April 1, 2014 – 11:56 am | No Comment

Are you tired of cheap synthesizers that tend to fall apart at the slightest nudge? Or change their sound simply because you accidentally scratched it while changing out cords? The Dave Smith Prophet 12 is …

Read the full story »
Synthesizers

Synths, keyboards, and anything with a keyboard that can make bleeps

Audio Gear

Audio equipment, effects, drum machines, speakers, amps, and sound gear

Everything Else

Articles and stories about anything related to audio, electronic music, and synthesizers

Reviews

Reviews of synths, audio gear, and anything that you have to plug in to make noise

Strange and Weird

The odd, the weird, and anything that makes you wonder what planet it came from

Audio Gear »

Record grooves under an electron microscope
April 21, 2014 – 7:24 pm | 62 Comments

Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope. Well, not boring for me.

From what I read, it’s not just a simple matter of sticking a record under a fancy microscope, as there is a lot of preparation (such as gold-sputtering the surface) and post-processing to be done. Having said that, the results are very cool:

Here is a shot of a number of record grooves (the dark bits are the top of the grooves, i.e. the uncut vinyl):

Here’s the grooves closer up – the little bumps are dust on the record:

And here’s a single groove even closer still, magnified 1000 times: Read the full story »

We love the Korg Monotron!
April 19, 2014 – 7:11 pm | 5 Comments
We love the Korg Monotron!

If you’re a regular reader of SynthGear, you know that we love the Korg Monotron. Heck, we’re even giving them away for free!
Korg themselves have put together a bunch of cool mods (some commercial, …

Nude bodies as a musical instrument
April 17, 2014 – 6:53 pm | No Comment
Nude bodies as a musical instrument

Cocky Eek’s Tactile Research Lab has created an art-installation-meets-musical-instrument-meets-organic-weirdness. Called the “Get in Touch” exhibit, it invites the public to create sounds by touching the backs of nude people in an effort to help …

Massive Synth Collection
April 15, 2014 – 6:27 pm | 2 Comments
Massive Synth Collection

Michel van Osenbruggen is a musician and synth collector from The Netherlands, and he produces music under the name Synth.nl. He had a friend over to take some pictures of his drool-inducing studio, and …

Mantaray iTar: turn an iPad into a digital keytar
April 13, 2014 – 6:14 pm | 2 Comments
Mantaray iTar: turn an iPad into a digital keytar

Franz Keller has come up with Metal frame into which you clip an ipad and/or other music gear, turning it into a keytar.

From their promo material:
Sturdy hand cut plexiglass body holds iPad, Kaoss Pad and …

The first Drum Machine – Wurlitzer Sideman
April 11, 2014 – 5:55 pm | 6 Comments
The first Drum Machine – Wurlitzer Sideman

The Wurlitzer Sideman was the first electronic drum machine ever produced (if you don’t count tape loops), sold as a Wurlitzer organ accessory beginning in 1959. It’s got some fantastically great sounds and the …

Somebody That I Used to Know – Computer Remix
April 9, 2014 – 5:42 pm | No Comment
Somebody That I Used to Know – Computer Remix

Sometimes I don’t know why people do it, but I am glad that they do. One song i really like, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, done via an old school remix. …

Dark Synth: A Worthy Abelton Plug-in?
April 8, 2014 – 7:31 pm | No Comment
Dark Synth: A Worthy Abelton Plug-in?

What is Dark Synth? It is just the latest in the efforts to give the Max for Live synthesizer added depth and control for digital sound generation. It’s a polyphonic additive that comes with 136 …

The Wicks Looper – Acid Mix
April 7, 2014 – 5:35 pm | No Comment
The Wicks Looper – Acid Mix

If you’re into noise generation, or even if you just like to fiddle with cool little sound gadgets, the Wicks Looper – Acid Mix might be just the thing for you.

Made in Australia by a …

RJD2′s Studio
April 5, 2014 – 5:31 pm | 5 Comments
RJD2′s Studio

In this video, Ramble John Krohn (better known as the musician/producer RJD2) shows off his incredible home studio – while baking apple-raspberry cobbler a la mode.
RJD2 shows off his massive collection of synths, drum machines, …

Lava Lamp MIDI controller
April 3, 2014 – 4:40 pm | 4 Comments
Lava Lamp MIDI controller

Jason Hotchkiss is a DIY-er who has created the ultimate psychedelic ambient music generator. He took a lava lamp, a bit of custom electronic work and a Miduino PCB from Tom Scarff, put it …