Beside my photography hobby, I recently re-discovered my passion of electronic music making. Last year I had the crazy idea to buy a Teenage Engineering OP-1 which is really a fantastic and powerful little workstation. Considering that my last contact with electronic music instruments was when the Korg Trinity hit the market (1995), the progress in synthesiser technology was amazing. So much power in such a small case. However, although I really enjoyed playing with this little gem, I finally sold it since I decided to go “old style” and to look deeper into classic and analogue gear. Same like in photography, while the new technology is providing more comfort and possibilities, there is something special to have the direct impact on the outcome via physical buttons. Since I’m not planning to release a top 10 hit single anywhere soon and jamming only for fun, I decided to go DAWless.
I’m already spending too much time every day in front of my computer (like I’m doing now while writing this article), that I don’t want to click also through tracks and audio files. Instead I want to relax and enjoy with turning knobs and pushing buttons while making music. For recording the jam sessions I just recently bought a Zoom R24 which I’m hopefully able to sync to MIDI via SMPTE. To achieve this, I will use a Philip Rees TS1 Midi Tape Sync Unit. If everything will work as planned, I will publish a success story. If not, I will keep silent, remove all text traces and sell R24 and TS1 as soon as possible on eBay….
Korg Arp Odyssey Synthesizer
What a fantastic remake of the original Arp Odyssee Synthesizer. A joy to play with the fader and discover new sounds.
Korg Microkorg Synthesizer
It looks like a toy but sounds amazing. A lot of sound for small money.
AKAI MPC 1000
Also available for small money but so versatile. After upgrading to a XL screen, 80GB HD, fat pads and replacing the tactile switches, I’m still in the learning curve to discover all the features with the great JJOS operation system.
Pure analogue drum sound with a great sequencer. I was also considering the Korg Volca Beats. But after getting the Drumbrute for a great deal, I’m happy that I went for it instead of the Volca Beats. With my big hands, the knobs are much easier accessible 🙂
Behringer Model D
Oh my god. How could they make such a great sounding synthesizer for such small money? This thing is simple amazing. It’s even so amazing that I’m made a case which will accommodate the Model-D, the Arutria Keystep and one or two eurorack modules.
Another great tool with great play feeling, sequencer and arpeggiator. Behringer Model-D and Arturia Keystep are the perfect combo…if the Keystep would be only black 🙂
Roland RE-20 Space Echo
Although not the original vintage echo machine, still capable to produce a decent reverb and echo.
Very versatile recording unit with build-in effects, sequencer and drum computer. Also useable as a USB audio interface to connect to a DAW.
Sync Update: I was able to synchronize the Zoom R24 via a recorded SMPTE timecode on the metronome channel and the Philip Rees TS 1 which converts the signal into MIDI with my AKAI MPC 1000. Here it’s explained how to do it: Henkybacker.com
JBL LSR 305
Nice clear sounding reasonable studio monitors. Perfect for the home studio!