Showing posts with label RIP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RIP. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2024

RIP Gert Jalass of Moon Modular

Some sad news sent my way via John L Rice who helped man the Moon Modular booth at NAMM every year. Gert Jalass, the man behind Moon Modular has passed away. I met Gert serveral times at NAMM and he was always a pleasure to talk to. He always welcomed me with a smile. He was genuinely passionate about synthesisers and the synth community. I haven't been able to make events lately and was looking forward to seeing him again. I'm so saddened that I won't be able to. I am sincerely going to miss him.

You can find posts featuring Gert here, and of course posts featuring Moon Modular here.

Musicianews NAMM 2011 Moon Modular Controller for Analog Synthesizers

Jan 2011 video upload by musicianews

The above is the first video featuring Gert on the site posted back in 2011.

The image of Gert above is from this 2019 video.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

RIP Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues & Streetly Electronics' Mellotron

video upload by Beat-Club

I heard the news on Marty Willson-Piper's Music of the Daze.

Mike Pinder was the keyboard player and a founding member of The Moody Blues. Prior to that he worked on the manufacturing of the first Mellotrons in the UK. According to, "Streetly Electronics are the original UK manufacturer of mellotrons and world experts in the instrument."

via Wikipedia:

"Between 1962-63 Pinder worked for 18 months as an engineer at Streetly Electronics, in Streetly, Birmingham, a factory manufacturing the first models of Mellotron in the UK.

In May 1964 Pinder left Streetly Electronics to co-found The Moody Blues with Ray Thomas, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick and Graeme Edge."

His impact becomes clear when you read the following from Music of the Daze:

"This from my friend Nicklas Barker, guitarist, singer and composer from Swedish proggers Anekdoten. He is also a connoisseur of the Mellotron:

'Very sad, imagine if he had not started working at the Mellotron factory and done something else before joining The Moody Blues and introducing the glorious Mellotron string sound to a wider audience through Nights in White Satin. What would have happened then? No King Crimson? He was also friends with John Lennon and introduced the Mellotron to him. No Strawberry Fields? Mike Pinder was the first, and the impact of his use of the Mellotron changed music history. He was also the greatest Mellotron player ever. Just listen to Out and In from To Our Children’s Children’s Children. He was the wizard of the astral orchestra.'"

via mellotron

"Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues and the Mk II"

Mike Pinder describes how the mellotron works

video upload by reversengr

"Mike Pinder describes how the mellotron works in the fabulous 'Live at Isle of Wight Festival (1970)' You really should buy this DVD, it's not only a great documentary but a wonderful concert film as well. The sound is surprisingly good, you will enjoy it."

Update via Atomic Shadow:

"Here's the Moody's live on French TV. You can really see/hear what Mike Pinder contributed to the sound of that band. Without him and the MK 2, they would have just been another guitar band. It's startling how much they sounded like the records live!"

The Moody Blues - Full Concert - French TV Special 1968 (Remastered)

video upload by BrunoSamppa

"Audio and Video Remastered by BrunoSamppa - Support me on KO-FI

1. Tuesday Afternoon 00:01
2. Nights in White Satin 04:54
3. Legend of a Mind (Part 3) 09:36
4. Bye Bye Bird 12:42
5. Fly Me High 17:33
6. I've Got a Dream 24:12
7. A Beautiful Dream 27:36
8. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood 31:49
9. Peak Hour 35:18
10. Nights in White Satin (Reprise) 41:38"

Sunday, August 27, 2023

RIP Barry Schmetter aka Resonant_Space

The following is in via Supporting member, Poorness Studios.

"I have some more bad news. My friend Barry Schmetter passed away earlier in the week. He died of a heart attack in his home. It's hitting me really hard so I just can't find the energy to sing a Sunday Song this week, but I will play a snippet from one of Barry's art installations."

Curium (a tribute to Barry Schmetter)
video upload by Musical Miscellany (Poorness Studios)

"Resonant_Space, aka Barry Schmetter is a Washington DC-based artist creating ambient and experimental electronic music using modular synthesizers and field recordings. He also creates sound and video installations, and video art."

The following is a playlist of Barry's synth related videos followed by his works on SoundCloud.

video uploads by resonant_space

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Jimmy Hotz, Inventor of the Hotz MIDI Translator Hardware and Software Has Passed Away

video upload by Hotz777

"Jimmy Hotz uses the Hotz Box to explore new musical frontiers of real-time performance. The Hotz Box was invented by Jimmy Hotz and first manufactured by Atari.

For more information about Jimmy Hotz and his music and inventions visit or the Hotz store at"

Image via Wikipedia

[1985 Jimmy Hotz (age 30)plays daughter Rains first keyboard]

credit: Gamegridrain - Own work

Sean McKee wrote in to let us know Jimmy Hotz, inventor of the Hotz MIDI Translator, passed away on June 5th of a heart attack.

"He created the rare and ahead of its time Hotz MIDI Translator hardware and software. If you remember I made a video about it. [video below]

End of an era. May he Rock In Peace."

From wikipedia:

Jimmy Hotz is an American inventor, record producer, recording engineer, electronic music pioneer, audio expert, author and musician.

Hotz began playing guitar at the age of seven.

He plays a number of instruments such as the guitar, keyboards, flute, drums and his own inventions such as the "Hotz Box" and the "Hotz MIDI Translator". Hotz has done a number of recordings where all of the instruments were played by him using only the Hotz Box as an input device.[1][2]

In the music business Jimmy Hotz has worked with Fleetwood Mac,[3] Dave Mason,[4][5] NSYNC,[6] Mobius 8 [7] B.B. King,[8] Yes, Jon Anderson,[9] Haven[10] and dozens of other recording artists as either a producer, engineer, mixer, studio musician, or musical instrument designer. Hotz was engineer and did programming on B.B. King's Grammy-nominated King of the Blues: 1989. Hotz was also the engineer on King's Grammy-nominated "Standing on the Edge of Love", for Best Contemporary Blues Recording in 1988 (from The Color of Money soundtrack).

You Rock Guitar featured a video of Jimmy playing their MIDI guitar through the Hotz Midi Translator software.[11]

In 2011 he released his debut novel, The Gates of Time.[12]

Hotz lived and worked in Southern California while developing his inventions.[13]

He is noted for his pioneering work with electronic music synthesizer MIDI controller development[14] / programming and as a technical consultant to Microsoft, Intel, Electronic Arts, Atari,[15][16] JBL and other concerns for new product development.

He is the inventor of the "Hotz Box", Hotz "MIDI vest" and the "Atari Hotz Box", "Hotz MIDI Translator",[17] computer software which has won interest and acclaim at the annual NAMM Show. Performers such as Mick Fleetwood, Jon Anderson, Paul Haslinger, Scott Gershin and others have been using Hotz products in their creative work.[9]

He is the inventor of numerous electronic devices and software innovations and has received three US Patents[18][19][20] in music technology.

As an expert in 3D computer graphics, Hotz was the chief visionary behind the 3dMAxMedia "Zuma Project",[6] assembling the team which developed the technology to manipulate 3D imagery in real-time with audio, MIDI and other real-time control devices).

"Zuma" won a 2001 Innovation award from Computer Graphics World Magazine and was used on the 2001 NSYNC PopOdyssey tour.[21]

Hotz Box MIDI Translator - The Original Theoryboard w/Polyphonic Aftertouch

video upload by Sean McKee - previously posted here

"A history, overview and tutorial of the very rare Hotz Box MIDI Translator hardware and software, invented by Jimmy Hotz. I decided to make this video because the only videos I found of this synth MIDI controller were of people playing the Hotz Box, but there was really no information out there on how it worked, and on forums it was very misunderstood. Hopefully this video will provide enough insights to educate people interested in this system and how it can be used. If you'd like to get a custom system built of any size, Jimmy can add polyphonic aftertouch and other features. For more information visit"

Jimmy Hotz playing the SpaceHarp through the Hotz Translator software.

video upload by Hotz777

"Jimmy Hotz playing the SpaceHarp through the Hotz Translator software. Jimmy quickly shows a variety of playing styles and sounds
The light rays have been enhanced to make the hand movements more clear.

To get your own SpaceHarp visit."

Monday, April 17, 2023

John Burdick of Grove Audio has Passed Away

Some sad news in via John L Rice.

We have lost John Burdick of Grove Audio.


John "Jack" Charles Burdick

Dec. 1, 1948 - March 22, 2023

RACINE - John "Jack" Charles Burdick, 74, passed away on March 22, 2023, at his residence.

Jack was born on December 1, 1948, in Racine to Milton and Frances (nee: Ferguson). After serving in the United States Army, he earned his BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. Jack was a member of the Racine Astronomical Society. He owned and operated Grove Audio in Cottage Grove. In his free time, Jack enjoyed astronomy, computer technology, photography, and music - he worked as a roadie for Jackson Browne and Chick Corea.

He is survived by his brother, Paul (Jeni) Burdick; sisters: Carol (Thomas) Rudey and Susan (Michael) Lambert; nephews: David (Casey) Rudey and Scott Rudey; aunt and uncle, John and Donna Ferguson; and other cousins, family members, and friends.

Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Milton and Frances Burdick.

A public celebration of life will be held in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to the Modine-Benstead Observatory in care of the Racine Astronomical Society.

Some pics of Grove Audio at Knobcon last year via their last post on Facebook on September 21, 2022 with the following:

"Knobcon Ten was a great event, once again. Thanks to all the people who made it the largest show in Knobcon history. Several friends dropped by the Grove Audio booth to see what we have new for this year. We emphasized new modules for 5U as part of a renewed effort to build the popular format. This effort also includes accessories to support new systems such as power supplies, cables, and cabinet options."

And a video with John from Synthtopia at Knobcon in 2018:

Grove Audio Expands Its 5U & Eurorack Modular Lines
video upload by Synthtopia

"At Knobcon 2018, we talked with John Burdick of Grove Audio, who makes a range of MOTM-compatible, Dotcom-compatible and Eurorack synth modules."

See teh Grove Audio label for additional posts.

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto Has Passed Away

via @KorgUSA

"We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Ryuichi Sakamoto. He was a trailblazing composer and producer who scored films such as the 'Last Emperor' and 'The Revenant' to name a few. He was a pioneer of electronic pop music by founding the 'Yellow Magic Orchestra' which produced hits on synthesizers and sequencers in the 70s and 80s. He will be missed 😔"

Indeed. He created magic.

Two of my favorites below.

via Wikipedia:

"Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一[a], Sakamoto Ryūichi, January 17, 1952 – March 28, 2023) was a Japanese composer, record producer, and actor who pursued a diverse range of styles as a solo artist and as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). With his bandmates Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, Sakamoto influenced and pioneered a number of electronic music genres.

Sakamoto began his career while at university in the 1970s as a session musician, producer, and arranger. His first major success came in 1978 as co-founder of YMO. He concurrently pursued a solo career, releasing the experimental electronic fusion album Thousand Knives in 1978. Two years later, he released the album B-2 Unit. It included the track "Riot in Lagos", which was significant in the development of electro and hip hop music. He went on to produce more solo records, and collaborate with many international artists, David Sylvian, Carsten Nicolai, Youssou N'Dour, and Fennesz among them. Sakamoto composed music for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and his composition "Energy Flow" (1999) was the first instrumental number-one single in Japan's Oricon charts history.

As a film-score composer, Sakamoto won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Grammy, and 2 Golden Globe Awards. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) marked his debut as both an actor and a film-score composer; its main theme was adapted into the single "Forbidden Colours" which became an international hit. His most successful work as a film composer was The Last Emperor (1987), after which he continued earning accolades composing for films such as The Sheltering Sky (1990), Little Buddha (1993), and The Revenant (2015). On occasion, Sakamoto also worked as a composer and a scenario writer on anime and video games. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Ministry of Culture of France for his contributions to music."
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

video upload by Decca Records

"Official music video for Ryuichi Sakamoto's 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence'."

YMO Technopolis Live

video upload by matrixsynth

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Herb Deutsch Has Passed Away

video upload by Moog Music Inc

Herb Deutsch passed away yesterday. He was born on Feb 9th, 1932, making him 90 at the time of his passing. If you come to this site you know who he is. You can find pages of posts featuring him here. He was constantly active in the synth community, from it's birth as the co-inventor of the Moog Synthesizer with Bob Moog, to this day. I thought I would share the recent GIANTS video featuring him above from February this year.

When the greats pass away, I like to capture images and bios at the time of their passing. To the left is Herb Deutsch's current Facebook profile image. Directly below that is the last update of his posted on December 7. Below that is an image from the Wikipia page for him with the text that immediately follows. Finally, below that are some images of him from the early days from Moog Music's Herb Deutsch Looks Back on the Early Days of Electronic Music tribute.

He and Morton Subotnick likely had the greatest influences on the design of synthesisers as we know them. Herb brought us the tonal influence via the keyboard as the direct interface for a synthsizer and Subotnick brought us atonal sound exploration akin to tape manipulation.

via Wikipedia

"Herbert A. Deutsch (February, 1932 - 9 December 2022[1]) was an American composer, inventor, and educator. Currently professor emeritus of electronic music and composition at Hofstra University, he is best known for co-inventing the Moog Synthesizer with Bob Moog in 1964.

Deutsch died on 9 December 2022.[2]

Herbert A. Deutsch (February, 1932 - 9 December 2022[1]) was an American composer, inventor, and educator. Currently professor emeritus of electronic music and composition at Hofstra University, he is best known for co-inventing the Moog Synthesizer with Bob Moog in 1964.

Early life and education
Deutsch was born in 1932 in Baldwin, Nassau County, New York. At the age of four, he first realized he had a musical gift. Through his childhood, he studied music and began composing at a young age. Deutsch attended the Manhattan School of Music, earning his B.A. and M.A. there.

Work with Moog
Deutsch had assembled a theremin based on Moog's design in 1962 and in November, 1963 he introduced himself to Moog at a music-education conference in Rochester, NY.[3] In 1964 Moog and Deutsch started investigating the possibilities of a new instrument to aid composers.[4] Deutsch has been credited with the keyboard interface of the Moog.[4] He composed the first piece ever for the Moog ("Jazz Images - A Worksong and Blues"[3]) and performed early Moog concerts at The Town Hall and The Museum of Modern Art in New York (1969's Jazz in the Garden [5]).[6] The prototype Moog synthesizer, developed by Bob Moog and Herbert Deutsch in 1964, is part of the collections of The Henry Ford museum.[7]

Deutsch was a dedicated educator. In the early 1970s he taught at St. Agnes High School in Rockville Centre, New York. He has taught at Hofstra University for over 50 years and was twice the chair of the music department. Deutsch co-founded the Long Island Composers Alliance in 1972, and worked with music foundation NYSSMA. In 1994 he proposed its Electronic Music Composition Showcase.[8]

via Moog Music's article Herb Deutsch Looks Back on the Early Days of Electronic Music

"On October 12, 1964, Bob Moog unveiled the first modular voltage-controlled synthesizer, an instrument that forever changed the course of modern music.

It began quietly, in 1964, when Bob Moog designed a new electronic instrument to composer Herb Deutsch's request. Herb wanted something to create complex and experimental sounds, tones not easily found from other instruments or with studio trickery. What Bob designed was not wholly new, it sprung from a powerful new combination of existing ideas. The concepts, when combined with some elegant design choices, made a very powerful and revolutionary new system. The new ideas found in the Moog synthesizer took several years to catch on, and it is likely even the first users had little idea what range the new instrument could truly offer."

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

RIP Rob Hordijk - Creator of the Blippoo Box, Benjolin, and Hordijk Modular Systems

video uploads by Pedro Trotz

"Rob Hordijk explains his modular designs at the European Electro Music Event 2012 that took place at Mallorca - Spain."

Sad news in via an anonymous reader today, who spotted the following from Pedro Trotz on Mod Wiggler. Those of you that have been following the site should be familiar with Rob Hordijk's work through numerous posts on the site. Two of his most famous creations were the Benjolin and Blippoo Box.

"I am deeply saddened to announce that my friend and mentor, Robert Ernst Hordjik, passed away earlier today. He was an important part of my life and I am sure also of many others here. He will be greatly missed.

I first met him in the Chateau Sonore event he organized in Belgium, in July 2007. There, lots of similar souls shared our passion for electronic music and electronic instruments. There was a lot of G2 and modular talk, but also performances, instrument demos, concerts, rehearsals... That's when I first heard of the Blippoo, one of his first creations that made him famous.

A few years later he started his work on the modular system that has his name. I felt so grateful for his initiative in Belgium that I couldn't help but planning a follow-up, this time in Mallorca. This time, our meeting had a lot less participants but it was an even better opportunity to make friendships that will last for a lifetime. I believe that in this meeting, in a trip we made to the north coast of the island, between the mountains of the Serra de Tramontana and the Mediterranean Sea, is when Rob decided that he wanted to retire to Mallorca. I can't blame him. It was the middle of January and we were having a pic-nic on the side of a curvy road facing the sea and enjoying what we natives call "the little summer" which is something that happens from time to time in mid-winter when the sea suddenly calms and temperatures rise up to 20 degrees Celsius.

We had a Benjolin workshop, we talked a lot about his design philosophy, and I was happy to record the first series of videos about his modular System. The ones you can find in my Youtube channel. After that series of videos I asked him to build a modular for me and soon enough he came back to Mallorca to deliver it in person.

During this visits I introduced him to Biyi and they automatically made a great connection. Biyi went a few times to The Hague to assist him in the building of Blippoos and modular systems. He even built his own under Rob's supervision. We all three had the idea to start a company in Mallorca where Rob would make the designs, Biyi build the stuff and I would take care of the business side of things. It was all set-up. As soon as his obligations in the Netherlands were fulfilled he would come to Mallorca. The moment arrived but almost at the same time his illness and COVID made things extra difficult.

In one of our talks he said to me that the Benjolin, the Blippoo and the Modular System were his dearest creations and that he was honored to have made so many people happy with them. Let's honor his memory by using them and making the most beautiful sound imaginable.

Farewell, my friend. I love you." - trotz

The following is from the Synth DIY wiki page on Hordijk.

Born in 1958, self described "synthesizer designer and builder,[3]" Rob Hordijk began learning electronics from around age 12 after developing a fascination with the glowing tubes in stereo amplifiers.[1][4] When he was 14 his father who had noticed young Rob's interest gave him a subscription to an electronics course, which lead to an examination for a ham radio license.

Trained as a designer and not a musician, Rob came from an arts background, studying as a sculptor and jeweler in the 1970s. He approached electronic music in a similar spirit to abstract painting, inspired by the ambient works of Brian Eno, and Luigi Russolo's Intonarumori instruments; where attempts were made to blur the boundaries between music and art:[1]

"In those days I was quite interested in the idea of sound as a material to be sculpted, in the same way you can sculpt wood and metal. [...] You can make mechanical objects that make all sorts of sounds, or you can make electronic objects that make all sorts of sounds. but what I like about the electronic objects is that you don't see what makes the sound. [...] It opens the way to sort of make it a bit mysterious."[1]

In the early 1980s as various integrated circuits, micro-controllers, and processors became available to hobbyists, Rob began buying things such as the early Curtis chips and RCA 1802 based SuperElf processor board out of curiosity more than professional ambition.[1][5] Later switching to an Apple ][+ and the Mountain Hardware Music System, for which he developed a Forth language version that could do all sorts of stuff with the Mountain cards, like KarplusStrong-type plucked string sounds and pitch shifting.[5] His first introduction to a DSP was to the DMX1000 around 1984. In 1986 he switched to Atari ST and an Akai S900.[5] These days he is a Clavia Nord Modular G2 aficionado.[5]

"I am not really a gear freak. But I do believe in mastering synthesis techniques, in making synthesis a second nature, so to be able to fully concentrate on the creative processes."[5]

After finishing art school, Rob also completed 11 years of study in Information Technology, learning about design methods and inventory control.[1] As well as his own instruments Rob worked on the Nord Modular G2 including contributing many patches to the Nord Modular online community, and wrote a comprehensive unofficial manual of the instrument. He has produced music for environments, buildings, film, and dance performances, but is yet to produce an official release on a label.[5] As of 2022 Rob has announced his retirement and will no longer be taking orders.[6]

Design Philosophy
Rob's personal definition of a modular synthesizer is more to do with modulation than modularity; referring to functional modules as 'sections'. Everything is supposed to be able to modulate or effect everything else. All levels within the system are optomised for comparability with one another.[1]

See for more.

Update via brian comnes: Hordijk info on synthesis: - quite in depth.

Monday, August 08, 2022

WMD Winding Down Production and Closing Shop w/ Announcement of Three New Modules

via WMD

3 new modules are available for preorder now! More info, and videos to come soon! Each of these products will be a limited run. Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Preorder today at
We also have some important and not so exciting news. Due to the state of the world, WMD is planning to wind down production and close by the end of the year. We have these new modules and a bit more stuff coming, but that’s all we can do. Please read the post linked in our bio before flooding the comments with questions.
Huge thanks to everyone that’s ever supported us, we appreciate it so, so much. We will be conducting biz as usual for the next few months, supporting products, firmware for Metron, attending Velocity, and Knobcon showing the new products and hanging with friends.
Freq Boutique and Patched Out will continue to happen as well. Come party with us tomorrow at Freq if you can!
Get your orders in, lots of stuff is discounted right now, please help us push through the next few months so we can land as smoothly as possible.
We love y’all.
#eurorack #modularsynth #modularsynthesizer


Note: I created a Global Chip Shortage label for businesses and products/projects impacted by the global supply chain issue. For companies going under I've added the RIP label for now as well. You can click on either to see other companies and products impacted.

Friday, July 22, 2022

EEHs Natural Sound Store Unit Zaunkönig Brochure - The FIRST Sampler w/ Realtime Time Stretching

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

This one was spotted and sent in via M Me. I beleive this to be the first post to feature the Zaunkönig/Zaunkoenig. EEH also made the Banana and the DS 500. I just like saying they made the banana. See the EEH label for more. Why it wasn't yellow or even yellowish green, we will never know...

via this auction

"Original brochure, allegedly only 2 devices were built. FIRST sampler with realtime time stretching. Was bought by Akai and in a stripped down version, without realtime, for the S 1000. So the wren is the father of the Akai S 1000"

Update: you can find an article in German on the Zaunkonig here.

Update2: scan of the brochure added below along with a close-up pic of the front of the Zaunkönig, in via an anonymous reader. Also some interesting background added.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Future Retro Closes Shop

via Future Retro

"Due to the current state of the world and global parts shortages we are forced to close our doors.

Thank you for 25 years of business, and all the relationships we had with our network of dealers and wonderful customers all around the world!"

Yet another synth manufacturer impacted by global supply chain shortages. Also see: Is Up for Sale

Mos-lab Switches to ARP 2500 Production Only - Moog Format Production Put on Hold

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 Is Up for Sale

The message to the left was posted on the Friends of Facebook group by the administrator, James Allen.

I reached out to Roger Arrick, and James at and James confirmed.

This is stunning news. is a leader in the 5U/MU/Moog modular market and have been around since before Eurorack took off. The first post on MATRIXSYNTH to mention them was a plain text post back on July 30 of 2005, just 10 days after this version of MATRIXSYNTH began. was founded in 1996.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Darwin Grosse of Cycling 74, 20 Objects and the Art + Music + Technology Podcast Has Passed Away

Some sad news sent my way via Joshua Shroyer, also feauted on Synthopia, where you'll find additional info on the impact Darwin Grosse has had in the synth community.

You should be familiar with his 20Objects Art + Music + Technology podcasts posted here on MATRIXSYNTH, as well as numerous other posts. His website is hosted at He also worked with Cycling 74 and participated in LEAF (Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival). The image to the left is from the LEAF website which has the following bio on him:

"Darwin Grosse works in a modular world, combining modular synthesizers, video tools and compositing software to combine minimalist visuals with generative soundscapes. Based out of Northfield, Minnesota, Darwin uses natural movement as source material for geometric visual pieces, and writes custom audio-reactive software for his multimedia work."

His final podcast from May 15, 2022:
video upload by 20Objects

"Unfortunately, today is the last day of podcasting for the Art + Music + Technology podcast. Health issues have gotten in the way, and it would be impossible to continue.

You can read the transcription of this article, as well as finding some interesting writing on my Patreon page:

Thank you for being such a great group of friends and supporters during this long series of music"

And the full run of Art + Music + Technology Podcast

And a playlist of tutorial videos hosted on his YouTube channel:

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Dave Smith Has Passed Away

I just heard the news.   
I am at a loss for words...

Update: I added some words below. As you likely are, I am in complete shock. Please be kind.

via @SequentialLLC

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died. If you’d like to share your thoughts and memories of Dave, please reach out to us on our website:"

Update: a statement from Sequential:

"American Synthesizer Pioneer and Sequential Founder Dave Smith Passes at 72

San Francisco, CA—June 1, 2022 — It is with great sadness that Sequential today shares the news that its founder, American synthesizer pioneer Dave Smith, has died. The company and his family take solace in the fact that Dave was on the road at the time of his passing, doing what he loved best, and in the company of family, friends, and artists.

Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll commented: “Dave’s passing is a great loss to not only the music community and music technology, but to the world itself. To say that he changed music is no exaggeration. Dave’s legacy is one of creative passion and a deep and lifelong love for music, music technology, and the musicians that continue to enrich our world by using his instruments. At 72 he was still actively designing his next generation of synths. At the same time, he had the foresight to mentor and build Sequential into a team that will continue his work and legacy without pause. Dave will be greatly missed, but his contributions to music will never be forgotten.”

Though Dave Smith and Sequential had been scheduled to appear at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim from June 3 to June 5, Sequential will now decline to participate out of respect for Dave Smith’s memory.

For those wishing to send condolences to the Smith family and share thoughts and memories of Dave and his creations, Sequential invites the public to send comments to

About Sequential
Originally launched in 2002 as Dave Smith Instruments, Sequential was founded by legendary electronic instrument designer Dave Smith and is helmed by respected audio and music industry veteran CEO David Gibbons. Dave Smith’s many accomplishments included the creation of the Prophet-5 — the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer — and his legacy as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)."


Some words: I am in complete shock. I don't know what to say. As you all know Dave was so vibrant and full of life. It's difficult for me to process that he is gone. I met Dave a few times at NAMM and he always had a smile on his face. He was always welcoming, honest, and supportive.

My first Sequential Circuits synth was a Multi-Trak, followed by a Six-Trak, Pro-One, Prophet-5, and finally a Prophet-VS. I picked up an Evolver desktop early on, and I picked up an OB-6 desktop after selling my OB-Xa.

As you know, there are two large Sequential banners on top of the site. Sequential (and previously DSI) has been the site's largest sponsor to date. They have supported the site since October 15, 2015. Knowing I had Dave Smith's support meant the world to me. It's a humbling experience to know one of your heroes believes in your work enough to support it. Running a site like this can be challenging as some people can be quick to judge, and it's impossible to please everyone. Whenever I have doubts I'd remind myself I do have people that appreciate and see value in what I do. Knowing Dave Smith was one of them meant the world to me. I'm just one individual he made an impact on. His genuine love for what he did, and his open, kind, approachable, supportive, and just fun demeanor made our world a better place. His instruments will continue to have a positive impact on others for generations to come.

If you ever want to know what the most difficult aspect of running a site like this is, it's this. It's when we lose our heroes and we have to post something that doesn't even come close to describing how incredible a person was to you. I don't know what to say... Just, the older we get, the more of our heroes pass, and the more we realize how short and precious life is. We are all running out of time. Cherish life and those you love. Make life better for yourself and for others. Appreciate life and appreciate your heroes. Don't dwell on those that refuse to see the best in you. Focus on those who do. Dave Smith was that to me and I will miss him so much.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode Has Passed Away

Andy Fletcher passed away today at the age of 60. I saw Depeche Mode live for the first time as a teenager back on July 14, 1986, at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheter in Irvine, CA. I grew up with their music and still listen to them to this day. They will always be a staple in my life. I have Andy Fletcher and the rest of Depeche Mode to thank for so much magic in my life on so many levels, from being a kid frolicking about in the 80s, to an adult dealing with the trials a tribulations of the day. Depeche Mode is a big part of that and Andy Fletcher was core to the band. He will be sorely missed by so many of us.

This post features two images of Andy. One from Wikipedia, and one from Discogs. The following bio is from Wikipedia. Don't miss the last sentence.

"Andrew John Leonard Fletcher (8 July 1961 – c. 26 May 2022), sometimes known as Fletch, was an English keyboard player, DJ, and a founding member of the electronic band Depeche Mode. In 2020, Fletcher was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Depeche Mode.[1]

In the late 1970s, Fletcher and schoolmate Vince Clarke formed the short-lived band No Romance in China, in which Fletcher played bass guitar. In 1980, Fletcher met Martin Gore at the Van Gogh pub on Paycocke Road in Basildon. With Clarke, the trio, now all on synthesizer, formed another group called Composition of Sound.[2] Clarke served as chief songwriter and also provided lead vocals until singer Dave Gahan was recruited into the band later that year, after which they adopted the name Depeche Mode at Gahan's suggestion.[3] Clarke left the group in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell.[2]

Their 1982 follow-up album, A Broken Frame, was recorded as a trio, with Gore taking over primary songwriting duties.[4] Musician and producer Alan Wilder joined the band in late 1982 and the group continued as a quartet until Wilder's departure in 1995. From then on, the core trio of Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher remained active, up to the release of their 2017 album Spirit and ensuing world tour.[5]

Fletcher's role within Depeche Mode was often a topic of speculation. In early incarnations of the band, he played (electric and later synth) bass. As the band evolved after Vince Clarke's departure in 1981, Fletcher's role changed as each of the band members took to the areas that suited them and benefited the band collectively. In a key scene in D.A. Pennebaker's 1989 documentary film about the band, Fletcher clarified these roles: "Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around."

Andy Fletcher and Daniel Miller talking about Depeche Mode early days

video upload by Michele Bisceglia

"This interview was shot in november 2015, but never edited and published.
We were in Verbier, Switzerland, for the 3 days happening Audi-o-Rama.
Depeche Mode founding member and keyboardist Fletch & Mute Records boss Miller remember the day they met and discuss other stories about the early days of the band"

A search on the first video to feature Depeche Mode comes up with the following 1981 performance from Top of the Pops. Andy Fletcher is on the Moog Prodigy.

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough 1981

video upload by memorylane1980s

The following is a live tribue by DX5. If you follow the site you should be familiar with his numerous covers of Depeche Mode. This site is about synths and the people who love synths. This is the first tribute I've seen by a fan of Depeche Mode and I wanted to include it.

Andy (Fletch) Fletcher, has sadly passed away today :( :( Chat and synth tribute to him.

video upload by DX5

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Vangelis Has Passed Away

Some sad news in via Soviet Space Child, spotted on The Gaurdian. Vangelis has passed away at the age of 79. You all know who he is and the influence he has had on the synth world.

The image to the left was taken at the premiere of El Greco in 2007 and is the image used for his Wikipedia page, which includes the following:

"Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 50 albums, Vangelis is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of electronic music.

Vangelis began his career working with several pop bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx and Aphrodite's Child, with the latter's album 666 (1972) going on to be recognized as a progressive-psychedelic rock classic. Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed scores for several animal documentaries, including L'Apocalypse des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In 1975 he set up his new 16-track studio, Nemo Studios in London, which he named his 'laboratory'. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo released several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.

In 1980, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The soundtrack's single, the film's theme, also reached the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners' medal presentation ceremonies.[1] He also composed the official anthem of the 2002 FIFA World Cup held in Korea and Japan."

There are endless videos and performances of Vangelis. I thought I would share the following classics.

Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire - 1981

video upload by VangelisVEVO

Blade Runner • Main Theme • Vangelis - 1982

video upload by HD Film Tributes

"Soundtrack from the 1982 Ridley Scott film "Blade Runner" with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, William Sanderson, Joe Turkel, Brion James, Joanna Cassidy & Daryl Hannah."

Vangelis & CS80

video uploads by ANDREASROCKY

You can find additional posts featuring Vangelis here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Klaus Schulze Has Passed Away

Klaus Schulze passed away yesterday at the age of 74.

via Discogs

"Born August 4th 1947 in Berlin, died April 26th 2022, was a german electronic pioneer, composer and musician. Schulze initially made his mark as a drummer, first with the group Psy Free, later with Tangerine Dream (he played on their first album "Electronic Meditation" before he quit) and Ash Ra Tempel (with Manuel Göttsching). In 1971 Schulze started a solo career as an electronic musician and released a couple of heavily experimental albums, 'Irrlicht' and 'Cyborg'. 1973's 'Cyborg' was the first release where he used a 'real' synthesizer, the legendary VCS 3 and later in the 70's he would record albums such as 'Moondawn', 'Mirage' and 'X' and embark on several tours, documented across a number of live albums.

In 1978 he set up the label Innovative Communication and the following year he also launched the pseudonym/project Richard Wahnfried. In the 1980's Schulze continued his hectic release schedule as well as recording several soundtracks and rebuilding his studio (he "went digital" in 1986). In summer 1983 Klaus Schulze 'sold' Innovative Communication.

In the 1990's Schulze recorded several electronic interpretations of works by classical composers (most notably Wagner) as well as collaborating with opera singers and other classical music performers on his own albums. He also started collaborating with German ambient/techno artist Pete Namlook in the series 'The Dark Side Of The Moog' on the latter's Fax label, and steered the Wahnfried project into a more modern techno- and trance-inspired direction.

Schulze '...passed away on April 26, 2022 at the age of 74 after a long disease but all of a sudden'. - statement from his social media pages."

You can find numerous posts mentioning Klaus Schulze over the years here. Below are a few better known performances featuring his work from early on to a more recent performance with Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard.

Klaus Schulze with his rack of Quasimidi Polymorphs built to his specifications.
Klaus Schulze Live 1977 better image & sound

video upload by Relena Bonasoro

Klaus Schulze Live - WDR Köln 1977

Klaus Schulze Live - WDR Köln 1977 video upload by

Klaus Schulze talks about, and demonstrates, his first synth an EMS Synthi A

video upload by Synthasy2000

Klaus Schulze - A few Minutes after trancefer

video upload by Electronic Progression

Klaus Schulze Feat. Lisa Gerrard - Rheingold

video upload by Ioannis Gourgoulidis

via @moogmusicinc

"A pioneer of electronic sound, Klaus Schulze and his contributions to the synthesizer community and modern music as we know it will continue to inspire for generations.

Thank you, Klaus, for showing the world how truly human electronic music can be.


Photo credit: Klaus D. Mueller

This image was taken in Berlin in 1976 according to Till Kopper @realqwave. That would have made him 28 or 29 at the time depending on the month taken.

Update: also see Klaus Schulze: A tribute to his music and legacy

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Jon Appleton: A Tribute

video upload by CatSynth TV

"We pay tribute to composer and electronic music pioneer Jon Appleton who passed away on January 30, 2022. He founded the Dartmouth Electronic Music Studio and later the graduate program in digital music, where we was a teacher and mentor to many composers and musicians over the year. He was instrumental in creating the Synclavier synthesizers from New England Digital, and raised the profile of electro-acoustic music in the United States through societies like SEAMUS and his numerous teaching residencies. We at CatSynth send our thoughts to his family, friends, and colleagues.

To learn more about his life and legacy, please visit his website"

Jon Appleton: In His Own Words

video upload by Jon Appleton

"An interview with composer Jon Appleton filmed at his Vermont residence.

Made with Void Engineering"

Music for Synclavier and Other Digital Systems: With Jon Appleton, Composer

You can find additional posts mentioning Jon Appleton here.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Sequential Prophet 10 Clips by Default Corporation | RIP Felice Manzo of LEMI

Sequential Prophet 10 - Bass and drums video upload by Default Corporation

"A bass from scratch (P10 it's very simple to program) with Beringer RD8 and Korg Nu-Tekt NTS1" Sequential Prophet 10 - Play random notes with stereo delay
video upload by Default Corporation

"Sequential Prophet 10 and Korg Nu-tekt (stereo delay only)
I think hardware synths are like a acoustic instruments. Like a piano or a guitar.
I don't know what i play but i like what i listen.

thanks for watch"

Sequential Prophet 10 - My first touch

video upload by Default Corporation

some time ago, I'll promise to my friend Felice Manzo of LEMI (italian Sequencial distributor) one day i will have a Prophet 10.
Mr. Felice Manzo, sadly, left us in October 2021"

You can find additional posts featuring Felice Manzo here on MATRIXSYNTH.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Richard H Kirk: A tribute to his music and legacy

video upload by CatSynth TV

"We pay tribute to the pioneering electronic musician Richard H Kirk, passed away on September 21, 2021. He was a member of the group Cabaret Voltaire, whose mix of experimental electronics and dada sensibilities was very influential in the 1970s, and work in the 1980s combining electronics and pop elements influenced industrial music. Kirk continued to record and perform as a solo artist from the 1990s onward. He reformed Cabaret Voltaire as a solo project in 2009.

We send our thoughts to his family, friends, and collaborators."

Cabaret Voltaire ‎– The Dada Man

video upload by svspls

"Cabaret Voltaire ‎– 1974-76 (1980 / 1992)"

Cabaret Voltaire - Voice Of America (Celebration)

video upload by jmj321

"From the Granada arts program 'Celebration', broadcast in 1980. Unfortunately the Cabs were at the end of the program and cut short somewhat."

Featuring the EMS SYNTHI Hi-Fli


video upload by vicoland

"Classic song from the pioners of the industrial rock."

Sweet Exorcist - Testone

video upload by Galgo23

"1990 promo directed by Jarvis Cocker"

"Sweet Exorcist Testone. 1990 single charting at #85 in the UK in February 1990. Official music video 90s 90's if everything's ready here on the dark side of the moon play the five tones house techno test one. ohnoitisnathan" w/ DJ Parrot

Featuring the EMS SYNTHI VCS 3 / The Putney

Richard H. Kirk - November X-Ray Mexico

video upload by

"'November X-Ray Mexico' appears on 'Virtual State' (WARP19) by Richard H. Kirk, his first solo album for Warp released 31st January 1994."

Human Spirit

video upload by Sandoz - Topic


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

© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.