One that was tricky for some was the synthesizer on top the the Rhodes Piano with the touch membrane interface. It was of course the Roland Alpha Juno (2), but I can see why some people thought it was the DX7.
Another common guess was the Kawai SX-150. I don’t even know if that exists (SX240?), but the keyboard above the Juno 106 next to the computer monitor was the ARP Quartet, string synthesizer.
Here’s a video of the old Gas studios taken around 1999 or 2000.
The video is quite blurry, so it’s a good way to test your synthesizer naming/ geeking skills. Name all the gear you can in the comments and I’ll send three copies of Gas 0095 on CD+MP3+Flac24 to the three geeks who guess/ identify the most gear correctly. You don’t have to name it all, just one more than the person next to you.
Comfortably untidy, with old Macs and PCs in bits in the background, unpaid bills and three plate fulls of spaghetti. This is most of the gear used for the Gas 0095 album, plus a few new additions, all obsolete and still creating beautiful noises.
John Carpenter, film-maker and electronic musician, predicted the Yamaha Tenori-On back in 1981. In his film, Escape from New York, which was shot in 1981 and set in the bleak future of 1997, he predicted that by 1997 all government agencies would have their own Tenori-on visual sequencer. It still needed a little more work to fit all the electronics into a more manageable hand-held device, but it was mostly there.
He also showed the prototype handheld Tenori-On-Red, but it was scrapped as it had too few lights.
It even came with a vectored flight sim as an easter egg.
I decided to treat myself for my birthday (Friday 26th) and bought a vintage phaser from eBay to add to my SX-150 in the Gas / High Skies studio. Of course the combination of the Post Office and being from 1975 killed it on arrival, but when it does make noise, it makes gloriously vintage noise.
Phasing, the king of space effects, which is closely related to flanging, was invented/ discovered independently by Abbey Road Engineer Ken Townsend, whilst working with the Beatles, and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Two synced tape machines were run side by side playing identical tapes. The small differences between the tape speeds would cause phase cancellations, hence ‘phasing’. Some frequencies would disappear almost completely, but as the relative speeds of the machines varied the missing frequencies would reappear and other frequencies disappear, giving the amazing spacey, swirly sound.
Spectrogram of a phaser applied to white noise. Credit:Wikipedia
Roland, established in 1972, launched The Roland AP-2 Phase II in 1975 and was one of only a very small number of effects pedals to bear the Roland name. They used the Boss name from 1976 onwards.
As well as sounding like it’s from 1975; the era of Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity, Tom Baker as Dr.Who and the Polymoog, it also looks like it’s from 1975. I’m sure the Doctor must have had one lying around the T.A.R.D.I.S.
In true Microscopics style, if you zoom into the surface of the AP-2, almost imperceptible to the naked eye is the alien-brain like texture…