Sweetwater GearFest

Keyboards, Synths, Samplers and Groove Boxes.

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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:55 pm

My report, 2017:

I almost didn't go this year. If I hadn't reserved two non-refundo rooms at the Hyatt I probably would have said feh on Friday morning. It was stormy, I was tired from another vaca type trip from a few days before, & I hadn't even heard if Guitarboy & friends were going to meet me & pay for their room. I didn't get there till noon, the line to pick up credentials was all the way into the next county, & the parking nazis tried to wedge my car into a inescapable parking trap. So I left.

I went into town, had a nice lunch, checked out the local Guitar Center (no good deals there), checked into the rooms, & went back to Sweetwater.

What a difference an hour or so made! The sun came out, the line was gone, the parking commandos had retreated, & I found a space right by the door. The credential process was still slow because you have to check in & they don't print your badge until you show up. This even if you pre-register.

Note to Sweetwater: I understand why you don't pre-print the credentials, but I would pay five bucks if you'd mail my badge so I could skip that damn line. Pre-registered people shouldn't have to wait in line for an hour or two, even if you do hand out umbrellas.

The presentations and classes and such were the usual offerings, and as usual, I couldn't attend everything that looked interesting. I caught a class by Anderton, another about the Synths of Komplete, and a few others. The pre-fest publicity didn't advertise any personage or exhibition that I would find extremely interesting. But I was surprised a few times, as I will further relate.
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:44 pm

2017:

THEY HAD A COMPLETELY RESTORED HAMMOND NOVACHORD!!

THERE'S ONLY FIVE LEFT THAT WORK!!

I GOT TO PLAY THIS ONE OMGSQUEEOMFG!!!

I took a few fone movies of it, but they aren't as good as the vids from Sweetwater's own guy Daniel Fisher. He was at the booth with the instrument during most of the Fest and was very helpful and informative. We chatted for quite some time, along with a few other Olde Tube Nerds. He even had the schematics & service manual.

Here he is:



Here's another of his vids if you want to see and hear thirty minutes moar of the thing.

This is a composite pic of the info boards flanking the Novabooth.

Image

On the left hand board, under the heading "72 Note Polyphony from 12 Tube Oscillators", I noticed that it claims the instrument "derived a full keyboard of notes from just 12 tuned oscillators by dividing each note's frequency in half, over and over again. This divide-down architecture became standard in later synths". I mentioned to Daniel that this claim wasn't accurate with regard to synthesizers, but that it was true that almost all transistor organs used the divide-down scheme, or even further with a top octave synthesizer IC.

He almost went nuts! He started apologizing profusely. I said "Dude, no biggie, it's just a nerdy little detail that hardly anyone would notice", but he said "No man, you're right, that's sloppy geeking and this instrument deserves better than that!"

And I think he meant it. Good man.

Later I had the pleasure of meeting another guy that told me he once owned a Novachord. You guys will recognize his name...

Moar later...
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby ClavAnother » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:03 am

Forum member Suit&TieGuy had one which was in my care for the entire time he owned it. I love the Novachord. I have some digital transfers of some old 78 rpm records of it that are great.
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:33 am

ClavAnother wrote:Forum member Suit&TieGuy had one which was in my care for the entire time he owned it.
Yep. It was he of whom I spoke.
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:01 pm

Glad you made it thought! :wave: synth sheanans are sparse down here in the wang. I did go to GC south of here in sarasota, it's pretty nice.. no deals or nothin.. lol.
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:42 pm

MetroSonus wrote: :wave: synth sheanans are sparse down here in the wang.

Too bad that vintage synth museum down there closed a few years back. I would certainly have made an effort to visit that place had I known about it earlier. Wasn't it near Orlando?
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby soundwave106 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:25 pm

Plink Floyd wrote: I would certainly have made an effort to visit that place had I known about it earlier. Wasn't it near Orlando?


Yes, that would have been Audio Playground. Went there once in the early 2000s I think as part of some party thingy they were throwing. I think it closed about a decade ago.

The whole Tampa / Orlando area these days seems kind of meh on anyone producing non-Disney-pop electronic music, apart from some hip-hop. The Florida breaks scene of the 1990s (for what they were worth :lol:) seems to be the last big Central Florida scene that I can remember that was a big synth thing. So it's not surprising synth sheanans are rare. If they'd happen, they'd probably happen in Miami.
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby christianrock » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:28 pm

I like me some Disney pop EDM :lol:

As I get older, I guess I keep liking more cheery happy kinds of music... or maybe it's just a phase... maybe it's because my kids are 8-6-4 years old? :lol:

I'm sure there's still a LOT of good music being made in the Tampa/Orlando area, there's always been really good musicians there. It's probably just not being heard because music is no longer a paying job... except for some very, very few...
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Re: Sweetwater GearFest

Postby Plink Floyd » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:08 pm

OH HAI i haz moar stuff to poast about teh festivus but busy or bad time mgmt or u kno.
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