keithemerson

Remembering Keith Emerson and his titanic synth legacy

In news reverberating with synthesizer lovers and keyboardists everywhere, Keith Emerson died last night in his home in Santa Monica at age 71. Mr. Emerson’s impact on the world of keyboards and synthesizers is hard to overstate. And that impact may be wider now than ever before. If the musical idiom in which he worked was distinctive attached to its particular era, the role of the synthesizer he helped establish is one that now reaches around the world to artists across genres.

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Teenage Engineering’s Tiny, $50 Drum Machine, Revealed in Videos

It’s called the PO-12. It’s $50. It’s absolutely tiny – a little stand props it up, inspired by the Nintendo Game & Watch. And it’s already sounding like a drum machine. The drum machine first revealed to the world at a panel I moderated at Moogfest is finally, after manufacturing and customs delays, making its way to a select group of first owners – mainly VIPs and artists from that festival. What you’re seeing here is just a prototype; Teenage Engineering now says they’ll have a fully fleshed-out version some time in 2015. There are two things, apart from the …

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Moog Werkstatt-ø1 as Solder-Free Kit for $329 – But Expect a Fight to Get One

It seems popular demand worked. Moog’s peculiar, brilliant Werkstatt synth was a huge kit as a workshop-only build for premium Moogfest attendees in April in North Carolina. And not only that, the design swept the Internet. It seems your pleas were heard, as the instructional project is turning into a product. Just expect it to be in “extremely” limited quantities, says Moog, at a handful of their boutique-minded US dealers. Because it’s solder-free, even including those through-hole parts, the “kit” aspect is largely putting it together. But it’s still a clever, rich-sounding, versatile single-oscillator analog synth with some semi-modular routing …

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Moog Werkstatt: Listen to its Creator Make Sounds; Why It Could Bring Moog Back to Modular

The newest Moog Music synth is in the hands of a select few. Werkstatt means, effectively, “workshop” in German. And so, Moog Music at Moogfest this year unveiled a synth you can’t buy anywhere but in a workshop. (Not to be confused with the one you might be able to buy, but can’t afford! Start on those lottery tickets!) Available exclusively to Moogfest Engineer VIP Package purchasers, Werkstatt was more than just a fun piece of gear. Designer/engineer Steve Dunnington of Moog Music, creator of the instrument, led participants in soldering and assembling the synth, then into exploring the world …

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Teenage Engineering to Make a $50 Drum Machine [Pictures, Teaser]

What if a drum machine were as small and appealing as those old Game & Watch portable Nintendo games? That’s the latest design challenge undertaken by the mad scientists at Teenage Engineering. And the creation has some serious lineage: Jesper Kouthoofd, CEO of Teenage Engineering and designer of the new board, contributed to the original Machinedrum. The board made its appearance for the first time in the general public at the panel I moderated at Moogfest, alongside Moog’s Cyril Lance. (Now, that’s more fun to bring to a presentation than a PowerPoint slide deck, right?) The size is about the …

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Roger Linn’s Linnstrument Could Finally Make Grids Expressive for Music [Hands On]

Roger Linn is largely to blame for the fact that so many instruments have grids of pads on them. He was the first to use custom touch-sensitive drum pads on drum machines as we now know them, and the rectangular arrays of pads – first on the Linn9000, but particularly on Akai’s break-out hit, the 4×4 MPC60 – became an iconic and popular interface. But now, he has a design that might change the way you think about grids. The problem is, input methods for digital instruments are still famously limited. Our computers themselves can produce astounding ranges of sound, …

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Live from the Moog Factory, Watch Erika, Teengirl Fantasy, and Survive

CDM here in the Moog Factory, downtown Asheville, North Carolina. I don’t care whether you’re a Boiler Room fan or hater – this one is special. Erika is here from Detroit with her circular sequencer and loads of gear. The wild and wooly Survive are new to me but they’re doing lovely stuff and have a synth museum worth of keyboard racks – fantastic. And in town from New York, hailing from Oberlin, Ohio, are Teengirl Fantasy. It’s already a great lineup, but novel for a second reason – Moog will keep assembling stuff in the factory as they play. …

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Band Sings Song Asking Why They Aren’t Playing Moogfest

What if you wanted to play Moogfest really bad, but Moogfest didn’t call? No, I mean really bad – like you started a band with this very dream in mind, outfitted your studio with nearly everything Moog makes, and put on a shameless amount of Moog-logo gear, just in the hopes of getting the booking. If you still couldn’t make it onto the bill at that point, well, I guess you’d have to actually write a song explaining your plight, upload it to YouTube, and hope it went viral. This is the Internet age, after all. That’s what the band …

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Moogfest in the Mix: As CDM Heads to North Carolina, Music, Futurism to Fill Your Week

Moogfest has been many things over the years, from a small get-together of Moog fans to a New York event with a few headliners to a festival that at times veered toward being just another big rock fest. But this year, it’s evolved into something special and new. Amidst a wildly-varied nighttime mix of big-name musical acts, it’s become a hub of futurism and music technology. It suggests a Moogfest that isn’t just about some artists and the Moog of the past. It could be a place to learn about the inventions of the future. And that’s a zeitgeist I’d …

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Moog’s Werkstatt for Moogfest is a Patchable Monosynth, Leaked in Image

Moog seems to have something special planned for Moogfest – na klar! “Werkstatt” looks to be a kit synth the company has prepared for the event in Asheville, North Carolina later this week. As Synthtopia observes, the photo was revealed on the Instagram feed for the event – and appears to coincide with a three-hour assembly workshop with the engineers. “Werkstatt” means “workshop” in German, so the kit function is obvious. Looking at the picture, a whole lot is clear. The architecture is a single-oscillator monosynth, switchable between saw waves and PWM. Both the filter and oscillator mod can be …

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