Three different patches are used in this improvisation. The monophonic patch consists of a pulse tone having a delayed vibrato and a wide and slowly modulated pulse width. When a note is sustained, it can be heard winding through the whole range of timbres, from nasal reed to hollow flute, like an instrument without a tone of its own.
The beginning and ending patch is a basic PWM pad that uses the 4-pole filter for a change and no resonance. The other polyphonic patch that appears in the middle of the piece is a simple flute chorus sound. Both sounds are set to allow the modulation wheel to open the filter for dynamic changes.
The days are now short, our lakes and ponds are freezing, and soon the ground will be covered in snow. All will sleep for five frigid months, but meanwhile, the music will keep us warm and cheerful until the robins return.
It isn’t often that one comes across a synthesizer company that produces instruments that aren’t clearly derived from the rock and jazz cultures. This is one of the reasons the synthesizer has existed primarily as a band instrument, and seldom as a solo instrument for keyboardists. Certainly, there are many albums made exclusively with synthesizers, but these are primarily limited to contemporary musical styles, including Electronica, Ambient, and so on. Still, such styles are closely affiliated with rock and jazz music and musicians. But a synthesizer designed with a loftier dignity that would appeal to a classical or church musician – that is an extreme rarity, as rare as modern solo synthesizer music composed in a classical style. Which, of course, is precisely what interests me.
In my quest to avoid the world of rock and roll, and yet, find synthesizers that serve my musical needs, I’ve stumbled across one company that fascinates me. I am not affiliated with this company in any way, nor am I receiving anything for this post. This is entirely a matter of my own personal interest.
Artisan Electronic Instruments is a small company that has been in business for only a few years. I discovered them several years ago, when they were just getting started. I’ve never owned or played one of their synthesizers, so I can’t speak for their quality. I can only say that I’m intrigued with the company as a breath of fresh air in a world of musical and cultural filth. Their instruments are classy in appearance and their names are dignified. And they’ve got lots of gorgeous wood trim!
If you have the interest, here are several links to the company. The sound quality of the various recordings is poor, so they offer little help in sonically assessing the instruments. Perhaps that will be improved. But I would very much like to try one of their synthesizers in the near future, and if I do, I’ll have plenty to report about it on this blog.
During this past summer in which I was blessed enough to borrow a DSI Prophet 12 synthesizer, I worked on creating a patch that was an imitation of a sound I had created on my Prophet ’08 Keyboard-Module pair. It was a bi-timbral sound consisting of a soft flute coupled with a bright sparkly pair of tones in the upper register. The proper organ term would be “mixtures”. While I was designing the patch on the Prophet 12, as is often the case, I took a bit of a turn and starting developing a variation on the original sound. Simply, I added random filter modulation to the mixtures and rounded off the edges with a bit of Lag.
Now that I’m back working with my Prophet ’08 pair, I decided to go full circle and see if I could re-create the Prophet 12 patch on the Prophet ’08. This improvisation is the result. It’s virtually the same sound, minus the softened edges on the Sample and Hold, since the Prophet ’08 lacks the lag feature. As with the original Prophet 12 piece, the mixtures are slowly merged in during the middle of the improvisation.
I added a few melodies with a reed-like patch on the other Prophet ’08, just to break up the monotony. This Improvisation is only an excuse to demonstrate the Prophet ’08’s version of the bi-timbral soft ethereal pad.