(Not So) Lazy Synthday Afternoon

11 January 2015


It's taking a long time to check that all our stuff has arrived here on the other side of the planet in good order. There's been a lot damaged and even some missing so far. We're now testing the studio gear.

Yes, that's the famous Moog Minimoog Model D at the top of the page. As we did for many of our pieces we sorted out a new flightcase from Swan Flight before we moved, and we reckon it was worth it given the lack of damage despite the apparent rough journey and manhandling they suffered. A few minutes warm-up, a wee touch of tuning and we were away. It'll probably need a better tuning when the studio is up properly, but for now it's very heartening.


We've set up a temporary workbench in the garage with a Phonic Helix Board 18 Firewire MkII analogue mixer and some Tannoy Reveal 802 active monitors. Despite the raw nature of the space, the untreated reflections and the lack of any measured setup it all sounds pretty good!


We started off with the HawkSynth - a Casio CZ-1 we bought off Hawkwind (yes, THE Hawkwind!) a few years ago. This was transported in a case we refurbished with the help of Swan Flight, and again has survived without any damage although it does look like the on-board battery has died in transit. No biggy.

Next up was a Korg monosynth, the Korg 900PS in another refurbished case, and again no dramas to report. Happy days.


The Roland vocoder/string-machine, the VP-330 Mk I (also known as the Vocoder Plus) is such a beautiful machine and we use it so much that we didn't risk a refurbished case for it, so it got a brand new one from Swan Flight (Thanks Pete!) and it's completely as it was when it set out.


The Hohner Pianet T is a hardy wee beast anyway - it's pretty much already in a case when it has it's lid on anyway. However, those Good People at Sundae Club offered us a case they got when they bought theirs, so we refurbished it and the Pianet travelled in it, with the stand legs in their original bag wrapped seperately. It'd be hard to damage it (although the previous owner did try awfully hard to while 'tuning' it) so it wasn't surprising to find it in good nick.


Lastly for today was the Nord Electro 3. It's a recent-ish purchase, but we've already come to rely on the Electro 3 to provide all sorts of sounds quickly and easily.

We got it with it's own hefty padded gig bag, but we added some extra foam as you can see to protect those knobs a wee bit more, and then popped it into a flight case for good measure! We don't know if that was needed, but given that it's in perfect condition we're happy we bothered.


So far today has been really good, especially compared to some of the other unpacking and checking, and given the delicate nature of these instruments. We spent a lot of time and money protecting them, but it looks like it's paid off in that none are damaged so far. Also, we got to play with some of our favourite keyboards for a little while under the guise of 'working'.

...and how was your day?




TAGS: Moog - Minimoog Model D - Korg - 900PS - Phonic - Helix Board 18 Firewire MkII - Tannoy - Reveal 802 - Hawksynth - Casio - CZ-1 - Roland - VP-330 Mk I - Vocoder Plus - Hohner - Pianet T - Nord - Electro 3 - Piano - Synthesizer - Keyboard - Studio - Gear