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Analog (or Digital) synths & gear in 2020
Old 1st December 2020
Analog (or Digital) synths & gear in 2020

Hi Gordon,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this Q&A!

I know you started out with analog/hardware synths and gear, and I'm curious to know if you're sticking to them or if you migrated some of that to digital? Are you using virtual instruments and/or effect plug-ins? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Old 5th December 2020
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Gordotronic's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I still have my favorite and best analog synths,,, EMS Synthi-A, Arp 2600, Arp Odyssey, String Ensemble, Mini Moog and some others. These analog synths definitely sound and act differently than their plug-in counterparts,, and in many case I prefer the real/ old ones. The tones generally are wider, more vibrant, less sterile/clean more alive and claim more musical space. However, I find plenty of uses for plug in instruments, and I have been analog/digital hybrid-ing since 1995 when I bought my first Ensoniq ASR-10 Sampling Keyboard. Here's how and why:

Already by 1995 I wanted a way of creating 50 complex analog synth patches and using them on tour across USA without having to bring six synths and program them live onstage. I already was using ASR-10, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland JD990 and Arp Odyssey live, and playing a guitar and a bass as well! By making multiple keyboard maps and sampling odd sounds into the ASR-10, I could do it all, and have my best sounds and play live with no hiccups or hassles!

Fast forward to 2018, and I used a combination of Arturia Mini Moog, G-force Oddity and my own synth samples in EXS-24 sampler inside of Mainstage, all triggered by a 4 octave and 2 octave midi controller. We were touring South America, and it was a great solution for taking trains, busses, taxis and planes and not too much extra weight/luggage.

I currently use soft-synths and drum machines for these reasons:
1. Im producing a band (overseas) and want to record ambient synth sounds or a keyboard solo, and there are no cool keyboards at the studio.
2. I dont on a Mellotron, but want to have a Mellotron choir or flute part in my song
3. I want to make deeply layered sequences, and none of my analog synths have midi, nor inbuilt sequencers!

what about that?-- cheeers!
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