The adorable Meiko with a Sequential (Dave Smith) Prophet ’08 synthesizer. From Charles Whiley via Facebook.
Handsome tabby cat with an Evolver from Dave Smith Instruments. From anika_or on Instagram.
I will confess I haven’t been using my Evolver as much of late as I used to. It’s probably time to take a fresh look at what it has to offer.
This is one lucky cat, with both a Sequential Prophet 6 and an OB6 from Dave Smith Instruments. And the keyboard versions at that 😻
Photo by Jon Sellers via the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks.
The two instruments are quite similar in layout and overall architecture but have distinct sounds and other characteristics. The P6 is a classic Prophet. while the OB-6 has the distinctive sound of its Oberheim filters.
As we get ready for our next Pitta of the Mind show this Thursday, March 8, we look back at our recent show at Pro Arts in Oakland, where we were joined by Usufruct, Alex Cruse, and Murder Murder. You can see a bit of all four groups in this recent CatSynth TV episode.
Pitta of the Mind’s color theme (we always have a color or pattern theme) for this evening was blue and featured blue-themed poems by Maw Shein Win, many from her new book Invisible Gifts.
[Photo by Tom Scandura]
I used the Prophet 12 synthesizer, along with the modular system, my trusty Nord Stage, and some percussion instruments to create a musical interplay with the words as well as the space between them.
Even though we haven’t performed in a while and only had one rehearsal, I felt this was one of our strongest performances – and the feedback I got from the audience backed up that perception. In particular, I think the poem “You Will Be With Me in a Town Called Paradise” came out particularly well, with a sultry vibe and jazzy accompaniment on electric piano.
After our set, Usufruct, the duo of Polly Moller Springhorn and Tim Walters took the stage.
[Photo by Tom Scandura]
As the word “usufruct” implies, they make use of materials for which they have usage rights beyond ownership, such as public-domain text sources. Polly’s vocal interpretations of the texts are processed electronically by Tim using custom programs written in SuperCollider. The end result is simultaneously dark and playful. But beyond the text sections, I was particularly taken with the instrumental portion at the beginning, which featured bass flute live and electronically processed.
Alex Cruse brought a very different vibe and sensibility to the evening, with an electronic performance that focused on beats, loops, and hits.
There were many delightful sounds and many hard-edged industrial noise moments as well. The vocals were deliberately obscured by heavy distortion and other processing but provided a percussive element that worked well with the rhythms.
The final set by Murder Murder was again something altogether different. With two drummers, two horns, two electronic performers, and vocals, it was nonstop intensity from the first drum hit.
The intensity continued for several minutes and then came to a sudden close. It was the musical equivalent of a tornado tearing through our calm evening of voice and electronics, but perhaps it was a fitting coda to the evening.
We thank Pro Arts and Sarah Lockhart for having us at this series, which has become quite a mainstay of the Oakland scene. I hope to be back again soon with one of my other projects. And of course, we are looking forward to our next Pitta of the Mind Show – where we will once again be joined by Usufruct – at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco on Thursday, March 8 at 8 PM.
Nala the cat playing a OB-6 from Dave Smith Instruments and Tom Oberheim. Photo from nathan.yeager on Instagram.
Analog Cat. Nala plays the OB-6. #catsonsynthesizersinspace #catsofinstagram #cat #davesmithinstruments #oberheim #homerecording #ob6 #analogsynth #keyboard #keyboardcat #synthesizer #catsynth #cute #cutecats
From our friends at Eevo Lute Music & Technology.
A new test victim has arrived.. #pioneer #pioneerdj #davesmithinstruments #toraiz Pioneer Toraiz SP-16
We hope that human and feline enjoy their new “test victim” 😸. You can read our early take on the collaboration between Dave Smith Instruments and Pioneer on this product line in our report from NAMM 2017.
Dave Smith Instruments has consistently made a big splash to the instruments they have presented at NAMM, and it’s almost always something I quickly find myself wanting. This year the unveiled the OB-6, a collaboration of Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim.
Whatever comes out of such a collaboration should be good, and indeed the OB-6 a strong, solid and professional instrument. It combines the playability and polish of a Dave Smith keyboard with the unique sound and architecture of an Oberheim SEM. Indeed, it employs voice cards based on Oberheim filters and oscillators, with a Prophet 6 architecture underneath. It it is quite pretty as well.
I did have a chance to both play the OB-6 and talk with Tom Oberheim about it. You can see his description of the instrument and how the collaboration happened in this video.
And here I attempt to play it.
It was only once I put down the camera and played with both hands that I could understand what the Oberheim technology adds. In addition to the distinctive sound, the SEM filter allows sweeping between different topologies (high pass, notch, and low pass) in real time.
However, the OB-6 does not completely eclipse last year’s big announcement from Dave Smith, the Prophet 6. It is still quite impressive, and a pleasure to play.
It is perhaps because I am more familiar with the sound and feel of Dave Smith instruments that I found the P6 still more approachable than the OB-6. But I do like the distinctive sound. Another option for that is Oberheim’s SEM synths issued by his new company. That will be discussed in the next article.
Two black cats with a Moog Voyager and Dave Smith Instruments PRO 2 synthesizer. What’s not to love? 🙂
Submitted by Station2Station via Twitter.
In honor of #NationalCatDay, the cats have taken over my Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12.
Luna and I wish everyone a day full of feline and musical joy.