Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
August 29, 2005

More on the Crumar GDS...

by Chris Randall

I've always wanted a Synergy, but truth be told, I couldn't really illustrate why. Just one of those obscure and hard-to-use things that I desire, more or less just because it is obscure and hard to use. This GDS makes the Synergy look like one of the most popular keyboards in the world, if you use a sliding scale based on obscurity and difficulty of use.

The Synthony page has a whole article on the GDS and how it relates to the Synergy. The original Synergy is sort of preset, and you'd need a GDS to actually program it. The Synergy II and II+ could be programmed with a Kaypro computer, and thus didn't need the GDS. I like this quote from the product's liturature: The GDS is a completely digital synthesizer. Consequently, it is free from the problems of traditional analog units. Fucking fantastic.

In any case, while the Synergy occasionally makes an appearance on eBay, AFAICT a GDS never has. These aren't common, by any means. Our friend Paul Schrieber (owner of MOTM) is apparently a Synergy Lover, and has a section on the Synthech site devoted to it, but it looks like his love was itinerant, based upon the frequency of updates (or lack thereof.) It is interesting to note that the Synergy and GDS are basically computers programmed to act like synthesizers (like so many of today's synths) and thus could theoretically be emulated in much the same way the PPG Wave 2.3 and DX7 have been. Something to ponder, anyways.

August 29, 2005

And we have a confirmation...

by Chris Randall

On our Friday gear pr0n picture, I was unsure of what this unit was, and postulated that it might be a QASAR M8, the fore-runner to the Fairlight CMI. However, Todd Fletcher writes in to say:

The thing in question is a Crumar GDS, mother of the Synergy and used by Wendy Carlos (for Tron) & Tangerine Dream as well as Schulze. The CPU & monitor goes with the keyboard on the floor to it's right. It mostly sounds like a DX7, and would probably drive an analog guy like you nuts :-). Nothing even close to a filter in that machine.

Oh, I loves me some digital, make no mistake. But thanks for that spotting. I had a feeling I was wrong there...

August 29, 2005

Digital Jimmyhat?

by Chris Randall

This is a pretty funny page. I quote:

Being a jazz diva requires more than a sultry voice, a drinking problem and a tendency towards self destruction these days. You have to use every advantage you can muster - falling back on scat singing and the occasional exposed breast to land the big label contract just doesn't cut it anymore.

Anyways, believe it or not, it isn't just comedy, but actually a product page for a company that does a full reconfiguration of the Altec 342B mixer you see pictured. These guys make high-end tube amps, so they are, of course, insane. (I think dealing with the high voltages eventually turns all companies that sell mostly tube products in to Lord Of The Flies. Go ahead and prove me wrong on that. I dare you.) They all have shitty web pages too. (The old "scroll to the right" trick... crafty...)

August 28, 2005

DubStation now available...

by Chris Randall

The most awesomest plug-in from Audio Damage yet, DubStation is now available for purchase in the AD store. It is VST for Windows, and VST/AU for OSX, and is US$39.00 for direct download.

Not to be cocky or anything, but I am of the considered opinion that this plug-in is The Bomb, and not just because we made it. Easy on the CPU, good looking, and it sounds great, too. I made a quick demo track, which you'll find on the product page. I'll have Wade make a proper one when he isn't so busy, as he's much better at that sort of thing than I am. But if you give the demo a listen, you'll hear the looping, reversing, etc. that makes DubStation such a fun plug-in.

Our next order of business at AD is some contract work for a hardware manufacturer; after that, we've got another cool plug up our sleeves. This is such a fun job. I wish it paid better.

August 27, 2005

Here's something you don't see every day...

by Chris Randall

Now, here's a sexy animal, right here. A PPG modular synth, half model 100 and half model 300. It's on German eBay right now, with a minimum of over $16,000 with no bidders (I wonder why...) The auction will probably be closed by the time you see this, but here you go.

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