More computer music fun

When I was a teenager I always wanted a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. That's a synth keyboard, for those of you not old enough to know. I never got one - it was pro gear at the time, and much too expensive, and these days they seem pretty rare. But thanks to the magic of emulation, I now have the next-best thing — a Pro-53. I got this program today, and it is a hoot. Having never played the real thing, I can't say how realistic it is, but a lot of the preset sounds are surprisingly familiar from those eighties tracks...

Also, the latency problem is apparently not hardware-related, since running this synth as a standalone program and controlling it from my Yamaha piano produces no noticable lag. Excellent.

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I used to own 1/5th of a Prophet 5, kind of... in the form of a Pro-One monosynth, back in 1986. First thing I ever really saved up to buy. I lent it to a person (who shall remain nameless) when I went to University, and found out later that they sold it when they were broke. :-/ Nowadays, they go for more money (even adjusted for inflation, I suspect) than I paid for it at the time.

Unless you have a burning need to spend heaps of money on esoteric spare parts, the software versions of those synths are really the way to go nowadays. And they sound so much better when you stick some effects on them - I used to lug mine into school on the bus just so that I could record the synth through a delay made with a three head reel-to-reel tape deck. It's not such a big exercise to put some effects on the software version. :-)

Posted by Jason Ozolins on September 22, 2005 at 03:29 PM PDT #

Nowadays you can simulate any of the old synths on your laptop.

See: http://www.kreativsounds.com/refill_analog_basstard.php

I've been using Reason 3.0 and Logic Express on my MacOSX system to create soundtracks for dance performances. It's amazing what this software can do.

Reason 3.0

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Posted by Richard Friedman on September 23, 2005 at 04:11 PM PDT #

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