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One Hit "Synth" Wonders... Anyone remember the CAT??


Brent129

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Hey All;

 

I remember with fondness being 14 years old and getting my first Synth.... A CAT by octave electronics. Mostly because I could't afford a Mini-Moog. I don't know if I am now just biased, but I could make that thing talk. It was very expressive and fat sounding. In fact, I liked it better than the Mini back then.

 

I've since owned many Synth's including a Memorymoog plus I sold on Ebay in 1999. The CAT still holds a place in my musical heart.

 

Any one else like to reminisce??

 

Brent

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Maybe you know that already, but the Cat was a total ripoff of the ARP Odyssey. ARP sued the Cat company (Octave, IIRC), and forced them to quit production. It sounded great, BTW - like an Odissey, more or less... :D

 

My first synth... I built it myself in'74; it was awful. I also resold the first couple of monosynths (early Italian stuff) very quickly, because I simply didn't like them.

 

My first 'fond memory' of a synth is for the Korg Trident, an early polyphonic. The one I really regret to have sold is the Rhodes Chroma. I also regret not having kept the Minimoog.

 

Among the ones I still have, my fave 'old' synth is presently the Oberheim Matrix-12. I recently made a few new sounds for it. It works perfectly, and I just love it.

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I had no idea the CAT was connected to the ARP. That is really cool. I recently saw a CAT for sale on Ebay... Wanted to bid on it but wavered too long.

 

How about the early Korg unit (forgot the name)... but it was a very short keyboard with lots-o-patch cords.

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Originally posted by Brent129:

How about the early Korg unit (forgot the name)... but it was a very short keyboard with lots-o-patch cords.

Maybe you're thinking of an MS20...

 

http://www.synthony.com/vintage/vintage.images/ms20.jpg

 

dB

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There are a couple obscure synths from the 80's--the Crumar Bit One and the Bit 99. Anyone ever play these? I tried out the Bit One.....kind of rough. Interesting sounds, though not that remarkable.
When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I was going to buy an Octave Cat until I got a deal on a new Odyssey ($888 with a real ARP-logo Anvil case). ARP was closing out the "black and gold" graphics to introduce the "black/white/red" graphics and PPC pads. Still have the synth, though the case disintegrated.
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The Cat was resurrected as the Voyetra Eight, which was essentially the guts of four Cats in a rack. Multiple rack units could be controlled by a single keyboard, and the thing used XLR jacks for MIDI.

 

Mark Vails "Vintage Gear" column on the Voyetra can be found at archive.keyboardonline.com/index_old.html

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Actually I remember that my first "synth" was a used Moog Satellite - a cheesy one VCO preset monophonic synth meant to go with home organs and made by the Thomas Organ Company. It was pure crap but I got it cheap just so I could say that I had a "Moog synthesizer", which was the status symbol of the 70's for a keyboardist. I only had it a couple of weeks before I was able to get a real Minimoog and I sold the Satellite before I was seen with it, thankfully. :D
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Originally posted by HCMF:

How about the MCS70

 

It was used on the AUTOMAT record in Italy

 

Marino, Have you ever seen it?

Wow, good call for a "One Hit Wonder"... IIRC, only one MCS70 was built!

It was created my Mario Maggi (the 'father' of the Elka Synthex), and I have no idea if it still exists - I've only seen pictures. I would like to play with it for sure: 3 VCOs, 1 LFO, 2 VCFs, 2 ADSRs, and *patch memory*: Banks of 32 patches with switchable cartridges, all parameters included. In 1975!

 

The Automat LP was conceived as a sort of demo for the MCS70, but failed to draw attention: The music wasn't that good. (I've only heard snippets, however)

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I might as well throw the DK Synergy in the mix too. I've got a non-working unit sitting in my basement.... haven't had time to look at it to diagnose.

 

Just out of curiosity, who else played the Synergy besides Wendy Carlos. And for that matter, what is she doing these days??

 

Brent

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Klaus Schulze played the GDS, the Synergy's progenitor; Donald Fagen also played the Synergy.

 

Odd timing; I tried to fit my Elka 490 into a piece of (surf) music just today. It didn't work out too well.

Give me the ANALOG and no one gets HURT
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Originally posted by Mike Martin:

Anyone remember the Baldwin IKE? A repackaged Emax....

I remember that.

 

Baldwin also repackaged the orginal E-mu Proteus under a different name. When the first Proteus was first shipped and demand was higher than supply, you could more easily get a Baldwin "Proteus" from a piano dealer.

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Awesome synth's of my past. (I had a fondness for cheesy string boxes):

 

Moog Opus 3 - Great one trick pony string box.

 

Ensoniq SQ-80 - An ESQ-1 on steroids. Still have it, in brand new condition. Never been out of my studio.

 

Roland RS-505 - Thick string synth with cool wood finish.

 

Roland SH101 - Awesome but affordable mono synth w/ arp and 100 note sequencer. Sold mine for peanuts. Still kicking myself too.

 

Yamaha CS-01 - Little mono synth w/ mini keys. Had a great PWM sound, almost like the Vangelis lead sound from the CS-80 (not as good though.)Looked like a toy, but had killer sounds.

 

Crumar Toccata - Odd Organ that sounded like a Farfisa knockoff.

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man muy last post was useless, i meant to say that those quirky italian synths can sound cool sometimes

 

I had just listened to some Sensations' Fix

which featured alot of those.

 

To come back to Automat, i think it sounded pretty good. Sort of Moroder type electronic disco

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