MATRIXSYNTH: Handbag by The Cripples

Monday, March 22, 2021

Handbag by The Cripples

New classic synth punk from Seattle band, The Cripples.

The release is available on BandCamp and Spotify.

released March 14, 2021

Erik - Bass
Ross - Synth, Vocals
Greg - Synth, Guitar, Vocals
Reba - Drums

Mastered by Nathan Moody at Obsidian Sound. Cover art by Tyler Bosch

PS: Bandcamp doesn't allow covers, so "Push It" is a placeholder. Contact us if you want a copy. It is on Spotify.

I asked The Cripples member Greg what synths were used and he replied with the following:

"Main synths used throughout were a Roland SH-101 or Microkorg through a fuzz factory. A Novation A Station through a Sherman Filterbank was used along side the Roland for tracks 3 and 4. There is also a Nord Micromod on track 2 (also through the Sherman), and a little bit of a Dave Smith Pro 2 on track 3.

The Roland and Microkorg were mostly recorded direct, the other synths were mic’d up through a sputtering 50 year old Ampeg V-2 with blown tubes.

The Sherman is probably the biggest part of how my synth sounds, more than the A Station, but the amp and mic make a huge difference in how it sounds too, as the Sherman has a super hot output, and combined with Ampeg’s tube distortion, gets this overdrivey/filter type of distortion, where it isn’t just clipping the signal into a square wave, it instead retains the characteristics of the A Station input signal, but it adds harmonics and also some random ‘chug’ to the signal, as the tones from both the Sherman and the Ampeg are super frequency and amplitude dependent, and the distortion characteristic wanders around as the input signal decays. The Ampeg also filters out some high frequency content of the A-Station signal. And the Coles mic sounds full and big, and not harsh or boxy like a guitar cabinet mic’d with 57 can sometimes sound, but at the same time having the synth going through a cabinet in a room keeps taking up too much frequency space in the mix, so drums and bass and Ross’s keyboard can all still be heard without doing too much wacky equalization during mixing. (Mixing keyboards with real drums and bass is hard.) The Ampeg is super unreliable at this point though, it is probably at least 50 years old at this point, and it randomly spouts orange flames. I need to take it in to get fixed, but it will probably cost me at least 350 to do so, so it mostly sits."

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