CatSynth Pic: Korg M500 Micro Preset SN 770329

Korg M500 Micro Preset SN 770329

Originally rom a now completed listen on Reverb.com, today’s pic arrives via matrixsynth, where you can see more pictures (sans cat).

The Korg Micro Preset synthesizer is a curious late 1970s beast with a slightly bizarre matrix of pre-set sounds, including woodwind and similar noises and a keyboard all housed in a wooden box! It’s a 32-note monophonic preset synthesizer with 6 push-button presets including voice, synth1, synth2, brass, string, and wood. Its single-oscillator design has only rudimentary decay/release envelope controls and no access to the guts of the sound generation stuff.

Once you’re past the outward appearance, a bit of probing will reveal a noise box that sounds remarkably similar to the MS-10 at times. There is a lot of fun to be had with the ‘traveller’ control, a sort of filter and resonance control rolled into one, offering interesting squelchy acid-style bass run effects. In fact, like the MS-10, bass is the best of what you get out of this guy along with lots of other useful noises. Add N To (X), The Human League, OMD, Jean Michel Jarre, OMD, Pop Will Eat Itself and Brian Eno are thought to have used the Micro Preset.

A few of the presets are slightly quieter. Easily addressed by turning the volume up. Since this Keyboard was only ever used in our smoke free studio, we never had a tech fix it. Our tech HAD seen this issue before and did say the fix would take 1hr and require minimal parts he, and thusly most techs, should have. This thing sounds amazing straight into a delay pedal and then a DI. Only selling it because we loved it so much we bought 2 but need only one. It’s killer for when you want a simple MS-10/20 sound but don’t want to fuss about. It’s been on a ton of records made here. Great and affordable addition to any collection and would be a great first synth.”

CatSynth pic: Kitten on a Minimoog

AklueEOCAAAjzU4

From @moogmusic via Twitter, as part of an amusing conversation that also included matrixsynth.

So which one do you think is the rescue, the kitten or the Minimoog?

Trash Audio party at NAMM and Matrixsynth “Wine Bar”

Last night was the annual Trash Audio party that occurs during NAMM. It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of makers and enthusiasts of esoteric and DIY electronic instruments in a quintessentially southern Californian setting: a backyard pool party. It was great to meet some of the people I have gotten to know through writing this site.

Matrixsynth hosted a little wine bar of sorts, with his own Analog Reserve (red) and Digital Reserve (white). They were quite good, actually.

CatSynth pic: Teebee and TB303

Back home, and back to basics.

via Fabrizio Balistreri on The MATRIXSYNTH Lounge , and reposted on matrixsynth.

I also want to give a shout-out to matrixsynth for including my Zuccotti Park post with the Magic Piano! Apparently this was the first OWS-related post 🙂

There will still be more things to post from New York, so look for them in the coming days.

History of Cats and Synths at Retro Synth Ads

The blog Retro Synth Ads, featured an article on the Octave Electronics CAT this past Monday. In addition to the ad itself, it included an extensive discussion of the phenomenon of cat-and-synth pictures:

Looking at this ad, it got me thinking about the whole cat&synth meme that currently exists on the Web. As far back as I can remember, discussions about cats and synth gear have existed both on- and off-line. Members of forums and e-mail lists such as Analogue Heaven have exchanged stories at least as far back as 1999.

The article also features quotes from me as the author of CatSynth, and our friend matrix of matrixsynth.

Do check out the full article.

Coincidentally, we did feature another Octave CAT advertisement in a previous post.

Niki featured on catsynth and matrixsynth

Remember this picture submitted last week?

Well, according the site cleverCLAIRE (from San Francisco), the cat's name is Niki. You can see more Niki photos here.

Even without being able to read Chinese, one can easily get the gist of the post, though I did run it through babelfish just to get a better idea. It seems like they got a kick of Doktor Future's ailurophobic comments over at matrixsynth.