August 21, 2013
Some may look at all the new controllers we have out there and see that it lacks a certain quality that was found in earlier synthesizers. Synths that are not produced at a manufacturing speed, as created slowly because it takes time for them to be produced. They cannot be packed together by a machine, and a robotic arm might be accurate where the production requires eyeballing and a sense of style. It is sort of like how custom concrete sidewalks are made from imperfect pieces of stone, rather than machine cut pieces which are easily done at the factory. This is perhaps why expensive synths are usually made of wood trimming, and it is not easy to have it all done in one sitting.
Small developers have found ways to combine both art and technology, getting the best of both worlds in one piece of equipment. The “Shnth” looks …
June 12, 2013
Many hardware based companies have made the choice to create software alternatives of their produces, and likewise software companies have tried their hand in the hardware market. The Ableton Push comes to mind when thinking of a software company – and Microsoft comes to mind when thinking of a hardware company that has gone with software. Some might think that they are better off sticking to what they know, but in today’s world where instruments exist on both ends, it might be better to cater to both parties. The type of equipment that sells this argument the best is synthesizer gear. Synths aren’t cheap, and collecting the nerve to buy one is not a small move.
Software synthesizers are a dime a dozen in any app store – but these are never model specific and god knows where they are getting their samples from. But when a company like Moog …
June 3, 2013
Having a clear and defining style is hard for any manufacture who produce digital gear for DJs and producers. The very idea of digital says that everything must be uniform and form fitting, right? We expect a digital FX unit to be smaller than an analog version – and we expect it to look the part. This usually means that it needs to be built from space age polymers and speak to the futurist look rather than the antiquated one. This is what we are used to. Ever mixer or deck that comes out comes in the traditional jet black finish. While silver used to be the futuristic color, it seems that black is the preferred choice. Plus it doesn’t get blemished as much as silver or lighter coats.
Does wood have a place in the digital word? That is a hard question to answer, since we like wood to …
December 28, 2012
The idea of a desktop synthesizer seems like something a synth company would jump at, if given the chance to make – but there is a long history behind these machines which makes us respect a company who puts out a synth that can be lifted with one hand. If you look at older Roland or Yamaha synthesizers you’d understand why these things were hardly ever moved around. They weight as much as a DJ’s coffin does, when two turntables and a mixer are placed inside. The idea of portable or desktop based was a joke back then. The shrinking of technology has made collaboration possible, and setup times nonexistent.
Korg’s MicroKorg is one of these timeless gems that will be repeated by many, but never superseded. It strikes the right balance of new technology, size, and class. Parts are no longer completely made of metal and thick plastics, but …