Open Mic: What Gear, Software Or Music Are You Thankful For This Year?

In the US, it’s Thanksgiving today – a day when people reflect on the things that they are thankful for.

2011 has been a tough year in many ways. But it has been an interesting year in the world of music – with lots of new gear, software and music to be thankful for.

2011 has brought new synths in all price ranges, from $25 to $25,000. The year has seen fantastic new synths from major manufacturers and boutique manufacturers alike.

It’s also been a year with new electronic music applications and updates to many major DAWs. And 2011 has brought a new level of maturity to mobile music making, especially with developers collaborating to improve the state of iOS music making.

It’s been a good year for electronic music – but what I’m really thankful for is Synthtopia readers – for the time you spend on the site, the constant stream of feedback you leave, for your story suggestions, for the music you make, the gear you create and the apps that you write.

I hope that you have a great day, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. And if you’ve got a moment, leave a comment and let us know what you’re thankful for this year!

29 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Gear, Software Or Music Are You Thankful For This Year?

  1. I am thankful for Synthtopia. What a great site for every synth enthusiast out there! I return here almost every day and I nearly always find something of interest. And sometimes even something I feel like commenting on. The new open mic questions have, for example, been a blast to read.

    It hasn’t been a particularly spectacular year in the way of new music releases but in general I’m thankful for the huge amounts of free quality music released by the artists themselves and by various netlabels all around the globe. The market is changing and the Internet let’s us be a part of this wonderful change.

    And as for gear, I’m of course thankful for my babies back home. I love all of you guys back there on the table (and you next to and behind it, too) and all the exciting sounds you let me create with you. When other things or life in general gets me down, just a few minutes with you is always enough to cheer me up.

    1. Here in Finland we don’t celebrate thanksgiving at all and it always slips by me as just another foreign holiday. That’s to say, I had never done this before. It was kinda fun, even if this damn thing kept continuously “auto-correcting” me in the worst possible places.

    2. Thanks for the kind words!

      I have to second your words for your ‘babies’. I’ve had a tough year personally, but music is a constant that can get you through just about anything.

      1. I wholeheartedly concur with you synthhead. i am thankful for this beautiful site, it has pointed me into several unexpexted directions.

  2. I’m thankful for synthtopia James. Your site is amazing!

    For new gear I’ve picked up in 2011 I’m thankful for my Novation UltraNova and it’s awesome synth engine, FX processor and controllerism interface; my upgraded Moog Etherwave Plus Theremin; and Madrona Labs Aalto soft synth, I’m also thankful to the folks at Percussa who continue to update their middleware and add apps for the AudioCubes. I’ve also re-discovered U-HE’s Zebra 2 which I’d been using for composition for years and have recently gotten heavily into programming from INIT.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I am thankful for my family most of all.

    In the gear category I guess I it would be the Octatrack. Although it’s user interface is the most confusing, hateful, unintuitive thing I have ever used. It will enable me to (virtually) take my rack of dusty old junk out of the lab and in to the world.

    On the software front I have to say that Hollow Sun’s Music Lab Machines for Kontakt are the most useful for doing what I do. Stephen Howell is an ace sound designer and fellow mad scientist.

    I am also thankful for the support and positive messages that I have received from the synth community at large for my last Atomic Shadow album. It gives me the will to go on and finish the next one.

  4. Gear I’ve gotten this year I’m thankful for would be: Roland VK-09 organ, rocktron Banshee talkbox, and most importantly, my Moog Slim Phatty.

    What I am not thankful for is that damn Paia theremin sitting in my garage that doesn’t work.

  5. I am not American, so I don´t celebrate thanksgiving. That said, I do think it´s great when people take the time to think about things they should be thankful for.

    I am glad I found about synthtopia. I check this site at least once a day on a everyday basis.

    As to gear I am glad I have purchased (and enjoyed): the timefrog, the novation launchpad and my newest guitar.

  6. Propellerhead Reason 6 for me.

    I’d also like to mention the DSI Tempest, but unfortunately, they’re still almost unavailable …

  7. Without a doubt, NI Komplete is the best single box of tools I’ve ever used. Ozone 5 as well. On the downside, I am NOT thankful that NI got rid of Kore. I love Maschine, but it’s no substitute.

  8. Have to agree with you about the NI Maschine, Komplete, and Isotope (especially Ozone 5 Advanced) 🙂 The only thing that i miss about Kore 2 is the ability to morph between scenes. It seems like everything else is doable in Maschine, especially after upgrading to Komplete 8.

  9. I’m thankful for health and family.
    On the tech side, and at the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I’m grateful for Steve Jobs’ vision of what gadgetry should be. It’s truly a wondrous age in which to live.

  10. Madrona Labs Aalto is hands down the most inspiring vsti I have ever got my hands on. (Windows version was released this year.) Soundplane does too succeed in exciting me.

    Also, Korg micropiano and illucia one – – the second is not yet out, but I stumbled on it this year and to me it is the most dope controller like, of all time.

    Talking about eurorack world, 4ms Pingable Envelope Generator and VCA Matrix are the best modules announced this year, I believe. And the last thing I can’t help but be extremely thankful for is Buchla 258 replica costing modest five hundred bucks:

    It looks like it’s been a great year, isn’t it?

  11. Health and family aside, I am lucky enough (or is it stupid enough? 🙂 to have bought a Moog Voyager XL this year. Having desired a MiniMoog since I was around 18, and looking at pictures and listening to demos for the best part of 20 years, I took the plunge (3 years saving and a decent bonus at work helped!) It sounds great and is by far the best sounding synth I have. Looking forward to making more music with it in 2012!

  12. ..oh and I have to agree with the comments of thanks to Synthtopia too! I check it everyday for my daily music tech news! Great site!

  13. I’m thankful there is such a thing as Synthopia! It´s an (awe)inspiring cross section of talented people talking about music making as well as a healthy dose of gear insight, ranging from the common to the extreme. You gyus have supercharged my apetite for new noisemakers, be it iOS apps or Moogs (or a combination of both) and as a consequence my daily work as a sounddesigner hasn’t been this fun in years.
    As long as you keep it coming I will be reading and listening every day!

  14. Definitely the Nebulophone – biggest bang-per-buck for years, by far. And I wouldn’t have known about it without Synthtopia.

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