My Studio

UPDATE:

As I wrote, “I am highly skeptical of any SDIY’er who says their studio hasn’t changed in the last two hours, much less the last year or two. I think I change something every time I walk in the door. Part of the fun, right?”

Well, I have proven this comment true time and time again over the past few years. The general size shape and layout of the system hasn’t changed too much I suppose, but I have shifted modules around, built some new ones, added some awesome gear, and put some gear into the hands of others who can really use it. I’m leaving the rest of this page as is, but am adding a few photos here of some new gear I have acquired in the past few years.

Here is my Moog Model 15 with a bunch of Synth-Werk modules and a few Dot Com modules to compliment it. I have a sequencer compliment on order along with a second tall cabinet and three small cabinets with a few other modules on order from Gerhard. As soon as I get those (fall 2020), I’ll put up new photos. This shows a stained wood 953. I purchased a black stained 953 to go with this setup.

This is my new Moog Vocoder. It’s the re-issued model and I love it.
On top, you can see a pair of Jurgen Haible Living VCOs. Below is a Steiner Noise Generator, a Jurgen Haible FS-1 frequency shifter, a Blacet Time Machine, and an Analogue Systems RS240 Bode Frequency Shifter.

My new “re-issued” ARP Odyssey next to my vintage ARP 2600 and 3620 keyboard. See how well they get along! No need for social distancing here :)

This is my first keyboardless Steiner Synthacon with my custom Antonus Sidecar. The Sidecar has a Steiner sequencer, Microcon, and a GIC based Moog 914 fixed filter bank of my design.

This is my second keyboardless Steiner Synthacon with my custom Antonus Sidecar. The Sidecar has a Steiner sequencer, Microcon, and a GIC based Moog 914 fixed filter bank of my design.

This is my ARP 2600 with an Antonus SidecARP holding some fun euro rack modules!

This is an excellent example of a Pearl Syncussion. It came with the two controllers and stands. I upgraded the stand for the controllers and replaced the skin on the drums. Otherwise, it works perfectly. The only flaw is a little cosmetic damage to the corner of the synthesizer unit.

Eye candy. A vintage Heathkit Audio Analyzer for fun lissajous displays and regular scope use. I re-capped the unit, cleaned the pots and switches, aligned the CRT and re-trimmed everything. Someone had already recapped it, but did a very poor job. So frustrating when the repair tech doesn’t take the trouble to simply buy the right form factor and value capacitors for a repair/refurbish. You can also see a YU Synth Moog 914 clone, a MOS Lab Moog LP and HP filter, a Jurgen Haible Tau Phaaser and a Steiner Synthasystem (as opposed to the Synthacon design) VCF.

A new Buchla Music Easel. I realized I was never going to finish my Portabellabz SDIY kit, so I just bought one from Buchla. It’s a very interesting unit. I did have some problems despite this being a new synthesizer. The reverb was broken and I had to re-flow some surface mount parts by the second LPG circuit. It works great now.

I built this Moog 1150 ribbon controller from two relatively good units. I added an aluminum panel to replace the terrible plastic one used by Moog. This also shows one of my Moog 953 keyboards and the interface module I made for my modular system.

Moog 1130 Drum Controller. This was in excellent shape and I had to do very little to make if perfect. just one wire to re-solder to a pot and a new skin.

Three kings of synthesizers!

This Moog 1125 Sample & Hold was built from a Moog 1125 which had has some very sketchy repairs done. It had the wrong value sliders and other substandard work. Since the pots are simply unavailable, I decided to put it behind a new 1U panel with rotary pots and bring the outputs to 1/4 and 1/8 inch jacks along with a Cinch-Jones connector for an S-Trigger output to make it easier to use with my Moog Model 15. You can also see a Steiner sequencer, a Steiner Frequency Divider, and a set of Steiner VCOs

Older Studio Comments:

Since I last wrote here, my studio has dramatically changed. I’ll add new photos at some point, but for now, I’ll just add the descriptions!

In the “place of honor” is my Steiner-Parker Synthasystem™ which I re-issued with the critical and invaluable help of Nyle Steiner. A great friend and truly good guy. I added two keyboardless Synthacons™ to this modular and had Toni at Antonus custom build one of his “Sidecars” to fit the dimensions of the Synthacons. In this Synthacon Sidecar, I have a Steiner-Parker™ sequencer, VCF, a Microcon™ and some other miscellaneous utility modules. Nyle told me once he thought my Synthasystem was the largest system he was aware of.

For Moog™ gear, I have a Moog™ MiniMoog Voyager™ keyboard and RME, Moog™ MiniMoog  Model D re-issue,  and a Moog™ Model 15 re-issue. The Model 15 is complemented by numerous Synth-Werk modules including 921 VCOs, HP filter, 914 FFB, EGs, VCAs, Bode Ring Modulator, mixers, Reverb, and soon a sequencer compliment, and 984 mixer. I also have a Moog™ Vocoder re-issue on order and now have 2 Moog 953 keyboard controllers. This is rounded out with some MoogerFoogers™, a MiniTaur™, Wertstat™, a and Moog™ MP-201 Pedal. I also have some Synthesizers.COM™ modules, keyboard controllers, and a ribbon controller.

I also managed to procure some of the Moog Accessories and have managed to restore two 1125 Sample & Hold units, one turned into a 1U rack mount due to the unavailability of proper slide potentiometers. This can be completely undone if wanted. I also have an 1130 percussion controller and an 1150 ribbon controller.  A Moog™ Mother-32, Drummer From Another Mother, and a MacBeth Studio Systems™ X-Series Micromac™ rack mount are housed in their own three tier system using Moog™ housings.

The modular gear is controlled using one of two Moog™ 953 duophonic keyboard controllers or a Steiner-Parker duophonic keyboard.

With regard to other synthesizers, I have a Buchla™ Music Easel™ and a Portabellabz clone under construction (which may not get finished). I purchased an ARP™ 2600 with 3620 keyboard and have a Korg™ ARP 2600 FS on order. I have expanded the ARP 2600s using an Antonus SideCARP system which sits brilliantly on top of either ARP 2600.

I also have an Anyware Instruments Tinysizer, a Dave Smith Instruments™ Tempest , and an AJH MiniMoog clone in modular format, housed in a Waldorf KB37 Controller system.

A John Bowen Synth Design™ Solaris is prominent in my studio with an expansion module on order.

Other “digital” synthesizers include a Kawai K1 II keyboard and rack mount with a Yahama TX801.

I have a rebuilt Teac A3440 four track overdubbing tape deck, a TASCAM DP-24 digital studio, and a Teac Model 2A mixer with meter bridge to record and edit. I also have other equipment to compliment these synthesizers detailed in the menu to the left (still to come…).

I sold most of my “second modular” and found a way to put gear that was going unused closer to my fingertips. I purchased some Atdec laptop and monitor arms and a couple of laptop shelves. My DP-24 and Tempest fit nicely on the laptop shelves. My Tinysizer and the extra euro racks mount using a VESA standard monitor mount. I can swivel what I’m not using out of the way or bring something within easy reach for patching and knobbing.

Please have fun looking at the equipment while scratching your head as you wonder what was I thinking? I still haven’t figured it out and I’m thankful my wife just ignores the whole mess for the most part.

I promise I’ll work on a proper equipment list and will try to muster the courage to share some examples of this instrument at work.

Here are some photos of my current Synthasystem, my MoogerFooger rack, and some miscellaneous Moog™ module clones, some purchased and some my own layouts. Thank you:

  • Nyle
  • Bob – Moog Music
  • Alan – ARP
  • John – John Bowen Synth Design™
  • Gerhard – Synth-Werk
  • Dave – Modular Synthesis
  • Roger – Synthesizers.com
  • Bob – Analogue Solutions
  • Analogue Tommy – Anyware Instruments
  • Allan – AJH Synth
  • Ken – MacBeth Studio Systems
  • Dave and Roger – DSI
  • David – Vintage 47 Amps
  • David – Nice Racks
  • Sebastien – MOS-LAB
  • Carsten – Analog Monster
  • Jurgen Haible

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