A cool hardware jam with offerings from Roland, Eletrkon, Nord, Behringer, Arturia, Strymon, and more. Watch for the cat about halfway through.
This cat is playing a massive chord on a keyboard of indeterminate provenance. Above is a Korg M3 workstation and in the upper left we espy a Nord modular tabletop.
From Neil Fowler via Facebook.
This cat sits atop an Alesis QS7 keyboard. In the back, we see a Korg Kross workstation and a Nord Stage that looks quite similar (but not identical) to one we have here at HQ.
From Andy Kockelkoren via Facebook.
Panda the tuxedo cat holds court in a square of keyboards. He has some impressive offerings from Elektron, Sequential, Access, and Nord. From Andras Karoly via Facebook.
Here is a close-up of Access Virus keyboard.
Basti naps near a collection of keyboard synthesizers, including a Sequential Prophet X. We also see a MicroKorg and a Novation keyboard. From Andras Karoly via Facebook.
Here is a close-up of Basti sleeping.
The keyboard in this photo appears to be a Nord.
Please check out our chat with Dave Smith about the Prophet X from NAMM 2019.
A pic from the studio of our friend and collaborator Bill Wolter. His cat naps in front of a Nord Electro and Moog Sub 37.
Studio buddy. She’s my friend until I start playing drums.
Our cats are used to all sorts of crazy loud sounds emanating from the studio, but I suppose live drums is something altogether different from a psychoacoustic perspective.
You can see the many other posts on CatSynth featuring Bill here.
This cat seems to be enjoying the beat-based jam with a massive modular setup, various instruments by Elektron, a Nord Modular G2, and more. From BLUSH_RESPONSE via Facebook.
Cute cat with a Nord keyboard. From Man-l Adsr on Facebook.
Clearly, this cat has great taste in keyboards (this looks to be an early Nord Electro). We also see some of those stickers identifying names and notes of keys that we have seen a few other recent keyboard photos.
Cat playing a Nord Stage 2 keyboard. From Nord (@nordkeyboards) via Instagram.
We love our Nord Stage EX at CatSynth HQ, though we often covet the newer features of the 2 and 3. But not enough to replace what has been a fine keyboard for over 10 years.
Our year-end collage is a long-standing tradition at CatSynth. And we had a lot of fun making this year’s edition, so many wonderful images to choose from. One of my best solo performances to date took place at the Compton’s Cafeteria series at the Center for New Music. Big Merp came to live with has at CatSynth HQ. And our adventures took us from the halls of NAMM to the bottom of Death Valley to the subways of New York.
As we mentioned at the end of last year, most of the energy has moved to CatSynth TV and our social media platforms (especially our Facebook page). The blog is mostly our core cat-and-synth pics these days, although I do enjoy sharing long-form articles now and then. And In 2020, I do plan to revive the “primary highways” series from eight years ago.
On the video side, things have been going very well. Here are the top videos for 2019:
- Rick and Morty Pocket Operator, Part 2
- Introduction to the KOMA Field Kit [Episode 106]
- Ginger Baker, In Memoriam
- EXCLUSIVE! Arturia Pigments 1.2 First Look
- Folsom Street Fair 2019
- NAMM 2019: Rossum Electro-Music Trident [Episode 116]
- Rick and Morty Pocket Operator Unboxing [Episode 166]
- Mutable Instruments Plaits [Episode 102]
- Strymon Magneto Loop & Sample Modes [Episode 125]
- NAMM 2019: Interview with Dave Smith of Sequential
By early autumn, I was also thinking about this year as a “tipping point.” The transition from the blog to the video channel is the most obvious, but it also applies also on the personal side. The arrival of Big Merp was one of the big stories, and it’s been a tough integration getting both cats to coexist, but things have been trending well in the past few months, with Sam Sam regaining her confidence and HQ becoming a more harmonious place again. Musically, I have moved in a direction that is perhaps closer to my roots in jazz, fusion, funk while maintaining the experimental electronic aspects. I have also moved to a point where studio work is how I spend most of my musical time, between the videos and other projects. Finally, I am getting older, as we all are, and that adds both perspective and a need to focus on health and wellbeing. In 2020, I may “do fewer things” than in the past, but I hope the things I choose to do make an impact both personally and beyond.
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming days: NAMM 2020 is around the corner, I have a full queue of demos to share, and I am laying the foundations for some major musical projects. And of course, we will continue to post cats and synths.