Single synth obsessions


I used to do the same thing I myself with each completed repair/restoration I did. As soon as one was completed I was making a track solely on that synth. If I couldn’t squeeze all the parts out of a single instrument (drums sounds on a string machine is particularly tricky!) I’d use the bare minimum of just what I needed. Sadly many of the tunes and parts were lost in a HD crash and I hadn’t backed them up. It’s a really good exercise in getting to know a new synth and finding new ways of programming.

For me the natural progression was to replace some of the weaker parts but still base the song around one synth, trying to get what I could out whilst still trying to come up with a ‘rounded’ end product. That led me off in more new musical directions!

Some songs that stick in my mind (and didn’t go to the big HD in the sky) we’re an unashamedly 80’s sounding JX8P tune, a darker progressive house tune done on a DW8000 and quirky little ditty on a Korg PE1000. All different and all ultimately influenced by the instrument and me experimenting and finding agreeable noises! Good fun and highly recommended.


Currently (re)obsessed with the Analog Keys by itself. I’m thinking three or four tracks on my next album will be AK only.

Overbridge makes joystick assignments so effortless and that’s where this thing gets fun, especially for drum tracks. It can really get into Octatrack crossfader territory, but with some distinction.
Once the sequence is ready for playback, the left hand on the joystick and right hand on performance macros makes “playing” an arrangement a pure delight.

The routing flexibility of running the kick track out through a transformer pedal and back into the external input is a lot of fun to exploit, as well.


One of my latest tunes is majority AK. Followed the one synth principle but then started adding with a couple of other bits and bobs. 3 synth parts and the bass line wasn’t too bad out of the AK, just mulitracking each and building the tune around them. In fact the song starts and ends with an AK piano type preset.

From memory the only other instruments were AR2 for drums and DN for some of the synth bits.


Arturia Microfreak only; multitracked and effected in ableton:


Aaaaaaaand the Digitone is here.

What … a … BEAST! Just a couple of hours with it (I read the manual and watched a bunch of tutorials before it arrived) and I am absolutely LOVING this as a fantastic sounding self-contained box for electronic music.

I am seriously considering selling my MPC Live now because as powerful as it is, it never ever “sparked joy” in the way the Digitone has in just a couple of hours of of digging in.

The sound quality overall is so “alive” and setting aside the variety of lovely-to-nasty melodic sounds. I have to rave about the drums, oh god the drums … THIS synth makes me want to get up and dance!

I have a couple of live sets coming up next week, and maybe it’s too aggressive a goal, but I would LOVE to show up with just the Digitone, plug in and GO!


The best single mono synth track ive ever heard(even if it is a remaster).


Just following up, over the past week I’ve managed to learn to use the Digitone well enough to sequence about 10 “jammable” songs worth of patterns spread out over a couple of banks. Some of these patterns have empty tracks with specifically assigned sounds to let me play some live keyboards using an Arturia Keystep. I have also mapped some Circuit Mono Station material to these patterns and have preset volumes and FX set up for the input to the Digitone.

I have a small gig tomorrow as the house DJ/performer for a monthly event, so given the fact that I’m up and running, it looks like the Digitone is going to be making an appearance. Amazed at how well the decision to get one is turning out.