CatSynth Pic: Arp Odyssey

A cat sits atop an original Arp Odyssey. From the appropriately named arpodyssey on Instagram.

Another Original ARP Odyssey in, this one has a problem moving the sliders! Can’t think what the problem may be 😂

CatSynth Video: Big Merp vs The Photo Theremin

Today’s CatSynth video features our very own Big Merp. I was trying out an old photo theremin that I bought years ago, and decided to try playing it in front of Big Merp. Hilarity ensued. Definitely watch the video all the way to the end – the look on his face is priceless.

The photo theremin consists of a simple analog oscillator that uses a light-sensitive resistor (i.e.,a photocell) to control the frequency. So you can move your hand or other objects around it to change the light and thus change the pitch. This one also as an LFO for added sonic variety, and came in a really cool translucent blue case.

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: Octave Cat

A cat contemplates its namesake synthesizer, the Octave CAT. From Doug Terrbone via Facebook.

Not surprisingly, we have an original Octave CAT of our own. In fact, it was the first vintage analog synth that I acquired, all the way back in 2005. And it’s a powerful mono synth, with multiple simultaneously waveforms and a sub oscillator. It probably needs some maintenance, but otherwise still runs great – just need to let the oscillators warm up.

CatSynth Pic: Black Cat, Minimoog, EMS Synthi, Rhodes, and Doepfer

A black cat playing both a Minimoog synthesizer and a Rhodes Stage electric piano. Nearby is an EMS Synthi and a rack full of Doepfer modules. From Mark L. Greco via Facebook.

There are definite musical advantages to using all four limbs.

CatSynth Pic: Orange Cat, Behringer Neutron, Arturia Keystep

A pretty orange tabby plays some notes on an Arturia Keystep and Behringer Neutron synthesizer. From Karl Garcia via Facebook.

In the middle of a patch this cat just sits down on the keyboard and gets the arpeggiator going lol.

Of all the synthesizers in Behringer’s growing catalog, the Neutron is one of the two that most interests me personally, the other being the new VC340 Vocoder. You can see my encounter with Behringer’s synths before NAMM in this video.

CatSynth Pic: Black Cat “Jet” and Minimoog

Jet, a beautiful black cat, poses in front of a vintage Minimoog. From Keith Winstanley via Facebook.

CatSynth Pic: Xochitl with Arp Odyssey

Xochitl the tuxedo cat poses with an original Arp Odyssey – with the white textured design as opposed to the red lettering on black that I personally prefer, but still a fine instrument for human and feline alike.

From Jay Margart via Facebook.