About Theo Bloderer

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.
Blog

Arturia MatrixBrute: analog sound with warmth?

Quick addendum to the Arturia MatrixBrute. That French icon of luxury offers a vast synth architecture with massive features and control options. While there is no doubt about the instrument’s impressive technical potential, there are varying opinions about the instrument’s tonal character. Just how good does it SOUND? Can it compete with any classic (vintage) synth, with any classic (vintage) analog sound?

The MatrixBrute Factory Presets, however, get us nowhere closer to a suitable answer. Standard straight-sounding lead-lines, sync-sounds, technoid sequencing stuff, a few basses and effects … not too many classic sounds with vintage vibe here.

Arturia-Analog-MatrixBrute-01 Continue reading

test

Korg prologue
– THE 8-/16-voice pro’s synth?

Korg prologue test report.
_______________________

This took a while. 2 years, to be exact. After release of the 4-voice polyphonic minilogue (that stepping stone to a pro’s synth) we would have expected its bigger brother to arrive soon. But Korg set up another test balloon at first: its monologue. A much-respected monophonic analog synth, available in various colors.

The success of both instruments might have asured Korg of being on the right path. And so the super-synth has now finally arrived: the prologue. A professional Japanese polyphonic synthesizer with 4 octaves / 8 analog voices (prologue-8) or, alternatively, 5 octaves / 16 analog voices (prologue-16). Great sounds.Korg-Prologue-8-01

Continue reading

Blog

Novachord: Hammond’s Polyphonic Synthesizer

Was this the first commercial synthesizer? Built in 1938, the Novachord hit the market long before Moog, Buchla and other synthesizers saw the day of light. The Hammond Novachord is a hybrid machine, a mixture of an electronic piano and a synthesizer.

Technically speaking, this is a fully polyphonic (!) instrument that consists of 12 master oscillators (with frequency dividers), various high- and low-pass-filters and even LFOs. The Novachord, which has a whopping 150 tubes, was actually designed for home use. But high costs and lack of tuning stability caused the instrument’s commercial downfall.

Novachord-01 Continue reading

Blog

Doepfer Dark Energy III now available

Doepfer Musikelektronik announces availability of the new Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer as of today, July 4th 2018. The synthesizer’s signal path is 100% analog. Needless to say, everything is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side panels, while high-quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used; ultimately, each potentiometer is mounted firmly to the chassis. Ok, ok – we all know that from its predecessor, Dark Energy II …

Doepfer-Dark-Energy-III-01 Continue reading

Blog

Moog ONE – the new 8/16-voice Memorymoog?

Rumours spread about a new polyphonic Moog synthesizer. There are people who already know precise details about it. And there are people who have already seen it. The new Moog ONE, probably available as 8-voice and 16-voice machine, is reputed to look similar to the good old Memorymoog. And its features are impressive: 3 VCO’s per voice, 3 part multi-timbral, Eventide reverb, arp, sequencer … seems as if this synth has everything you could possibly wish for.

Moog-Memorymoog-RL-Music Continue reading

Blog

Knobs & Wires: Snapshots of a Synth-Festival

Snapshots of Knobs & Wires – June 2nd, 2018 / Creative Quarter / Munich, Southern Germany. Live concerts, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and trade fairs: All about synthesizers / modular systems / electronic music. This was a synthesizer festival in the best sense of the word. The weather was fine, the audience inquisitive and open-minded – no wonder the organizers were highly satisfied.

KnobsWires2018-01 Continue reading

Blog

Waldorf announces KYRA VA-Synthesizer

The KYRA is a collaboration between Waldorf Music and the British synthesizer developer Exodus Digital. Their Valkyrie Synthesizer, which was been shown at the Frankfurt Musikmesse 2018, will be relaunched and presented as Waldorf KYRA Synthesizer at NAMM 2019. The instrument will initially be available as rack version (1899 Euros) and finally, at the end of 2019, as keyboard version …

Waldorf-Kyra

Continue reading

Blog

Audiowerkstatt – trigger2midi2trigger Rev. 2

Audiowerkstatt trigger2midi2trigger v2 – honestly, spelling the name is not a child’s play. Anyway, this module converts analog clock signals to digital (MIDI) clock signals – and vice versa. Furthermore, it’s a multifunctional trigger device, useful in many ways. Need to convert S-Trigger to V-Trigger? No problem! The other way ’round? Ah, easy – that’s a piece of cake!

Audiowerkstatt-trigger2midi2trigger-v2-01 Continue reading

test

Oberheim OB-8
– L.A. Sound with tricky software

Oberheim OB-8 test report.
________________________

The OB-8 is a clear recommendation for all who are looking for that characteristic – and up to now nearly unachievable – analog sound of the late 70s and early 80s. Today, classic analog poly-synthesizers clearly indicate that a major chapter in synthesizer evolution is now closing – slowly, but surely.

The thing is: you can talk about classical vintage synthesizers, you can closely analyze their remarkable concepts and praise their unrivalled sound … but what’s that all good for if those objects of keen desire are no longer available? Most classic synthesizers have found a permanent home these days. Studios and collectors all around the globe are in the picture as to the musical and financial value of the instruments. No wonder classic synths are rarely sold nowadays!

Oberheim-OB8-01 Continue reading