So, what should I say? Genious and madness lie close together. In other words: the PPG Wave 2.3/2.3 synthesizers can be seen either as a benefit or a disaster. You decide whether they are a problem or a source of musical enrichment.
Arturia MatrixBrute – a fabulous instrument. This synthesizer, available since the beginning of 2017, will some day count among one of the REALLY BIG instruments of the decade. A TOP synth. Assuming, of course, that „Made in China“ is no big obstacle.
At the moment, we find no such detriments to its quality. In fact: After presentation of the prototype in 2016, Arturia even did a little additional pepping up … now the synth has gorgeous aluminium wheels instead of those original plastic wheels. And since its recent software update (mid 2017) – others are certain to follow – the MatrixBrute is about as perfect as you could even wish.
I’ve been having difficulty getting this report off the ground. A Roland System-8 has been standing around here in my studio for months at less than arm’s length, intimidating me with its very presence. There was no way I was going to feel motivated to really and actually examine the thing. A couple of pics here, a couple of sound samples there. Then, dispair. Enough of those fleeting impressions, enough lighting orgies. What followed was the firm intention to just chuck it … not chuck it … chuck it … not chuck it. This went on for a long time.
From today’s point of view, this is about more than just the System-8. The paralysis stems from deeper down. It has to do with the unequivocal turning point the Roland Company has taken. A turning point that the tried-and-true synthesizer enthusiast (and Roland fan of many years) has difficulty just coping with. But the world keeps turning, and so we accept things as they now are. Continue reading
The bards, those “popstars” of the middle ages famous for their sonorous voices and for their poetic talents, are still widely known today. Walther von der Vogelweide and Oswald von Wolkenstein – names we all recognize (at least here in Europe).
The Vermona ’14 Analogsynthesizer is a bard of modern times. A true individualist on the electronic music scene. This bard doesn’t just sound, it sings! Mind you, synthesizers in the singing category are rare. Oberheim OB-1 (“exact VCO tuning”) and the Moog Prodigy (“sync sounds”) are among the few vintage synths in this field. Vermona Mono Lancet (and Mono Lancet ’15) do sing a little. And that’s about it. The rest of the synths just – sound.
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!