My Synths

I liked the little analogue synth of the JD-Xi the most. But it was the less powerful. On top of that the sequencer of the JD-Xi is great for mainstream but not for my compositions. Having the choice of 2,4,8,16,32 measures only is killing. Worst of all, quantisation is always on! No way for sounds to exist out of the grid. In the end they have put so little memory in it, that any serious automation of synth parameters make the synth to crash.

So I experimented for several months with a couple of semi-modular synths of Behringer, as educational step for me. I loved the sounds, but it was too hard to keep them in tune after several hours of playing. Worse of all one cannot save presets at all, so one is limited in the number of sounds in a live situation.

Next step was the Moog Sub37. I am in love with this one. Everything about it is musical and the sounds are legendary. So this one stays, the semi-modular stuff is gone. In my workflow most of my new songs start with first making a new sound on the Sub and sometimes a short sequence in its internal sequencer that syncs just great. These sounds are valuable protagonists for the DUCA music.

One analogue voice is not enough. The JD-Xi is nice but limited in elektro-sounds and uses the old Roland engine. I ended up with a Jupiter-Xm. It has 4 useable channels where you can put polyphonic digital syth tracks and more than 2000 of amazing presets. It is a kind of the greatest of Roland till now. It is not very musical, the knobs have a narrow sweet spot range and the various models are not well reflected in the hardware. But is a lot better than the JD-Xi uses the new Zen engine and for live situations the knobs are enough.

DUCAs: the background

This new concept emerged during the 2020 COVID lockdowns. As it was not easy to play with other musician in proximity, I had to find ways to create a full bands sound in my home studio.

I started extending my guitar with looper stations and some form of rhythm generator. In the end I settled with the AEROS looper, although not finished had great potential, working with 6 parts each consisting of 6 tracks.

For the rhythm I tried first the Miditech SDRUM. Great freedom and enough possibilities for singer songwritter like songs. But it was so easy to destroy your own creations by accident and not possible to set the pattern by MIDI. So I got a BeatBuddy, who has great sound, great interface but ancient editor/librarian. So I made my patterns in Ableton and exported … blah…import … blah… upload…blah…turn on, OK it works.

Then I tried 5 syth pedals for my guitar. I returned all of them. Instead I got my hands on a Roland JD-xi synthesizer and added it to my rig. It had 2 digital synths one (simple) analogue and a rythm track. It was not easy to achieve synch, I had to program a MIDI event processor to achieve perfect sync.

I did several webcastings to test the concept as it developed.