CatSynth Pic: Korg Poly 800

A cute tuxedo cat shows off a Korg Poly 800 synthesizer. From Cesar Inserny via Instagram.

True meownalog synthesizer.

The Korg Poly 800 was a popular affordable polyphonic-analog synthesizer. The first synthesizer that I considered was its successor, the Poly 800 mk2, though was steered away from it because of its lack of velocity sensitivity and small keyboard range. They can still be picked up rather affordably for those interested in trying this instrument out.

Weekend Cat Blogging with Sam Sam and Big Merp

Getting the two cats to coexist at CatSynth HQ has a long and sometimes bumpy road. Sam Sam in particular has a tough time of it. But things are starting progress to the point were we at least of tolerance and respect. Sam Sam mostly stays on the mezzanine level of HQ, splitting her time between the bedroom and the studio, but she is starting to come out more and reassert herself as the sassy queen of the house.

Big Merp has the run of the downstairs level and enjoying both the relaxing and fun of living here.

He does sometimes come upstairs. In this photo, he jumped up on the main studio console that houses the Nord Stage, Prophet 12 and Pro Tools workstation, and has found a nice hiding place behind the monitor.

From his perch, he supervised part of the postproduction for our latest CatSynth TV, which you can now see here.

Sam Sam also hangs out in the studio a lot. In this video she gives as a little mew as a greeting.

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Mew 😻 #catsofinstagram

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They can actually be in their own spots in the studio at the simultaneously now; and that is indeed progress.

CatSynth Pic: Ceephax Acid Crew ‏

Cats find interesting ways to sit, with or without synths. And this kitty is no exception. From Ceephax Acid Crew on Twitter.

I espy an Ensoniq DP/4 signal processor, Yamaha TX802 FM module, Korg Wavestation A/D module, and more that are left as an exercise to the reader.

CatSynth Pic: Mojo, Arturia Keystep, Moog Minitaur

Mojo the cat looks on as a musical performance with an Arturia Keystep and Moog Minitaur unfolds. He seems to quite enjoy it. Submitted by Bruce Oliver via our Facebook page.

Mojo was my little buddy for 17 years. He loved synth sounds but would vacate the room if you picked up a guitar!

Weekend Cat Blogging with Sam Sam: A Comfy Spot on the Bed

It’s been a busy – and cold – time at CatSynth HQ. So it’s not surprising that human and feline alike are seeking warmth and comfort. Sam Sam has taken to sitting on my side of the bed, even rushing to grab the warm spot when I get up.

In the photo above, we see her enjoying a bit of posh comfort on fluffed-up bedding. It’s good to be the cat!

She especially likes it when I leave dirty clothes there, as it adds my scent. I came home after a long day at work to find her curled up on top of them and quite contented.

I suspect she was a little lonely during the day, and perhaps a bit cold as well. It’s been a dreary February, as we have stated before. But it drawing to a close next week, and the skies are becoming a bit brighter. We at CatSynth look forward to the arrival of spring (honestly, it can’t come soon enough).

Weekend Cat Blogging with Sam Sam: Sick Days and Stormy Weather

It happens almost every year. After returning home from NAMM, a few days later I fall ill with what we affectionately call the “NAMMthrax”. I suppose it’s not surprising, being in close quarters with thousands of musicians and others over four days and compromised immune systems from all our drinking and debauchery. This year’s hit hard around Wednesday, and has lingered into the weekend. But fortunately Sam Sam is here, and being both a great companion and a great nurse.

When I lie down to rest, she is usually by my side. Of course, being a cat, she takes frequent naps herself.

There is something so peaceful and calming about her curled up and resting. And it seems to fit well visually and spiritually with the stormy weather that has settled in this weekend. Since December, we have been hit with a series of really nasty winter storms with high winds and flooding. It is not pleasant, and sometimes even stressful, but I know I shouldn’t complain as much of the country is in a deep freeze.

I like this portrait of Sam Sam sitting down in “loaf” pose on the ledge. And if you want to see a bit of action, here she is in our most recent Instagram.

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Morning routine #catsofinstagram

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We hope you all have a warm, dry, and safe weekend. More post-NAMM coverage on the way soon.

CatSynth Pics: MiniMoog Voyager

From @ModularSynths (Daniel.ModularSynths) on Twitter, we have this photo of a cat inspecting a MiniMoog Voyager. Specifically, it appears to be the Voyager XL model.

Immer neugierig (Always curious)

IWe are sure this cat is making some interesting music with his curiosity, although the Voyagers are monophonic. So we will only hear one paw at a time.

Please tweet us your cat-and-music @catsynth to be featured in a future post and across our social media platforms.

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day, Sam Sam!

It’s been exactly two years since Sam Sam made the long trip from southern California to come live with us at CatSynth HQ!  And not a day goes by that we are not grateful to have her in our lives.  I’m pretty sure she feels the same way.

Sam Sam checking out the next studio setup

Samantha, or “little Sam Sam”, had a complicated life.  She started out (as far as we know) in the suburbs south of San Francisco, and then moved with her human to the high desert north of Los Angeles – we like to joke that she lived “out in back of Palmdale where the turkey farmers run” in tribute to one of our musical heroes, Frank Zappa.

When her human passed away, she then went to live with his sister, also in southern California.  Unfortunately, the sister’s health was declining and another cat bullied Sam Sam, so this was not a happy chapter for her.  As her new human was preparing to go into assisted living, Sam Sam needed a new home.

In December of 2016, I was still deeply grieving after Luna’s death – and also reeling for the shock and horror of the election.  I hadn’t yet prepared to welcome another cat into my life, but when a friend and bandmate reached out to me that he needed to find a new home for a sweet cat whose human was headed to assisted living – and then shared her adorable photos, I said yes.  How could I not?

At first, Sam Sam was exceedingly shy and skittish, spending most of her time hiding under the bed, coming out only for food, water, and the litter box.  She was mostly silent but occasionally emitted these tiny squeaks.  As she adjusted to her new home, her personality blossomed.  She’s quite friendly, vocal, outgoing, and quite a ham.

Sam Sam scratch-n-roll

And she has no trouble demanding exactly what she wants from her humans.

“I want food nooooowww!”

We close with this episode of CatSynth TV featuring Sam Sam is all her adorableness.

Please join me in wishing Sam Sam a very happy Gotcha Day!

Weekend Cat Blogging with Sam Sam: Sheltering from #CaliforniaFires

California is on fire.  To our south, the area northwest of Los Angeles that I remember fondly from past visits in on fire, including Malibu and Thousand Oaks.  To our north, the devastating Camp Fire has laid waste to much of the town of Paradise, is threatening Chico, and is among the smokiest I have ever experienced.  If anything the air quality in San Francisco is even worse than it was during last year’s wine-country fires, which were much closer.

We’re mostly hiding indoors during this time, at least as much as we can.  Even just opening the patio door for a minute left my eyes watering and nose as if I was just breathing straight out of a charcoal grill.   Yesterday, Sam Sam seemed quite distressed as the particulates seeped into HQ (mostly from the main hallway).  Today is slightly better, and she is more like her normal goofy self, including showing off her scratch’n’roll.

But she still is finding places to hide – if I can smell the smoke, I can only imagine it’s much more intense for her.  Yesterday, before I left for work, she jumped up on my chest and snuggled in, wanting me to stay and be close.  I had to go, but came home as soon as I could after my in-office responsibilities were done.

We do also worry about our pal Marlon in Oakland, who spends much of his time outside.

The light from the smoky skies is stunningly beautiful.  It’s amazing how such beauty can arise from something as awful as this.

But in all, we need to put our challenges in perspective.  I can’t imagine the horror and pain people in the fire zones are going through, losing their homes, fearing for their loved ones, and of course their companion animals.  The messages I see from people searching for their missing cats, or the heartbreak of not being able to rush home to rescue them, is painful and our hearts go out to them.  Other animals, too, of course, as we hear about horses, dogs, and birds.  

Both north and south zones have evacuation shelters for those who have small or large animals.  In the north, Butte County has set up a line for those who either find and are searching for lost pets in coordination with North Valley Animal Disaster Group.

NVADG is active both in trying to locate and rescue lost pets, as well as running multiple shelters for those with animals.  From their website:

NVADG is providing emergency animal sheltering and where and when allowed will evacuate and/or care for animals in evacuation areas.  
Animal shelters will be established at:


Small Animal Shelter: 2279 Del Oro Avenue, Oroville.  Off Nelson near the County Center and Highway 70.

Small Animal Shelter 150 Airpark Dr, Chico at the Chico Airport
Large Animals should be taken to the Rolling Hills Casino Equestrian Center off Highway 5 in Corning

If you want to donate to NVADG, please consider a cash donation. It gives us the flexibility we need and we will definitely need it!  Donate on our website or send a check to NVADG, PO Box 441, Chico, CA  95927. 

We certainly hope all the fires around our home state are brought under control soon, and the air returns to normal as well.  Then the hard work of rebuilding begins…

CatSynth Pic: Cat, Modular, Field Kit, and Music Easel

This cat knows how to frame his poses purrfectly 😸

Most of the modular is obscured by this cutie, but we do espy a pair of KOMA Field Kits, as well as a Buchla Music Easel.

From catsofmodular on Instagram.