Solvent On Aphex Twin, Indie Music & Vintage Gear

StudioFeed caughts up with Canadian producer and hardware lover, Solvent (Jason Amm), for an inside look at his home studio set-up, his influences and the story behind his recent RDJ-CS5 EP.

In addition to making music, Solvent is also involved in an upcoming documentary on modular synthesizers, I Dream of Wires, that is expected to be released later in 2012.

via Oliver Chesler

102 thoughts on “Solvent On Aphex Twin, Indie Music & Vintage Gear

  1. What a synth collection, wow. I’m so jealous, I always wonder how people afford all that vintage/boutique stuff, especially indie musicians. Even taking into account a long period of time collecting synths.

    Also, watching this bums for me out, I saw a posting for a Yamaha cs15 for $400 on craigslist, I contacted the guy but he already sold it! Seeing that cs5 just reminded me : (

    1. Don’t know why I’m posting this, but this video kinda came along at the right moment.

      I’ve just been having a rather rough day and the creative juices aren’t flowing very well. I got to a point where I was listening to a work in progress and thought, “I’m wasting my time making shit. The last thing the world needs is another guy sitting around in his pajamas making electronic dance music that no one will ever dance to,” and then just closed up Renoise, shut off my gear and sulked for a little while.

      It doesn’t help that I’m not working in a popular genre — I don’t produce the most slamming dance beats, no “sick drops” anywhere near my work and my piano playing is about as sloppy as it gets. In fact, I feel like some of the stuff I’ve been producing lately sounds too “happy” and corny. (Don’t know how to explain it, it just lacks any dark emotion or aggression, and I don’t think that sells very well.)
      I’ve been telling myself that it’s ok… that I’ll find a niche audience that likes what I’m doing and things will work out. But after today, it just felt like a sad waste of time. And then I watched this video and listened to a few of Solvent’s tracks. I like what he’s doing, and I like what he has to say. I’m not saying I’m on par with him or that I’m going to be the next Solvent, but, like you, I completely relate to this chap. I have a compulsion to make music, so that’s what I’m going to keep doing.

      1. I think all of us aspiting musicians go through these phases. Questioning what we are doing, how we should change to be more popular or commerical. But you know what, we all started making music because we love it. not to try and find an audience. The audience finds you. I know I will be making music until the day I die. And I think it’s exciting to think what kind of music I will make in 10, 20 or 30 years time, and to leave behind a whole host of electronic compositions for my kids and grandkids to hear long after I have gone. The fact that I sell around 50 copies of an album at each release is irrelevant to me now. I make music because I have to make it. Just something that clicked with me as a young kid. And I am glad it did, as I dont know where I would be without it.

        1. 50 copies! I dream of selling 50 copies!! 🙂 Totally with you guys though, make your own music, keep making your own music and your audience will find you. Or not. But even if not you have made a lot of good music that you were proud of and enjoyed and the chances are someone else will like it too.
          I really enjoyed the vid and Solvent’s philosophy, very inspiring indeed.

      2. “I’m wasting my time making shit. The last thing the world needs is another guy sitting around in his pajamas making electronic dance music that no one will ever dance to,” I can’t tell you HOW MANY TIMES I’ve said this very thing to myself. Thanks for sharing – makes me feel better too.

        1. I’m sorry to hear you also feel this way, from time to time.
          If it’s any consolation, I got “back in the saddle” for a few hours today and managed to start something new that I really like. I just needed some inspiration and a break.

          My motto is, I’ll keep doing it as long as it’s fun. Even though the results may not always be what I’d like to hear, it is still incredibly fun. Keep at it!

  2. Now, just see all that hardware, not only is it a fire hazard, it takes up lots of room, looks ugly and not only that, it ,must be a drain on electricity and build up a big bill

    Lol, just get two iPads, you can do the same, if not more, save space, money and electricity

    1. I love seeing pictures of other musicians studios, especially when they are filled with analogue synths like Solvent’s. To me they look like an Aladdin’s Cave of electronic lovelyness! Synth Porn Rules! 🙂

  3. Very serious, tc11, animoog, sunrizer, nlog synth, grain science, are as good as any external synth, prove otherwise, and they are cheaper and more Eco friendly

    1. Thanks for the kind words guys – glad you enjoyed the interview!

      Upsydaisy — here is the “proof” that iPad/softsynth sounds are not as good as hardware, to my ears. Please note, I am saying ‘to my ears’ – not declaring 1 opinion is the correct one:

      – Every electronic record that I love was made entirely, or almost entirely, on hardware analog synths
      – I couldn’t count more than a handful of softsynth/ITB electronic records that I enjoy / like the sound of at all. Come to think of it, I can’t think of a single record off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are probably a few.
      – When I hear the sound of a hardware analog synth, my immediate gut reaction is YES. When I hear the sound of a softsynth, and even most digital virtual analog hardware synths, my immediate gut reaction is NO.

      So iPads & soft synths may sound satisfactory to you, but to me they don’t. Not at all. Also, the computer/iPad interface is uninspiring to me. Contrary to you, I think these machines look beautiful!

      Also, it is a misconception that these machines draw a lot of power – they don’t – You’d likely use more power heating up dinner in the microwave than you would running a room full of analog synths for a week.

      Jason/Solvent

      1. hey solvent! i gotta say it’s a great interview. I didn’t know your music and I’m a fan now. I ordered the RDJ-CS5 vinyl this morning, can’t wait to get it!
        Out of curiosity, how do you sequence your tracks? It sounds like you don’t use software at all, so it’s kind of interesting to me which tools you use to sequence sampled synth lines and so forth … anyway, the honesty of your replies is really moving, I guess many have felt the same in here at some point!
        Keep it up!

        1. I do sequence with a computer, alongside hardware sequencers. In fact, being able to edit my hardware jams in the computer is indispensable to me, and I would have a hard time going back to the days before multi-track DAW composing. (My first couple of albums were recorded live to cassette/DAT, and I certainly don’t miss that way of working!). I also use some plug ins for post processing – love using Altiverb Speakerphone for example – my thing is that I strongly prefer the sound and performance of hardware analog, so all of my material is generated outside of the box. I’m sorry but I just don’t like the sound of soft synths at all, whether analog emulations or not, and ITB production leaves me totally cold. I mix down on a hardware mixer with outboard FX and it makes all of the difference in the world, to my ears. Even budget FX processors like a Lexicon LXP5 or Alesis Quadraverb sound so much more organic / full of life to me in a mix, than expensive plug in FX. It doesn’t make sense but it’s true… all of those AD / DA stages, cheap cables, etc just seem to add some imperfections that my ears need to hear in a mix in order to thoroughly enjoy it.

  4. oops don’t know why my name ended up like that (sssSSSolvent)…

    PS if you want to check out more of my music:
    solventcity.com
    solvent.bandcamp.com
    soundcloud.com/solvent
    facebook.com/solvent

  5. Not dissing what you do solvent, much respect to your work…just generally concerned about synth people dissing the apps and saying they are not as good

    iPad app synths aren’t just soft, there are granular and analog ones too that sound the same as their counterparts with advantage of being cheaper and portable

    I guess it’s a case of taste and need really mate, but as the economy is dwindling I would say hardware and synth sales will dwindle and apps will take over. There is plenty of supportive evidence

    What frustrates me is this sites tendency to put down apps, so I really don’t see why they post about them, is it a comparison thing? I don’t do hardware or synth so wouldn’t visit it if it were not for occasional app reviews. So then because I do, I see the tendency to diss apps, and when someone who likes apps disses a synth..all hell breaks loose. Again, not dissing you..just this dark ages, uninformed stuff. If synth head wants to avoid this kind of conflict he should start apptopia or something..

    1. “What frustrates me is this sites tendency to put down apps, so I really don’t see why they post about them, is it a comparison thing? ”

      First complaint about Synthtopia’s ‘tendency to put down apps’!

        1. “You always say apps are not a credible alternative to hardware”

          And yet people complain that we do too much app coverage and tell us to rename the site to apptopia!

  6. Upsydaisy I respect your opinion about apps/softsynths and agree that you can make great music with them. However your tone regarding this post is very condescending. Why not appreciate any kind of musical tool and respect this artist’s workflow and set up?

  7. The clowns talking about I pads etc should just skip all these synth discussions, it’s like dealing with christians who want to tell you Jesus is great guy ( fuckin sad stuff)
    hardware synthesisers are a different ball game. The encroachment of the softsyths into discussion around music and synthesis is comical. I have had loads of records out (working electronic musician) . I have had synths for 25 years. I have tried to understand the soft synth idea but ,they often fail and have no knobs and sliders on, by the time you have got a decent controller why don’t the I pad people buy hardware, it’s cheaper (second hand market) Dave Smith mopho etc are cheap, cheaper than a bloody ipad. It was good to see the guy’s set up. I am into the middle ground , regards gear.easy simple kit. I have used modulars and I thought they where too time consuming for my needs and no patch memorys!! I use analogues and digital synths(samplers etc) Cs15 was a nice synth I has but the portomento control was virtually impossible via my midi to cv convertors (hertz to volts?) today I use a simple hardware set up , I am happy, have very little down time in the studio etc.The 1st weakest link for me in the studio is the computer, the second is my bank balance. The soft synth debate with the born again Ipad/soft synth evangelics is a joke, some of us are atheists!! leave us alone.

    1. That’s a little ridiculous to compare the hardware/software argument to religion vs. irreligion. If I wasn’t broke I’d go for an analog synth over an emulation of one, but when it comes to synthesis that is digital regardless what’s the point of having it as hardware? It IS far more efficient to have all one’s digital devices in one box. One might spend less on a hardware synth than an ipad, but with the ipad you can keep expanding it’s capabilities and add extra synths and processors to that. Your argument seems to extend only as far as to emulation of analog synths.

      If there is some difference between hardware and software digital synths (other than physical knobs) let me know and I’ll retract my statements. As it is I think you’re being about as much of a douche as the guy saying everyone should give up on hardware and just use ipads.

      1. Digital hardware synths, are good .For example the jp8080. A stunning bit of kit.
        It has more then enough sliders and knobs to edit v quickly and in fine detail.
        To run down such synths and then try to include Ipads in discussion is fuckin hilarious.
        Digital stuff goes back a long way. I am not a purist and have owned many analogues, and digital synths. It is the interface for me and the sound.
        Toys are us is a great view of the apple evangelicals, I bet they all want steve jobs baby inside em. The messiah is dead, Hurray

        1. I accidentally gave this comment from “Steve Jobs can I have your I pad
          ” the thumbs up. Can someone mark it back down. Cheers!

  8. Well, shiver me timbers, what a load of plonkers all of you! Don’t worry, iPad evangelical people and developers should leave you alone. What do you expect? Site features apps at times, so app people will view, and I’ve personally seen dissing of apps on this site

    I use apps and hardware and develop apps too, apps can genuinely recreate what hardware does- korg ims20 being the best example

    Synth head, if you don’t want conflict, I suggest you stick to synths as your domain name implies, that simple, there’s enough sites for apps and not enough for synths

    I surely would not want my apps promoted on this site, would be embarrassing and bad for business

    1. “Synth head, if you don’t want conflict, I suggest you stick to synths as your domain name implies, that simple, there’s enough sites for apps and not enough for synths.”

      Concerned developer – ‘Synthesis’ means combining a number of different parts or ideas to come up with something new.

      Taking the idea of synthesis seriously, in the context of music, SHOULD create some conflict.

      1. Well, you’re the boss here, but for my taste it’s really to much iTrash stuff here. The point is, that those gadgets actually are toys, nothing else. Nothing against softsynths, but trying to make music with a cellphone is hilarious. I mean, this is a synthesizer related site, and not Toys R’ Us, no?

        1. Andy, it may be ridiculous to YOU but not to millions of others. Some artists have made fully credible albums using just apps and guess what? People like them, people like you don’t think out the box? If they are toys, then apple is the biggest toy manufacturer on the planet?

          1. “If they are toys, then apple is the biggest toy manufacturer on the planet?”

            YES! Apple is the biggest toy manufacturer on the planet. You got it! And Apple is also a wizard. Because they make you to want those toys. They make you to think you’re not hip without their toys. They make you to think you have to spend several hundreds of bucks to make music with a … cellphone. I mean, this is like roasting a steak with an iron. 😀

            Brainwash, brainwash. So funny …

            1. “They make you to think you have to spend several hundreds of bucks to make music with a … cellphone.”

              This is a stupid argument considering that an iPad or iPhone with a selection of apps is still much cheaper than most dedicated hardware options.

              It’s obvious you have serious misconceptions about how people are utilizing mobile devices in music or, for that matter, their expectations. You’re also an asshole that thinks that everyone who’s doing something you’re not interested in is somehow brainwashed or isn’t thinking critically. Some of us are having fun with this stuff, and often not at the exclusion of hardware or other options. Deal with it.

  9. Gotta say, going through Solvent’s album and I’m massively impressed. I am part of this niche you are making music for 😛
    I’d buy the digital album if I wasn’t broke right now. I’ll come back and buy it later though. Would love to support more of this being made.

    1. I don’t think anyone is dissing his music

      From what I see is that the tendency is to say that hardware is superior to apps, that is now not the case

        1. Lol, try telling that to Brian eno, he is more of an expert on any of these things than any of us here, a recent interview with him proves him to be very much impressed with the quality of app sound output

          1. Brian Eno is more of an expert on what my ears and my gut are telling me, than I am? I have immense respect for Brian Eno, obviously, but his opinion on soft synths bears no consequence on how I feel about the way they sound. Does Brain Eno’s endorsement of U2 and Coldplay mean I have to like them too?

  10. @solvent , I never heard your name before nor your music, so I went to YouTube. Not bad stuff mate, quite retro, I like that. Everything is good quality, but I did not hear anything that could not be reproduced to the same standard on iPad apps, and that is not a diss, just different tools can do same things is all.

    Having said that, and I’ll end here, one great thing came out of this, I found out about a great artist ( you) who’s music I like and will listen to. Thus my part ends here, cheers for making great music:) and I’ll be sure to tell others to check out your sounds too!

  11. I Agree and disagree to both sides…it comes down to a mastery of the tools you have available. My hardware is fun and sounds great (Waldorf, old Novation, weird and quirky POS synths) but my software stretches the limits (Reason can make great sounding patches I couldnt afford to make hardware wise in a million years, pd and Supercollider are just too interesting, Gleetchlab is definitely different). I can turn the computer off and have just as much fun and make just as fun music as I can with the computer on….The SK1 is awesome, Reaktor is awesome…. It doesnt matter, I’ll still push the limits of what ever tool I have…

  12. How did this devolve into an iPhony argument? Dude shows his love of music and synthesizers – shows that sometimes it can wreck his head but he just cannot stop – driven by something – and all you talk about are issues of fidelity. If that’s the case – music is not for you – maybe you are the people that should start buying music again. Listen to the musicians when they are speaking. Listen to the people that dedicate their lives and livelihoods to it – then go back to picking out a new desktop images and customizing your settings… everyone will be happier.

      1. Go back to designing GUI’s and let the musicians speak for a while. I can get good sounds from some cutlery and bucket and I have used my iPad to make interesting bits and pieces but let me repeat – that is not the point. The dude showed you a synth signed by Aphex Twin – his personal hero – he then said he made a whole album only using that synth – I suppose expressing complex emotional states through sound – trying to share consciousness through timbre, harmony and rhythm. You are talking about something else.

  13. The difference between hardware and software is akin to the difference between porn and the real thing. Nothing can replace the touch of another body but the app user might argue that the end result is the same. Another point is the unpredictable nature of component degradation, which over time makes every analog synth sound slightly different and unique. Software running on an OS will sound the same as every other of it’s kind, forever. Until they write code for long term drift, of course. I know none of this matters to many of you, but thats my two cents.

  14. This is good stuff and I plan to purchase some Solvent recordings. It’s nice to see a non-hipster, humble dude making the music that he likes to make with the gear HE CHOOSES. Sometimes Synthtopia surprises me, rarely, but sometimes. Hiro Coleslaw approves.

  15. Also, I very much relate to the idea of making music because you NEED to. For me it’s like a compulsion; I couldn’t stop if I tried and a lot of people don’t understand that.

  16. Synth head, what you are seeing is a heated thing between app heads and er synth heads

    I personally think that featuring apps on your site is upsetting your readers, althigh this post was not about apps, it attracted the app heads to comment and that in turn hit the synth heads to counter.

    I really think that if both sides can respect each other then it’s good to feature apps, but from what I’ve seen, app heads can be quite rude to each other on other forums. So if you post about apps, this is very likely to happen more often on your pages as this will attract app heads to view your site in the first place.

  17. I really do enjoy all of the discussions & controversies that have arisen from this rather insular and self-pitying little interview that I gave here! Funny too – there is no point in there interview where I discuss my preference for analog/hardware – though I guess my collection makes my standpoint pretty clear. In my experience it is all too common that amateur ITB / software producers get defensive about their preference for software, when in fact it is not a preference at all, it was just the easiest/cheapest route for them to take, and they most often have no significant experience with hardware/analog to speak of. When I started producing electronic music, it was either buy vintage analog synths or crappy ROM-play digital keyboards like M1s and D-50s… I opted for analog synths because I wanted to make SYNTH music & that was the only way to do it… and after being spoiled by the real thing, there is just no way that I am going to settle for less. To my ears, softsynths, iPads etc offer so much LESS in terms of both sonics and interface. You produce an electronic record as vital and sonically exciting on softsynths as something like Numan’s “The Pleasure Principle”, New Order’s “Blue Monday”, Aphex Twin’s “I Care Because You Do”, Drexciya, Plastikman’s “Musik”, or even some of the recent output of Factory Floor – records that exploit the irreplaceable sonic qualities of analog hardware…. get back to me with that & I will listen with open ears!

    1. That production is 100% unmistakably digital / ITB. It doesn’t sound like it’s trying to be anything otherwise, certainly not analog. It doesn’t appeal to my musical tastes at all, and honestly provides no insight into digital/ITB production being able to match analog/hardware production, because it doesn’t even sound like it is trying to achieve that.

  18. @Concerned developer – You really think Technopolis Lost even sounds slightly analog ? I love analog and digital synthesis but you clearly aren’t familiar with the differences if you think Technopolis Lost
    sounds analog. @Solvent – you’re doing good stuff and shouldn’t feel the need to defend yourself to trolls. If I were you I wouldn’t bother reading anymore of this cluster fuck of a thread.

  19. i’ve been creating experimental electronic music for 34 years and i don’t understand the difference between digital and analog… really just saying who the hell cares!!! if your intent is to experiment and push the envelope then who gives a fuck how you do it as long as you do! now if you’re trying to be something, a throw back to an earlier time than sure do it on the appropriate instrument. you wouldn’t play bach on a moog, oh wait you might (but, it wouldn’t be good). point is that comparing analog and digital is plain stupid! they are both perfect for what they do. any way a person makes music is perfect for them. which argument is better, whether an analog moog filter is better than a digital reproduction or whether a moog filter is better than a korg?

  20. Its interesting to hear different views on this topic, here’s mine. The way I operate I will go to digital synths for certain sounds and analog for others. I like what some newer digital synths offer (Virus Ti, Massive), in terms of their sonic style and characteristics. But I also like true analog for other things – I used a kick from a Tempest on a track recently and it really made a massive difference to my ears, so rich and full. That being said, I also used some Animoog sounds on the same track, and I love the architecture of that synth.

  21. I’ve been into electronic music during the last 15 years and had a software based setup for several years, until I find myself into a situation where I couldn’t enjoy any peice of music I made, I was so frustrated after spent thousands of dollars in computers and software that I turned myself to hardware, I tell you this, I’m never, ever looking back. There are many reasons why hardware is the way to go, I’ll try to list the most important:

    1 – Real world instruments will always sound better, doesn’t matter if analog or digital cause they are tailored to respond well to the particular sound they make, while software instruments have to deal with a generic soundcards which will never give you the same high quality response that dedicated devices do;

    2 – Hardware will last longer, I can hear a lot of you laughing at me now, but it is true, if you buy a hardware synth today it will last 10, 20 or even 30 years, if you purchase a soft synth today you will have to pay for an update in 2, maybe 3 years cause it won’t run in the new “cutting edge” OS that Apple or Microsoft have just released;

    3 – Nothing beats the real thing, it’s like saing that artificial strawberry flavor is better than eating a real strawberry, or say that playing a video game will provide you the same experience than riding a real bike. If you want to play a piano you would go for a steinway piano not a reason soundbank, not that I can afford a steinway, I’m just trying to make a point here. Analog synths are the real deal, they are not trying to emulate anything (Despite the fact that they were invented to emulate acoustic instruments, they proved to have a soul of their own), that’s why they still very much alive today, I mean Arturia has just release an 100% analog synth for Christ’s sake, WTF is this guy talking about with this crap that hardware is dead.

    4 – Analog synths have never been so affordable, if you are on a budget you still have plenty of options, DSI Mopho Desktop, Monotribe, MFB-503, MFB-522, MFB-NanoZwerg, to name a few. These all cost the same price of high quality soft synths and guess what? They sound better, much better!!! If you consider how much you would pay to update soft synths you can say that these analog synths are even cheaper than soft synths.

    5 – That crazy talk that no one can hear the diference in a mix, bullshit!!! Unless you are def you can hear the huge diference real analog synths will make, especially if all the instruments used are hardware based, you will notice a huge diferece not only in one instrument but in the mix as a whole. If you want your audience to have a passive, inexpressive and cold experience go for soft synths, now if you want that earthquake bass, defined mids (Not annoying mids) and a plesant high end to get your audience moving with every note you play go all the way analog.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I use software too, most for mixing and sequencing. I do have an iPad 1 fill with music apps that rarely gets used, but I must say there’s no way animoog or horizon synth or whatever can replace my DSI Tetra, my Monotribe or my Juno-106, never!!! Soft synths needs to grow a pair before we can even mention that and it’s not happening soon, so kids do yourself a favor, don’t let yourself be commanded by the industry and all their crap about easier to use, total recal, more reliable, blah blah blah. What is more important to you? Your music or your confort? You kids need to get your hands dirty!!!

    By the way, great work Solvent, keep it up!!!

  22. Just like the Dev said, this site and members diss apps and it’s users

    So if u r convinced hardware is better, ok, you have that right, as we have the right to be crazy about apps

    It’s not the tools, but how you use them, a master can make any damn thing sound good

    This blog is synthtopia- keep it synth and peeps like me won’t have to come fight you guys

    Bill, you cannot say nothing will ever sound like the real thing, that is an absolute statement based on a relative consideration

    I think upsy and developer tried from the start to wind you all up, and from what I’ve just read- he did a grand job

    Pie in your face synth dinosaurs:)

    1. Doesn’t matter how good you are, how well you program your stuff, how much of a virtuoso you are, if you only use software your music will still sound cold and distant, it is a fact, if you had the chance to try both worlds as I did, or the will to do so let’s say it, you will certainly get it, otherways you are def or ignorant, or even both.

  23. You hardware guys need to stop being so close minded and elitist, and same goes for the app/software guys. Any real musician worth his or her salts will create music with whatever tool is available to them.

    When I was a poor kid growing up in the nineties I used to create music on pots, pans, and buckets with utensils, sticks, and my hands, while recording into a tape player and rapped over my “beats” at the same time ws banging tge tools at my disposal. It wasn’t the most professional setup, but at least I felt satisfaction in what I was able to accomplish. Kids nowadays have it much better. They can express themselves creatively on a 200 dollar iPod with apps that run on hardware much more powerful than some of the gear available in the nineties that were used to create many of the classic hit songs I’m sure many music aficionados that grew up in the nineties loved. Apps like NanoStudio and BeatMaker 2 are undeniably powerful tools. Lucky kids nowadays!

    You hardware guys shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss these tools. It makes you look like elitist a-holes. We’re approaching a new age where everyone will be able to express their ideas in a much better fashion than pots and pans and I embrace it. App people should also be more open minded about hardware. If you can get your hands on one, don’t be afraid to use a piece of gear. Analog gear sounds phenomenal. Don’t let a sheltered mentality keep you from engaging in something so joyous as sitting down an listening to a hardware synth. Remember, that ultimately it’s the man that makes the music, not your arsenal of tools. A true creative musician will make use of whatever is available to them at the moment.

    1. Wise words dj k

      Pots and pans? Why not?

      Appreciated your points…yes it’s true, apps EMPOWER those who don’t have cash to buy hardware, and from I’ve heard, many top quality productions are coming as a result

      It’s the tools, and the skill combined, whereas it seems some think it’s just da tools

      The desire to make good music should be respected, and apps are facilitating this desire wholesale, we can’t let the elitist preach otherwise

    2. I should add that nowadays I use real instruments. I’m into using real guitars, violins, horns, flutes, and bass. Nothing beats real instruments, not even analog synthesizers ;-), but that’s another debate altogether. I don’t put down anybody’s tools. I like to use a combination of real instruments, analog synths, desktop soft synths, and my iPad. Best of 4 worlds you could say

      1. That’s cool, I use a harmonika, record it into my iPad, then twist it with grain science 🙂

        Share a link to your sounds..

    3. Not trying to sound elitist at all, infact the opposite, I pointed that analog has finally become affordable now days, I’m on budget here too, the last machine I got was an MFB-503, I paid $300 for it and that means a lot of money to me, but couln’t be more happier, I got myself a 7 part drum machine with 5 analog parts that have a huge sound I could never get from a software drum machine, now think about it, why would someone spent $200 in an arturia emulation if one could get the same money and buy a Monotribe or add another $60 and get a MFB-NanoZwerg, it makes no sense at all, people stayed away from analog cause it was so freaking expensive but it isn’t anymore, why would someone pay the same price for a fake is beyond me…

    1. Of course, music industry is full of ego, and as your comments section allows for posting without prior moderation, it is to be expected, some need to roll a quick one, breathe, then think about what they write first

  24. Ps- synth head, maybe cast a vote and see if peeps want apps discussed on here at all, I think your loyal readers might want to keep it just hardware etc

  25. And also, it seems as the main point being contested is wether analog or digital sounds better, I just googled it and digital is favoured by far, could be an idea to format a honest and professional discussion on this matter?

    1. You sound like a baby who needs your parents approval, “You see dad, everyone is dumb that’s why I’m dumb too”. You googled it and found a toon of brain washed people just like you, who have 0% experience with analog synthesis, speaking nonsense crap about how an cheap emulated digital imitation sound so fat and real, cause they have been told by a marketing guy at Yamaha, Korg, Roland or even Apple that digital is better, digital synths are better for their pockets, cause they cost half the price to be put into production and they still sell it for the same prices they used to sell analog in the past. Get real man, if you want fat you got to eat pig meat, if you want analog you should use analog synths not coded crap.

      1. Analog synths cost more as they manufacture less due to low demand

        Do your research,it’s a scientific fact that digital is higher quality and analog is by far in less demand

        1. Hahaha… you are so funny, I did real world research pal, I know what I’m talking about cause I tried it not because someone told me… get real, this is for your own good…

    1. Lol, coleslaw is still tossing a salad, I assure you im not the developer guy, but we do share one thing it common it seems..just can’t help yourself can you?

  26. It’s such a bizarre argument. What works for one does not work for another, it’s personal preference. I think if the app freaks on here told Richard D. James that his hardware is worthless, and their iPad can do all that his hardware does they’d end up as an anagram floating in space. Comparing digital synthesis to analog is silly. Comparing hardware to software is also silly. I like my music to sound dynamic and I find I get the best results by mixing hardware, with software, and analog with digital.

  27. I want to thank my loyal fans on these pages for continuously citing me as the prime example and the alpha and omega of analog synthesis. Your prostrations, adulation and worship of me as the be all and end all are accepted graciously by me despite myself being a rather strange and anti social person who makes music by accident rather than by skill. Indeed, in my drugged out state, I’m known to spend long periods of time alone in my studio making such splendid accidents that you term as masterpieces.
    Almost everyone who knows me, terms me a “strange geezer” and I’m known to have few friends, as most cannot handle my wierd and eccentric behaviour, which had to at times extended to performing live dj sets lying on my back while in a semi comatosed state.

    However, despite my appreciating your worship, I do not take kindly to speculations as to how I feel about iPad music productions or similar, please wait for another rare interview with myself on this matter before presuming my thoughts

    Thank you

  28. Concerned Developer/Appfreaks, please take your argument spurring attitude elsewhere. It’s clearly you instigating everything and filling this thread with multiposts, so stop casting the blame. I have an iPad, it sucks. The end.

  29. Chiefy, it is not “the end”

    1- I do not take orders from you

    2- if your iPad sucks, go sell it and pay for something else that sucks and get some relief lol, then you won’t be affected by people winding u up dude!

  30. i started out with analog gear in 1991– now i have a ipad – it is cool -but my euroracks are way better — if you ever used analog gear you will never think a ipad is better– it is not about having tones of apps it is about YOU and 1 sound and what YOU can do with it

    cheers solvent

    1. It cannot be proved with words, I’m afraid you are going to have to take your fat ass out of your chair then go to a music store and hear it for yourself, ask for a good monitor and a real analog synth, tweak the hell out of the beast and tell me you didn’t get it. Dave Smith once said “I don’t need to prove anything, once people go to a demo room and start playing they always say: Ah, ok, I get it!”

      1. I have heard for myself, I’ve used analog so don’t assume, and fyi I’ve had records in the dance charts too, one at the moment actually, if u knew who I was you would STFU

        I speak from 20 years of experience, ten of them analog and I progressed to digital

        My next release is made only with iPad apps, you will see very soon

        Yawn

          1. One clue only, my album is in uk dance chart, between 10 and 35

            You have three guesses, if one of them is right, beans will be spilled scouts honour bruv

        1. OL… if you are that “MAIN STREAM” as you claim, that should prove something after all, it should prove why the last 10 years was a total waste in terms of Main Stream Electronica, the last good electronica bands that emerged to light were from the 90’s like the Chemical Brothers or Daft Punk, add an exception for Air and Justice, they all have been using analog and still do, as they do use iPads and software like everyone here. The thing is, I prefere and I believe most synthtopia readers too, listen to real electronic music like Solvent do, made with real “ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS” not this coded crap they have been pushing us.

          1. electronic means plugged into a power source in order to generate sound nothing more and nothing less, daft punk?chemical brothers?

            wrong answers, you have one left..

            1. Haha… I’m not counting heads here, I’m playing the Old Ben Kenoby saing “Come to the light Luke” or something, “Don’t trust the dark side”… I could have mentioned many others like Prodigy or Aphex Twin, I was talking about main stream after all… tell me what good things the main stream brought to us after these??? David Guetta??? You got to be kiding me right???
              Then that SNOB come here and tell me to STFU cause he is a “MAIN STREAM” figure, what do you expected?

  31. Upsydevelopingfreekshow/Concerned Developer/Appfreaks My point isn’t that the iPad is not a high quality music tool, which it’s not. My point is that you feel that the one thIng synthtopia needs is a flame war, and it doesn’t, nobody here cares that you think they should sell their gear/real instruments/brain/soul to get an iPad. Go move your analogue hate to somewhere that people enjoy your senseless arguments (ie, you have no proof because I didn’t want to hear it).

    1. Chiefy- have you accepted the good lord Jesus as your saviour? If not, I can pray he will accept thee graciously

      After all, there are no synths in hell- just more flames, such as the ones you keep fanning

  32. operation occupy synthtopia by world wide app mafia a rip roaring success

    engaged all old school synth peeps in pointless argument and debate, at times even acting against myself!

    so funny, you all fell for it, cheers for playing!

      1. Lol…LMAO right now

        More intelligent musicians use analogue? But still so gullible

        At least solvent got some good promo

  33. It’s all analog once it comes out of the speakers.

    I don’t know how I stumbled on this aforementioned “cluster-f of a thread”, but this is part of a debate that goes through the heads of all of us who have used both sides of “THE FORCE”. It would be interesting to see if anybody could actually tell analog/digital/soft/acoustic/whatever with any kind of statistical significance. Could you tell the difference between the real/emulated? My ego has the feeling that it could, but if it came down to listening to the same exact phrase played through the real thing and 4 different emulations 50 times each, I think I would choose the emulation at least 1 out of 3 times (if not more).

    Of course you would have an advantage if you had only used the real thing for 20 years and never used the emulation, but I would bet you still would choose the wrong one a few times.

    Whatever, let’s do something more useful than argue about something insignificant for once.

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