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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
July 9, 2013

Why are mini synths so popular?

The world seems to rotate back and forth from both big and small items.  Think of the era when super baggy pants were in fashion.  Kids went to school with pants that had leggings that were the size of their torso.  They even dragged on the ground whenever you walked, making it hard to keep them from getting destroyed.  The internet went through a period of time when font sizes were incredible small.  Perhaps this was because computer monitors had horrible resolutions at that time.  Now, we are beginning to see oversized fonts and large banners across every home page.  The same trend is also happening with music instruments.

The whole tablet and smartphone revolution has cemented the idea that small gadgets DO work, and in some cases they are preferable to the larger alternative.  MIDI controllers have shrunk down in size which makes them portable and accessible.  Even synthesizers …

NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
July 4, 2013

Sonic Potions Intros LXR Drum Synthesizer

Have you ever considered buying some brand new furniture at dealer cost?  If you are old in your ways and secure in your finances, the thought of buying new furniture might actually be exciting and rewarding, but if you are young and constantly on the move – you probably don’t have the time or means for that.  We can head to craigslist and find free furniture that will get the job done, so long as you pay for the expensive of hauling off of their property.  There is a third option that has allowed even the most mobile of persons to afford to have new gear.  This is the DIY style of gear – gear that needs to be assembled.

Head to any IKEA store and you can view their showcases where they have furniture and other gadgets assembled on the showroom floor – but there is a catch.  You …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
June 5, 2013

Teenage Engineering OP1 – Powerful OS Update

These days, in order to create a powerful instrument it is better to create a tool rather than a complete program.  This is like a person who decided to create Adobe Photoshop instead of trying to paint a masterpiece using MS Paint.  The reason to make a software instrument in such a manner has to do with ease of use and flexibility.  How many times have we seen a major company produce software, only to have it updated the next day with new patches and fixes?  Even the best of the best cannot simply get by with beta testers and hoping for the bets.  Flexibility allows both the creative people as well as the technical people to get to where they need.

Teenage Engineering’s goal was to make something that was craftable, moddable, and useable by those with limited knowledge about synthesizers and computer programs.  But making the hardware is …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
June 3, 2013

DIY Ondes Martenot-Style Synthesizer Based On Korg Monotron

When you think of old technology in a synthesizer, your first thought is not that it might be cheap – your first thought is that it will be expensive.  Why is that?  The best reason why we tend to think that is because older gear is no longer being produced, so the ones that are left around in good condition are considered rare.  Although the technology is not modern, it retains its value because that technology is hard to find or hard to work with.  A well maintained synthesizer from the 80’s could cost many times what it was worth when it was first produced.  While this argument tells why this gear can be expensive, another argument also tells why this gear can also be inexpensive.

Since analog technology doesn’t require complex computing or digitally aided production to produce, it can be understood and manipulated by the common man.  Taking …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
May 13, 2013

The Two Thousand Six Hundred Synthesizer Project

Certain types of instruments inherently cost more than others to purchase, even when purchased used.  Acoustic instruments are by the far the costliest, and although this is arguable, it is easy to see why something that is handcrafted out of less modern materials would cost more to buy.  There is simply a lot of man hours that go into creating such a device, and it relies on the skills of an artisan rather than simply a machine to build.  A violin, for example, seems very simple and easily made – but since it is crafted out of wood (and quite fragile at that), they can run upwards of two thousand dollars for a starting model.

Plastic have been a small blessing for anyone who has never been able to afford a wooden piece of gear, and it speeds up the manufacturing process dramatically.  Synthesizers today are built with a mix …