Sam Sam, Yamaha TX802 and TX81Z

We don’t get a lot of “CatSynth pics” of Sam Sam. But she does like this cozy little corner of the studio, especially after the recent reorganization of the studio. The rack next to her has our vintage Yamaha FM modules, the TX81Z and TX802 (with the latter turned on), along with a cassette deck that comes in handy every once in a while.

Scout, Yamaha SY-35, and Modular

Persian cat sitting behind a keyboard synthesizer "Yamaha SY35" and next to a small modular synthesizer

Scout sits behind a Yamaha SY35 synthesizer. We also see a small modular system – we’ll leave the identification of the individual modules as an exercise for the reader.

Submitted by Carl Peczynski via our Facebook page.

The SY35 is an interesting synth among Yamaha’s SY series in that it allows one to move between FM synthesis and AWM (sampling) synthesis via the joystick, a bit like the “vector synthesis” found in the Prophet VS.

Lilly and Yamaha DX21

Black cat sitting on top of a synthesizer (Yamaha DX21)

Beautiful Lilly sits atop a Yamaha DX21 synthesizer. Behind her, we espy a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator. (The reel-to-reel tape recorder is nice as well.)

Submitted by N3ncehead on Reddit.

Cat on my first synth, the Yamaha DX21

The DX21 was a 4-operator FM synth in Yamaha’s DX line. Not quite as powerful as the 6-operator instruments like the DX7, or the later 4-operator synths like the TX81Z, but nonetheless fully capable of complex FM synthesis. It also featured multiple layers and keyboard splits, which separated it from the other 4-operator instruments at the time like the DX27 and DX100. (Yes, there were a lot of DXs in the 1980s.)

Bread with Yamaha DX100 and DX7

Bread is back, and this time he is playing two of Yamaha’s classic FM instruments, the legendary DX7, and the smaller DX100. From thedigitalpurrgatory via Instagram.

Bread likes his frequencies modulated.

The DX100 is a four-operator FM synthesizer, similar to the DX27 and DX21, but lacking the extended features of the TX81Z. The DX7 is, of course, the six-operator FM workhorse of its era, and the most well-known of the entire line.

Bread and Yamaha DX100

Bread checks the volume on his Yamaha DX100 synthesizer. Submitted by thedigitalpurrgatory via Instagram.

The DX100 was the smallest of Yamaha’s famous DX series. A 4-op FM engine with mini keys, it’s sounds were compatible with the other 4-operator instruments, including the TX81Z, though it did not include some features of the latter.

Mae and Korg OpSix

Mae the black cat sits atop a Korg OpSix synthesizer.  Computer keyboard and screen also present.

Mae proudly sits atop a Korg OpSix synthesizers. From Alessandro Cilano via our Facebook page.

Mae not helping with the OpSix

The OpSix is a reimagining of the classic Yamaha six-operator FM synthesizers of the 1980s. It expands on the original voice architecture with additional algorithms, and most significantly adds real-time surface controls and displays for each of the operators. It also includes filters and effects, something that was not part of the original DX series. It is definitely an interesting instrument if you want to check out classic DX-style FM synthesis.

You can see all of Mae’s appearances on CatSynth via this tag.

CatSynth Video: Chat écoutant la musique РChris Marker

A CatSynth video from the great Chris Marker

Marker’s cat naps peacefully atop a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. From his collection Bestiaire aka Petit Bestiaire (1990), consisting of three ‘video haikus’:

We at CatSynth love Chris Marker’s film Sans Soleil.  It made an indelible mark on my thoughts about film and even inspired me to go find and visit the shrine dedicate to cats outside Tokyo that he featured.  You can read about that adventure here.