I've learned to not make promises about updates- but I'm trying to finally migrate out of the GeoCities ghetto to something real, and in the process take care of all the dead links, poor writing, lousy photos, inaccurate information, ugly design, and generally everything else wrong. Here are a few hints of what's to come (if I ever get around to it)...

Wersi MK-1 - strange additive German synth with very powerful and unusual envelopes, and one of the most bizarre and evil interfaces ever conceived.

Alesis Metavox - vocoder, sounds alright but I haven't messed with it much

Digitech RDS 3.6 - primitive 8-bit digital delay with 3.6 seconds of delay time. There's an internal trimmer that can increase the delay time and make it really aliasy sounding, and a CV input on the back that can do completely crazy things.

Casio SK-1 - honestly I think it's overrated, the sound is really muffled.

Casio SK-8 - like the SK-5 I used to have but with a ROMPack slot (like the PT-80) and better sounds- useful things instead of the stupid dog bark and surf sounds (only missing the nice chorus sound), and can be modified to play quartertone scales

Casio VA-10 - This is awesome, basically 6 voices of SNES quality sounds, plus a mic input and what basically amounts to an ultra lo-fi version of the Yamaha REX50. Reverbs, delays, flange, chorus, pitch shift, tremolo, distortion, and vocoder. With the mic it can do all kinds of crazy feedback noises. Contrary to what some have said, the vocoder is an actual vocoder, not just an envelope follower (though it's not particularly sophisticated). Also there's a pitch follower, enabling the creation of aleatoric music from radio broadcasts. And there's a sequencer with an interesting function- it can create auto-accompanyment backing tracks from a monophonic melody, but most of the time it doesn't really end up making anything useful. I'll try to record impulse responses of the reverbs at some point.

Yamaha VSS-200 - nicer than the Casio samplers, with a real envelope and bi-directional looping, sample overwriting, etc. 6 voices of FM and 4 voices of samples. But, as you may know, the smaller and simpler VSS-30 has some additional features (arpeggio patterns, ability to edit the presets without sampling, etc.), so which is better? I did a bit of hacking and found out that the VSS-200 actually contains a complete VSS-30, and a bunch of weirdly thrown-together hardware that adds the FM chip wtih rhythms, demo song, auto-accompanyment, etc. and disables some of the VSS-30 things to keep them from interfering. With some modifications it can do some very bizarre things- it can actually play two demo songs at the same time, or play the FM auto-accompanyment with the VSS-30's arpeggios completely independently.

Yamaha PCS-30 - really basic ugly brown keyboard, with a playcard slot (I don't have any playcards and my driver's license didn't do anything) and a really nice tone (like the Bontempi keyboard). Nice sounding auto-accompanyment, too. The CPU is a Zilog Z-80.

Yongmei YM-250A - completely ridiculous crappy chinese monophonic keyboard. Yongmei is very likely the world's worst keyboard maker, luckily they got something right with this one- there aren't any features to malfunction (not even a volume control). With new batteries, it's really, really loud. With old batteries, it sounds like some kind of dying animal.

Tapco 4400 - ancient spring reverb, mine was made in 1977. There are two channels, each with a 4-spring Accutronics tank (type 8, medium decay), and a 4-band equalizer. 4 rack spaces, thick sheet metal case, crappy plastic sliders, and an analog VU meter). It was damaged in shipping but I fixed it. It's actually not that noisy, just typically muffled and springy sounding.

Dave Smith Instruments Evolver - expensive for me considering I'd never before spent more than $250 on a synth, but very worth it. Very nice sounds, Very *very* nice modulation matrix, etc.

also...DIY passive ring mod kit, modified 8-track player, circuit bent alarm clock/radio, V-Tech keyboard, no-name brand red keyboard...etc.


This page wasn't designed to be pretty, just to give some info (and sound samples and pictures if I have them) about the synths (and other things) that I've used, for anyone interested. I try to go into a lot of detail to give a good idea of what the gear is capable of and how it sounds. It's not my main home page or anything like that, just a source of information.

The demos tend to be kind of weird because most of the short recordings I have handy that feature only one synth tend to be either quick little exercises or the most perverse and evil sounds I can program. But they're good examples of the capabilities that something has when pushed far enough.

Since this is hosted on Geocities, there's not much webspace, so I'm somewhat limited in the number of mp3s and pictures I can post. Also there are bandwidth restrictions- only 4 MB can be downloaded per hour before the site shuts down. This a big problem with the pictures but be patient if you want to get the mp3s.

Anyway, the synth index can be found here, and some additional mp3s that couldn't fit on this page are here

If anyone finds glaring misinformation, stupid typos, contradictions, otherwise horrendous errors, or if someone has additional information about anything, valuable links to include, general comments, whatever, contact me here.

Also, be sure to check the wanted page here if you've got a lot of documentation/obscure synths lying around.

Sealed's Deep Synthesis Page: a sort of inspiration for this page, contains precious info on some rare synths.
WarrantyVoid tablehooters collection: circuit bending guide and a LARGE collection of toy keyboards with in-depth descriptions.
JVC Keyboards and Organs: lots of info about keyboards that I never knew existed.
Bluesynths - analogue synthesizer: what this site could be, if I had more webspace and synths that were actually desireable.
Synth Mania: Still missing a lot of information, but very ambitious (demo recordings of all preset sounds, etc.)
my music
my photography
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