Canadian Musician - July/August 2017 - Page 57

experience with spring reverbs and onboard speakers, which were also good for evaluating and road-proof- ing mixes. Then there was that rapid-fire sample-and-hold circuit to make things sound like an evil computer. I think I spent my first year on the ARP trying to recreate every sound that Jerry Goldsmith used when he scored ‘Logan’s Run.’” Bhatia’s love for vintage gear isn’t just about sounds and the tactile experience; it’s about the process. “It’s how I learned to orches- trate in a synth classical style. I was a late learner to formal theory so the Minimoog and ARP taught me orchestration, my four-track recorder taught me harmony, and my first se- quencer taught me form.” He advises emerging electronic composers to start with something tactile and vintage. “Learn the process of music. Make noise. Make mistakes. Make really great music. Make really awful music. Learn from that, then go into the computer and browse through all those plug-in folders.” Going forward, Bhatia has be- come partial to Arturia products: “Their collection has faithfully repro- duced the Minimoog and the ARP 2600 to the point that it becomes my go-to for fast deadline projects. It’s a real love/hate thing for me because I love a room full of old synths and spending days and days on patch creation, but for TV and film, there’s no time, so, currently, my main rig is [gasps] virtual synths only.” Obviously, there’s plenty more where that came from. We could talk about the Prophet 5, Roland Jupiter 8, and more recent but now-vintage offer- ings. There’s plenty out there, from the wild to the weird – the Melodica, the Skellotron, the cat piano (look it up) – to tiny pianos, NuMotion’s curved key- board, and Roli’s exciting offerings. There’s no shortage of tools to talk about in vintage synth land, but hopefully your experimentation with these sounds – original or recreations – leads somewhere exciting. Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N • 57