MATRIXSYNTH: Mystery Synths

Showing posts with label Mystery Synths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mystery Synths. Show all posts

Monday, October 09, 2023

DIY Mystery Modular

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

If you have any ideas on this one, feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mystery Vintage Drum Machine Spotted in "What We Started" Documentary

Update: video added above.

This one was spotted by @DyLAB

It comes in at 11:36 in "What We Started" on Netflix. Cool documentary with tons of synth spotting BTW.

Anyone know what it is? I thought it might be a mixer but in the film you can see the LEDs moving left to right as in a sequencer.

As some of you know Moby was a huge collector of drum machine. He sold them off in 2018. I captured them here. What's pictured to the left here isn't in that post. If you know what it is, leave a comment.

Update: and it's an ETA Stage Lighting System 1234 controller. Thanks to those that left a comment.

Some pics and details via this auction

"Professional lighting system comes with 8 channel 4 scene ETA Stage Lighting System 1234 controller with ETA 1235 remote footswitch stage controller. Two Model 1250 600 watt dimmer packs, two tripod stands and light bars, 8 PAR 56 light cans with slides and gels, cables and chords Controller can be used by sound board with 50 ft snake to stage remote override. All channels can be individually dimmed. Controlller has both scene and channel chase features, fade to black. Channel and scene chase can be triggered remotely with an input from a sound board."

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Omar El Shariyi Oriental Music & a Mystery Synth


Anyone ID the synth? It reminds me of a Moog Sonic V, but that's clearly not it. Update: found it! :) It just clicked.  Funny how that happens.

This one surprisingly came to my inbox via I found the video above from WEWANTSOUNDS who also has it for sale. For those with gift cards to burn you can find it on Amazon as well. Do your due dilligence on price, shipping, etc...

Details from the video above:


Wewantsounds is delighted to announce the reissue of Ammar El Sherei's superb instrumental album “Oriental Music” from 1976. Here, the iconic Egyptian musician and composer revisits six classic compositions by another Egyptian legend, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, in his own hypnotic way. This reissue has been newly remastered and comes in its beautiful original artwork."

Some pics of the cover and back.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

KATOD, Adamstan84 & Yugol - Main theme from "Golden Axe" - live @ '80s Synth Invasion vol. 3


Anyone ID the white desktop synth? Update: found it here.

"Kolejna wersja tego kultowego kawałka na moim kanale - chyba już czwarta ;)

Głównodowodzący @KATOD_music (Commodore 64, syntezatory, gitara), na Hammondzie Kamil "Yugol" Groblewicz z Wrocławia, no i ja coś tam dogrywam na swoich syntezatorach. Hammond Kamila wniósł fajny pazur do tego utworu."


"Another version of this cult piece on my channel - probably the fourth one;)

Chieftain @KATOD_music (Commodore 64, synthesizers, guitar), on Hammond Kamil "Yugol" Groblewicz from Wrocław, and I play something on my synthesizers. Kamila's Hammond brought a cool claw to this piece. "

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Poly Midi 1 Micro Sequencer

Published on May 27, 2020 deepeightyeight

Anyone recognize this one? I asked deepeightyeight and all I got was a ♥️. It looks old and familiar but my brain is not working at the moment. :)

Update: Found the following video of a white one. Apparently it's from 1984. Is the brand Micro Performance or R-Madness? Note the video is from a Dr Ralf Madness. Is this his design? Did he create a custom front panel with R-Madness on it?...
Update2: See the Micro Performance label and more will be revealed, at least on the black one. :)
Update3: and some info here:

Digital sequencer Micro performance Poly MIDI-1 replacing battery

Published on Oct 20, 2018 Dr Ralf Madness

"This is how to replace battery on this rare french vintage sequencer from 1984. it's a digital 5 tracks and 2 songs sequencer.

Music 'Journey in a sad man's mind part II' by Dr Ralf Madness.I own the rights of this track."

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Rise of Listening Bars: Barcelona | Resident Advisor x Asahi Super Dry

Published on Dec 19, 2019 Resident Advisor

Anyone ID what that is at 3:16? One pitch wheel and a few knobs on the right. Shape reminds me of an SH-101, Teisco 110f, original Novation BassStation, or Access Virus. It's clearly not any of them. MIDI controller? That's the only synth content in this one, but cool idea and cool video. Giving this one the Mystery Synths label.

"The past few years have seen a wave of listening bars opening across Europe. Taking inspiration from Japan's culture of audiophile venues, these spots put a unique twist on a long-standing tradition, creating an environment for discovering music that appeals to hi-fi obsessives and casual listeners alike.

The Rise of Listening Bars: Barcelona

"We are in a Mediterranean city—at some point people want to chat." Guille De Juan, owner of Barcelona venue Curtis, knows it's impossible to replicate a Japanese-style, no-talking-allowed listening bar in his home city. Instead, he's built a space inspired by Japan's audiophile venues but adapted to Barcelona's buzzy atmosphere.
Curtis, which opened in 2018, also takes inspiration from a source closer to home: Nica, a Barcelona audiophile venue with an impressive programme of DJs and live acts.

Barcelona isn't the only city where listening bar culture is taking root. You will find them in Stockholm, Amsterdam, Istanbul and London. (The previous film in this series told the story of London's influential Brilliant Corners.) These spots put a unique twist on a long-standing tradition, creating an environment for discovering music that appeals to hi-fi obsessives and casual listeners alike.

Produced by Resident Advisor in partnership with Asahi Super Dry Beer.

Visit the series home on RA:"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anvil Synthesizers "The Anvil" Digital Percussion Synthesizer Circa 1985

1985 E&MM article scan in via noyzelab. You can find additional scans of Electronics & Music Maker at noyzelab's site here.

"You probably don’t need me to tell you that it takes a good deal of nerve to enter into the commercial arena of hi-tech musical instruments, especially if you’re an unknown name and attempting R&D on a shoestring budget. Yet that’s exactly what a new British company, Anvil Synthesisers, have tried to achieve with their advanced digital drum machine, the Anvil."

Note this is the first Anvil post on MATRIXSYNTH.

Side note: I was curious what happened to Electronics & Music Maker and did a lookup on Wikipedia. There isn't an article on the magazine however it was mentioned in a number of other articles including one on Mark Jenkins who has been featured here on MATRIXSYNTH a few times. Mark was the Music Editor for the magazine.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mystery Synth - Korg 700s/770 Prototype?

Published on Apr 15, 2013

"I found this "mystery synth" at a garage sale this weekend. It appears very similar to a Korg 700s, but upon closer examination there are clear differences. The second oscillator has it's own waveform and pitch selector, for example. And the style of sliders and controls are certainly different than those found on a 700s.

If you know anything about this instrument, please let me know!

At any rate it's a great sounding synth!"

This one in via via Dan Goldstein who found the synth. Talk about an amazing find.
Click here for a pic of the inside of a Mini-KORG 700.  Update: also click here for one more.  Note two of the boards appear to match but this mystery synth has one more. I couldn't find any of the inside of a 770 to compare.  If you search for KORG 770 or KORG 700s you will see the controls are similar but different.  With that we are left with two possibilities, this is either a very nicely done DIY synth composed of vintage KORG parts or a KORG prototype that fell somewhere within the 700 series.

And details also posted on gearslutz: "Here's everything I know about it:

I found this instrument on CraigsList, posted at a garage sale here in Las Vegas. The seller said that he'd purchased it on eBay not knowing what it was, and that he believed it was "built by a guy that worked at Ibanez." That was all the provenance that he was able to provide. The instrument was clearly so bizarre that I had to take it home and find out more about it. It does work, mostly, and it certainly has a unique sound despite it's incredibly strange architecture, which I'll describe below.

I opened it up, eagerly hoping for clues about its origins, but what I found deepened the mystery further. As you can see in the photos below, the circuity of this synthesizer is totally discreet. There are some metal can-style Op Amps, namely 741HC and MN131A, which would seem to date this in the early 70s. There are no markings of any sort on the circuit boards, just hand-labeled numbers by the patch points on the circuit boards. I can't find any sort of name anywhere, though the words "Made In Japan" are on the 1/4" output panel.

The architecture of this instrument is incredibly bizarre. It features two standard oscillators. Oscillator one has triangle, square, and sawtooth waveforms, plus a "Chorus 1" and "Chorus 2" setting that seem to be chorused sawtooth waves. Oscillator two features triangle, square, sawtooth, a thinner square wave, and reverse sawtooth. Then there's a third sort of oscillator, which is switchable between noise and what I think is some sort of ring-modulator that operates on Oscillator One. There's a global tuning knob but no fine-tune knobs for the oscillators.

Things get weird after that. There's an attack-release envelope for the VCA, and that's the only envelope you get. There's a resonant low-pass filter and a resonant high-pass filter, but no resonance knob, so you're stuck with a single cutoff control for each filter. The low and high cutoff filters are sort of "ganged" together so that you can't move the Lowpass cutoff above the Highpass cutoff - they move together once they meet, if that makes sense. There's an LFO that seems to be fixed at a triangle wave, and it can be routed to frequency or filter or both, and there's some sort of vibrato delay switch that doesn't seem to do anything. There's also a Repeat switch and speed control that will cause the envelope to retrigger, which is pretty cool. There are some other bizarre controls too, including a "Bright" switch that makes the sound brighter, an "Expand" switch that doesn't really do much of anything, and a "Bender" switch that causes notes to quickly bend up to the pressed key (I remember a similar feature on the Roland VP330, for example).

There's a 3-position sustain switch that goes from "Short" to "Long" and determines if the envelope continues after you've released a key. It works fine, but as soon as you release a key the frequency of the note played drops to some lower, random value. Perhaps the sample-and-hold is not working right.

The cabinet and design is clearly Minimoog inspired, but it's not a Minimoog case. My first thought was that this was a home-made synth of some kind but I'm very doubtful after spending time with it. The silkscreening is very professionally done, the cabinet is all custom-made with interesting angles. There's even a sort of thumb screw on the bottom that lets you lock down the folding-up synth portion of the instrument for transport. Everything about the instrument seems to suggest it was professionally made. The only outputs are a Low and High audio output. There are no inputs at all, no bend wheel or mod wheel, though there's clearly space for such a thing. The lack of basic features (i.e. sustain & release envelope stages, fine tune, resonance amount, etc.) and the addition of unusual features (repeat, bender, etc.) make for one odd combination. And the fact that I can't find any label anywhere makes this a serious synthesizer mystery.

I've owned an awful lot of analog synthesizers and have read decades worth of magazines and web sites, and I've never seen anything like this. Does anyone here have any insight at all into what this might be? Perhaps it's a kit synth from the 70s, like a PAIA design of some kind? Perhaps this was a prototype for a product that never got built? The components date it to the early 70s, so perhaps some company was attempting to challenge the Minimoog and decided against it? If anyone has any information at all on what this could be, I'd sure appreciate it! I'm happy to answer any questions about this synth."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vintage Analog Synthesizer 70s Project Synth

via this auction

"An Analogue modular type Synthesizer. In all honesty I can't tell you too much about it. It powers up and I can get it to generate White noise out of the noise output.

It seems to be modular in it's operation and I don't know what im doing in that regard. So for all I know by plugging in a few ins and outs it could be generating some fat pulses and sounds. It looks like something that should on the control panel of the tardis."

Pic of the inside below.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vintage Anonymous Monster Analogue Modular

via The MATRIXSYNTH Lounge, via Low Brow Eye where you'll find a pic of the inside and additional info.

"It’s pretty strange and non-conformist, just how I like ‘em: dual manual keyboard with oh-so-many unlabelled performance control switches, built-in spring reverb tank, spade terminals for direct connection to a speaker instead of a normal line output, many switches and knobs hanging unconnected to balance out the spate of unpopulated fascia holes, uncommon markings, 5 pin DIN for the microphone input amplifier (that dates it somewhat), and on and on."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mystery Synth in NIN's Gave Up Video

flickr By robert_rex_jackson

Screen grab at 2:39 below. What's at :49? Looks like an Akai VX600 with extended keys.

Nine Inch Nails: Gave Up (1992)
YouTube Uploaded by ninofficial on Mar 11, 2009

"'Gave Up' performance video. Filmed at the Tate House with special guest Marilyn Manson. Directed by Jon Reiss."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

JRS Mystery Modular?

This one in via Jeff of The Tangeant Project. Anyone know what it is?

Some bits from Jeff:
"I have a collection of odd old modular things that a friend had salvaged from the UMASS music department dumpster. He gave them to me a couple years ago and I have no idea what they are or what they do. I've attached a pic of one of them [i have 3 of this module and another different thing - a VCA bank if I recall]. I searched high and low and nobody can identify them - the closest anyone came was some sort of custom made 'daisy' modular, but that was not even a solid bit of info. They are not in good condition - all the barrier strips for powering them are missing and some chip sockets are empty, but the internal wiring seems to be intact and most of the boards are fully populated. They are just collecting dust in my basement."

Followed with the second image:
"The only identification i have found is an etching with the letters 'JRS' on all of them, and this module seems to be a "PWG-2" ['pulse wave generator'?].

So it's some sort of JRS modular system that is a mystery to everyone - a friend even contacted some people in academia that worked at UMASS and one of them said they recalled seeing it but never used it or knew what it did.

I've just been so afraid to do ANTHING with these, as i can't even tell what they need voltage/current-wise. i suppose somebody with more electronics chops than i could look at some of the volatage ratings on components[caps, resistors] and make a decent guess and not blow it up, but that person is not me. Of the 3 of this particular box, a couple have hand-written labels on them that say 'clock bad' and that would seem to be a major function, but who knows..."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Vintage Moog Clone?

via David Bulog on the AH list:

"Hi I just got this modular synth today Any clues as to which kitset this was built from --the front panels look professionally made A minimoog was driving it I believe"

followed by:

"A moog modular keyboard was driving it -(not a minimoog as first thought)--uses the same connector as moog keyboard my guess the circuit is a clone of parts of system 55 Im going to obtain the keyboard then i will see how I go my first thoughts are new knobs and recover the case with some black Roland vinyl "

Definitely looks DIY. If anyone has any info on this, feel free to comment or shoot me an email. My contact info is in the bottom right of the site.

Update: It could be an ENS based synth. Via Gino on AH: "Moogs used Cinch Jones connectors and and really old ones had round hi density screw thread connectors on their modulars. They usually only used about 6 pins unless you had VCA and EG knobbage on your controller From the look of that thing I would get it recapped and recalibrated before i ran it for very long, especially if it is an ENS1 based synth."

You can find some info on ENS here, specifically the ENS-76 VCO.

Update: pic of the inside below.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Professor William Hoskins and His Mystery Moog

Pictured to the left is Professor William Hoskins (via). What you see there is not the mystery Moog, but his Moog modular system. This post is about another Moog synth, one most likely based on the Sonic VI. If you have any information on what this synth might be after reading this, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. My contact info is on the bottom right of the site. I have already contacted Michelle Moog-Koussa and Brian Kehew author of Kaleidoscope Eyes A Day in the Life of Sgt. Pepper, as well as Trevor Pinch, author of Analog Days [Amazon hardcover & paperback, preview on Google books], and featured in this exclusive post. I also contacted James Husted of Synthwerks, George Mattson of Mattson Mini Modular, Steven Jones of Synthwood, and Carbon111, all of whom know their synth history. None were familiar with what the synth might be.

The story: I was recently contacted by a Paul Rego with the following:

"I've been searching the Internet for over a year now and have not been able find a specific synth. Since you seem to know and work with every type of synth known, I thought I'd ask you...

Around 1973 - 1974, I took private synthesizer lessons at Jacksonville University (Florida). The instructor was Professor William Hoskins and the synth was a custom Studio Moog assembled by Professor Hoskins.

One day, Professor Hoskins showed me his personal, portable synthesizer. He brought out what looked like a brown suitcase. When he opened it, I saw a Moog Sonic VI.

This is nothing new. I've seen lots of images of this synth on the Internet. The one aspect of this particular synth, that I cannot find anywhere, is that it had a touch-sensitive keyboard. The keyboard was made of plastic and had a gray / brown color. Outlining the keys (showing the location of the 'white' and 'black' keys) was an almost medium blue color (about an eighth-inch thick). (He and I tinkered with this synth for about a half-hour to an hour.)

Professor Hoskins passed away several years ago, so I can't ask him about it. I did contact his family but they don't remember anything about this synth.

I do remember Professor Hoskins telling me that he and Bob Moog had 'gone to school together'. I think he was referring to electronics school but I never asked him more about it. I thought I had read somewhere that Professor Hoskins and Bob Moog had briefly worked together on a Sonic VI prototype but I don't know if that's true. (Even if what I saw was a prototype, someone has to own it now and should be proud enough of it to post some photos somewhere.)

I thought the background story might help in your own research on this.

Basically, I'd just like to know if this synth ever existed or am I just not remembering it correctly.

Thank you for your time and attention."

My first obvious guess considering the blue was the Buchla Music Easel or separate Buchla touchplate keyboard modded into the case of a Sonic VI. I sent Paul a couple of links to various images.

Paul replied: "the synth I saw didn't look like the Buchla Easel. Good call though.

The 'blue', which outlined the keys on the Sonic VI I saw was a bit lighter in color than the blue in your photos and maybe had a bit of green in it (closer to turquoise). There was no red or other color on the keyboard (that I can remember) and the entire keyboard seemed to be one piece of plastic with only the blue / green outlines separating the 'keys'.

I also read a story recently about the time when Musonics bought Moog and had a synth ('Sonic V'?) of their own, at that time, but I haven't research this too much yet. One thought I had was the synth I saw was something from Musonics but was never officially released (until it had the 'Moog' name placed on it). I'm pretty sure the synth I saw had the 'Moog' logo and the word 'Sonic VI'. (Not 100% sure but it seems clear in my memory.)"

I also sent Paul images of the EMS Synthi AKS. Paul replied it was the closest, but definitely not it.

I contacted Michelle Moog-Koussa and Brian Kehew to see if they knew of anything. Michelle replied: "...I can tell you that we have several of William Hoskins reel-to-reel tapes in the archives, so there was obviously a significant professional relationship between he and Bob.

I don't ever remember reading anything about the Sonic VI, but maybe Brian does. One thing I can tell you for sure is that Dad began working with John Eaton in 1970 on the Multi-Touch Sensitive keyboard [left via]. The main component of the MTS was the touch-sensitive keyboard, of course. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Dad would have used his work with John to push boundaries on another project."

Brian replied: "Bob didn't design or build the original Sonic V (from Musonics before they bought Moog) that was Gene Zumchak: The Sonic V did have a brown wood style. It's even unlikely Bob did much on the Sonic Six as it was the same thing with a new outer case.

The Sonic VI was the version Moog made in 1972 and later, in a plastic suitcase version. Many of these were made vs the very few Sonic V's. So one might think they saw a Sonic VI when it was the V (same front panel and features). But the brown suitcase and colored keys and touch sensitive thing are ALL unusual. I know a little about Prof Hoskins from the paperwork of the past, but no mention of this synth. Definitely unusual to have keys like that anywhere, anytime!" Followed by: "And there IS touch (velocity) sensitivity on Wendy Carlos' synth by 1971 for Clockwork Orange, but it's used under the normal keyboard. THIS velocity was very possible, but would not make the keys look different. Again - maybe a Sonic V was retrofitted with a cooler keyboard later in the 80s, but why not do so on a BETTER synth!?" :)

On a separate thread, Trevor Pinch got back to me with the following: "Bill Hoskins was important in that he was one of the first people David VanKouvering approached about minimoog reiail sales etc. I have a good album of his somewhere! I think he may have been Bob's favorite composer for a while.

I have no idea about the touch key board but I'm in touch with Gene Zumchak the guy who designed the Sonic Six, so I'll ask him. (I guess you know the joke that the Sonic Six was known by Moog engineers as the Chronic Sick!)

Actually its story might be kinda interesting - Zummy (as he is known) told me that it was made with 741 op amps and in many ways was more advanced than the minimoog.
Maybe it has had an unfair press. I never heard one or saw one for real."

James Husted sent me the image of Professor Hoskins at the top of this post. I sent it to Paul to see if maybe it brought back any memories that might help.

He replied: "The custom Moog modular in that photo is the same one I took lessons on. However, this is an early photo and when I saw that Moog modular, Professor Hoskins had already added a top layer to that cabinet — which included a Moog sequencer. (I have a photo of it, that I took around 1990, but the top part of the photo, showing the upper section, is cut off.)

The reason you didn't see Professor Hoskins' 'Sonic VI' is... I'm guessing that he didn't bring it to the university very often. When I saw it, I was at his home. He had invited me over one Saturday afternoon to see HIS custom Moog modular. It was in his garage, which he had made-over into a nice studio. It also had a two-manual organ, at least two reel-to-reel tape decks and LOTS of recording tape. Later, during that same session, he said 'There's something else I want to show you. Come inside.' We went into the living room and I sat on the couch. He said 'I'll be right back.' After about a minute, he came back carrying a brown 'suitcase'. He set it on the coffee table in front of me and sat down on the couch. He opened it up and... Whoa! I had never seen one of these and it was the first time I had seen a Ring Modulator!


I remember seeing Professor Hoskins play his Sonic VI during a live performance of his album 'Galactic Fantasy / Eastern Reflections'. The Jacksonville University orchestra played most of his composition but at one point his Sonic VI was brought out and he played it while at center stage. I could see it clearly from my seat but, of course, I could only see the back of it, which simply looked like the back of a brown suitcase.


Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Since I think this is important, I thought I'd try to recreate the 'Sonic VI' I think I saw. I 'Photoshopped' a production Sonic VI and attached it to this message. It's the best image of what I think I saw.

Modifying the image forced my memory to go into more detail. Here's what I'm fairly certain of:
• The outer color of the "suitcase" was almost dark brown.
• The outer shape was more square than the production Sonic VI.
• The thickness of the top and bottom sections was thicker than the production Sonic VI model.
• The keyboard was made of slightly textured plastic, otherwise completely flat, was brown / gray in color and had a vibrant blue outline between the keys. (I'm not 100% sure if the "black" keys were outlined or solid blue.)
• The background color of the back panel and the area surrounding the keyboard was almost dark brown. It looked like it was made out of either pressed cardboard or thin wood. It really reminded me more of the thin 'wood' used in old, tube televisions and radios (during the 1960s).

What I'm not 'fairly sure' of:
• I can't remember if it had a Mod Wheel.
• I think there was more space between the modules.
• I think it had two speakers (placed on the left and right side of the back panel). Each might have been the size of the center speaker-grill in my photo.
• I can't remember if there were any connectors, switches or knobs on the keyboard section."

Update: via Aaron aka theglyph in the comments: "Holy shit! That's the guy from JU. There was an electronics repair/pawn shop here in Jacksonville called Active Electronics that had a bunch of synths back in 90's. The owner had a sign in the store explicitly stating that the synths were not for sale and that customers were not allowed to walk up and look at them or touch them. I walked in day and walked close enough to notice that the MiniMoogs had very low serial #'s. It wasn't until I read Analog Days that I found out that the earliest Mini were sold here in Jacksonville. There so much more to this story that I don't know where to begin but I can say that I did an obscure Moog at the store that I've never seen photographed since and I simply thought I was loosing my mind recollecting it. WOW!


Update: Above, Brian originally mentioned Bill Hemsath as the person that designed the Sonic V. He meant to say Gene Zumchak. This has been updated.

Updates: via Dorothy in the comments:
"HI, as a Hoskins kid, I watched Dad perform on the synthesizer and I know we had the Sonic but I thought it was a "V". Dad had several custom modules built for him by Bob Moog. They were friends but didn't go to school together -- Dad went to Trumansburg NY to work with Bob on the synthesizer that they got for Jacksonville University (in 1969, I think). I will have to go digging in the Will Hoskins letters that I have. Those of you who knew Dad know that he was very meticulous about writing up the components that he bought and what they were for.
Late in Dad's life, when he was basically letting go of most composing effort except for revising existing scores, Bob helped Dad find a collector (in Germany, as I recall), who bought all of Dad's big home synthesizer. I think some of the smaller units were in the hands of Steve Smith, who was Dad's right-hand man at the JU studio for some years. Whatever happened to them, I don't think Dad would have cared as long as someone was using them to create music. He wouldn't have collected synthesizers as museum pieces, he actively used everything he got from Moog until he was ready to let it go."

Followed by: "BTW, that last time I spoke to Bob Moog was after Dad died, when Bob came to Rochester NY which is near where I live now. Bob spoke very fondly of working with Dad, because Dad cared as much about the science of music synthesis as any composer Bob knew. Dad did some work with him on modulators and other components for JU and the Hoskins home studio."

Followed by: "Hoskins synth photo --not a Sonic -- in news article 1970 [link]"

Update 6/6/2010:

Some more interesting bits of Moog history:

Trevor Pinch checked with Gene Zumchak who had the following to say:

"I am not aware of a touch sensitive keyboard on the Sonic V or 6. It did have a two-note keyboard and the highest key pressed and lowest pressed could be routed to Osc 1 and Osc 2.

They removed the keyswitch bus and superimposed a highpitch (100KHz?) tone on the voltage string. This might have been the source of a whine that some users complained about that wasn't present in the Sonic V."

via Josh Brandt: 'Okay, I did hear back from David Mash [VP of IT at Berklee and friend of Bob Moog], who says that the story he was telling me several years ago was about a keyboard Bob was building for John Eaton. I asked about the story he'd told me and if the pictures you posted could be of the instrument he'd been talking about, and he said:

"The story I was no doubt telling was definitely about the keyboard Bob built for John Eaton [middle pic above]. Bob was going to show us the completed instrument (which my friends Jeff Tripp and Paul Derocco helped complete), but we never got to see it due to the way the conversation turned over dinner. I did see the instrument several times during the design/build stages and again later after it was complete.

The keyboard was simply a controller and not a synth, so definitely not the portable synth the blog is referring to. I know Brian, and was involved briefly with him and a bit more with Michelle Moog on the NAMM Museum exhibit, and they used a couple of my photos for the exhibit. They're great people and working hard to preserve Bob's legacy.'"

Update via WmJHeart in the comments:

"Thanks Matrix, for hosting this page. I own a copy of Will's Galactic Fantasy & Eastern Reflections (my personal favorite) recording on vinyl. But I also discovered and listened to the entire album on YouTube recently! Here:"

Galactic Fantasy - Eastern Reflections (1979)[Full Album]

video upload by

Published on Jul 12, 2017 TheHomecoming

"Rare electronic/synth/moog private pressing LP

TITLE 'Galactic Fantasy - Eastern Reflections'

William Hoskins, "Galactic Fantasy, Eastern Reflections" [CP-158]
TRACK 01 AUDIO TITLE "Overture : Stars Are Suns" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 00:00
TRACK 02 AUDIO TITLE "Intermezzo : Interplanetary Communique" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 06:39
TRACK 03 AUDIO TITLE "Star Nocturne" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 08:11
TRACK 04 AUDIO TITLE "Scherzo : Comets" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 16:35
TRACK 05 AUDIO TITLE "Beyond Beyond" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 18:54
TRACK 06 AUDIO TITLE "Prolog : Theme and Variation" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 23:40
TRACK 07 AUDIO TITLE "Lower Heterophonie" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 27:55
TRACK 08 AUDIO TITLE "Song : Open Skies" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 31:22
TRACK 09 AUDIO TITLE "Drum Chime" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 35:28
TRACK 10 AUDIO TITLE "Upper Heterophonie" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 39:41
TRACK 11 AUDIO TITLE "Epilog : Processional" PERFORMER "William Hoskins" INDEX 01 41:30

Overture: Stars Are Suns
Intermezzo: Interplanetary Communique
Star Nocturne
Scherzo: Comets
Beyond Beyond: An Entropy Study
Eastern Reflections
Eastern Reflections
Prolog: Theme and Variation
Lower Heterophonie
Song: Open Skies
Drum Chime
Upper Heterophonie
Epilog: Processional

Criminally under-rated set of Early American Moog Modular Synthesizer Music - the sole release by composer William Hoskins, the 'Director of Electronic Music and Composer-in-Residence at Jacksonville University in Florida.' Issued in 1979 by the Harriman, NY-based Spectrum - a 'Division of UNI-PRO Recordings, Inc.' the LP consists of a pair of discrete pieces, with each taking up a side of its own."

Update via Kimberly S Beasley in the comments:

"Hello, everyone. I am the current chair of the Department of Music at Jacksonville University and I have the original Sonic VI manuals and one of Hoskin's Moogs....happy to share photos tomorrow."

Kimberly sent in the images with the following:

"This has been in the possession of our Professor Emeritus Dr. William Schirmer as it was given to him by Hoskins. Hoskins' granddaughter Dorothy is also aware of the instrument. We also have a large collection of manuscripts of Hoskins.

There is also a mini-Moog we just refurbished in our recording studio."

You can see WM. Hoskins written on the top right of the manual. Note "Home Copy" on the blue cover. It's kind of neat to think of him perusing through the manual in the comfort of his home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mystery modular synthesizer - who made it? found in junk pile

YouTube via horchacha
"who made this thing i found at the electronics surplus/junk area?
holy crap it's cool! the power supply is lacking and there is a hum
on the powerline - i will work on that and get some knobs!

thanks mystery person!??!

please get in touch? any info anyone?

it has a paia midi2cv8 set to MIDI CC mode w/ buffers and atten on each
two cem 3394 Synth Voices - vco/vca/vcf x 2
noise source
a lag/lfo vcs type thing
a cosine/sine quadrature lfo
modular opamps
banana to 1/4"

all diy except the paia midi2cv8
sequence is from cgs seq switch sequencer
not using the midi yet

dave wright"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

SAILOR: 'All I Need is a Girl' - Mystery Keytar

Embedding is unfortunately disabled on this one, so click here to watch. Anyone know more about that keytar? Looks like a custom job.

via swissdoc: "found this nice big and heavy keytar while watching a German TV show from the past "Musikladen - TV Discotheque International", that show was aired for a longer time, that section is taken from 1978. Found the clip allready on youtube. It is actually Sailor with 'All I need is a girl'"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystery Sequencer

Currently up for auction on VEMIA. If you know more about this one, feel free to comment.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Silver Mystery Modular

Currently up for auction on VEMIA. If anyone knows more about this one feel free to comment or email me (contact info is on the bottom right of the site).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mystery Modular

Title link takes you to a post on where I found this. There is a link there to the forum with more images and discussion in German. If anyone knows more about this modular, feel free to comment.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Swedish Mystery Modular

Found this one on It looks like it's up for auction on this Swedish site. Anyone able to translate or have more info?

-Dual LFO : sinus, triangel och puls. symmetri funktion och sammanlagt 9 utgångar.
-Oscillator : 1V/oktav input. PW, PWM.
-Filter : utgångar för lågpass, bandpass och högpass filter.
-Envelope generator : ADSR med positiva och inverterade utgångar.
-VCA : stort telejack för utsignalen.

-Modulerna patchas ihop med labkablar.
-På baksidan sitter stora standard telejack för CV och GATE input.
-Ljud ut är också stort telejack.

-Säljes med ett MIDI interface som inte är med på bilden.
-Passar alla MIDI keyboards eller alla vanliga cv/gate synthar
-som har cv utgång med moog/roland standarden 1V/oktav.

-Patchkablar och svensk bruksanvisning följer med.
-Bara att koppla in och börja laborera med.

Patch n Tweak
Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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