CatSynth Pic: Martika and Modular

Martika found a nice spot behind the modular synth and control panel. We also espy a Korg Kaoss pad nearby. From Mark Harrop via our Facebook page.

Martika enjoys the VU…She likes to lodge herself on the ledge behind the small modular because she knows its difficult to move her from there. And she knows she’s not normally allowed in the studio

Clever kitty ūüėł

CatSynth Pic: Murder and Korg EMX2

Murder (we’re sure there must be an interesting story behind her name) gets ready to perform on a Korg EMX2 Groovebox. From Jackies Fridge via our Facebook page. Part of a series of posts on our page this week celebrating black cats.

CatSynth Pic: Bonnie in the Studio

Bonnie has definitely found a nice napping spot in this studio. Submitted by David Lemur via our Facebook page.

Bonnie says: ‘More of John Cage’s 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence please Donny’.

We see an Arturia Keystep, Roland TR-8, a TB-303 clone, a vintage Korg sequencer, and even a bit of Buchla in the upper-left corner.

CatSynth Video: Korg M1 Modded circuit bent with Marcel

From polynominaldotcom on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

Just modded and bent the classic M1/M1r wavetable with 6 switches on the back of the machine. 5 sounds demo with circuit bent options.
First 3 demo with normal Midi keyboard, In 2 others, the Mi1r is driven by an algorithmic generator module ‘Turing machine’. Generated patterns are midi converted with a Doepfer a-162 cv to MIDI module.

Very interesting to see a Korg M1 and M1R “bent” this way. And if that feline portrait looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before. Eric of Polynominal.com and his cat Marcel are good friends of ours at CatSynth, and we have featured many of Marcel’s pictures.

NAMM 2019: Korg Volca Modular and Minilogue XD

We can always count on something new from Korg these days. Sometimes it’s completely new, but this year it was new incarnations of existing lines. We introduced them in a recent CatSynth TV episode and describe them in more detail below.

The Volca series continues to grow with its newest offering, the Volca Modular.

Korg Volca Modular

The Volca Modular is a self-contained semi-modular synthesizer in a tiny volca-sized package. It has a VCO and modulator for complex waveforms, a function section with envelopes and an LFO, a sequencer, and various patch points for splitting and mixing. Its novel element is the LPG, a low pass gate that can be used as an amp, a filter, or something completely different a la west-coast synthesis. It puts quite a lot in a little box for just $199.

It reminds a bit of some other “tiny tabletop semi-modular synthesizers” such as the Moog Werkstatt or the newer Bastl Instruments Softpop (my CDP bandmate Tom Djll uses one of these and thus I want one, too). Like those, the Volca Modular has tiny little patch points and chords, which are adorable. But unlike those, I found it difficult to patch. The wire tips were a bit flimsy and I bent at least one of them trying to create a new patch on the fly. Otherwise, though, I think this is a fine little instrument, and could end up in my Volca collection.

Minilogue XD

The other new instrument was the revamped Minilogue¬†XD. The original Minilogue made quite a splash a couple of years ago as an affordable polyphonic analog synthesizer. In addition to a nice, darker finish, the XD adds their expandable digital wavetable technology from last year’s Prologue. The digital engine has several different oscillator types and functions, and is essentially a “third sound source” for the instrument. It’s not clear to me whether this includes the same open API that the Prologue has, which would be an unfortunate omission for us at CatSynth, though probably not an issue for most users. It also has microtonal capabilities, something which is missing from many structured MIDI-analog combinations.

Both of these instruments are interesting, incremental changes, with Korg seemingly defending the turf it established in the synthesizer resurgence. Neither is a top priority for us at CatSynth, but I would be surprised if they find their way to us at some point.

CatSynth Pic: Marcel, Korg M1R, and Minimoog

Marcel is back today, with a pair of Korg M1R modules. We also see a Minimoog in the back.

From Eric of polynominal.com.

CatSynth Pic: Studio Meow Meow

Beautiful Persephone posing in the studio of our friend Rob Robinson.

We see a Behringer Model D (aka “the Boog”), a Korg Mini Kaoss Pad (original edition), and a vintage synth module that we can’t identify behind the kitty.

CatSynth Pic: Rackmount Cat

A new picture from our friends Eric and Marcel at polynominal.com

Rackmount cat: done

A lot of amazing gear in this one picture. We leave it as an exercise to our readers to identify (but there are some hints in the tags).

CatSynth Pic: Synth Fortress

No, that’s not Sam Sam, but a similarly marked cat (at least from the back).  She is inside her own “synth fortress” with w Korg Poly-800, and Yamaha CS01, DX100, and VSS-30 synthesizers.  From thedigitalpurrgatory on Instagram.

thedigitalpurrgatory
Her very own (almost) color-coded fortress of synths while the wooden cat watches her sleep. [Korg Poly-800, Yamaha CS01, Yamaha DX100, Yamaha VSS-30] 

CatSynth Pic: Korg Prologue

Cat posing with a Korg Prologue synthesizer.  From James Maier on Facebook.

“Stop playing with that and pay attention to meeeee.”¬†
:3

The Prologue is a mixed analog and digital synth, with an intriguing open architecture for the digital oscillators.  You can read on brief NAMM review of the instrument here.