Zap's Musical Gear
Click on any device in the picture, or just check out the list below
[Picture of my synths]
(Most of) Zap's Musical Equipment
Control devices
Dell Dimension XPS Pro 200
(Not in picture) My main computer, a 200 Mhz Pentium Pro machine, with 3 gigs of HD and 80 megs of RAM running Windows NT 4.0. For music production I mostly use CakeWalk 3.0 Pro, CoolEdit96, AWave and a few others.
Amiga 500
(Hardly in picture) Until just recently I used my Amiga (with 3.5 megs of RAM and 120 megs of HD, gosh this sounds ancient by todays standards) for all music production, using OctaMED 5.0 Pro as my main sequencing software.
Synthesizers and other sound creation devices
Digital synths/samplers
Ensoniq TS-12 Performance/Composition synthesizer
(Bottom in picture) A wonderful, digital workstation. Multitimbral workhourse, with a completely wonderful effects processor! Read more about it in this review (by yours truly!). I've got it expanded to 8 megs of sample RAM.
Sound Blaster AWE-32 soundcard
(Not in picture) This is a gadget you know well, I presume. I have 2 megs of sample RAM on mine, and use it mostly for sampled sounds, and as a MIDI controller. I wouldn't be caught dead using any of the onboard sounds!
Casio SK-1
(Not in picture) This is really a toy, but I used to actually use it. Now my son plays more on it than me. Here's some info.
Analog synths
Korg Mono/Poly
(Left on the table) One of my most precious possessions. This wonderful analog beast simply can't be described in words. Let me put it this way, if I had a TB-303 and this one in a burning building, I wouldn't hesitate a second before saving this one and leave the TB-303 to burn. I wrote a review of it for sonicstate that you can read if you like.
Yamaha CS-5
(Right on the table) This is my first musical instrument purchase ever, and holds more of an emotional value than actual musical value. It's a simple analog single oscillator single filter synth with next to no bells or whistles. I does however have an external audio input to filter external sources, which is what I often use it for. It also does very sweet "blip" sounds when using the high-pass filter mode, which I also use a lot. Here are more info about a very close relative, the CS-10.
Roland MKS-50
(Near top of the rack) The rack version of Juno-2. Good for sweepy pads, has nice sharp filters and a cult chorus. More info here.
Syntecno TeeBee-303
(Yellow thing in the rack) This is Syntecno's wonderful, yellow TB-303 clone. It does it's job, and then some, because it's at the same time my MIDI->CV converter, my MIDI fader box, and the coolest colored synth I own!
Logan String Melody II
(Far right in picure) When I was younger, my musical instrument purchases was on a very tight budget indeed. So I figured "why buy an expensive polyphonic [these were the days when even polyphony was a new thing!] synth, when I can buy a used string synth for a tenth or less of the price!". This oldie costed me about $50. One fun feature with it is that it's 100% polyphonic, i.e. you dan depress every single key on the keyboard, and they all make noise! Naturally MIDI wasn't even dreamed about when it was made....
Drum machines et. al.
(far left in picture) A drummachine, not very often used nowdays. Pretty limited range of sounds....
Boss DR-110
(Not in picture) An old analog drummachine with culty synthy sounds. Seldom used now, since I've sampled it.
Simmons V5
(Bottom of rack) Yes, you do believe your eyes - it's the synth unit for the famous Simmons drums, that plagued most 80's music with their superheavy "pooowwww" toms. Sadly, this unit no longer works. In fact, it's death was one of the staring sparks of inspiration for writing Stomper!
Sound processing devices and FX
Loco MX-1200 Mixer
(on top of everything in the middle) My main mixer unit. Not very advanced, not very high quality, but who cares about a little hum or noise, which you can easily delete with CoolEdit's noise reduction! :-)
Boss Digital delays x 2
(on top of the rack, almost) One Boss D2 digital delay (a simple "guitar pedal" style digital delay with suprisingly high quality for it's price and it's "era") and one Boss RSD-10 (which has some sampling options in it, that I don't use nowdays)
MXR-01 Digital reverb
(gray thing in the rack) A fairly old digital reverb with a pretty metallic sound. Very rarely used, partially because of it's not-too-wonderful sound, but in 90's music there isn't much reverb anyway... :-)
Old Hitachi D2330 tape deck
(on top of the rack) The reason I list this tapedeck in the effects section, is that I use it for distortion :-). Feeding line-level signals into the microphone input yields a great crunchy overdrive!
Sound output and recording devices
AIWA M200 tape deck
This is an ancient machine, but it has this wonderful quality of bygone days. Metal casing, adjustable bias, EQ 70/120uSEC, and so on...
Technics RSB-11W tape deck
A bit more modern. Yields lots more noise, I try to avoid using it....
SoundBlaster AWE32
I list this here again, because I sample all my songs in 44.1khz/16 bit CD quality, clean off any mixer and/or soundcard noise with CoolEdit96, and then back up the full quality sample to DAT backup tape with Windows NT backup. I then convert it to RealAudio and MP3 files, and upload the RealAudio files to my musicpage. I use the MP3 files to master my tapes.
Homebuilt Amplifier (2x250W or something, who knows?)
My brother built this thing many years ago. Has been known to reduce several sets of speakers to confetti. It has a low power mode, and a high power mode. Turning it on is not completely unlike the intro sequence to "Back to the Future" (you know "Primary power" - klick, "Secondary power" - klick...) I use it in low power mode, to keep my speakers alive.... :-)
JMS Unique 3500 Speakers
Well, they are speakers, allright? Ranked to 120W music power, they say.

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