Leo, Access Virus, Roland SP404sx, Arturia Keystep Pro

Leo is clearly proud of his minimalist road-ready setup featuring an Access Virus, Roland SP404sx, and Arturia Keystep Pro. Submitted by our friend @6bq9music via Twitter.

Here are some more pics of Leo with his setup.

Something interesting out the window
OK, that’s enough

Current Mood (Cwejman, Roland, Make Noise, more)

Our first CatSynth pic of 2021 features an image from stretta on Twitter. A beautiful cat, with a Roland A-50 keyboard, a Cwejman S1 (semi-modular synthesizer) and several Make Noise modules (we have that Intellijel case here at CatSynth HQ).

Farewell to 2020, a year like no other

How does one summarize a year like this? Words like “unprecedented” seem trite, and we learned from our experience with 2016 that even a difficult year has its beautiful moments. 2020 started out normal enough, with our annual pilgrimage to NAMM but quickly veered into surreal territory, and that was before the first COVID-19 lockdown was announced…on my birthday. Everything that has happened since has happened in the shadow of the pandemic. Perhaps the lowest moment was losing our dear friend Serena Toxicat. But the year has also brought unique experiences and opportunities, such as making music with musicians I admire together on opposite sides of the country. Indeed, as I was grieving the sudden loss of Serena, I received a call from my then-new collaborator G Calvin Weston offering comfort and support, and we have developed a closer friendship along with our musical collaboration. That moment perhaps summarizes the complexity of 2020 as much as any.

It has also been a banner year for CatSynth TV with rapid growth in viewership and subscriptions, but also the craft of making the videos in a variety of structures: synth reviews, interviews, documentaries, and art pieces. Of course, a few things remain active on the blog, our cat-and-music pics, Wordless Wednesday, and the occasional article. But for the most part, the transition from blog to video is complete.

The year ends on a note of optimism for 2021. The vaccines are arriving (we just need to make sure people take them); things are a bit more hopeful politically in the country, and we can start to repair the damage of the past five years. The album I have been working on – a musical statement – is coming together and will be released in the first part of the new year. Our little household at CatSynth HQ is safe and healthy and closer than ever – even Sam Sam and Big Merp seem to be getting along better now. And of course, we’re going to continue to share more videos, images, and ideas.

2020 has reminded us that we cannot know what is in store, and that improbable things can have a tremendous impact on our lives. We will face what comes as best we can, and focus on what is most important. And thank you for continuing to be a part of this journey with us.

Cat and Modular (Make Noise, Instruo, SOMA Laboratory, Erica Synths, more)

A very pretty cat framed by a wide variety of modular synthesizers, including offerings from Make Noise, SOMA Laboratory (the Lyra-8 in the lower left corner), Instruo, Erica Synths, Mutable Instruments, and many more.

From Simon RD via Facebook. You can see this cat’s previous appearance here.

CatSynth Pic: Mae and Sonic Pi

Mae returns to the pages of CatSynth. This time she is reviewing code in Sonic Pi, a popular live-coding music system.

Submitted by Alessandro Cilano via our Facebook page.

I have never used Sonic Pi myself, but I am now curious to take a look at it given that it combines my interest in programming languages and electronic music.

You can see Mae’s other appearances via this link.

Wordless Wednesday: 9537 – Red – Mount Davidson

Looking past some red pillars towards Mount Davidson in San Francisco. The famous “Mount Davidson Cross” is partially visible at the top of the image.

Boulinette and Novation Summit

A lovely scene with Boulinette posing in the window behind a Novation Summit synthesizer. There is a certain painterly quality about this image that I quite like.

From hgprs via Instagram.

Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a large pond? 🐠

D R E A M L A N D: Two Cats and a Massive Modular Synth

We kick off this week with an epic photo featuring two cats and a massive modular synthesizer system. One of them has decided that the modular is a great spot for a nap.

From blush_response via Instagram.

dreamland🌫

CatSynth Pic: Cat and Novation LaunchPad

We conclude this week with another beauty. This cat poses with a Novation Launchpad in a bath of colorful psychedelic lights.

From animalsarebeauty via Instagram.

ROBOTSPEAk, Moog Mother-32, Modular

A moody image featuring cat, Moog Mother-32, and modular synthesizers. From Steve Taormina of ROBOTSPEAk, our local synthesizer store in San Francisco.

Watch this video from ROBOTSPEAk’s 16th anniversary show.