ARP Synthesizers

It looks as though Synthesizer pioneer, Alan R. Pearlman, “crossed-over” on January 5th 2019.

Although more people, especially non-Musicians, will have heard of “Moog” Synthesizers, Mr. Pearlman founded the “ARP Instruments, Inc.” in 1969 and contributed quite a bit to the Music industry. This is what his daughter Posted, regarding his crossing:

​My father passed away today after a long illness.

At 93, too weak to speak he still managed to play the piano this morning, later passing away peacefully in the afternoon. He was a great man and contributed much to the world of music you all know today.

Hopefully I can find something more eloquent to say, but I am too sad for words right now.

Here’s the link to the Synthtopia website, where I first learned of his crossing:
www.synthtopia.com/content/2019/01/06/arp-founder-alan-r-pearlman-has-died/

Here’s a link to a short, video interview with Mr. Pearlman, from 2006:
www.namm.org/library/oral-history/alan-r-pearlman?fbclid=IwAR0hsbPR2buZVzHu04T5c6evuHjCnDHFxrvQTUZ2qsJNcIH5W6Q7CEFKEF8

Electronic Synthesizers helped shape Music, in every genre, since they were first invented. According to this Wikipedia article, that would be 1876:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesizer#Early_electric_instruments

minimoog

The minimoog Synthesizer

Most Synthesizers have a very unique or slightly different sound. The “Moog sound” is probably the most recognizable — especially for those of us who first began listening to Music in the ’60s and ’70s. During those early years, the biggest companies, still known today are:

  • Moog,
  • ARP,
  • Oberheim and
  • Sequential Circuits (Later named “Dave Smith Instruments” or simply “DSI”)

Of all the Synthesizers, up to about the 1980s, the original “minimoog Model D” was the most popular. Although I’m a “Drummer”, while I was still in High School, I bought a very basic “Korg” Synthesizer. (I don’t remember its name.) Hearing more and more about this “minimoog” thing, in the early ’70s, I saved-up and bought one from a local Music Store ($1,495). The sounds were rich and the various combinations of sonic textures were easy to pull out of it. It was an amazing experience.

arp2600

The ARP 2600 and its included Keyboard

arp2600keyboard

Then I heard about something called an “ARP 2600”. After seeing some images and reading several articles on it, I knew I had to buy one. This thing was a monster! It had features none of the Moog Synthesizers, at that time, offered (especially on their “non-Modular” Synthesizers, like the minimoog):

  • Ring Modulation,
  • Sample & Hold,
  • Spring Reverb,
  • 3 “complete” (audio / LFO) Oscillators,
  • a “Lag” circuit,
  • an “Electronic Switch”,
  • a “Multiple”,
  • Patch Points,
  • an “Envelope Follower”,
  • and more!

Many, many Musicians have used ARP Synthesizers in their Music… and, even though the ARP company hasn’t existed for decades, many Musicians continue to use those Synthesizers in their Music. Here’s a link to the song “Frankenstein” by Edgar Winter. You can see him play the ARP 2600 in this video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1mV_5-bRPo

Here’s a page where you can see the different variations of the ARP 2600 over the years:
www.vintagesynth.com/arp/arp.php

Although ARP released several different Synthesizers over the years, my ARP 2600 could not only imitate most of their sounds but also added a bit more… that is, until I heard about the “ARP 2500”!

arp2500

The ARP 2500 Synthesizer

In its day, I really wanted an ARP 2500 but Sylvia and I could never afford one. It was a big powerhouse of its time.

Here’s the link to an “ARP 2500” web page, which explains some of its capabilities:
www.vintagesynth.com/arp/2500.php

​Jimmy Page, of Progressive Rock band “Led Zeppelin”, has (or had) an ARP 2500. Pete Townshend, of the Rock Band “The Who”, also used an ARP 2500. You can hear that instrument’s “Sequencer” Module on their song: “Baba O’Riley”. It’s right at the beginning. Here’s a link where you can hear that song:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2KRpRMSu4g

Here’s the Wikipedia page for “ARP Instruments, Inc.”:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARP_Instruments

Probably the most popular “ARP” Synthesizer was the “Odyssey”.

My notes here don’t do enough to explain the impact Mr. Pearlman and his instruments have had on me, Sylvia and this entire world. Thank you Mr. Pearlman!

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Eurorack Patch Charts

I uploaded several blank “Patch Charts” to our “Downloads” page. (You can get there from the menu at the top of this page.)

These are “blank” Patch Charts. Each contains a clear, uncolored image of one Eurorack Module. Each can be printed or used on-screen.

A “Patch Chart” is an “old school” way of remembering a configuration of Knobs, Sliders, Patch Cords and Switches, in order to recall a Sound at a later date.

Most Eurorack Modules and LOTS of Synthesizers do not have “Presets” (memory recall), where you can Save a “Patch” and instantly bring it back at a later date.

There’s no real “right or wrong” way to use these.

I first learned about “Patch Charts” during some private Synthesizer lessons at a University in the ’70s and from the Patch Charts that came with our ARP 2600 Synthesizer from the mid ’80s.

Keep in mind that our approach to “creating Sounds” with Synthesizers may be different from yours.

When my wife and I were first learning about “Synthesizers”, decades ago, the goal of any Patch was the final Sound. We’ve noticed, however, that the current approach to Electronic Music is that the “journey” of modifying the Sound is the goal.

In other words, our approach is to create the exact Sound that’s in our mind. Whether it’s recreating the Sound of a Violin or an abstract, more-electronic Sound. We will modify any parameter we need in order to achieve that final Sound. The approach, these days, is that a Synthesist will integrate the modifications into the “Music”. They are not searching for a “final Sound” as we are doing.

This is how “we” use Patch Charts…

For the “old school” Synthesists: Adjust all of the Eurorack Modules involved with your final Sound.

For the “new school” Synthesists: Adjust all of the Eurorack Modules involved with your “foundation” (or “starting”) Sound.

Then, no matter which approach you start with, select a Patch Chart that’s included with the flow of your Sound. Here, I’m showing the Bastl “Quattro Figaro” quad VCA as an example.

Notice that any Knobs, Sliders and Switches will be blank. This makes it easier for you to indicate where it should be set. Typically, if there are no marks on a moveable part of a Module, it means that particular parameter is not used. (It will have no affect on any part of the Sound.)

quattro figaro blank patch chart

Use an easy-to-read, colored Pen, Pencil or Marker. We use a Red Pen because it’s very easy to see lines and notes against the gray and black design on most of these Patch Charts.

We marked-up the following Patch Chart in the computer. If we had printed this, all of our notes would also be in Red Pen.

When drawing your lines, be sure to make them easy to understand. If someone else uses your Patch Charts, or if you look at them in the future, will all of the markings make sense?

If lines, representing your cables, need to cross each other, either keep them at right-angles or draw an “arc” (a “hump”) where they meet.

quattro figaro patch chart - stereo pan

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Eurorack Modular Tips

Music Columnist and Synthesizer explorer, Robin Vincent, has created a video titled: “25 – Top tips for performing live with Eurorack“.

A day or 2 before, he had performed with part of his Eurorack Synthesizer in a local restaurant in England, where he’s from. During that performance, he realized several things which he hadn’t planned for. So he created this video, in order to pass this valuable information on to others.

Here’s the link:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7LFURMEs8Q

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Highly Creative Drummer

Recently, I saw 2 videos of an excellent Drummer. His name is “Aric Improta”. Not only is he an accomplished Drummer but I’ve never seen anyone use more of an acoustic Drumset to produce sound.

The following web page, contains an article and 2 videos. The first video shows his showmanship. The most outstanding part is when he “back-flips” from one Drumset to another!

The second video shows him using every part of his Drum setup for various sounds.

Just thought I’d pass this along.

Here’s the link:
www.musicradar.com/news/aric-improtas-guide-to-drumming-showmanship

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Behringer Neutron Blank Patch Chart

In June, Sylvia and I traded-in our “Roland System-1m” ($600) for the “Behringer Neutron” ($300). It finally arrived last week.

  • The System-1m is a nice-sounding Synth. It also has several Patch Points. However, most of the time when I wanted to create a certain sound or Patch our Eurorack Modular into it, the System-1m just didn’t offer the flexibility we needed.
  • The Neutron, on the other hand, has 56 Patch Points, which allow for many combinations of Control Voltage signal flow and audio modification.

The digital Oscillators in the System-1m made them very stable and tracked across the keyboard very well. We were pleasantly surprised to find the Neutron’s analog Oscillators are also very stable.

There’s a very good Review of the Neutron over at SonicState. Here’s the link:
sonicstate.com/news/2018/04/05/sonic-lab-behringer-neutron-analog-desktop-semi-modular-review/

Because I learned Synthesizers the “old school” way, with “Patch Charts”, I wanted to be sure there was one available. The User’s Manual does have a handy Patch Chart on page 27 but I fine-tuned it just a bit for our purposes. I have included it below for anyone to Download.

  • A “Patch Chart” is used with Synthesizers which don’t offer a “Save” or “Store” for your sound creations. I realize that some Artists simply want the “journey” to be the “sound”. That’s fine but there may still be times when you’ll want to start with a certain “sound foundation” and, without being able to Save a Patch electronically, a “Patch Chart” will come in very handy.

If you’ve never used a Patch Chart, there are no real “rules” of how to draw-out and explain a Patch. So, for what it’s worth, these are a few things I’ve learned over the years on how to write-out a Patch so you’ll understand it years from now:

  • When drawing lines where your Patch Cables are to be connected, be sure to use a contrasting ink color. Since the Blank Patch Chart I made has “black” lines, I always use a “red” pen to draw the Cable lines.
  • Explain as much as you can and be clear as to “what goes where”. Remember, someone else may need to “interpret” your notes or YOU may be wanting to recreate that Patch in the future. You might know exactly how all the knobs, buttons and cables are set but after working with hundreds of Patches and several other Synths, you’re going to want a simple layout and instructions on every Patch Chart.
  • Be consistent. Although you may only be dealing with 1 or 2 Patch Cables in the beginning, your Neutron may later become part of a larger system, maybe a Eurorack Modular. So, even though it’s easy to draw a straight line from the “LFO Out” to the “OSC1 In”, once you start dealing with 10, 20, 50 or more Patch Cables, you’ll end-up with random lines on your Patch Chart if you don’t think-through “where” those lines are going to be drawn.
  • One way to indicate that 2 Patch Cables cross each other, is to draw a rounded “wow”. See my examples below:

CableOverCable2

CableOverCable1

Neutron Patch – example

Neutron Blank Patch Chart

 

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Give Your Music Its Own Voice

Music has been a part of the Earth / 3D experience for a VERY long time. It could be said that “Nature” itself was the first “Orchestra”… the first playing of “sounds”, which, in turn, activated various Moods, Memories and Actions within the various Beings scattered around this amazing blue ball. Water droplets creating multi-textured Rhythms… The sonic variety of the Wind moving through the Leaves, Caves and other timbre-inspiring objects… all contribute to the character we’ve all come to know as Nature’s songs.

When “Humans” began creating Music, they mostly picked-up “Acoustic” or “Synthetic” instruments. Think about it… A non-electric guitar is an “Acoustic” instrument. An electronic Synthesizer is a “Synthetic” instrument. Wind moving through the Leaves of a Tree and Water bubbling in a Brook are “Organic” instruments.

As Music evolved, Humans continued to experiment with various Styles of Music and, for “me”, these boil-down to the following groupings (generally speaking):

  • Music that’s fun to Sing or Whistle to — “Melodic Music”
  • Music which makes your body want to move — “Dance Music”
  • Music which is fun to Perform — “Participation Music”
  • Music which engages your Logical mind — Baroque, Classical and some Contemporary Music
  • Music which was created simply by the idea of “look what “I” can do” — “Clever Music”
  • Music which is relaxing, soothing. Music which fills the ambient space around us with the comforting feeling of getting into that calm, restful feeling. — “Ambient Music”

As music-gear-technology evolved, Human Society has been gifted with some very powerful, very flexible Music-creation tools. These days, the simple Piano, Flute, Xylophone, Tuba, etc. can produce any type of sound. In fact, electronic Synthesizers can be Patched (setup) so they not only create “Music” without any Human interaction but that “Music” can also evolve (change) over Time AND it can have all the subtleties as though a “Human” were really “playing” it. However, this “ease of Music-creation at our fingertips”, means ANYONE can create interesting Music. Today, even the family dog can create a musical masterpiece.

…and this is where our world is today… over-saturated with “Music”.  Some “good”. Some “not so good”. Some of it is “bad”, but it makes it to the popular Listening Posts (radio, social media, etc.) Some of it is “absolutely great” but no one ever hears it.

In the “old days”, there were “Talent Scouts” — people who would travel the country looking for talented people — Singers, Actors, Musicians, etc. If someone was exceptional, that company would bring them in for an Audition. If they “had what it takes”, they were “usually” Signed to a Movie or Record company. If they “mostly” had what it takes, they may still be Signed but would be given some additional training, where they were lacking.

Today, however, the Music Industry is being crushed by the shear number of  “new Songs” they receive every day. According to the information at the link at the bottom of this article, Music-site “Spotify” adds over 20,000 Songs to its Site each day!!! Not “20”. Not” 200″… but TWENTY THOUSAND Songs!!! For a Musician or Song-Writer, this is very depressing. As you can see, even the major Record Producers have a difficult time getting their Artist’s Songs heard by the masses.

So how does the “little guy” compete? How does ANYONE get their Music into the right places, so it will be “heard” and then, maybe, “purchased”? Although I don’t have an answer for this, it’s always a good idea to “follow your Heart” because, if you’re in the Music business for the “money”, you may want to find another career. As you can see, even if you’re the next “Elvis” or “Adele”, today’s society is currently overwhelmed with Music.

FIND YOUR OWN VOICE

Being a Drummer and Synthesist, I do my best to look into new Music-Gear announcements, instrument techniques, etc. I’ve seen a lot of articles and videos on “how to create “that sound” in your favorite Song” or “how to play like your favorite Artist”, etc. At the same time, society tells us that the Musicians and Songs, which “get noticed” or even “go viral” are the ones that “find their own style”. So which is it?… Are we expected to sound like everyone else who came before us or are we supposed to follow our own Path?

When I was growing up, hearing those (now) old Rock Classics, I never thought:

  • “When I grow-up, I want to sound just like that.”

No. Instead, I thought:

  • “I’m going to have a Number One Song some day.” or
  • “I’m going to play in a successful Band some day.” or
  • “I’m going to be a Musician who’s so different, and creates such interesting Songs, that everyone will want to buy my Music.”

…but I never imagined that “copying” another Musician or their Songs would be my “goal”… my “pinnacle”. I always wanted to create my owns Songs… to tell the world “my” message. To make a statement.

MAKE YOUR POINT AND MOVE ON

So, if you ever get the opportunity of creating a piece of Music, please GIVE IT A VOICE… make it say something. Time and again, when Sylvia and I are in Public Areas we hear Music which is “sonically” (melodically and harmonically) un-interesting AND the Lyrics will usually repeat… for EVER. In our opinion, if your Guitar Lick or Piano improvisation repeats more than 4 times, you’re not being creative and you’ve lost the very short attention span of your Listeners… AND if your Lyrics repeat more then 4 times in a row, then you’ve lost your message — if your Song ever had one.

  • Let’s say you and your friends go to a restaurant you’ve never been to. You place your order and it turns out that the entire experience was WAY over the top. You now have a new “favorite meal” and can’t wait to get back there again. You can’t stop talking about it.
  • Let’s say you get a bonus at work and decide to go back to that restaurant for your “favorite meal” every day. By the end of the 10th day, your feeling about that Dish is: “Well, it’s ok.” (It’s no long SO GREAT that you can’t live without it.)

So, repeating an element of a Song is similar. Yes, you’re trying to make a point with your Lyrics or Performance but you don’t have to beat your Listeners over the head with an idea.

There’s a Saying:

  • “Less is more”

However, this isn’t telling you to use fewer words that are “different” from each other. It means select each word carefully and allow each to contribute to the overall listening experience — your message. Think of the Notes you select for your Composition and the Words you choose for your Lyrics as the ingredients of a very tasteful meal… too few “interesting Notes” and your Words won’t be supported by the Music. Too many repeated Words will sour the taste of that great Guitar or Piano solo we just heard.

LET THE MUSIC GUIDE YOU

I’m not saying you shouldn’t play “Cover Tunes”. Sometimes it can feel good to Perform a Song which was created by someone else. It can stir some good memories inside you or help you, as a Musician, make a little more money.

So what I’m saying is… listen to the Music. As you’re sculpting your Song, listen carefully to what “IT” wants and needs… and pay attention to your own Feelings and Memories, as your Song comes to life. Allow your Song to guide you. If you want to test this, the next time you create a Song, make two of them. With the first one, listen to the Song and let it influence which Words, Notes, Rhythms and Textures you sprinkle into it… and keep your Logical Mind out of it. With the 2nd Song, let your Logical / Clever Mind loose. When both Songs are finished, play them for your family and friends. Don’t tell them how you created them. You may even tell them “someone else” created them. Just to get their honest reactions.

Here’s the link to the Spotify statistics:

https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/spotify-statistics/

 

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Digital Scale

  • Note: So you, the Reader, won’t be frustrated after reading this, what I discovered (below) didn’t work. I’m simply explaining the details of what I went through, in order to find an “alternative”, hopefully “better”, Music Scale… but I didn’t.
I had been thinking about Alternative Tunings for Music for several weeks. I even did a lot of research to see if any of the current Eurorack, Modular Synthesizer Modules would allow me to actually pick my own “Frequencies”.
  • There are lots of Oscillators and Sequencers, which allow you to “manually” set their “Frequencies” but getting them to produce those same exact Frequencies every time, is not something I found while doing my research.
  • Yes, there are Modules called: “Quantizers”, which will align every Pitch, Voltage and MIDI Note, coming into it, to the closest “Note” in its Scale. However, in “my” research, “most” force you into selecting from a list of Pitches which aren’t broken down smaller than quarter-tones.
  • I only discovered 2 Quantizers which allow you to select your own Frequencies but they seemed to be a bit difficult to program. One is the “Disting Mk4” ($189), by “Expert Sleepers”, and the other is the “µTune” ($299), by “Tubbutec”.
Several weeks ago, I was thinking about the “A equals 440Hz” (Cycles-Per-Second, Frequency) and that some say “A” should really be set to 432-Hz.
As I was looking at those numbers, I noticed that they are “8” numbers apart from each other. Since I used to do some very basic programming, a few decades ago, my mind instantly thought there might be something to that relationship…
  • Since “Society” has been lied to in so many different aspects of this “Reality”, what if those “liars” knew the core Frequency for Music should be “448Hz” and, in order to mislead everyone, moved the number “down” 8 Cycles-Per-Second (making it “432”), to throw us off track, instead of “up” 8 Cycles where it should be (making it “448”)?
From there, I did something “thinking” and some “math” and settled on the number “32”. Computers are based on multiples of “2”, which are “zeros” and “ones”. Home computers in the early 80s had 8-bit Processors, which is a multiple of “2”. I settled on “32” because “2”, “4”, “8” and “16” Cycles were too close to each other for my note-building exercise. 32 seemed to be the smallest number of Cycles-Per-Second which the Human ear could distinguish a difference in Pitch AND it would take-up an entire Music Keyboard, just to have at least 2 “Octaves”.
I left “A” at 448, as a starting point. I then “added” 32, to find higher Notes or “subtracted” 32, to find lower Notes. This gave me these Frequencies:
  • 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 288, 320, 352, 384, 416, 448, 480, 512
Since I couldn’t find any “easy-to-use” Synthesizer Modules, which would allow me to enter the “Frequencies” I wanted, I did some testing. A few days ago, I used “Audacity” (audio manipulation software) to produce those 13-Tones. I was going to load them into Apple’s “GarageBand” software, in order to move them around and stretch them, just to see if this new “Scale” would sound good… or not.
That quickly became a bit complicated so I stopped.
Today, Sylvia reminded me that our Korg Krome Keyboard offers Tunings and Scale creation. So I checked the Manual and turned it ON. It was a bit tricky and did take me a few hours but I was able to set those Frequencies.
  • The “tricky” part was that I had to use “Audacity” to play each Pitch in a loop, while I found the closest “key” on the Keyboard to that particular Pitch. Then I adjusted its “Semitone” setting until they sounded the same.
  • When I was done, that “Scale” was spread across 2, standard Octaves on the Keyboard and used both the “black” and “white” keys but not all of them were next to each other.
  • I marked them with small pieces of Post-It Notes, so I could see which “physical” keys were part of that “Scale”. I even recorded a low-to-high “run” of Notes into the Krome, in order to hear it played back smoothly at different Tempos.
  • I then tested this “Scale’s” Chord capability. It was difficult listening to the “run” of Notes, because they weren’t too pleasing, but the Chord possibilities were even worse. I found 3, maybe 4 combinations of Notes which sounded “ok” together.
So, other than “I just wasn’t happy with what I was hearing”, I began to wonder… “why”? Is it because those are simply Frequencies which work against each other or is it that my brain is programmed to identify certain sound combinations as “good” and others as “bad”?
Here’s the link to the “Disting Mk4”:
Here’s the link to the “µTune”:
Here’s the link to the “Audacity” software:
In doing my 1st calculations, I took used the “Note-to-Frequency” Chart on this page:
I then plugged those numbers into the Frequency-Semitone calculator on this page:
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Neutron

Behringer has been making audio equipment and electronic musical instruments for many years. The few pieces of information Sylvia and I had heard about them was mostly from some of their unhappy customers, who let their complaints be known on various Forums.

Around 2015 or so, company Owner, Uli Behringer, commented about Moog’s extremely high prices and said he could manufacture and sell similar Synthesizers for around $300.

  • This was at a Time when Moog’s “lower-priced” Synthesizers were Retailing for around $1,500. (Of course, these contained “Keyboards”.)

Later, Behringer’s Synthesizers, which were “copies” of popular Synths decades before, would become known as “Clones”. The first “Clone” Behringer made was of Moog’s famous “Mini Moog Model D”. Granted it didn’t have a Keyboard but it IS currently selling for $299! A few months later, Moog decided to release something “new”. So they created the “Mini Moog Model D” and placed a Retail price of $3,500 on it!!!

  • The original “Mini Moog” was released in the early 70s. I was still in High School but, after hearing it’s awesome sounds on various Rock recordings, I just had to have one. So I saved all my money and bought a brand new Mini Moog from the local music store… for $1,495!!!

The new Mini Moog does have a Keyboard and, although Moog added “MIDI” (digital technology, which the Behringer “Model D” also has), they added a few Patch Points (interconnection Jacks) for Control Voltage and other benefits when working with other Synthesizers. (The Behringer version also has MIDI and several Patch Points.)

  • Although Moog recreated the “Model D”, they did add a few improvements. So, in order to save everyone a lot of confusion, why didn’t the call this new version the “Model D+” or “Model D Plus”?

Since that first Behringer Synth, they have created their very own, not “Cloned”, Synthesizer called the “Deepmind 12”. This one does have a Keyboard, has MANY more features than Moog’s Mini Moog and Retails for just $1,000!!!

  • Behringer has also stated that they have assigned several of their Engineering Teams to Clone many more of music history’s popular Synthesizers.

Several years ago, Behringer began building a new Factory in China. The manufacturing building will be about 3-MILLION SQUARE FEET in size!!!

A new, “Behringer original” Synthesizer which has been talked about since it was “leaked” in January 2018, is called: “Neutron”. Although it doesn’t have a Keyboard, it does have a very flexible set of features, a great sound and will Retail for $299!!! I told Sylvia, the Neutron needs to be on our Music Gear List.

  • About 8-months ago, I was working with our “incomplete” Modular Synthesizer and wanted to create a sound that was in my mind. the Function I needed was inside our “Roland System-1m” Synthesizer but it didn’t offer any way to access it from another Synth. So I told Sylvia “The System-1m isn’t as flexible as we need it to be. So we should trade it in at our local Guitar Center store and get something else.” That “something else” is the “Neutron”.

Here’s a link to an article on the new Behringer Factory:
www.synthanatomy.com/2018/03/music-tribe-city-get-an-insight-factory-behringer.html

Here’s an older article, which provides a few more details:
www.prosoundnetwork.com/business/music-group-city-moves-forward

Here’s a link to a very good Review (video) of the Neutron:
www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/04/05/behringer-neutron-analog-semi-modular-synthesizer-review/

  • On that web page, I was surprised by some of the Comments. Everyone had something good to say about the Neutron (and Behringer). There were even 2 or 3 people who said, in the past, they would not buy anything from Behringer… but were now considering purchasing this amazing Synth.

The Review (in the link above) of the Neutron was done by Nick Batt of “SonicState”. If you’re not familiar with “SonicState”, here’s the direct link to their website:
www.sonicstate.com

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Plexiglass Shelves, Covers, Drumstick Holder and a Drumstick Painting Box

Yesterday, I Posted some information on the Plexiglass shelves and dust covers Sylvia and I created for our Synthesizers. I added this information to our mirrored Blogsite on “Weebly” but there are too many images to also add them here. So if you’re interested in seeing how we used 3/8ths-inch-thick Plexiglass / Acrylic sheets, to build these items, please visit this link:

https://infinitysong.weebly.com/blog/plexiglass-shelves-and-covers

Here’s the link where I Posted information and photos on how we created a “Drumstick Painting Box”:

https://infinitysong.weebly.com/blog/drumstick-painting-box

Here’s the link to the “Drumstick Holder” we made:

https://infinitysong.weebly.com/blog/drumstick-holder

 

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Tama Speed Cobra Beater

I want to share this because I couldn’t find a solution to this problem online and thought others would like to know about it…

Quite a while ago, we purchased a “Tama Speed Cobra”, single, Bass Drum pedal for my electronic drumset. Earlier this year, the felt pad on its Beater Head (see image on “left” below) had come unglued. In my opinion, this happened because of “poor design”. I had positioned the felt pad so its point was making contact with the rubber, electronic, Bass Drum pad but there must have been enough “angled stress”, while playing, to cause it to slide up and break-away from the glue holding it in place.

I never noticed when the felt pad initially came off. One day, though, I happened to look down and noticed that the hard-plastic Beater Head was now making direct contact with the rubber pad. This was not good. The rubber in that area was now indented and the hardness of the plastic and force of my playing could have damaged the Piezo Sensor inside the pad. It didn’t but it could have.

Although I could have glued the felt pad back on, Sylvia and I thought it would simply detach itself again. So we decided to buy a replacement Beater. We bought the “Tama CB90F” (see image on “right” below).

​This replacement Beater is sold just as you see it in this image:

  • Shaft,
  • Balancing Weight,
  • Beater Head, etc.

I simply removed the old Beater and installed the new one.

Within a few minutes of playing, I noticed that the Beater Head had pivoted up — forcing its felt pad to no longer make contact with the drum pad. So I rotated the Beater Head back into position and played the pedal while watching the new Beater. Within just a few stokes, I saw the Beater Head turn upwards again. I tightened everything but this continued to happen.

I went online, to see if anyone else had this same problem and how they fixed it. Lots of people had the same issue but I could not find anyone who successfully solved this problem.

I then got out the old Beater and removed the Beater Head. I immediately noticed that the cylinder, which holds the Beater Head is “knurled” — there are “X” patterns etched into it. I then looked at the same portion of the new Beater and saw that it was shiny-smooth. It’s no wonder why the new Beater Head won’t stay in position. There’s nothing for it to grip to.

So I swapped-out the Beater shafts… placing the “old” shaft on the “new” Beater. This solved the problem.


The Beater on the “left” came with my Tama Speed Cobra pedal:

The Beater on the “right” was purchased as a replacement:

Here’s the link to their product page:
www.tama.com/usa/products/hardware/accessories/pedal/index.html

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