Moog is a brand that is synonymous with synthesizers and this is largely thanks to the number of artists and groups who embraced its sounds. Robert Moog unveiled his first synth in 1964 after several years of designing and selling theremins. However, it wasn't until Switched-On Bach by Wendy Carlos in 1968 that the synthesizer really grabbed mainstream attention. The unique sounds that the Moog synthesizer was capable of making quickly made it a favorite among rock and pop acts of the late sixties, which further boosted its popularity.
Fans of Tempest, the 6-voice analog drum synth by Sequential, better act fast if they have yet to add one to their collection. This is because of the announcement by Sequential that they are officially retiring Tempest after nearly nine years of production.
The instrument was co-developed by Dave Smith and Roger Linn, who are both big names in the industry. Tempest quickly found an audience among musicians from a variety of genres and made a mark in both the studio as well as live performances.
In the first part of our article on granular synth VSTs and Plugins for computer (LINK) we checked paid and free options, like Ribs, PolyGAS, Polygon, Biotek 2, Crusher-X 8, Quanta, and Kaiva. All of these either focused exclusively on granular synthesis or incorporated this form of synthesis along with their other features. In this second part, we examine a few more options for PC and Mac owners who want to dabble with granular synthesis.
At first glance, the QUN Pocket Synthesizer by Nunomo (new-no-moh) doesn't' look like much, but closer inspection reveals quite a powerful little device. Thanks to the very simple design of QUN it is not only extremely compact, but Nunomo was also able to make it very affordable. What they were able to accomplish is to create a synth using a common development board as its base and then build on top of that with a UI board and top-quality software. The result is something that might look like a toy, but can actually hold its own against other synths.
It seems that the quest to control synthesizers in more and more elaborate ways is neverending and recently we've seen two more contenders. The first is deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA as most of us know it. This method comes courtesy of Giorgio Sancristofor, a synthesist and sound artist who created sound design apps such as Berna and Gleetchlab. Giorgio shared a video online that shows how he has been dabbling with DNA controlled synthesis lately.
Moving one from just messing around with synthesizers to actually recording something can be very gratifying. However, as most people who have done this will know, it also requires a lot of work to produce something that sounds halfway decent. Many people give up on ever producing anything they would feel comfortable sharing because it is so difficult to create something worthwhile. One of the things that often hamper a lot of of mixes is that the audio sounds very hollow or thin, which makes the song sound unnatural.
As with a lot of hobbies, it is easy to fall into the mindset that more is better when it comes to synthesizers. It can be hard to shake that feeling that you need just one more synth or that one piece of elusive gear before you can really start making music. However, this is something that has been proven false time and time again as amazing music has been made with very limited resources. If you still feel like it is your gear that is holding you back from greatness just check out some of these great albums and EPs that were made using only a specific synthesizer.