Cat and Roland JP-8000

Cat with Roland JP-8000 synthesizer. Submitted by Pedro Vieira‎ via our Facebook page.

The JP-8000 was released in 1997 as virtual analog modeling synths came into vogue.  In addition to modeling the sound, it sported full front panel of sliders and knobs reminiscent of Roland’s classic analog synths.  I was more enamored with the follow-up module, the JP-8080, which I got to try out at AES in 1998, the same year I delivered a paper on an analog modeling technique.  One can draw a line from these instruments to the Roland JP-08 Boutique Synth, which we often play at CatSynth HQ.

CatSynth Pic: Mr. Maximillion in the Studio

Our new pal Mr. Maximillion is enjoying some lap time in the studio.

Mr. Maxmillion in the studio

Submitted by his human Charles Whiley via Facebook.  That is one contented cat!

Identification of the synths left as an exercise to the reader 😺

CatSynth Pic: Cat Playing the Organ

Cat playing organ

Cat playing the organ [Walters, W. 438, 15th c.].  Posted by Damien Kempf on Twitter and spotted by astute reader @endlessscribe.

The image comes from a 15th century prayer book in the collection of the Walters Museum based in Baltimore.  From the museum’s digital library:

This late fifteenth-century Prayer Book was made for the Use of Rome and illuminated by followers of Willem Vrelant of Bruges. The manuscript was probably created for the couple depicted in two full-page miniatures (fols. 13v and 103r). The representation of the bride in the full-page miniatures, as well as references to her in suppliant prayers, indicates that the manuscript was commissioned primarily for the bride’s use. Further evidence of this is the prominence of women throughout the illuminations and drolleries, from one who was caught in adultery being brought before Christ, to Veronica extending her veil to Christ as he carries the cross. The decorative aspects of the manuscript stray from the typical border designs of this time period, focusing more on illusionistic Ghent-Bruges’ illumination (post-1475) and less on the Vrelant acanthus-floral borders. Among the number of full-page miniatures, fol. 229v stands out as an exceptional example of an imitation of a late fifteenth-century panel painting.

Interestingly, I did not see the cat among the includes samples.

 

 

Weekend Cat Blogging with Sam Sam: Studio in the Studio…

I have been spending a lot of time at the main software-development and video workstation of late.  As we have seen before, Sam Sam loves to drop by and say hi.

Sam Sam saying hi in the studio

She seems to really like the open shelves as much as I do.

As one can see, cat decor abounds in the studio.  But we also have some other items on display in these shelves.

Sam Sam enjoys peeking through the shelves

On the left (of course) is a Bernie Sanders action figure, made by Brooklyn-based FCTRY, as well as a signed card from the 1990s when we still just Vermont’s representative.   And to the right of Bernie is our Lego recording studio.

Bernie and Lego Studio

The studio is from a series of Lego kits specifically aimed at young women, and I loved the idea of having a “studio in the studio.”  It’s great the engineer is a woman, but we thought it needed one more addition.

Black cat in Lego studio

Yes, that’s a little Lego black cat!  A tribute to Luna, whom we still miss dearly. 💜

Apparently, even Lego cats shed.  But our life-size studio tends to be entropy-prone as well, especially before and after live shows.   It definitely needs another clean-up…but first we have a lot of creative projects ahead this weekend.  We hope you all have a happy and productive weekend as well.

CatSynth Pic: Carmen and Moog DFAM Again

Carmen returns with her Moog DFAM (Drummer from another Mother), courtesy of Julia More, aka The Synth Witch.  And yes, this is clearly her DFAM 😸

You can all of Carmen’s appearances on CatSynth via this link.

RIP Bento, the Keyboard Cat

This is such heartbreaking news.  Bento, the Keyboard Cat has passed away 😿

His humans made this wonderful tribute to Bento and his legacy, including many classic clips; and a sweet story about how he was a source of inspiration for his human companion, Charlie Schmidt.

Bento was actually the second Keyboard Cat.  The original, Fatso, also lived with Schmidt but passed away in 1987, long before the age of internet memes.  You can read more about the story of Fatso, Bento, and Schmidt at the Keyboard Cat Wikipedia page. Like my cats, Bento was a shelter cat and became a public face for the Shelter Pet Project.  We saw him featured in billboards and bus stops here in San Francisco.

Keyboard Cat has always been a favorite of mine – how could it not, given the combination of interests.  We always had fun with the early “play him/her off” videos, and it became a frequent tag-line of mine to say “You have been played off by the Keyboard Cat”, especially when someone loses a political election.  I wish we had been able to cross paths in person.

We at CatSynth extend our sympathies to Charlie Schmidt and the rest of Bento’s family.  Rest in peace, Keyboard Cat, you have been played off. 💕

CatSynth Pic: Softmachines (Synth Pillows)

Cat and softmachines pillows.

A cat contemplates a sofa full of synth pillows by softmachines.  We can only imagine what happens next 😸

Softmachines makes pillows and cushions based on classic electronic musical instruments.  For more, visit their shop.  These are so cute, we need one at HQ.

CatSynth Pic: Cat and “Blue-Eyed” Korg Polysix

We recently found this pic featuring a cute cat and a Korg Polysix on matrixsynth.

Cat and Korg Polysix

More from the matrixsynth post, where you can also see more photos:

via this auction

“Sadly, something has to give. Too much kit in my life!

This is a 1982 Korg Polysix in excellent condition. It’s been fully restored within the past two years, and is in really good cosmetic condition. If you’re looking here, you know the specifications already, so no need for copypasta here.

Work done:

Old NiCad battery replaced with a brand-new NiMH battery. Not a lithium cell. The CPU card was blissfully unharmed by the usual battery leak problems that these get – check the photos.
The power supply transformer has been replaced with a super quiet, efficient toroidal unit, capable of running at 220V as well as 110V.
One VCF chip – an SSM2044 – was replaced with a brand-new old stock item.
Synth was completely recalibrated and tuned and is working perfectly.
A Tauntek MIDI input board was fitted. This really enhances the machine by allowing MIDI note in, as well as syncing the arpeggiator clock over MIDI.

Yes, I changed out the LEDs for blue ones, while replacing some scratchy, worn pots. Series resistors were recalculated to dial back the intensity. It’s not as piercing as in the photos. Will take some more pics soon. I think they really match the panel decals well, by YMMV. I’m happy to change them back to generic red (or anything, really) for the lucky buyer.”

No, it does not appear that the cat is included.

Additionally, there is a sample of a bass line played on this synth.

“A rather familiar bass-line. I’m just testing a newly-repaired Korg Polysix. This is playing in unison mode, although with only five ganged voices. No effects other than a small amount of reverb.”

When I went synth shopping for the first time in the mid 1980s (right after a birthday), among the first I encountered was one of this instrument’s more modest successors, the Korg Poly 800 II. The Polysix was long gone from the catalogs by then, and it was the time when digital synths were eclipsing analog instruments. I was quickly pulled in the direction of the Yamaha synths that dominated that era.

Wordless Wednesday: Me and a Big Cat in SoHo (New York)

A rare self-portrait for Wordless Wednesday. This was taken last September in the SoHo district of lower Manhattan when we espied this large sculpture of a cat.

CatSynth Pic: Miep and Roland JX8P

Miep returns to CatSynth, this time with a Roland JX-8P.   You can see some of Miep’s previous appearances via this tag.

The JX-8P was a follow-up to Roland’s popular JX-3P. Some more info on it from Vintage Synth Explorer:

Though it is far more advanced than its predecessor, the JX-3P, the JX-8P has its drawbacks. Hands-on programming is sacrificed and reduced to assigning the parameter you want to tweak to a data-slider near the pitch/mod bender. Enter the PG-800 controller which gives you total control of all the JX-8P’s editable parameters with hands-on traditional slider control. Membrane buttons dominate the front panel of the JX-8P providing access to the various preset and user patches and to page through and assign editable parameters.