Adelaide four-piece Neon Tetra are continuing to make waves with their unique brand of synth-pop as they prepare to release their new EP, Pollen. The band divided their time between the studio and the stage in 2017, even landing a support slot for Robbie Williams' Adelaide show. As anticipation grows for their new material and the promise of tour dates, we asked Neon Tetra's resident synth expert Dan to tell us about his five favourite synthesisers.
1. Yamaha CS-80
YAMAHA CS-80 (Image: Perfect Circuit Audio)
“My favourite synth of all time, and the go-to synth for the grand-master Vangelis, which he used throughout the film score for Blade Runner. I’ve never played one, never even seen one. They’re extremely rare and sought-after for their incredible warm, rich sound.”
“A modern classic released in 2015, engineered by the great synth designer Dave Smith, the mastermind behind the original Prophet-5 from 1978. The Prophet-6 is my main workhorse synth. It has a perfect interface for live performance and always sounds immense. I use it on everything we do.”
3. Roland Juno 6
“The sound of a Juno is unmistakable, and definitely one of my favourite synths ever made. I have a Juno 6, the first model released, which I like because it doesn’t have presets - you’ve got to make the sounds live on the spot, and then they’re gone forever. The best button on the Juno though is the miraculous ‘Chorus II’ effect - instant magic every time.”
4. Roland Jupiter 8
“Thriller. Michael Jackson. Need I say more? I’d sure love to play one of those.”
5. Buchla 100 Series Modular Electronic Music System
“I’ve been mesmerised by modular synthesisers ever since watching Johnny Greenwood weave his magic live with Radiohead performing ‘Idioteque’. Someday I may finally build one from scratch, but there is one particularly special modular synth called the Buchla 100 Series that I’ve seen played live by the amazing sound-artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and synth-guru Suzanne Ciani - an incredible unique and organic sounding synth that is one of a kind.”
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Feature image via Jack Fenby