Biggie Smalls contemplates a vintage Roland Space Echo RE-201. From Brandon Fitzsimons via our Facebook page.
“What’s making that noise in there??”
The RE-201 continues to be prized by musicians for its sound. It is actually a true tape-echo machine (plus a spring reverb).
[Ikutaro] Kakehashi’s breakthrough development came in 1974 with the RE-101 and RE-201 Space Echo units, which used the standard 1/4″ tape of the open-reel variety, but made as one, continuous loop. It uses no reels of any kind; the tape is transported via a capstan drive. The tape loop is contained in a loose, constantly moving jumble in the tape chamber (also known as the tape tank) under a plastic panel which protects the tape and keeps it from getting tangled. The design resulted in lower levels of noise, wow, and flutter, and cut down on tape wear. Replacement tapes were sold as well, named RT-1L. There are several control dials on the device that alter such aspects as tape speed, repeat pattern (an 11-position rotary switch), one instrument and two microphone inputs, a single analog backlit VU meter for all three inputs, wet/dry mix for both echo and reverb, and intensity (number of repeats), that can be adjusted to a user’s liking; and bass/treble controls to EQ the sound of the repeats (not the dry signal), as well as dry and effected “Echo” output jacks with a switch for output setting (-10, -20, -35db levels.)
It is interesting to read this as I have been working extensively of late with the Magneto tape-echo simulator module from Strymon. You can see our review of the echo mode in this recent video.
We at CatSynth feel there is no better way to celebrate Superb Owl Day than with “owlsynth pics”. Here is our stuffed owl atop our main modular system.
And with our trusty Roland Boutique VP-03 vocoder.
And with our Arturia MiniBrute 2.
(Definitely need to tidy up a bit there.)
Owls are quite captivating as they are so different from other birds, even from other birds of prey. We all know their unique front-facing faces and nocturnal behavior. But they also have amazing auditory capabilities.
Both the cat and the Barn Owl have much more sensitive hearing than the human in the range of about 0.5 to 10 kHz. The cat and Barn Owl have a similar sensitivity up to approximately 7 kHz. Beyond this point, the cat continues to be sensitive, but the Barn Owl’s sensitivity declines sharply.
Some Owl species have asymmetrically set ear openings (i.e. one ear is higher than the other) – in particular, the strictly nocturnal species, such as the Barn Owl or the Tengmalm’s (Boreal) Owl. These species have a very pronounced facial disc, which acts like a “radar dish”, guiding sounds into the ear openings. The shape of the disc can be altered at will, using special facial muscles. Also, an Owl’s bill is pointed downward, increasing the surface area over which the sound waves are collected by the facial disc. In 4 species (Ural, Great Grey, Boreal/Tengmalm’s & Saw-whet), the ear asymmetry is actually in the temporal parts of the skull, giving it a “lop-sided” appearance.
Cat with a vintage Roland Jupiter-4 synthesizer. By Matt Vraja via Facebook.
The Jupiter-4 was a transitional synth in Roland’s early offerings, from the more modular mono-synths to its dominant analog and digital models from the 1980s.
The first Jupiter synth. It was among one of the first poly synthesizers (4 individual voices which could be synced together for one fat monophonic lead), it had a pitch wheel that could be assigned to the VCA, VCF, VCO or all together, there are 8 memory locations and a cool arpeggiator – the arpeggiator can be heard in the Duran Duran classic, “Rio”. It also has a very slow LFO for those ever-so-long filter sweeps. Pretty good for 1978!
Syd struts down a Roland Juno 60 with maximum floof effect. From Moustafa Ismail via the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks.
A bit more on the Roland Juno 60, one of the classics:
Among the first in Roland’s amazing Juno family! Six analog voices of polyphony and patch memory storage!! The Juno-60 sounds great, however, like the Juno-6 it lacks MIDI control. The Juno-60 includes 56 patches of memory storage. The Juno-60 is still popular due in part to opinions that it sounds better (punchier) than the Juno-106. The Juno-6 and 60 are very rich sounding synthesizers and are great analog machines as long as you can withstand the absence of MIDI control.