About Theo Bloderer

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach und - wie ich finde - 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.

Arturia DrumBrute – modern 909 with polyrhythms?

That’s interesting. Arturia is a little reminiscent of Moog. That American company used to build a Minimoog (a loooong, loooong time ago). Since then – since 1970 – they’ve based most of their synthesizers on that Minimoog. Arturia’s veteran of today is the MiniBrute. For the last few years, everything has been BRUTE, it seems.

With one little difference. Arturia has a lot more spirit than its American competitor. The concept of the veteran (MiniBrute) has been – step by step – radically changed. The MatrixBrute, for example, doesn’t have that much in common with the MiniBrute. And the DrumBrute has been based on a completely new concept.


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The new Minimoog D – even better than the original?

The new Minimoog – the new Model D, to be precise – surprises us at first sight with its moderate price. Approximately 4000 Euros is (somehow) fair, considering that a vintage Minimoog can cost significantly more on the second hand market. And this synth is NEW, it comes with a beautiful wooden housing (with no scratches and scrapes) and with some interesting new extras. Extras, that the original Minimoog can’t even dream of.

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– that classical cherry on the cake

Summer 2016. We’re on our way through the southern part of Sicilia, softly wistling Morricone’s great tune “Once Upon a Time in the West”. Gorgeous beaches, no, absolutely no shade. But a lot of sand and heat! We’ll be meeting Paolo Groppioni, who is vacationing in this aerea. With him a good friend: the new GRP synth!

The A2 is a true surprise. Not because it’s analog, and not because it can do this and that (it IS analog and it can do a lot), but because it exists in the first place. It’s as simple as that. Having the new GRP R24 sequencer in mind, we’re flabbergasted at the A2, suddendly lying there on the table. The perfect buddy for the sequencer. The same size, even the same housing. Gorgeous!

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Impressions of the Arturia MiniBrute RED

The new MiniBrute RED looks pretty smart. Although, to be honest, the see-through MicoBrute RED looks even nicer. Anyway, if you’re interested in a red Mini or Micro – remember: the MiniBrute has an arpeggiator, the MicroBrute a sequencer. Owning a MiniBrute SE (with sequencer!), I forgot about that … and was quite surprised to get a MiniBrute RED (well, two …) with arpeggiator. My mistake, of course.

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Jean Michel Jarre and the …?

The guru of synthi-pop hasn’t let up a bit. He’s as active as ever. The young 68-year-old Jean Michel Jarre beguiles his public with high quality mutimedia stage shows, bringing old and new songs, using old and new instruments. A nice addition to the troupe is the GRP A4 that has replaced the ARP 2600 at the side of the memorymoog in the middle of the action.


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Hartmann “20” – an Aston Martin in bits and bytes?

Looking for a virtual-analog synth with a wavetable (Waldorf) engine, for a puny 20,000 Euros? (And don’t forget those taxes!) Get one before they’re all gone. Axel Hartmann’s hand-crafted Designer-Synth “20”, the new Aston Martin under the synths, will only be produced 40 times (20 x silver, 20 x black) – and that’s it! This sportscar has new SUPRA Op-Amps inside, which should give it a special dynamic sound.

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Roland Jupiter-4
– the GOLDEN oldie?

Whereas the marvellous Sequential Prophet-5 was called “most sexy synthesizer in the world” (I would equally call Roland’s Jupiter-8 the same), poor Jupiter-4 was the ugly duckling. No one fell in love with it, and as Peter Forrest points it out: “All technology eventually goes cheesy, but the JP-4 went cheesy quicker than most.”


Während jedoch dem Prophet-5 die Bezeichnung “most sexy synthesizer in the world” zustehen dürfte (ich würde an dieser Stelle sofort den Roland Jupiter-8 mit einschließen), wird das “hässlichen Entlein” Jupiter-4 mit viel Glück gerade noch den “blechernen Kaktus” als Preis erhalten. Nur wenige polyphone Analogsynthesizer sehen derart unspektakulär und veraltet aus, oder, um es mit den Worten von Peter Forrest zu sagen: “All technology eventually goes cheesy, but the JP-4 went cheesy quicker than most.” Continue reading