Musikmesse Frankfurt 2015 Report – Part 3

Let’s round up our report on the Musikmesse Frankfurt (part 1 – modular systems and part 2 – synthesizers) by supplying you with further information in the synthesizer field and ending our report with some details about an exciting e-piano concept …

First across the Atlantic and to Dave Smith Instruments. The PROPHET-6 is a brand-new polyphonic analog synthesizer with real VCOs …

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The overall setup (including the wooden case, Prophet-5 switches and internal PSU) lends the instrument a professional touch. Not to forget that classic (Sequential) silver name-plate !!!

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The PROPHET-12 remains a hot tip for polysynth-enthusiasts. Its hybrid concept features digital and analog oscillators …

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Back in Europe and over to Italy. Many aspects of the Studiologic SLEDGE synthesizer concept (now on its second run) have been refined.

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We bypass Clavia with no pangs of conscience: fine products with a long tradition …

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MacBeth ELEMENTS: this Scot is in a class of its own. Purists insist that its sound is unsurpassed (not really cheap, but can do you expect for good quality?) …

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Waldorf is in a league with Clavia and we praise it for the same reasons: selective product refinement around Blofeld, Pulse 2, Rocket, 2 Pole and Streichfett …

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A quick drop into Berlin and over to Manikin Electronics. Here’s a picture for puzzle fans: can you see the difference between this Memotron and its earlier versions?

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Correct! There are 2 (two) additional keys in the bass area. A small upgrade on the compass of the original Mellotron …

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The MFB Dominion 1 had the bad luck to be given a niche off the beaten path. This DELUXE synthesizer has a fabously good sound. It often serves as an alternative to the …

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Moog SUB37 …

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Vermona has awakened from the land of Sleeping Beauty (where it spent the last year) and has come up with a new analog synth with a keyboard! The details of this ’14 (so it is called) are promising …

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But the company rightfully also continues production of the Mono Lancet and the 4-voice synth Perfourmer MKII, which have a lot of fans …

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These boxes from Soulsby Synthesizers illustrate a simple (and remarkable) concept. They are identical – one and the same box – with optional overlays and optional software – that function equally as a synthesizer, a drum computer, a sequencer, or as a …?

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One of these boxes is the 8-bit monosynth Atmegatron. Looks exciting. Or how could you better describe 32 VCO waveforms, 15 filter-types, 16 LFO waveforms, …?

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If you’re looking to optimize your studio acoustics, consider an acoustic panel. There’s Vicoustic, for example …

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Last, but not l _ _ _ _, we veer off in an unusual direction for pianists. For pianists of the real type. Then only YOU are aware of the problems evolved in electronic pianos. They are undoubtedly a blessing, their sound is ok, you can afford them (they’re a lot cheaper than a concert grand), and they are easy to transport. Still, a pianist can easily hear the difference in sound and feel the difference in playing an e-piano.

ALPHA Pianos is determent to eliminate these weaknesses with one brilliant solution. The Alpha Piano sports a Renner-Mechanik as found in the best acoustic pianos in the world …

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That means an authentic hammer mechanic and, with it, the tactile quality known hitherto only in traditional concert instruments …

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The hammers don’t hit strings, of course, but small pins equipped with sensors. This, in turn, allows each played key to be electronically analyzed individually …

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Logically, these e-pianos focus on the professional stage- and studio-world. And also logically, they aren’t cheap. Think in terms of 20 000 Euros! But high-quality justifies an equally high price …

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So much for the Frankfurter Musikmesse 2015. We’re already looking forward to next year …

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“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.