Frustrated by the lack of imagination exhibited by today's synth manufacturers, I've sketched some concept-drawings of synths I wish existed. The UAPS "Ultimate Analog Performance Synth" to the left, is one such synth. Scroll down to see "Tomm's Grab & Go Worksation Keyboard", the "Rhythm Section" Drum Machine and my other designs. If synth manufacturers won't produce them maybe we can "crowd-fund" them into existence via the "Synth Project" below!
Tired of the same yawn-inducing keyboards shown at each succeeding NAMM Show? HAD IT with the boringly predictable "me too" designs "The Big 5" ( i.e: Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Casio and Kurzweil ) dish out every year? If so, then check out the concept-sketches below. They're "different". Question is: would you buy any of them?
Below are some design concept sketches I've done over the years. They're drawings of synths and electronic music products I wish existed today -but don't. They reflect my frustration with the "Synth Establishment" who insist upon giving us the same safe, boringly predicable "me too" designs every year. My concept drawings ( below ) fill specific niches the "Big Five" have completely ignored.
If you like what you see, mention the Synth Project designs ( -below ) on the Facebook pages of the following manufacturers: ROLAND, KORG, YAMAHA, CASIO, KURZWEIL, BEHRINGER . If enough people do this maybe they'll pay attention. Be sure to include this link: http://creativetechnerds.jimdo.com/synth-project/ in your Facebook post -so they can visit this page and my drawings. If enough keyboard enthusiasts do this, perhaps they'll listen. However, I'm not going to hold my breathe. While you're at it, click on this "Feedback Link" and let me know what YOU think of my designs and the "Go Fund Me Synth Project" proposed below. Would you support such a Go Fund Me Campaign? And WHICH of the designs ( below ) appeal to you the most ? Encourage your friends to visit this page weigh-in as well!
This synthesizer expander module allows you to "fatten-up" your synth's sound with beefy sampled sounds ( -taken from "Tomm's Dual-Sample Oscillator Work-station" ). You can even "mix-in" sub-octave waveforms to augment your synth's low-end girth. Turns your wimpy sounding synth into a ground-shaking "monster"!
The "UAPS" takes live performance synthesis to a new level. The "UAPS's" "Multi-Hand Controller" allows the synthesist to simultaneously control ( 27 ) synth parameters from one hand ( -as their OTHER plays the keyboard ). Finger Groove Capacitance Sliders allow control of another ( 16 ) parameters in realtime. A 360- Degree Soundfield Tracking Ball allows for 360-degree panoramic panning of the soundfield. A "Pitch-Controller Strip" and built-in Theremin add even more live-performance options. Finally, synthesists and sound-designers have instantaneous control of over ( 27 ) synth parameters for unprecedented live-performance expression and lightening fast patch-programming!
The "Desktop Workstation" combines the features of "Tomm's Dual Sample Oscillator Workstation" with his "Rhythm Section" machine for an "all-in-one solution". You'll find the Dual Sample's LCD screen ( -now divided into Sample Osc. 1 & 2 sections ), all of it's voices and polyphony, it's parameter programming matrix, a built-in 16-track digital audio recorder plus effects along with the "Rhythm Section's" drum kits/ pads, guitar-chord matrix, guitar strum-patterns, vintage bass and guitar samples + bass synth samples. It includes a pair of ( XLR/ 1/4" ) Combo jacks on the back panel allowing you to record external instruments ( -like electric bass, guitar and vocals ) along with your internal Sample Oscillator and "rhythm section" parts. The "Desktop Workstation" is an "all-in-one" solution that makes the rest of your gear ( -except for a MIDI keyboard ) pretty much expendable!
Photos of Electronic Music Work's production line. This Brazilian synth manufacturer has developed some of the most intriguing synth and modular designs you'll see! Unfortunately, the multinational "Synth Establishment" ( i.e: Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil, Casio ) are "clueless" when it comes to design innovation -much less listening to and developing synths their customers actually want! Their "tone-deafness" helped to inspire this "Synth Project". Thanks guys! -Tomm. ( -ABOVE ) EMW's BRAZILIAN DESIGN INNOVATION. AN "ALIEN-CONCEPT" FOR THE "BIG 5"!
Since it's unlikely the "Big 5" ( i.e: Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Kurzweil, Casio ) will ever produce these designs, I'm thinking of starting a "Go Fund Me" Campaign to finance their production. However, before I do that I'd really like to know if there's a market out there for these synths. Therefore, I'm asking synth and keyboard nerds worldwide to "weigh-in" on whether they'd actually buy these synths if they were manufactured.
Drop me an e-mail and let me know! Would you buy one of these synths if they were produced? And if so, WHICH ONE appeals to you the most? Your "feedback" on these questions will help me to determine if this campaign is worth going forward with ( -and if it is, WHICH designs to tackle first ). You can weigh-in on these questions by clicking the following link and leaving your feedback here: "Synth Project Feedback" I'll post a few of the more concise and pithy replies I get below ( -leave your first name, last initial and where you're from after your comment if you'd like me to post your comment ). The more "concise and to the point" your comment is the more likely it'll be posted ( -just a sentence or two at most ).
I'll post periodic "Tallies" and "Updates" on this page, so check back often. I'll make my final decision on the "Synth Project " Campaign based upon your replies. So take this opportunity to "weigh-in" on these synths and the project. Encourage your friends to visit this webpage and cast their VOTES too!
"I like the idea of a grab and go keyboard with 8 tracks of audio recording very much. If I could put my own samples in to it, even better" -Atomic Shadow.
If the "Synth Project" becomes reality, we'll need skilled synth designers ( -with a proven track record ) to translate my "concept-drawings" into actual working "prototypes". Printed circuit board design, component selection and sourcing are but a few of the skills that will be required. Along with the "out-of-the-box" design philosophy these synths demand. If this des-cribes YOU and you'd like to participate in the project, "OUT-OF-THE-BOX" SYNTH DESIGNERS NEEDED ! drop me an e-mail here: Synth Designer Feedback. Let me know WHICH of the ( above ) designs you'd like to participate in developing. Send me a realistic "ball-park estimate" of what you'd charge for designing it ( -along with any problems or challenges you forsee with the design ). This will help me to estimate HOW MUCH to raise in our "crowd-funding" effort should we go forward with it.
Obviously, if we go forward with the "Synth Project", we'll also need to locate skilled and reliable printed circuit board manuf- acturers, electronic assembly plants and woodworking shops ( -to etch our circuit WANTED: SKILLED AND RELIABLE USA SYNTH ASSEMBLERS! art into functioning PCB's, to form and punch-out chassies and control panels and to precisely cut and finish our synth's wood end caps ). And I'd really like to put American firms to work doing this! But here's the rub: Most of these synthesizers will be produced in very "limited runs" of ( 10 ) to maybe ( 100 ) units at a time. If you want to be part of something "truly special" ( -these are limited "one of a kind" units that will probably never be produced again ) and your operation can handle such low "minimum runs", contact us here: Synth Assembly Firm Feedback . Give us your realistic "ball-park estimates" of what you'd charge to supply: TEN, TWENTY FIVE, FIFTY ( or ) ONE HUNDRED units ( i.e: either etched PCB's, populated and soldered PCB's, punched and formed chassies + control panels, etc. -which ever it is that your operation specializes in ). We'll keep you in mind if we go forward with the "Synth Project".
*P.S: Any printed info ( -along with past references ) you could supply us with regarding your operation would be helpful. We'll supply you with the mailing address to get it to us. Just mention this in your e-mail.
If you've gotten this far down the page -why not check out the rest of our website? We're probably new to you, so take some time to browse our article links below ( -along with those at the top of this page ). If you like what you see, tell your friends about us. The more the merrier!
CREATIVE TECH NERDS is the "Creative Technologies Zine". If you're into Synths, Sci-Fi and Spacerock we've got you covered! If you use today's technology to CREATE your own music, films, ( or ) computer-animation, we speak your language. Check out some of our articles ( below ): *SYNTHESIZER REVIEWS *PROJECT-STUDIO GEAR REVIEWS *INTERVIEWS WITH PROGRESSIVE, SPACEROCK & POWER-METAL BANDS ( -AND REVIEWS OF THEIR MUSIC! ) *REVIEWS OF COOL SCI-FI FILMS *REVIEWS OF INTERESTING DOCUMENTARIES *INTERVIEWS WITH TODAY'S MOST CUTTING-EDGE SYNTH DESIGNERS...
Here are some links to a few of our recent articles. Enjoy!
A review of Electronic Music Work's amazing "desktop monster", the "WCS-1x Synthesizer". This tiny synth has a decidedly "Moogish" sound character, costs around $300.00, is "Brazilian-made" and ab-solutely rocks the house! While you're at it, be sure and check out the Paulo Sergio dos Santos Interview to "get inside the head" of the WCS-1x's designer. A truly inspiring and fascinating interview with a brilliant Brazilian designer ( -that most American synthesists have never even heard of before! ). Start paying attention to him because this cat has some phenomenal designs!
EMW's "WCS-1x" DESKTOP SYNTHESIZER
A fascinating Interview with Arjen Anthony Lucassen . "Concept album mastermind" and guiding-force behind "Ayreon" -one of Europe's most innovative Spacerock franchises. Arjen does it all! ( -guitarist, keyboardist, lyricist, album coordinator -you name it ). And he does it all very well too! American rock audiences are missing out not hearing his music on FM rock-stations in the USA ). A real shame! And check out our review of "Ayreon's Universal Migrator album". "AYREON'S" ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN It ranks right alongside of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" ( -in terms of concept originality, musicianship and "studio-craft" ).
Our Behringer B-1 Condenser Microphone Gear Review is typical of the Gear Reviews we do. It's an affordable ( $100.00 ) Microphone that gives you the "Biggest Bang for Your Buck". We love breaking convention and bringing you reviews of gear that performs and sounds like it should cost much more! The B-1 favorably compares with mics ( -like that well known German brandname that starts with an "N". Only their's cost over 30 x times the B-1's price! ). And check out our Behringer Xenyx QX1202USB Mixer Gear Review for another astounding piece of gear that even the most "cash-strapped" project-studio owner should be able to afford! ( -ABOVE ) BEHRINGER'S AMAZING B-1 CONDENSER MICROPHONE.
If you're looking for a sci-fi thriller that will "keep you on the edge of your seat" all the way through -read our Movie Review of Oren Peli's "Area 51" . This low budget, little-known film really delivers on pulse-pounding, adrenelin-pumping suspense and action -giving you a "go along for the ride" view of what it might be like to penetrate the perimeter of Nevada's top-secret "Area 51" base. Great film making. Just watch the movie's "trailer" at the bottom of the page!
( -RIGHT ) "AREA 51": IMPRESSIVE LOW-BUDGET FILM MAKING!
Are you a Spacerock fan? Then, by all means check out our "Music Review" of: "Hawkwind's Levitation" ( -Expanded Edition ) album. It's a terrific "compilation album" ( -that includes plenty of obscure extra tracks ) that every diehard Spacerock fan should own!
-LEFT ) CD COVER ARTWORK FROM HAWKWIND's "EXPANDED ED. LEVITATION" ( CD COMPILATION ).
That'll give you a taste of what we'rte about here at "Creative Tech Nerds". Peruse the top article links if you want to read more of our Gear Reviews, Designer Interviews, Artist & Band Interviews, Music and Movie Reviews, etc. And be sure to check back for our upcoming articles and reviews! -THANKS! -Tomm, Editor.