MATRIXSYNTH: Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year From MATRIXSYNTH! - A Quick Look Back at 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!

This post is a little late going up, but better late than never! :)

I'm going to keep this one a little shorter than usual as I am aware I have a tendency to get a little too wordy at times.

First of all, I want to thank you all for taking a little bit of your day out to visit the site. I want to thank those that contribute to the synthesizer scene and actually give me something to post! Finally, I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all the individual supporters of the site, and the sponsors you see on the right and above! Your support literally makes the site as it is possible!


And a look back at 2016...

Update: I forgot to mention, we had a total of 13,679 posts in 2016!
Update2: also, as always take a look back at the exclusive label for the most interesting bits of synth history.

First a look back at some of the people (and companions) we lost last in 2016.

2016 was rough. On the maker front we lost Don Buchla, who along with Bob Moog, was undoubtably the creator of the synthesizer as we know it today. We lost Ray Wilson of Music From Outer Space, arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, influencers in synth DIY. Many makers out there started with his projects.

On the musician front we lost some of synths' greats including Keith Emerson, Isao Tomita, Bernie Worrell and Jean-Jacques Perrey. We lost a couple of pioneers of electronic music as well, namely Jean-Claude Risset and Pauline Oliveros.

The following is the list:

David Bowie - January 10, 2016
Else Marie Pade - January 18, 2016
Stanley Lunetta - March 3, 2016
Keith Emerson - March 11, 2016
Isao Tomita - May 5, 2016
Bernie Worrell - June 24, 2016
Ray Wilson - July 21, 2016
Don Buchla - September 14, 2016
DJ Spank-Spank - September 21, 2016
Jean-Jacques Perrey - November 4, 2016
Jean-Claude Risset - November 21, 2016
Pauline Oliveros - November 24, 2016

And never to be excluded, a couple of the companions we lost:

nonlinear circuit's Bill - March, 2016
CatSynth's Luna - October 31, 2016

Note the above are only those I could tie in with synths. Two artists you might notice missing are Prince and George Michael. Both deserve a mention. Prince I could have tied in with an Oberheim connection. I still remember lusting after an OB-8 after seeing his videos in the 80s.

RIP posts are the hardest to write. Not only because you are mourning the loss of someone great, but because you know your post will never be good enough.

As for new gear in 2016, you might have noticed all of the "New in 2016" labels that have gone up in posts throughout the year. I created the labels back in 2015 as a means to keep track of all the new gear coming in. I also thought it would be a quick, easy, and interesting way to get total counts of everything at the end of the year. Here are the numbers (links will take you to posts for each):

New in 2016 (753)
New Cases in 2016 (18)
New Controllers in 2016 (38)
New DIY in 2016 (108)
New Makers in 2016 (101)
New Mobile Apps in 2016 (65)
New Modules in 2016 (299)
New Old in 2016 (21)
New Soft Synths in 2016 (55)
New Sound Machines in 2016 (34)
New Sound Packs in 2016 (24)
New Synth Effects in 2016 (9)
New Synths in 2016 (112)
New Tools in 2016 (51)

Note, as with anything, labels can be a little tricky. Sometimes there will be overlap, sometimes items will be announced one year, but released in another if at all, and of course, if I'm not made aware of an item it gets missed. You'll likely see a few items from 2015 in the 2016 list for that reason. I also found it can be difficult to categorize certain items. Drum machines for example get bucketed under synths, but I think for 2017 I will create a new label for them and just use both.

All that said, if you look at the numbers above we had 753 new products/items appear on the site last year. Always of notable interest were the items from vintage synth history that were never featured on the site before. Last year there were 21. An interesting side note is that matches the 21 we had the year prior in 2015. I won't go into any in detail as you can take a look at the label yourself and as I mentioned above I'm going to try and keep this post short. You can check out any of the categories above.  Also worth noting is there were 101 new makers to the site in 2016!  Check them out via the link above.

I was never one for top 10 lists, as although they can be fun, I'm a firm believer that all gear has something to offer. It's up to us to use the gear and find out. That said I do think it's worth mentioning some of the major synth releases this year. Not only does it gives us a quick look at what the major players released but it also lets us see when they were released in the year.  The following is a quick list:

  1. Korg Minilogue - January 8
  2. Yamaha Montage AWM2 & FM-X - January 11
  3. Clavia Nord Piano 3 - January 18 & January 21
  4. Roland A-01 - January 19
  5. Korg Limited Edition Kronos Platinum
  6. Make Noise 0-Coast - January 20
  7. Artuia MatrixBrute - January 21
  8. Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 - January 21
  9. Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators - January 21
  10. MFB Tanzamus & Tanzbar Lite - January 22
  11. Mellotron Micro - January 22
  12. Modal 008 Rack - January 25
  13. Anyware Instruments Modulator - March 23
  14. Nord Drum 3/3P - April 4
  15. New Minimoog Model D - May 18
  16. Moog Brother From Another Mother - May 18
  17. Audiothingies Micromonster - May 27
  18. Mini GRP A2 - May 28
  19. DSI OB-6 Desktop - June 22 & June 23
  20. Mode Machines ADX1 - June 28
  21. New Black Oberheim TVS - June 28
  22. Ninstrument SynthBoy+ July 2
  23. Behringer Deepmind 12 - July 7
  24. New Red & Blue Korg Electribes v2 - July 20
  25. Yamaha FM Synth for iOS - July 21
  26. Jomox Alpha Base - July 23
  27. Korg Desktop Odysseys - August 28
  28. Percussa Remote - August 29
  29. KORG MicroKORG-S - August 31
  30. Korg Volca Kick - August 31
  31. KORG Odyssey Desktop Modules - August 31
  32. Roland System-8 - September 3 and September 9
  33. Roland TR-09 & TB-03 - September 3
  34. Roland VP-03 - September 3
  35. Synthstrom Audio Deluge - September 8
  36. CMS 2607 - September 23
  37. Dreadbox Murmox V2 - September 25
  38. Arturia Drumbrute - October 7
  39. Bastl Instruments Kastle - October 7
  40. Korg Monologue - November 1
  41. Full Size Korg Arp Odyssey Keboards - November 4
  42. Cyclone Analogic TR-606 Clone - November 16
  43. Tangible Waves AE Modular - November 16
  44. Modal Electronics CRAFTSynth - November 18
  45. Cyclone Analogic TT-78 - November 23
  46. The White Schmidt Synthesizer - November 25
  47. Plankton Electronics Ants! - December 9
  48. Dreadbox NYX - December 15
  49. Cyclone Analogic TT-303 MK2 - December 15

Note this is only 49 of the 112 items in the new synths in 2016 category. I'd recommend checking them all out.

What stood out for you in 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017? Leave a comment or two below.

I want to end this with a humble thank you to everyone that makes this site what it is!

Thank you and Happy New Year!!!  On to 2017!

Dekrispator port free-running mode on Gecho

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Gecho Loopsynth

"This is a demonstration of Gecho Loopsynth board compatibility with existing software written for official STM32F4 boards. Code used is 'Dekrispator' by Xavier Halgand:"

Memorymoog Plus SN 3014

via this auction

"MIDI IN/OUT/Through

4000 note real time /5000 note step time sequencer (I think they are the right amount of notes) controlled by doubling up the buttons in the MODULATION section, on the plus model these buttons are whiter, like the keypad buttons.

It is also possible to control via the sequencer a monosynth from CV out of the memorymoog plus . . . so you could have the MM playing chords and a lead line played out to a minimoog or similar via control voltage.

Extra clock in and clock outs for control of the sequencer and tempo sync to external divises via analog click/smpte.

Revised autotune circuits, and updated power supply making the memorymoog plus apparently more stable and in tune then the standard memorymoog."

Roland Juno 106 Vintage Analog Synth SN 493772

via this auction

Electro-Harmonix - Mini Synthesizer iOS App Review - Midiverse - TV - MVM #56

Published on Jan 1, 2017 MIDI-VERSE TV

"What's up everybody? Welcome to Midiverse - TV. Today we're going to be checking out an iOS app from Electro-Harmonix, The Mini Synthesizer.

We'll quickly talk about the layout, then plug in our MIDI controller and scroll through some of the preset patches.

Electro-Harmonix Mini Synthesizer iOS App is available now in the App Store for $4.99."

iTunes: Mini Synthesizer - Electro-Harmonix


Published on Jan 1, 2017 Marcin Staniszewski

"This is a review of BELGRAD filter - eurorack module made by XAOC DEVICES ( The review also appears in January 2017 issue of 'Estrada i Studio' - biggest Polish monthly magazine devoted to music production and studio equipment."

Introducing Metalphoto of Cincinnati

You might have noticed there's a new banner up top just below the DSI banner. I'd like to welcome Metalphoto of Cincinnati as a new sponsor of the site! Metalphoto of Cincinnati makes custom panels for a number of manufacturers including eurorack makers you are likely familiar with. Note they do offer other products as well, so see their home page for more. The following is a blurb on their panel manufacturing from their site:

"Our custom equipment front panels are designed to withstand use and abuse in the most demanding recording and performance environments. We supply the professional audio equipment industry with custom faceplates for modular synthesizers, eurorack modules, MIDI equipment, mixers, amplifiers and other equipment.

MPC equipment front panels are made of durable, high-resolution Metalphoto® photosensitive anodized aluminum. MPC has the capabilities to fabricate Metalphoto to your specifications including forming, bending and cutting - plus various attachment options including studs, adhesives or fasteners.


All panels are made from corrosion resistant 1100 alloy anodized aluminum.
Panels are fabricated to exacting specifications including thickness, size, shape, openings, etc.
Color options include black, silver, halftones or spot color – all on a satin or matte aluminum background.

MPC builds custom front panels for several leading equipment manufacturers including:

Intellijel Designs Inc.
Pittsburgh Modular
Make Noise Co.
Yorkville Sound
4MS Pedals"

DSI Poly Evolver PE Upgrade

Published on Jan 1, 2017 astralboy79

"Instructions how to upgrade the poly evolver keyboard to the PE ( potentiometer edition ) version from the earlier stock version

The upgrade kit and knobs can be purchased from DSI"

I Feel Love (Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder)

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Randy Piscione

"I suppose it's a rite of passage to do 'I Feel Love' on your synth setup, so I figured it was time. Music track is live, video is snippets I put together. Lots of modules involved. I usually like to do drums without drum modules but cheated here. Bass drum is a Tea Kick, snare is a combination of Tea Kick and noise. Pad is a bit over-the-top, a combination of 7 Shruthis, Preen FM, Roland Alpha Juno 2 and Roland A90-EX."

New Tiptop Audio ONE Eurorack Module Demo

And we have our first new module teaser of 2017. Click here or a WAV file of Tiptop Audio's upcoming module ONE. Note two of them are used in the demo.

New Year 2017 - Sequence

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Bruno Ender Lee

Performed live by Bruno Ender Lee, Jan.1.2017 with: Studio-88, MiniMoog Voyager (OS), Roland Juno-106"

'Old Ways' - ngarjuna | 'Minor Harm' - ngarjuna

Published on Jan 1, 2017 ngarjuna

"Modular Jam 63 - 'Old Ways'
Produced by ngarjuna
© 2017 Acid Coast

Bass Patches

Main Lead
Rene driving STO and Rubicon
Rubicon getting TZMF from STO SIN dynamically modulated by Octocontroller, Sym modulated by Octocontroller, hard SYNC to SUB of STO; SIN out to Optomix
STO VARI out to Optomix with SHAPE up (but not modulated)
Into Instant Lofi Junky getting external shape from Wogglebug SMOOTH

Sequencer 1 CVs (1&2) sequencing scale changes and note rotation respectively
Into Instant Lofi Junky getting some Octocontroller modulation to the C/Lofi circuit

Off Lead
Rene driving the STO getting dynamic FM (via uVCA modulated by Maths) DAMP modulated by PEG, FM by Rubicon
Rubicon is being cross modulated by STO (hard SYNC to STO SUB, FM'd by STO SIN)
to Optomix enveloped by Maths

Sync Lead
Rene driving Cranial Saw receiving Maths env to CV2 out to Optomix enveloped by Maths
To the Proco Rat for more dirt

iSpark & Cytomic The Drop"

'Minor Harm' - ngarjuna

Published on Jan 1, 2017

"Modular Jam 64 - 'Minor Harm'
Produced by ngarjuna
© 2017 Acid Coast

Octocontroller modulating ROTATE
SMR into Instant Lofi Junky modulated C/Lofi by Octocontroller
The wacky reaction during the bridge was from stopping the Octocontroller's clock

West Coast Pluck Chords
Polyrhythmic chord sequence using three tracks
16 step pattern Rene driving STO
STO SHAPE modulated by Wogglebug SMOOTH
STO into Optomix struck by trigger and enveloped by Maths
Output to Synthrotek Eko
10 step pattern
5 step pattern

West Coast Mayhem Lead
Sequencer 1 (Random Walk) driving Sputnik 2
Sputnik SIN FM'd by STO (driven by Rene) going into Timbre modulated by Octocontroller
Timbre to Optomix enveloped by Maths
Into Instant Lofi Junky with manual modulation (wiggling) to Wet/Dry

Angry Bees Patch
Wogglebug RING MOD to Polaris HPF
to Optomix enveloped by teh Maths
Wogglebug CLOCK MOD by Octocontroller, RING MOD IN from Sputnik 2 (driven by Rene) HEART IN from STO SIN (driven by Rene)
Into Instant Lofi Junky

iSpark and Cytomic The Drop
Fills in Jamstix/Jamcussion"

9 x 1 - (Happy 2017 from Quincas X ! )

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Quincas Moreira

"First jam of the year 2017, done right after midnight :)
ØCoast, Benjolin, Soundlab MK2, DS-8, Elements, Eurorack"

last...modular jam

Published on Dec 30, 2016 widy75

"last modular synth jam for this year. Started at night from scratch with no plan at all and had a lot of fun, finaly i did one record in the morning next day. All recorded in one shot with 2 cam's. Pad is from minilogue, kind of clap from microbrute, both are not in the video...have fun and a happy new year"

Korg MicroPreset (MP-500), modded by Oakley Sound

via this auction

An totally updated version of the venerable MP: the professionally done mods add separate VCF/VCA envelope controls as well as filter controls for the two filters inside the unit. Has the classic Korg-35 sound, while also being able to make some really unique bass and lead tones.

This is a totally one of a kind unit, which you will probably never see again! Cosmetically it is in very good condition, with only very superficial marks around the base (see photos for condition).

Runs on a standard 12V external power supply (I can include the original UK version which needs a step up converter to operate, or you can provide your own).

(Photos are by Tony Allgood, who did the original mods...)"

Roland HS-60

via this auction

"The Roland HS-60 is essentially a Juno-106 with built in speakers. Same sounds, features, etc. Its easy to program, good midi features, and has a true analog quality.

The HS-60 features analog six-voice polyphony and is fully programable with one digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) per voice. A very smooth and rich 24dB/oct analog lowpass resonant filter with self-oscillating possibilities and a non-resonant highpass filter. The programable pitch/mod bender can be routed to control the DCO pitch, VCF cutoff, and LFO amount all at once or individually.

This particular synth is in fantastic condition, everything works perfectly and sounds great. Comes with power cable. Will be securely packed and shipped for safe travel to it's future owner!"

Yamaha DX100 SN 22067

via this auction

"Yamaha DX100 49-key Synthesizer with BC1 Breath Controller, Midi Cable, Original Yamaha Power Adapter, Original Hard Copy Manuals, in excellent Condition..."

Simmons SDS-V ~Analog Drum Synthesizer

via this auction

"Simons SDS V. Has some wear scuffs on the outside but works fine.

One module is just a blank tom tom module. No electronics behind that panel."

Waldorf Microwave XT Synthesizer

via this auction

"Waldorf Microwave XT in great condition rarely used. Version 2.33 software. All knobs and buttons function normal."

maasijam volcasession #04 - Volca (Bass, Keys, Sample, FM), Ambient improvisation

Published on Jan 1, 2017 maasijam

"All sounds coming from the KORG Volcas (Bass, Keys, FM, Sample) . I only use the internal stepsequencer of the volcas. For each volca there is an "External Instruments" track in Ableton Live - so I can switch between them with the Launch Controll XL. Each track has an arpeggiator, beat repeater, reverb and delay, which I can control via Launch Control and MPK. Ableton Live sends MIDI Clock to the volcas (Splitted by the MIDI Merger).

Ableton Live 9
Korg Volca Keys
Korg Volca Sample
Korg Volca Bass
Korg Volca FM
Launch Control XL
Akai MPK Mini
ValhallaRoom (I love it)
NI Replika (Delay)
MIDI Merger Miditemp PMM-88
DIY Arduino MIDI Converter (for triggering volca sample with the mpk)
Steinberg UR-44

Recorded directly on a Tascam DR07 MK2."

Tangerine Dream - White eagle 2017

Published on Jan 1, 2017 graal7

TD white eagle
play by graal7

Korg iWavestation The BIG Soundtest for the iPad

Published on Jan 1, 2017 thesoundtestroom

"You can get the Korg iWavestation here at the App Store

Please help support thesoundtestroom by becoming a Patreon for as little as $1 a month.
You will also have access to exclusive Patreon only content and videos.

Check Out Doug Woods And Colin Powell At Bandcamp Too If You Like Progressive Rock

Microkorg Free Sound Bank Preview : No added FX

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Todd Smith

"This is a preview of my Free Microkorg Sound Bank I've been working on over the last few months. Some of these sounds I've used in my live jams. In this video I play with the first 10 sounds in my Free Microkorg Sound Bank. I'll work to get this Free Microkorg Sound Bank out ASAP.

You can support me at bandcamp :

: Gear Used :

Korg Microkorg
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 ( audio Interface )
Ableton Live 8 ( digital mixer / recorder )"

Three O' Nine (Roland Boutique TR-09 TB-03)

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Calle Nilsson

"Minimal acid. The Roland Boutique TR-09 and the TB-03.
Audio, ZOOMH4n
Video, GoPro Hero 4"

MFB Tanzbar & Roland TB03 Bass Line

Published on Jan 1, 2017 3rdStoreyChemist

"Jamming with the TR09 drum machine and a TB03 synthesiser synced together (TR09 MIDI Out to TB03 MIDI In).

No further processing except for normalisation."

Patchblocks - Acid Synthesizer patch demo

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Terrible Beat

Dreadbox erebus + novation circuit + eurorack + nord 5D + critter & guitari video scope

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Andy Pidcock

"Well this has taken a while but this brings together lot's of my gear all in one take for your pleasure and there where a few takes ! as Vangelis says 'if it's not good enough do another one'

The direct audio is just the live stereo feed from my mixer, no re-mixing it really is live. Anyway following is a list of gear, hope it helps the gear nut's out there !

Eurorack (just the modules used in this piece) - Erica synths black varishape VCO 1, Erica synths black Polivoks VCF, make noise maths, Qu-bit RT60 effects. The eurorack gear is providing the main drone but the star of this is the polivoks VCF which is adding all those great harmonic overtones with some long lush reverb from the RT 60. Intellijel rack.

Novation circuit - drums, bass. The circuit is also midi'd to the two erebus units one is doubling up on the bass part the other is used for the faster riff providing some movement in the mid/top end.
Circuit and erebus all in a great rack made by

Nord Elecro 5D - Piano/synth pad using the internal reverb.

Live video effect is the critter & guitari black and white video scope. - this has many patterns you can use but I like this one - it's simple !

Video and audio all put together in serif movie plus X6

All played by me and watched by you."

Nyls (Drumbrute, Microbrute Electribe, Kaossilator)

Published on Jan 1, 2017 Jan Zatloukal

New Year live minimal set.

Arturia Drumbrute
Arturia Microbrute
Korg Electribe Sampler
Korg Kaossilator Pro
Maxkie Mix12FX

Wendy and her Pets

via @moogmusic

"Happy #CVSunday & 2017--may it be a year of fearless pioneering & joyful experimentation. 📷: forbiddenboner on IG"

Synths count as pets too, right?

Berlin style 12-31-2016

Published on Dec 31, 2016 SynthMania

"Berlin school style with modular. Happy New Year!"


And the last post of 2016 night, 2017 day, featuring a 5U modular system. BTW, I did not save this for the last post. Running the site, you never know what will come in at the last moment. My official MATRIXSYNTH New Years post will come in sometime tomorrow. I will do my best to keep this year's post short, but you never know. :) I'm usually sparse with my commentary in other people's posts, but when mine go up they never seem to end... I will try this year though. Sleep well tonight. 2017 starts tomorrow.

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