Novamusik is selling a special version of the Moog Voyager called the “NE”. I think it’s the best looking version of the best looking synth out there. They come in several colors with white-washed cabinets, matching backlighting, matching colored rocker switches and matching capped jack panels. I like the Electric NE above and in a close second the Solar NE below. You can see the other colors at the Novamusik site: click here
They will get you for $3,295. How many weeks pay gets you one? For more info: www.moogmusic.com
If you want a true analog multi-voice multritimbral synthesizer your options have been limited and expensive. Today Dave Smith Instruments drops the price of entry into this field to $799. The new Tetra is essential 4 DSI Mophos in a black box.
“Tetra is our next-generation analog poly synth. Tetra takes the award-winning sound and features of Mopho, multiplies them by four, and packs them in a box less than half an inch larger! Tetra has multiple personalities. It is a four-voice, analog poly synth, a sort of “mini Prophet.” It’s a four-part, multitimbral synth with separate outputs, essentially four Mophos in one very compact box. And it’s a voice expander for other Tetras or the Prophet ’08.” – www.davesmithinstruments.com
You can check out the Tetra operation manual: click here
The Studio Electronics Omega 8 is one of those pure analog synths that makes you go wow when you hear one in person. I spent a lot of time with an “O8” at Schneiders Buero in Berlin. I think it’s up there with a real MiniMoog and Macbeth M5 as far as it’s “WANT!” factor.
“Sound: absolute dream. 8 discrete voices. Analog and fat, yet tight and precise and articulate. None of that “carelessly eating up too much sonic space” stuff. It gets to the point and delivers sonic oomph very efficiently. I’ve yet to perform the auto-tune on it so far. I give it enough time to warm up, and all 8 voices are well-behaved. Sounds alive.” – Calvin Cardioid
Calvin Cardioid has posted a very nice set up samples on his blog cl516 and over on his SoundCloud page.
New drum machine alert! Wait even better: New ANALOG drum machine alert! MFB in Berlin named after the man behind these toys Manfred Fricke has announced an update to the nice sounding MFB-502. I have friends with the 502 and it’s been on my “gonna grab” list. These machines are not kick drum monsters like a Jomox but they have gorgeous analog snares and hats. There’s rarely a reason to touch the eq after recording these drum machine into your DAW. The best part here? The new MFB-522 is 280€. 16 fach Step Sequencer included!
This pretty clear plastic noise machine has been out since August but since it’s not via a major manufacturer maybe you missed it? The Atomolabs Mochika 2 is a synth with a built in sequencer that can sync to Midi. How can you not love a synth with a built in sequencer? If your a musician isn’t that the definition of fun? If you were looking at my Voice of Saturn videos with some lust I would say the Mochika 2 should be on your “maybe buy that” list too.
“This synth features one square and saw waveform VCO (voltage controled oscillator) with a huge pitch range, from subsonic to ultrasonic sound. One square and triangle waveform LFO (low frequency oscillator), that modulates the VCO for the vibrato effect creating old school arcade Atari-like sounds. White noise generator that triggers the VCO and can create percussion like sounds. 8 step Sequencer with note on/off switch and pitch knob for each step. It has a 1/4 inch audio output, 1/4 inch CV Output (to control other analog gear). The Mochika features a MIDI input to sync the Mochika with any midi device sending midi clock signals, the mochika can sync 1,2,4 and 8 times the tempo of the master clock midi device.. Also the instrument is ligthed with 1 ultra bright red led that indicates the LFO Rate, and 8 red leds to indicate the step that is being played. Very useful when you play it on a dark stage. The Analog Sequencer is packed in a cool laser cut clear acrilic case that shows all the hand made analog circuitry. The instrument is powered directly from 110V or 220V AC. Dimensions: 230mm(W), 170 mm(D), 80mm(H. incuded rubber feet and knobs).” – www.atomolabs.blogspot.com
There is some good demos of the Mochika in action at the Atomolabs YouTube page: click here. You can buy the Mochika 2 for $299 from the Atomolabs eBay store: click here. If anyone owns one or buys one let us know how you like it.
My friend was showing me some neat synthesizer ties on Etsy. For those who don’t know Etsy is a great site where people sell their hand made goods. I decided to search further on the site and see if there were any handmade electronics for sale and I found Scribbles. This hand made synthesizer has a most unique feature: a built in chalkboard!
The oscillators are tuned to 1V/octave, so it will track with other 1V/octave keyboards. There are inverting level shifteres on the ramp oscillators, and a sawtooth wave output on each. There is an additional square wave output on VCO 2. One of its special features is the pre-amp on the main output- you can listen to Scribbles on your headphones.
With the Sample & Hold, you can play melodies that sound like a sequence and is especially fun to play with the LFO’s triangle wave as its input source. With a square wave, the result is more calculated and more random sounding, depending on the pulse width and sample rate. The Attack-Release envelope generator has an internal loop option, which makes it repeat and play like an LFO too. If you switch the loop switch down, the envelope generator repeats on the Sample & Hold. The blue arcade button on the corner is a manual trigger button for the envelope generator. Adding to the main output’s pre-amp, there is another pre-amp on the audio input, which turns up the volume but can also make distortion. And to add to this mix of making a variety in tones, there is another pre-amp circuit after the filter, but before the VCA. – www.healthclub-music.com/scribbles.htm
The Scribbles was listed on Etsy for $380 USD. I believe it sold since I saw it last night because I can’t find the listing again. Luckily I remembered the website mentioned in the listing so you listen to some MP3 samples: healthclub-music.com If your in the spending mood you can see if they are making more for sale. Oh by the way while you are there check out their Swing Step Sequencer: niiice.
What would you write on the Scribbles chalkboard? Patch ideas? Lyrics? Inspiring quotes? The grocery list?
About two weeks ago I purchased a brand new Vermona DRM1 MKIII from Schnieders Buero in Berlin. I’ve had some time to play with it and am ready to report to you. These things are in demand and back ordered. It took almost three weeks for Vermona to deliver my DRM1 to Herr Schnieder. There is a good reason why: these sound smashing!
There is nothing like the Vermona DRM1. It is a fully analog drum machine done right. The super fast attack time on the kick and snare make them snap and crack in a way that will make you say “YES THIS IS IT!”. The hi hats are so smooth, bright and shimmer without any EQ needed. The DRM1 has a real spring reverb built into it and when turned up on the clap and snare channels the clock turns back to 1980. There’s are also multiple extra drum channels for lazer zaps or toms which can be manipulated to the extreme with FM. If I had to describe it’s overall tone in one word I would say: chrome!
It uses standard midi but you can not record knob changes into your DAW. You will need to put your hands on the controls, start recording it as audio and capture your movements in real time. You can’t save presets. Thank god for that. The main point of all those knobs is to focus in on each song your doing and tune each sound, the hi hat decay level, the snap of the kick. There is a pan control for each sound and individual outputs for each channel.
Vermona DRM1 MKIII. No effects or other sounds. Pure DRM1 (320kbps mp3):