The Secrets Of Synthesizer Easter Eggs

the-matrix

For years, there’s been a tradition in the world of electronic music of “Easter eggs” – hidden messages, secret pictures and other things meant as surprising treats.

Here’s a roundup of some synthesizer Easter Eggs that we’re aware of. If you know of other ones, leave a comment!

The Matrix

Even hardcore fans of The Matrix frequently do not know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

At the beginning of the film, Trinity is in room 303 and Neo is in room 101. Rumor has it that the Wachowski brothers put those in as inside jokes for fans of electronic music, referring to the iconic Roland TB-303 and Roland SH-101 synthesizers.

Character names “Trinity” and “Morpheus” also were the names of new synthesizers at the time the movie was released.

MicroTonic Easter Eggs

microtonic-easter-eggs

Sonic Charge, makers of MicroTonic, embedded literal Easter Eggs as a treat for users – but only one day a year.  via Waveformless, by Marco Raaphorst

E-Mu Emax Bird Run

Look what we having – the useless Emax feature “bird run”.

Someone at Emax had a sense of humor.

Kurzweil Keyboard Pong

Kurweil keyboards are some of most powerful and flexible synthesizers ever created.

They also can be used to play pong:

  • Press the MASTER button, then the UTIL soft button, then the ( ) empty space soft button and finally, the SETUP button.
  • You will see “Welcome to the K2000 game!”
  • Use your data wheel to move your “paddle” to meet the bouncing ball.
  • When you’re done, press the EXIT button several times to quit.

Propellerhead Reason

Propellerhead Reason’s Subtractor actually lets you “unscrew” the screws that hold it in the rack.

Looks like someone had a bit of free time at Propellerhead…..

SynthCart Easter Egg

Synthcart is an Atari 2600 cartridge that lets you play music using a pair of Atari’s keyboard controllers.

Easter egg: secret light show mode that displays color patterns based on sound output. To activate, put the scale on “major” and put the left keypad on “pitfall” or “saw” and play the notes: 4 7 8 9 8 9.

FL Studio

Several Easter eggs have been reported with Sytrus synthesizer:

When clicking on the Sytrus logo in “Show Info”, the Hint Bar at the top says “Don’t even think about it you fruit-clicking pervert!”. After several more clicks, it will say, “Ok, fruit-clicking pays.” At this stage, the modulator grid changes to green rather than the standard blue. Then, “There’s nothing more, you know…”

On new year’s eve, in the status bar there shows up a label saying “Tonight don’t forget to puke.”

Synthesizers.com SynthInvent

synthinvent

Synthesizers.com’s SynthInvent lets you design your ultimate monster modular synthesizer – but it also has its secrets.

We haven’t seen it – but according to the SynthInvent FAQ, it’s hiding an Easter egg.

Analogue Solutions Synthesizer Secrets

Speaking of monster synthesizers – if you pay the big bucks and build a monster modular synthesizer, you should get a few Easter eggs as a part of the deal.

Analogue Solutions, as shown in the image above, has a few secret inside jokes for modular owners. See AttackSustain for more Analogue Solutions Easter Eggs.

pro-one-buddhaSequential Circuits Pro One

The Sequential Circuits Pro One analog synthesizer has its share of sonic secrets.

But it also has treats that will be found by people opening the keyboard up, presumably for maintenance.

Among these secrets is an image of Buddha on the logic board and some special mushrooms.

Apparently, the Dave Smith Instruments Mopho carries on this tradition, hiding the words “Pro One II” on the logic board.

Know of more Dave Smith Instruments or Sequential Circuits Easter Eggs? Leave a comment!

Serato Easter Eggs

Serato Scratch Live has at least three Easter Eggs, as this video demonstrates:

  • Hide The Tracks’ Names
  • Playing Pong
  • Auto Loop Slicer

Korg Kaossilator Easter Egg

The Korg Kaossilator has a hidden feature, as this video demonstrates. that lets you record 4-bar patterns.

14 thoughts on “The Secrets Of Synthesizer Easter Eggs

  1. Very cool article you guys!

    I'm not too sure I agree with the Matrix suggestions since the Matrix, esp. the first movie, heavily leaned on Biblical names and figures and even adopted some of the common story lines. But… who knows.

    I'm still kinda new to the world of synths (dove in head first around december last year) and I think its cool to see that the idea of eastern eggs also found its way in here. Eastern eggs are very common in software programs, movies, etc. I think its cool to see that this also goes for the wonderful world of synths!

    And on that subject: Happy eastern everyone!

  2. Very cool article you guys!

    I'm not too sure I agree with the Matrix suggestions since the Matrix, esp. the first movie, heavily leaned on Biblical names and figures and even adopted some of the common story lines. But… who knows.

    I'm still kinda new to the world of synths (dove in head first around december last year) and I think its cool to see that the idea of eastern eggs also found its way in here. Eastern eggs are very common in software programs, movies, etc. I think its cool to see that this also goes for the wonderful world of synths!

    And on that subject: Happy eastern everyone!

  3. Synthfan – No doubt that the Wachowski's drew on Judeo-Christian themes for The Matrix.

    No mention of 101's or 303's in the Bible, though!

    You could just interpret the 101 as a play on Neo being "The One" and 303 as a play on the name Trinity.

    If anyone can shed anymore light on this, please do!

  4. Synthfan – No doubt that the Wachowski's drew on Judeo-Christian themes for The Matrix.

    No mention of 101's or 303's in the Bible, though!

    You could just interpret the 101 as a play on Neo being "The One" and 303 as a play on the name Trinity.

    If anyone can shed anymore light on this, please do!

  5. Very well researched article. Have you guys considered including author names with your articles? Maybe a simple byline in the header? I'd like to place a name to some of my favorite stuff here.

  6. Very well researched article. Have you guys considered including author names with your articles? Maybe a simple byline in the header? I'd like to place a name to some of my favorite stuff here.

  7. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  8. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  9. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  10. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  11. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  12. Subtractive synthesis scetch design in NordLead: http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead

    More PCB-images on the Pro-One: http://www.solorb.com/anhevn/pro1.html

    Easter egg or not, but the Prophet 5 has a chant code run at startup: http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/prophe

    Design flaw or Easter egg… The Star Instruments Synare (PS-1) has no highest or lowest priority note. Instead it adds the two (or more) CV-values together for insanely higher pitches.

  13. In Fruity Love Philter, you can click on the heart and if you move your mouse up you can fill it with red colour. At maximum red, you will see a cool effect on the plugin that last for a very short space of time. Basing off of how much red is on the heart, the X-Y controller will also have its cross-hairs faded out. You can reverse it by moving your mouse down whilst clicking on the heard.

    I was using DrumSynth, when I noticed that one note above the highest note available for the drum-kit that I was using made a weird DJ-like sound effect. No other blank notes made a sound except for that one. I’m not sure of any specifications on how to reproduce this.

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