CatSynth Pic: Space Echo RE-201

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.[1] Replacement tapes were sold as well, named RT-1L.[2]
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.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_RE-201

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.

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 Pic: Jazz in the Studio

Meet Jazz the cat, who presides over a studio with Roland AIRA, Elektron, and modular synthesizers. From Border One on Instagram.

In the #studio with #jazzthecat

Owlsynth Pics for Superb Owl Day

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.

Owls and Hearing – The Owl Pages

We at CatSynth hope you all have a fine and enriching Superb Owl Day!

CatSynth Pic: Gracie repairs a Roland MC-202

After spending so much time around vintage synths, Gracie is ready to take on the fine art of repairing. From Alsún Ní Chasaide (Alison Cassidy) on Facebook.

Gracie feels ready to take on this broken Roland MC-202. Good luck!!

CatSynth Pic: Roland Jupiter-4

Cat with a vintage Roland Jupiter-4 synthesizer. By Matt Vraja via Facebook.

Jupiter-fur

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!

http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jup4.php

CatSynth Pic: Bondo with Moog, Roland and Vox

Bondo sits proudly on an original-series Moog Voyager. Next to him is a Roland RE-501 chorus echo. In the corner, one can see a bit of a vintage Vox Super Continental organ. Quite a collection!

From Davor Gazde via our Facebook page.

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: Marsi with Roland, Boss, and Yamaha

Meet Marsi, who has a cool collection of synths and rhythm boxes. He is sitting on a Yamaha CS1-X, and also has a Roland MC-303 and Boss DR-202. From Sascha Kaus via Facebook.

CatSynth Pic: Syd and Roland Juno 60

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. 

http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/juno60.php