CatSynth Pics: Big Merp, Pocket Operator, Monotron

As I was editing our most recent CatSynth TV episode featuring the Pocket Operator, Big Merp jumped onto the desk and decided he wanted to get into the act.

He loves to be wherever the action is, so I took a bit of video and a few more photos. I even pulled out a (dusty) Korg Monotron for him to pose with.

His video clip made it into the introduction for the episode, which you can see below.

CatSynth Pic: Big Merp, Modular Synths, and the Cone of Shame

Big Merp with synths and the cone of shame

Big Merp jumps up on the ledge behind the modular synths (the main system as well as the RackBrute). Also present are the Deptronics Thunderbell, Moog Mother 32, Roland Boutique VP-03 (with owl), and the Korg Volca Beats.

Poor Merp has had to wear the cone of shame since his surgery on Friday, but as this picture shows, by Wednesday he was feeling much better and back to his regular mischievous self. So we decided to liberate him from the cone.

He seems much happier without it 😸

CatSynth Pic: Eggo and Korg DW8000

Eggo the cat sits atop a Korg DW8000 synthesizer. From Sam Oliver via our Facebook page.

Eggo the waffle kitty, aptly named from Stranger Things, is having a rest on my vintage 1985 Korg Dw8000 which happens to have a small piece of a much larger stranger things pop figure collection

“Stranger Things” has definitely brought some of the mid-1980s synthesizer sounds into mainstream consciousness – although those sounds and instruments have been popping up again in music for some time now. Around 1986/1987, the DW8000 was Korg’s “out-of-my-league” synth, the big flagship compared to the Poly800 v2 that I was initially looking at – and I thought the graphics for the waveforms were pretty cool. Of course, this is the time period when the Yamaha DX7 and their other FM synths were dominant. Ultimately, I went for analog/DCO and FM options in my first synths, but recently I have found myself rather curious about the DW8000 (and its rackmount version the EX8000) again.

CatSynth Pic: Gracie and Korg Poly 61

Gracie is back, this time with a Korg Poly 61 synthesizer. From Alsún Ní Chasaide (Alison Cassidy) of Synthetic Dreamscapes, who repaired the instrument.

This unusual Korg Poly-61 with factory MIDI retrofit (not Poly-61m) is finally finished and working perfectly. As usual, the last 20% takes 50% of the time!


In this case, the non-working panel buttons were traced to severe oxidation around two connectors on the MIDI board. Both pin headers *and* connectors had to be completely replaced / rebuilt for this to be long-term reliable. Also, one new rubber key contact set was needed, and Andrej’s new CPU board from yesterday.


And after a tune-up – perfect!! Ready to go back to its local owner 👍🏼😊

Gracie is the Quality Engineer for these repair projects 😸🎹

CatSynth Pic: Korg Poly 800

A cute tuxedo cat shows off a Korg Poly 800 synthesizer. From Cesar Inserny via Instagram.

True meownalog synthesizer.

The Korg Poly 800 was a popular affordable polyphonic-analog synthesizer. The first synthesizer that I considered was its successor, the Poly 800 mk2, though was steered away from it because of its lack of velocity sensitivity and small keyboard range. They can still be picked up rather affordably for those interested in trying this instrument out.

CatSynth Pic: Crumar Bit 99, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS-20, Metasonix, and More

White cat with a Crumar Bit 99, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS-20, and modules from Doepfer, Metasonix, and more.

A beautiful white cat sits atop a Crumar Bit 99 synthesizer, and beneath a Roland Juno 106 and Korg MS-20. We also see some Eurorack modules, including some Doepfer and a Metasonix yellow module – most likely an R-53 like the one sitting near me as I write this.

From Suren Seneviratne via Facebook.

CatSynth Pic: Oreo and Bella with Volca Modular

Oreo and Bella show off their Volca Modular synthesizer. By John Weiner via Facebook.

These two love the low octaves!!!!

You can see our first look at the Volca Modular from NAMM in this video – or read more in this article.

CatSynth Pic: Numbers with Arturia, Novation, and Korg

Meet Numbers the black cat. He sits on a custom synthesizer rack made from recycled wood that houses an Arturia MiniBrute 2S, Novation keyboard, and a MicroKorg. From Sam Brubaker via our Facebook page.

A photo of my cat, Numbers. Here he is inspecting the room lighting while sitting on a synth rack I built out of recycled wood from a shipping palette.

CatSynth Pic: Ceephax Acid Crew ‏

Cats find interesting ways to sit, with or without synths. And this kitty is no exception. From Ceephax Acid Crew on Twitter.

I espy an Ensoniq DP/4 signal processor, Yamaha TX802 FM module, Korg Wavestation A/D module, and more that are left as an exercise to the reader.

CatSynth Pic: Atop the Korg

Cat sitting proudly atop a Korg sytnhesizer. Submitted by J Curtis Scott via our Facebook page.