlon Brando.

CDP Marlon Brando May 1 from CatSynth on Vimeo.

We were preceded by two other bands. First was a project from our friend Lucio Menegon from New York, together with Janie Cowan on upright bass and John Hanes on drums.

Lucio Menagon Trio

Lucio’s guitar performance had a very narrative, almost storytelling quality. This was set against a mixture of idiomatic rhythms and percussive stops from Cowan and Hanes.

They were followed by a quartet featuring Anton Hatwich from Chicago together with Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Josh Smith on saxophone and Hamir Atwal on drums.

Anton Hatwich Quartet

During this time, the crowd at the Make-Out room continued to grow, and by the time we were setting up it was as crowded as I have seen there since I played there with Surplus 1980 some four years earlier. Which made the technical difficulties all the more stressful. But as stated earlier, the show ultimately went well as a trio with myself, Mark Pino on drums and Joshua Marshall on saxophones. The music was very well received by the audience and the other musicians.

Thanks to Karl Evangelista for organizing the series, Rent Romus for helping with logistics on that night, and all the folks at the Make-Out Room. Overall, it was a good show, and some important lessons learned on technical blind spots. We will get back to composing, rehearsing and preparing for next ones.

CatSynth video: Alesis Photon and iPhone

Synth jam with Alesis Photon, iPhone, and cat 😻. From victimasdelspleen on Instagram.

Jean-Michel Jarre at the Greek Theatre, Berkeley

This past Friday, we at CatSynth had the chance to see electronic-music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre perform live at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California. It was part of his ambitious “Electronic World Tour”, which includes his first North American tour in…well, a long time.

jean-Michel Jarre on stage

Jarre is perhaps best known for his innovative albums in the 1970s and 1980s, blending electronics and idiomatic music without veering too much into the dreaded New Age world; and for putting on live concerts that are truly spectacles. He did not disappoint in that regard, with a massive sound and light setup that included three sheets of LEDs, banks of lasers, and a three-piece ensemble that would make any synth nerd very envious. The lights were mesmerizing and captivating at times.

LED light patterns

Jean-Michel Jarre in lights

Robots

When the lasers were operative, it was sometimes most interesting to turn away from the stage and look into the crowd; and towards the back of the theatre and the trees behind it, where undulating patters of warm-colored lights danced among the leaves that were barely visible in the night sky.

Lasers across the Greek Theatre

Jarre’s music has long included rhythmic elements (often shunned by contemporaries in the academic electronic-music world), which made him a major influence for techno, electronica, and EDM genres. But his current performance fully embraces the contemporary EDM aesthetic, with intense pulsing beats, as well as a performance style with stomping and pointing as one sees with younger electronic performers and many DJs. Perhaps even a little macho. However, not only does he do it better, it is on a much grander scale. Even assuming much of the sound and visuals are sequenced, the complexity to pull this off cannot be underestimated. And Jarre’s performance was quite physical, often jumping and sometimes coming out in front to perform on keytar.

Jarre on keytar, musicians on vocoder

It was nonetheless an ensemble performance, with his fellow musicians providing live electronic drums as well as vocoder-based harmonies.

The concert, which lasted about 90 minutes, included some of his classic works such as selections from Oxygene, but with the newer EDM sound as described above. He also presented newer pieces, including a collaboration with Edward Snowden that mixed Jarre’s music with clips of Snowden’s statements. The piece was very well received by the Berkeley audience.

One of my favorite moments and one of the most technically challenging – even Jarre himself joked that it may not work – was when he stepped forward to play a giant light harp consisting of towering green lasers.

Jean-Michel Jarre Light Harp

It went off flawlessly – or at least it looked and sounded that way from the audience perspective.

I am glad I was able to be there for this event, as it doesn’t happen often. Having seen this performance, it is leading to go back and review some of his classic recordings as well; and draw inspiration for my next electronic-music adventures.