Dot Major explains the issues with using vintage synths in records

The producer, known for his work in London Grammar, spoke of his admiration for the Roland Jupiter 8 in an episode of Music Tech’s My Forever Studio podcast

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Producer Dot Major, known best for his work as the percussionist and keyboardist in London Grammar, has discussed the challenges of using vintage synths in records.

In an episode of Music Tech’s My Forever Studio podcast in partnership with Audient, Major discussed how he’s been using his Roland Jupiter-8 on his new solo project, and how he came to love the vintage synth due to its versatility.

But not all vintage synths have captured his admiration so easily. Despite his love for how Roland’s classic analogue synth can be “clean sounding” and modern, Major discussed how using vintage synths in records can pose an array of challenges that might outweigh the benefits.

“I’ve got a Memorymoog which, currently if I turn it on, I can play like one chord and then it sticks on that chord. They’re not very reliable. But even when it’s working it just sounds unbelievable. If you want to put it in a record, it’s so huge it’s ridiculous. You have to EQ the hell out of it to get anything worthwhile,” he said.

“I think that’s what people don’t realise about vintage synths in general. They think because they listen to YouTube demos of just like a big minor seventh so they’re like, ‘woah, that sounds ridiculous!’

“The reason it sounds so good is because it’s not quite in tune, and therefore if you try and put it in a record it maybe doesn’t sound right,” Major explained.

“And then if you wanna make it perfectly in tune…that’s just like a [Sequential] Prophet Six and then people are like, ‘well, it doesn’t sound as good as the Prophet Five’ – that’s ‘cause it’s in tune.”

You can watch to the full podcast, hosted by Chris Barker and Will Betts below:

Or, if you’d rather listen on the go, check out the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Castbox.

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