01 March 2009

New Synthesizers in the Apollo Studio

I'm still working on the new studio. Cabling still isn't done. I'm trying to pick the work up again after the holiday. But besides that I also added some new synthesizers to the new studio. Here you see a Yamaha CS-50 that I picked up today. It is the little brother of the famous CS-80 that was heavily used by Vangelis and also the slightly bigger CS-60 that was used by Jarre. But this one sounds just as nice. A bit less powerful, but the sounds I love the most are still coming out. I love it already. It tunes very nicely but lacks midi of course. I'll start looking for a aftermarket midi upgrade for this one, because I'd love to fully integrate it in my setup. The keyboard plays amazingly. I never had the pleasure to play a nicer and smoother after touch ever. You will hear this one on future recordings for sure.

Another synthesizer that I have been looking for a long time is this Yamaha VL-1. It is a virtual acoustic synthesizer which means it uses mathematical models to calculate the behavior of actual acoustic instrument. It comes with a breath controller which really makes you play a flute or saxophone like a real one. I had the very small module version of it (VL-70m), but this one has four times the power and sound much better. And of course the keys are specially fit in combination with the breath controller to get the maximum expression from it. It is a perfect lead synthesizer. I'm actually not so interested in the acoustic sounds, but you can get some very expressive nice leads from it. This one is unfortunately equipped with version 1 ROM's. Version 2 ROM's were sold as an upgrade, but I can't find them yet. They give even more and better sounds. If you can help me with the ROM's or EPROM images that would be highly appreciated.

The last new addition was an Alesis Fusion 6HD. It is a digital workstation like synthesizer with a build in hard disk. It has USB and you can upload your own samples or even Akai format sample CD's to it. It sounds very nice and I love the different look. It even has a mod- and pitch wheel that lights up blue when you turn it. But of course I bought it for the sounds. The standard presets are not so good but mine came with some sounds programmed by the previous owner and they really show it true potential. There is even a sound set in there made by Klaus Schulze especially for this synthesizer. Another nice thing is it has both SPDIF and ADAT out, so I can easily integrate it in my digital setup. You will hear some nice pads and choirs from this one in the future.

I didn't want to keep this last picture from you. Here you see the CS-50 back to back with the Roland Jupiter 8 that also found a nice place now in the new studio. The Jupiter 8 is also a joy to play one. It has so much character while remaining super soft when you want to. Especially layering through sounds and putting them through some nice effects makes you dream away instantly. I have given myself until the end of this month to finish the studio. But I can't wait to start finishing my next album in this studio. It is becoming really a dream come true. I'll update you soon on the progress. And I will ask my friend Chris soon to make some better pictures of the studio and maybe some film. I think it looks good enough by now for that.

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