CatSynth Pic: Arturia MiniLab keyboard

Someone has found a nice napping spot on an Arturia MiniLab keyboard. From darioduartenunez on Instagram, you can find some more pics from this series.

CatSynth Pic: Ámbar, KeyStep Pro, MiniBrute 2S and more

Ámbar the cat is checking out the new KeyStep Pro from Arturia. We also see a Roland System 1, Arturia MiniBrute 2S, Moog Minitaur and more.

From laura_katik via Instagram.

Ámbar, Gato curioso 2 😼: “Qué es eso?”
Yo: “El #keysteppro mi amor”
…Y así podemos tener una conversación toda la tarde 🤣😂
.
Much@s pensaran que es la #cuarentena, en realidad no, siempre hablo con mis gatos 🤣🙋🏻‍♀️

CatSynth Pic: Giuliano, Mae, and MicroFreak

Giuliano (orange) and Mae (black) enjoy a jam session with the Arturia MicroFreak. Submitted by Alessandro Cilano via our Facebook page.

Giuliano in particular seems to be enjoying it.

The MicroFreak has become one of our main instruments for live performance as well as experimentation. Here is one of our videos demonstrating its features.

You can also see more posts of Giuliano.

CatSynth Pic: Big Merp, Sensel Morph, Arturia MicroFreak, and Modular

Our very own Big Merp is our featured cat as he sits in the middle of our demo rig featuring a Sensel Morph (with Buchla Thunder overlay), Arturia MicroFreak, and our modular synth setup.

If you haven’t already done so, please check out our recent video with Big Merp’s performance and our demo connecting the Sensel Morph to the modular via Max/MSP.

CatSynth Pic: Arturia CS-80 V

A beautiful gray cat reviews patches for the Arturia CS-80 V. From Tomás Mulcahy via the Arturia V Collection users group on Facebook.

She’s reminding me to take a break from the patch sheets! 

Our cats are definitely good at reminding us to take breaks, especially in these times.

If you haven’t yet done so, please check out our demo/tutorial of the mighty CS-80 V.

CatSynth Pic: Bill on Quarantine (Vintage Synthesizer Museum)

Bill enjoys the quarantine life with an Arturia MicroFreak and sundry Strymon pedals. Via our friends at the Vintage Synthesizer Museum.

You can see our visit to the Vintage Synthesizer Museum earlier this year in this video.

This was from the beginning of February. Not so long ago in time, but a world away from where we are now.

CatSynth Pic: Big Merp, MicroFreak, and Modular

Today’s CatSynth pic features our very own Big Merp! He likes to bed down on the synthesizer desk when I’m working on the studio, and on this occasion, he seemed particularly blissed out.

One of the few bright spots amidst all the pandemic craziness is that mandatory work-from-home affords me more time to spend with my cats and my music.

CatSynth Pic: Pansona, Arturia MiniBrute 2B, Roland TB-03 and TR-08

Pansona with MiniBrute 2S, Roland TB-03 and TR-08

Adorable black cat Pansona with a MiniBrute 2S synthesizer and Roland TB-03 and TR-08 Boutique synthesizers. Submitted by Vito del Valle via our Facebook page.

Pansona (Fatgirl) with an Arturia Minibrute 2S, Roland TB-03 & Roland TR-08… She’s wondering why I’m not yelling at her to get off the table…

Far from yelling at cats to get off the table, many of us not only tolerate but have grown to enjoy their antics on our music-making surfaces. We at CatSynth certainly feel that way.

CatSynth Pic: Studio 23

This cat has found an optimal napping spot in the center of this studio. Submitted by Paul Toohill via Facebook.

Studio 23. There is reason in my madness, order in my chaos. And a cat in my chair, damn it… 

Farewell to 2019: Tipping Point

Our year-end collage is a long-standing tradition at CatSynth. And we had a lot of fun making this year’s edition, so many wonderful images to choose from. One of my best solo performances to date took place at the Compton’s Cafeteria series at the Center for New Music. Big Merp came to live with has at CatSynth HQ. And our adventures took us from the halls of NAMM to the bottom of Death Valley to the subways of New York.

As we mentioned at the end of last year, most of the energy has moved to CatSynth TV and our social media platforms (especially our Facebook page). The blog is mostly our core cat-and-synth pics these days, although I do enjoy sharing long-form articles now and then. And In 2020, I do plan to revive the “primary highways” series from eight years ago.

On the video side, things have been going very well. Here are the top videos for 2019:

  1. Rick and Morty Pocket Operator, Part 2
  2. Introduction to the KOMA Field Kit [Episode 106]
  3. Ginger Baker, In Memoriam
  4. EXCLUSIVE! Arturia Pigments 1.2 First Look
  5. Folsom Street Fair 2019
  6. NAMM 2019: Rossum Electro-Music Trident [Episode 116]
  7. Rick and Morty Pocket Operator Unboxing [Episode 166]
  8. Mutable Instruments Plaits [Episode 102]
  9. Strymon Magneto Loop & Sample Modes [Episode 125]
  10. NAMM 2019: Interview with Dave Smith of Sequential

By early autumn, I was also thinking about this year as a “tipping point.” The transition from the blog to the video channel is the most obvious, but it also applies also on the personal side. The arrival of Big Merp was one of the big stories, and it’s been a tough integration getting both cats to coexist, but things have been trending well in the past few months, with Sam Sam regaining her confidence and HQ becoming a more harmonious place again. Musically, I have moved in a direction that is perhaps closer to my roots in jazz, fusion, funk while maintaining the experimental electronic aspects. I have also moved to a point where studio work is how I spend most of my musical time, between the videos and other projects. Finally, I am getting older, as we all are, and that adds both perspective and a need to focus on health and wellbeing. In 2020, I may “do fewer things” than in the past, but I hope the things I choose to do make an impact both personally and beyond.

There is a lot to look forward to in the coming days: NAMM 2020 is around the corner, I have a full queue of demos to share, and I am laying the foundations for some major musical projects. And of course, we will continue to post cats and synths.