My Fav 5: Analog Synths
#1. Moog Subsequent 37
My current favorite synth. I love the way the oscillators sounds on this thing. Though there are only two, you are blessed with a third sub oscialltor that follows the frequency of oscillator one one octave lower. You can sync them all and make a crazy fat sound or detune 1 and 2 and create super wide chords. Whether I’m making deep ground shaking basses, piercin leads or my own drum sounds, I can do it all with this synth. The filter sounds awesome and the two lfos are just enough modulation options. You can attached them to just about any paramenter/section of the synth. I love the
space I’m given for saving my own patches, even though the process is a bit tedious to say the least. A big bonus is the the Drive circuit built right in that let’s you overdrive the filter. Making it so you don’t have to do the oldschool trick of using cables to make physical connections to do. Which is still an option with the signal input/audio input. The last feature I love on this thing is the CV inputs for Volume, Pitch, Filter and KB gate. Making this synth expandable. I look at this thing like the modern Voyager that’s way more aggressive.
#2. Korg Poly 61
Though its more of a hybrid synth, it sounds great and it’s my oldest synth to date. Tedious to program but the filter and unison mode make this thing a killer. I love the old school way of loading and off loading patch libraries on this thing, via audio input. This one is also my only synth that is pre-midi (made in 1983) so no MPC or Ableton sequencing with this one. Kind of...it does have a sync input that starts works with the Arpeggistir. So ive sent super loud kick and clap sounds to it from a track in my DAW. One placed at every bar will keep this thing triggering to the tempo of your track. You have to fiddle with the manual tempo knob to make it be totally/musically sync’d. This beauty can be heard all over my Instrumental release from last year, “Sated” (link below). Don’t see my self every getting rid of this thing. it’s got too many weird sounds with crazy movement and the undefeated pitch joystick!
#3. Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
I got the pleasure of salivating over this one when I was minion working over at now defunct IV Labs Studios. The one we had, had major oscillator drift issues which led to some crazy sounds I could never get enough of. I was actually disappointed when it was serviced and no longer had the issues that gave it character. I actually met Dave Smith during the time and showed him pics of me jamming on his creation. Got a big chuckle out of him when I let him know how I felt about it being serviced. What can say that hasn’t been said about this one? I loved this one for basses, leads, and simple pads. These old guys are great because they just sit in the mix without a lot of tweaking. Just add drums and you have instant vibes. Definitely a Mount Rushmore synth to me and Im happy I was able to use it freely for over a year easily. I’ve definitely made a few sample/sampler patches with is one.
#4. Moog Minimoog Model D Reissue
Can’t make a list with out this one. The alpha and the omega. I had time pleasure of using this one on a few occasions. Never had the cash to pony up for it though ☹️. A simple design, not a lot of modulation. Won’t fix coffee or toast for you....but it will rearrange your wall decorations! This synth is so smooth and powerful. It really can’t be explained, you have to hear it. This synths sound and look are engrained in use forever. Whether you love Prog Rock of yesteryear or G funk. this thing is all over it. In my opinion it is one of the last “instruments”. Yes other synths have keys and oscillators, but they don’t have the soul this one possesses. The re-issue is the closest I’ll ever come to the original.
#5. Moog One
Best synth ever created to date in my opminion. We can’t go back from here. The Jupiter 8, Model D and CS80 would disagree but the functionality and sound of the thing is what legends are made of. I first encountered this beast in the Hollywood Guitar Center. Spent two hours trying to wrap my head around the design and coming to grips with the fact that I’ll probably never own one. This one does make your morning coffee and walks the dog too. Theres no sound that can’t be made on this thing. I have over 50 patches from this thing sampled and stored in my MPC Live from my visits to the Synthhouse Museum. Best thing ever, pay a fee to use a synth I’ll probably never see again (I mean, how many Memorymoogs have you seen in real life?) Now I’m thinking about this thing....should I sell all my synths to get one? 🤔