Many years ago (1978 i think it was) I was in a band called Eclipse. We had an audition for the newly revived Jack Good Oh Boy Show.
Our keyboard player who played a Fender Rhodes piano borrowed a Minimoog from a friend for the occasion. Nobody owned synths back in those days. They were just too expensive so we had no experience of them.
The audition started and we were up ready to play our song. It plodded along averagely until it got to the keyboard player’s solo which was normally a tinkly electric piano thing, whereupon he let rip with the Minimoog. The other guitarist and I stopped in our tracks and looked at each other, jaws agape. Man what a sound. From that day on I vowed that one day I would own a Moog synth.
Well… fast forward to December 2016 and that has finally happened. I bought this little fella as a Christmas present to myself (see image).
On my recordings up until now I have been using the various synth plugins that come with Logic and to be fair they do sound really good but… a real analogue synth is in another league altogether and it’s not just the sounds. Having no presets means you have to create the sounds from scratch by twiddling knobs. I much prefer doing this. Instead of working through a bank of presets going “no-next-no-next-no-next-that’s close enough” you do end up learning how to tweak the filters, envelopes and waveforms to get close to the sound in your head. It occasionally drifts off tune as well and you have to tune it. As a guitarist I feel entirely comfortable with doing this. It makes it somehow seem more organic.
More interestingly, owning a real synth has had the effect of making me question other parts of my recording signal chain. I almost immediately stopped using the Line 6 Amplifi TT for recording guitar and went back to miking up my small Vox amp. I have no built in guitar effects anymore so I have ended up buying myself a Wampler delay pedal to use with it which has a fabulously warm and very analogue sound.
I now realise just how thin and lifeless some of my guitar recordings were before and having the Moog for some of the keyboard parts has certainly added a whole other dimension even if I do now sound a bit like a 70’s prog band.
By way of an illustration, the Soundcloud link posted is the one of first things I have recorded using it. It isn’t overly synth heavy and I’m not a skilled keyboard player but I was able to find a few interesting textures.
Let me know what you think.