The Psychedelic Symphony

Sunday Synth Jam: The Psychedelic Symphony, via VolcaRock, explores the classic sound of 70’s space rock, with ‘organs that sound like synths’.

Here’s what VolcaRock has to say about this jam:

“Here is my Psychedelic Symphony in 4 1/2 movements, with Korg ARP Odyssey 2015 and 4 1/2 vintage organs that can sound like synths.

I was interested in early Pink Floyd & Tangerine Dream, So I bought 4 analog organs for the price of one YAMAHA Reface YC 🙂 I couldn’t believe what amazing instruments you get for the money. Most time I tried to let them sound like synths and not as typical organs.”

Technical Details:

Korg ARP Odyssey 2015
Elka Artist 707 (1978) with Elka Rhapsody 610 string synth & Elka Soloist 505 on board
Farfisa Compact (1967)
Farfisa VIP 345 (1972)
Farfisa VIP 200 R (1975)
Farfisa Syntorchestra (1976) string machine with solo synth
Elektron Octatrack (for recording audio)
Godin LGX-SA guitar
Jim Dooley on Drums

8 thoughts on “The Psychedelic Symphony

  1. VolcaRock, I enjoyed your music, but also the pleasure of seeing Farfisas piled up and put to good purpose. You took an interesting zag in making those the bulk of your setup. I’ve played a lot of knotty keyboards, so its doubly amusing to see people crave the creaky old guard when you can synthesize 98% of your way there with a modern synth. My one critique: borrow your guitarist’s pedalboard! 😛 I inherited an old Vox Jaguar and hated its thinness, until my guitar pal said “Run it through this compressor, pitch shifter, reverb and EQ and see what happens.” It gave the thing a whole new voice. Try that and you’ll get even closer to those great atmospheres created by older bands like Nektar and Gong, as well as some great things you hear from Ozric Tentacles.

    1. Hi Fungo McGurk, thank you very much for your great feedback to my video 🙂
      I started with guitar, sound card & plug ins, then changed to hardware synths. Over the years I played different synths, but in the end I was luckier with analog and even luckier with vintage analog 🙂 I can’t really describe it in words, but although that organs don’t work to 100% and the individual strange behaviors sometimes drives me nuts. They are unique in playing and in sound. It’s a kinda love-hate relationship….
      Thanks for the tip with the pedalboard (btw I am the guitar-player, too;-), I usually use it also for MS-20 mini and the ARPodyssey. But I only have one pedalboard with all the fine FX, so only one synth/guitar can get this feature when recording. Next time I will experiment a bit more with organs and FX.
      Ozric Tentacles are one of my favorites, and of course the Old german Krautrock and British Prog rock bands 🙂
      Sunny greetz from Dresden/Germany

    1. While there are still some deals out there (he seems to have gotten very lucky), you’d be hard pressed to find a couple old combo organs for less than a Reface. At least ones that are functional enough to be useful.

      1. I guess a bit luck is necessary, but also it depends on where you live. In Germany Combo-Organs like Farfisa VIP are sold usually for 100 -€ , my VIP 200R did cost twice because it was fully serviced. Yamaha YC from the 70ies go for 150 to 300,-€. Farfisa Professional and Compact are between 100 and 500,-€.
        And home Organs like the Elka Artist 707 are often for free. Nobody wants those big space killers anymore. The only reason I bought one is because it has the same parts inside like the Elka x705, so its for parts -)

        Really expensive organs (more than 1000,-€) are models from VOX, Farfisa Compact Duo or Yamaha GX1.

        1. Sounds like you have some good deals over there. That’s about half of what they tend to sell for here in the USA. The VIP series seems to be one of the better deals though – I have bought 3 for no more than $250 each. They always need a lot of work because of those terrible Italian capacitors but they are incredible instruments.

    2. Thanks for your feedback. I bought the organs a few weeks before I knew that Yamaha will release Reface. But after I heard the price I was not unlucky to have already some originals. But in the end you can not really compare.
      Yamaha has developed a cool new product, which is mobile, has guarantee, cool FX on board and sounds to 90% like the originals.
      Only one of my vintage organs is in perfect condition, the rest has some little problems, which had to be repaired (when you don’t want to live with them). when you can solder and read schematics, you can make cool deals with vintage stuff otherwise the repair costs could be higher than the instrument itself.

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