z Gear Stories episode 2

Well, it’s time for Gear stories again!  Those little anecdotes that I share with you, designed to make you think about how you make music… kind of like the after school special of music equipment!


As always, if these little stories annoy you, just let me know and I’ll take you off the list!


I will mention one lower priced item for folks like you and me to afford, and then one higher end item that makes folks like you and me wish and start filling our piggy banks…





I’ll spill the beans… I graduated from High school in 1981 …which makes me … well, old.


The Police were beginning to climb up the charts and Hall and Oates were HUGE, and MIDI had just been invented!


For my High School Graduation, my mom and dad got me my first synthesizer, the KORG Mono/poly (it was called that because it had four oscillators that sounded GREAT playing in unison as a monophonic synth, but you could set it to polyphony and it sounded… well… it played four notes at a time…  It was dirty and PHAT sounding!  Classic analog electronics with no memory for holding patches, and no MIDI (since those features were only available in it’s big brother the Poly 6), so you had to dial up every sound with a hundred little knobs on the front.  It took ten minutes to warm up before it could play in tune, and I had to tune each oscillator separately.


The guys in my band would sigh and say, “You just can’t gig with that thing…”  yet I did from 1981 until the mid nineties, when it retired to my studio.  It still plays, but only three oscillators work, and with no MIDI, it’s impossible to synch the arpeggiator.


Now, however, KORG has just released my first synth again!  this time as a virtual instrument!  It works entirely as software in your computer!  it is part of a bit of software called “the Legacy Collection – Analog Edition”  It includes virtual models of the Mono/poly, as well as the Poly 6 And the MS-20!


However, there are a few cool upgrades to the Mono/poly.  It is now no longer limited to four oscillators, so you can get those dirty Phat sounds in poly mode on as many notes at a time as you want!  Also, it is, of course, MIDI compatible, since MIDI runs everything in the synth world since 1981, so the arpeggiator synchs up beautifully!  It also has a wonderful library full of presets, and you can make your own and save the patches!  the sounds are GREAT!  they sound ALMOST exactly like the original… except for this one thing…  it plays in tune!


See this product at  http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KLCAE07/


We have it on sale for $199.97, but through this month, I am offering an additional discount of thirty dollars, bringing the cost down to $169.97   … in 1981 dollars, the Mono/polywas over $900 and the Poly 6 cost well over $1,100!  Now THAT”S a deal!





I few months before I started working at Sweetwater, a sales engineer/friend of mine came to my studio with a brand new mic designed by David Royer (of Royer Ribbon Mic fame) called the Mojave Audio MA-200.  We set it up against a Neumann TLM 103, an AKG 414, a Rode NT1000, a Blue Baby Bottle and a number of other less expensive large diaphragm condenser mics and compared.




The Midrange was Rich and warm, but not fuzzy, and the high end was crisp and clear, but not harsh.  I fell instantly in love with the sound, and have started putting spare change in a mason jar to get one myself!  Then came the question…  “how much did I think this wonderful new mic cost?” the sales engineer asked me.


Around three thousand dollars was my guess.


WRONG!  This incredible sounding mic sells for $995.00  !


Our agreement with Mojave audio does not allow us to discount this mic ANY FURTHER, but at this price, it’s an amazing value anyway.


Check it out at  http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MA200


I’ll catch you next time, on Geeeeeeear Stoooooooories! (ories ories ories ories ories…)