What am I looking for?
Last update: 3/20/97
- Richness and expressivity that contrasts with and complements the
- A certain believability in the imitative sounds -- though I don't want
to replace a chance to work with real instrumentalists, if you're going to
emulate them you at least don't want it sounding dumb...
- Flexibility in providing color for more "contemporary" musical contexts
in worship -- working with an ensemble of piano, guitar, and winds, for
- Various entertainment music situations in which I only dabble at the
moment -- reception playing, studio keyboard work.
Some specific synth characteristics I have found useful
- Velocity sensitivity -- I have a hard time with the fact that most pipe
organ MIDI interfaces do not implement this
- Aftertouch sensitivity -- of course, this is even rarer in
dedicated organ interfaces, much less my preferred mode,
polyphonic aftertouch (which is rare even in synth keyboards
- Ability to sustain a note on one patch, switch to another, and sound
another note on another patch.
You can tell that I've gotten very used to older Ensoniq flagship synths
-- the just-discontinued TS-10 and its predecessors, the SD-1 and VFX
families. (No commercial connection, I promise -- just a satisfied
user.) This company's new flagship keyboards, the MR-61 and MR-76, don't
do these things (though they have other advantages, to be sure --
fortunately, I can retain most of the control flexibility I like by
controlling my MR-61 from the TS-10!).
What first attracted me to synths?
A variety of things I have heard over the years from the mass market --
ranging from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, to Switched-On Bach, to Tomita's
classical transcriptions, to Gospel music, to "Music from the Hearts of
Space," to the Paul Winter Consort. Some of these initially attracted me
by their use of a pipe organ in non-traditional contexts, others by some
organ-like sounds, others by my simple love of a variety of styles. And I
had a few chances in college (early 70's) to mess around with early Moogs,
and with my love of electronics, technology and acoustics, a lot of it made
sense right off the bat.