08 June 2008

Synthmeeting Zeeland 2008

Yesterday I visited a synthesizer meeting in a town called Goes in The Netherlands. It was about an 2 hour drive for me, but it was worth it for sure. I picked up my Jupiter 8 from Belgium and decided to bring it along to the meeting, since I hardly had time to play with it yet. In the picture on the left you see me playing on it. I really love it already. I hookup up my Boss RE-20 to it for a little delay and a little reverb, but even without any effects it sounds so great. It is one of the most amazing analog synthesizers I have ever played on. I'm so glad that I bought it. I will use it for sure on my future albums.

My good friend MB collects vintage FX equipment. He brought some special phasing and flanging guitar pedals. We hooked them up to the Jupiter 8 to see how that would sound. That was a lot of fun to compare them. Here you see a very old Phaser connected to it. It sounded great on the high end but not so nice on the low end. I do prefered the Elektro Harmonix pedels that he also brought. Put a nice string sounds through them and you instantly have that genuine 'Jarre Oxygene' sound. I alway get instant happiness from that sound :) Well now I'll go and find a nice spot in my studio for the Jupiter 8 and probably I will leave it there. It is quite big and heavy. So not a nice synthesizer to carry around actually.

One of the reasons I went to the meeting is that there was some equipment that I wanted to check out. In the picture on the left
you see an EMS Synthi AKS. Well this is one of the synthesizers that Jarre used a lot for especially sound effects. It is a great modular like concept, where in stead of putting in patch cables you put pins in a matrix to patch. It has 3 really great oscillators and a build in reverb. I actually didn't know that. I really loved it. And that is not a good sign :) I'll have to put it in my wishlist now ;) I really loved it, but they are quite rare and that means hard to find and also expensive. But I think it is worth it.

There were also some very nice modular systems. In the picture you see a very nice Doepfer set. I did see that stuff on the Musik Messe, but never really played with it. Unfortunately time was to short now as well. There was so much to see. And by the time I wanted to give it a go the guy that brought it had left. On the right you see another modular system that was completely self designed. So a very cool DIY project. The SH-101 was used as a CV/gate keyboard. I didn't know you could use it for that. Saves a midi to CV converter. Smart idea :)

This was a nice setup as well from a guy called Peter. Coincidentally I visited his website the evening before, not knowing that he was coming. Well what did he bring? In the wood cabinet on top you see some synthesizers.com modules. I did get a chance to play with them a bit and they sound very nice. This is the same format as the Yusynth modules I'm building. So now I know how it should look. Below you see a DIY project that he did, based on some different designs. He designed the cabinet and panels himself. A very nice project. Look on his website for more on his project: You can find his website here: http://www.attorks.nl. There is also some of his music online which I liked.

But back to more Jupiter 8 :) I tried to play some more on it during the day. And every time it was a delight. I had some very nice reactions on it as well. It seemed to be a crowd pleaser. So I'm glad I brought it. I did find two minor defects on it, but nothing that really bother me. The modulation knob doesn't work and the portamento only works on the upper layer. Probably not complicated to fix. But for now I don't want to bring it away for repair for these minors things. I want to make music with it! The only thing left to test is the encore midi kit that is build into it, but I'll do that in the studio when I put it in its place. Off course I'll post some pictures of that as well here.

Another synthesizer that surprised my in a positive way was the Korg Z1. It has quite a unique sound. Funny enough it was build to emulate acoustic instruments like flute, saxophone, violin etc with a mathematic model of them. It actually calculates these modules. Well actually I didn't like these sounds at all. But I did like the digital pads and leads it can create. They sound very special. I had the Moss board in my old Korg Karma that I had a while ago, but I sold it when I got the Korg M3. So I'm missing that sounds. Well another add for the wish list ;) Every time I'm amazed again to hear how every synthesizer has its own character. And that sometimes they are best in what they are not designed to do :) The last thing I want to share with you is a video that one of the visitors put on you tube.

You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqHBHt-McUM.

As you can see it was not a big meeting but it was really nice. I had a great time. Thank you to everyone that was there and of course a big thank you to the organization!

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