Interview with Dan McPharlin. Analog Miniatures.

Dan McPharlin - Analog Miniature

Synthesizer fans have been coming across photos of your Analog Miniature collections on the internet. In fact your set on flickr.com has been viewed over 80,000 times. What inspired you to make these?

Well I’ve always been interested in human/machine interfaces and I think analogue synths and equipment are quite exciting visually because of all the knobs and sliders (usually one control for every function). I always wanted to design a synth but lacked the skills and resources, and making small models was something I could do. As far as I was aware nobody had built miniature synths before. I was already building small sculptures out of framing mattboards so this seemed like a logical step.Dan McPharlin - Analog Miniature

How long does it take you to make one?

Generally I’ll spend 2 to 3 days on each model, but I’m a perfectionist so if something isn’t right I will always redo it.

The photography of the miniatures is an art in itself. Do you have any comments about that? Are you a camera, lighting or Photoshop geek?

All of the above. I use a Nikon D-80 and a couple of speedlights. All of my diffusers and snoots have been constructed from cardboard and copy paper, so it is very much photography on the cheap. I love the process of setting up a photographic composition, but I still don’t see myself as a professional photographer.

Are the Miniatures your most popular work? Did that surprise you?

Absolutely. I had no idea they would appeal to anyone outside of the synth community.

I see your miniatures have found there way onto Steven Jansen’s CD cover. Are there other commercial places the Miniatures can be found?

Well I’ve done a couple of CD covers. The Moog Acid record is the other major one. I was delighted to be involved with that because I’m a big fan of the artists (Jean Jacques Perrey and Luke Vibert) and I think Non-Format also did a terrific job with the sleeve design (link). I also produced some work for a compilation on Canadian label Do Right! Music (link). There are a few other commercial projects featuring the miniatures which should see the light of day soon.

Can anyone buy one of your Miniatures? Continue reading →