Ask any vintage synthesizer owner why they love their gear so much and you'll be sure to get a lot of different answers. However, usually what it boils down to is the imperfections and quirks in the sound that give it that unique sound. Many people also don't notice the changes that are caused by using analog gear, but can instantly hear the difference if these processes are absent.
Thanks to the internet we have begun taking it for granted that whatever information we need will always be just a few clicks away. There are millions of YouTube tutorials for everything from learning an instrument to working with a DAW. It is also easy to chat with like minded enthusiasts on forums to share information and tips with each other. However, long before we had access to these types of conveniences, there were magazines to fill this role.
Half the fun of synthesizers, vintage or otherwise, is simply owning one or two and playing around with them for personal enjoyment. A lot of owners never even get around to composing a full song, let alone an album, but that is satisfying enough for them. However, if you are a synthesizer owner who actually managed to create a few tracks instead of simply succumbing to gear acquisition syndrome, then you will probably also want to share your creation.
If you have racks full of expensive dynamic compressors and found that they do not end up as part of your creative process, then you are not alone. Stefano Sorrentino found himself in the same position, which is why he founded SUONOBUONO, a new Swedish music instruments manufacturer. Stefano is not just a musician and producer with radio and club hit tracks on his resume, but also an engineer who walked away with the Inventor of the Year award in 2018. It was actually the prize for that award that prompted Stefano to fund SUONOBUONO with the aim of challenging the old compression paradigm.
In the first part of our article we took a look at some unusual and innovative MIDI controllers, such as the Buchla Thunder, AlphaSphere, MI-MU Gloves and Crystal Ball. These are all controllers that took a step away from the traditional piano design to offer new or more intuitive ways to control synthesizers. In this article we examine a few more MIDI controllers that are not afraid to step out of the mold and do things their own way.
Thanks to software synthesizers, it has become easier and more convenient than ever before to create your own music. However, to make the most out of your chosen DAW and VST plugins, it is still better to make use of some type of MIDI controller. Most MIDI controller manufacturers have opted for the conservative route of designs that look, feel and play in a similar manner to a musical keyboard. Some of the better options even incorporate additional buttons, sliders and knobs for manipulating the audio without having to resort to your computer keyboard and mouse all the time.