Steve Roach on analog synthesizers

Posted on 21 September 2008

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Sonic Immersion has an interesting interview with ambient electronic music pioneer Steve Roach

In the interview, Roach touches on his renewed interest in analog synthesizers:

I have been using vintage analogue gear all along in some basic ways as I consider the Oberheims the core to my sound and I never let go of these. They have been a part of most every release since the early 80’s. 

The analogue modular rebirth in my studio was a reconnection to the early tools I learned on – the Arp 2600. The current explosion of great quality affordable analogue modular gear was perfectly timed for my desire to put my hands back on this quality of pure sound at a modular level. When hearing and working with it now for the past four years, it has become another healthy obsession and has found a lasting place in my collection of favourite tools of the trade. 

This fits well to my way of working and that is hands on with knobs and sliders connected directly to instruments. With that said I am not an avid or even casual soft synthesizer user. If you never knew the difference it would be a different story, but no matter how I try after 15 minute on a soft synthesizer, I find myself back to the real deals and my ears just crave this sound. 

To my ears, nothing sounds and feels like the real thing when it comes to the pure sound of analogue and select hardware synthesizers. Since I live to create sounds, the sensual aspect of programming sounds on a real synthesizer and the instant feedback and feel to the fingertips is essential and a big part of the enjoyment of sound and music creation on dedicated instruments.

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Posted in: Analog Synths