The electronic sound creation instruments that produce the lush sound of strings, the bleeps and bloops of the Sci-Fi movie, many of the interesting sounds in a music track that make you wonder how they were created or what kind of instrument created them, and all the sounds that have not yet been heard by anyone. From faint whistles and chirps to wall shaking helicopter thumps. Anything is possible given enough imagination.
My interest in these instruments began in the 60's when my mother gave me the now well known album, 'Switched on Bach', by Walter/Wendy Carlos, for my birthday. I most likely had a confused look on my face as I opened that present. It sure didn't look like Rock 'n Roll to me. I threw it in the old Zenith Hi-Fi and cued up the first track. I was hooked after about the first minute. I still have that album.
Now that I can afford to buy some of this equipment, the question that arose was, what do I buy. I began with some of the digital offerings, which were cheap to buy used, and had enormous sound libraries. Then I entered the sampler arena, which gave more control of the programing and sound creation. Once I had the samplers, I obviously needed some analog sources to create new sounds. Enter the analog keyboard synths. I acquired a Pro-1, Moog Prodigy, a Prophet 5, SE-1, MiniMoog, and a few others. I just was not getting the flexibility I wanted to create new sounds, so I began with the virtual analog equipment. Access Virus, Waldorf uWII, and then the Nord Micro Modular. Now we're cooking, I thought, but it's not real analog.
So now, here I am looking to purchase a Modular Synthesizer. Again, what to purchase. Being a long time Moog fan, I considered an old Moog system. I liked the sound, the look, the flexibility, but the price and dependability of these old synths got me looking for another source. Luckily for me, there has been a recent gain in the popularity of modular gear, giving birth to several good small manufacturers of analog modular equipment. After some research, I decided to purchase several kits from Paul Schreiber, creator of the Synthesis Technology MOTM modules. Buying kits would increase my buying power considerably, and I have a background in electronics, although somewhat rusty, enough to let me build and troubleshoot these kits.
Having made the decision, I placed an order on-line for kits to make a basic one VCO synth. I was quite surprised the next day, to receive a phone call from Paul! He had called to be sure that skill wise I would be able to handle the VCO kit, which is by far the most difficult. After hanging up the phone 45 minutes later, I was truely impressed with Paul's technical expertise and approach.