CatSynth Pic: Crumar Bit 99, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS-20, Metasonix, and More

White cat with a Crumar Bit 99, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS-20, and modules from Doepfer, Metasonix, and more.

A beautiful white cat sits atop a Crumar Bit 99 synthesizer, and beneath a Roland Juno 106 and Korg MS-20. We also see some Eurorack modules, including some Doepfer and a Metasonix yellow module – most likely an R-53 like the one sitting near me as I write this.

From Suren Seneviratne via Facebook.

CatSynth Pic: Roland JD-800

This cat has decided to lounge and take a bath near a classic Roland JD-800. From Brandon M. Rogers via Facebook.

The JD-800 is a beast. It uses a similar synthesizer architecture to the D-50, but sports two rows of sliders making it easier to program and change timbre in real time.

CatSynth Pic: Eloy with Multivox and Roland

Eloy with Roland RD and Multivox MX 202

Eloy has found a nice napping spot on what appears to be a Roland RD series digital piano. Above is a vintage Multivox synth. Submitted by Brian T Geigner via our Facebook page.

Eloy deciding it’s comfy to sleep on the synth.

The Multivox synth appears to be the rare MX-202 string and bass synth from the 1970s.

The Multivox MX-202 is a string and brass ensemble keyboard. The instrument uses divide-down oscillation for its full polyphony. Multivox seemingly copied spec for spec of the Roland RS-202 string and brass instrument. However, users who have experience with both point out that the two instruments sound quite different.

I don’t know much about either RS-202 or the MX-202, though I have had some experience with Roland’s string synthesizers via the VP-03. If you have played either of these, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

CatSynth Pic: Big Merp and Roland JD-Xi

We all know and love Big Merp, but he never had a “CatSynth pic”. Until now. Here we see him sitting in front of a Roland JD-Xi synthesizer.

The JD-XI is a cool little instrument, a hybrid analog-digital synth with a built-in vocoder. I haven’t had a chance to try the vocoder yet, but I’m curious how it compares to our VP-03 (also from Roland).

CatSynth Pic: Access Virus and Roland SH-101

Beautiful cat in a home studio with Roland SH-101 and Access Virus synthesizers. By victor boni via Instagram.

Ore 9:30 Clouseau mi ricorda che ho un album da iniziare. ❤️

CatSynth Pic: Roland Sampler

This cat is ready to lay down some beats on a Roland sampler (likely an SP-404SX). From Jackies Fridge‎ via Facebook.

Sampling…so different from synthesis! It’s going to take me a while to wrap my head around this workflow, but my cat seems to have it figured out…

CatSynth Pic: Isosceles and Roland Sound Canvas

Meet Isosceles the cat, who sits atop a Roland Sound Canvas synth module. Submitted by Carl Peczynski via our Facebook page.

Roland Sound Canvas modules were pretty common in the 1990s. I had a Roland SC-7, which functioned as an outboard synth for my Windows PC at the time. It’s pretty still somewhere in storage at CatSynth HQ.

CatSynth Pic: Scout with Roland Juno 106, Dreadbox Hades, and more

Scout sits atop a vintage Roland synthesizer. We are pretty sure it’s a Roland Juno 106. In the back, we see a Dreadbox Hades, as well as offerings from Novation and Arturia. From Carl Peczynski via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Kasey, Roland, and Arturia

Kasey finds a comfy spot between a Roland Plug-Out system, Roland modules, and an Arturia Beatstep Pro. Submitted by Chris Bentley via our Facebook page.

Kasey the cat. Passed away at the age of 19 back in August 2017 but used to love to hang out on my desk while I was tinkering in the studio.

We are very sorry to hear of Kasey’s passing, and our hearts go out to Chris as the rest of Kasey’s family. A wonderful studio cat who lived a long and loved life 💕

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.)

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.