In contrast to the usual Jabun Audio news, I thought I'd take this week to reflect on some other things which have been happening in the musical world. As many of the music tech nuts out there know, Thursday marked the beginning of NAMM 2015, the worlds biggest music tech convention (on until Sunday), and although I wasn't able to go in person (one day....), I've been following the news eagerly on social media. This year has been insane with some awesome and unexpected releases.
Not that I ever doubted them, but Korg once again undoubtedly prove they rule the synth market! After bringing analog to a new generation with the affordable Monotron series a few years back (of which I was awarded 3rd place in the USA for the Monomania Sound Design Contest 2012), following up with the more advanced and flexible Volca series, and last year, after hearing audiences pray for it, releasing the Volca Sample, I had no doubt that Korg REALLY listen to their customers and are keen to bring Analog back for all price ranges. Following the release of MS-20 mini (which is very much in my sights!) and the build-it-yourself full size MS-20 Kit, I was wondering what they could offer this year. We all knew the Arp Odyssey reissue was coming (which looks and sounds sweet), but I don't think anyone foresaw the MS-20m Module Kit or SQ-1 sequencer!
On top of providing the MS-20 sound engine with both filter variations, the Module featured the addition of all the common modifications people wanted on the original MS-20, FM, Osc Sync and PWM, converted connections for integration with other CV standards, all in a build it yourself kit (including an SQ-1 sequencer)! Mega cool! The SQ-1 takes the feel of a classic analog sequencer module and compresses it into an affordable and modern compatible 2 x 8 step battery powered sequencer! Really cool! What's next from Korg? An MS-50 mini? A Polysix Mini? (PLEEEEEEASE). You guy's are definitely taking a bite of my next paycheck!
Kinda cool, though WAAAAAY out of my price range, if you have >$10,000 to spare for a synth, Moog have reissued some classic modular systems, which look and sound amazing, buuuut you have to go to the factory to pick them up. The firmware updates on the more affordable Sub 37 are awesome though! "Holy modulation destinations Batman!"
On a sadder note, last weekend saw the loss of a fantastic Russian vocalist and one of my heroes/inspirations: Origa (sadly from lung cancer at only age 44). She had a beautiful and unique voice and provided vocals to many Anime songs including the openings to the Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, working closely with one of my composing heroes Yoko Kanno. Below I'd like to embed a YouTube video for "Inner Universe" my favorite of the songs she sang. The world is short of one amazing musician, but heaven has gained a new member for the ethereal choir. Rest in peace, Origa. From myself and on behalf of countless people around the world, we'll miss you and wish you the best of luck where ever you are now.