MATRIXSYNTH: A Zen-Bro romance told in resonant screams

Thursday, April 18, 2024

A Zen-Bro romance told in resonant screams

video upload by Richard DeHove

"I have a bad habit of cranking the resonance on any machine I touch. It's so ingrained I did it at a friend's studio a little while back on an unfamiliar synth - and after a brief shriek decaying to an air-moving whomp I thanked the gods that the volume was set so low. I've used so many Polivoks-style filters in recent times I'm used to cranking the resonance with impunity.

Which brings me to the delicate love story between the Erica Synths Zen delay and the Behringer Pro-800. My trusty Rev2 is for sale and in its place I bought the Pro-800. Why trade down you may ask? Truth is I'm not a big poly player. The more polyphony you use the more simple the sound needs to be, in which case I wanted a simple yet knobby poly, and that's the Pro-800. Added bonus: no onboard effects. So when the Pro-800 arrived this week I teamed it with the Zen delay immediately.

So the romance is revealed: A brand new Pro-800 teamed with the Zen delay. The 800 is switched on for the first time, the resonance is cranked, the Zen's input drive and overdrive is engaged and almost immediately this gloriously jagged, gritty, and unpredictable darkness pours out.

Five minutes of first-time noodlings is a bit much I admit. And I was going to say all this over the top of the video but that felt wrong, like ads in a funeral service. So instead here it is. It is literally the first time I ever powered it on, to the point where I didn't even know how to save the sound or know whether I'm in tune, on the upside I pretty sure moved every knob and switch so if you want to replicate the sound, there it is.

Even so the 800's resonance is not fully cranked, I had to back off a little just to retain the ability to hold an actual melody.

Whether the 800 is good for anything else, who knows - I haven't got past this sound yet and I must look up how to save it. What's clear though is that the 800's filter teams beautifully with some heavy drive. I can feel more teamings in the air - perhaps another stereo 'Roger That' outing?

One final thing worth mentioning: the Zen delay cost significantly more than the Pro-800. Makes you wonder where your synth dollar is best spent.

Lots of downloads for supporters on Patreon: / richarddehove
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