April 10, 2014

Analog Heaven Midwest Meetup 2014




Last weekend I flew to Chicago and David and I drove out to Indianna for the 2014 Analog Heaven Midwest Meetup. Our friends Jon and Andrew were going and included us on an email thread making their plans to go. I had that weekend free so I though "sure, why not?". David and I had never been to one of these events before so we didn't really know what to expect. I had been to that "voltage control fair" they had in New York a while back as part of the Source of Uncertanty festival. But that was venders trying to sell you something. This AH meetup was another thing entirely. No one peddling their wares, just a bunch of really enthusiastic synthesizer... enthuseists. And in keeping with the spirit of such a public event, it took place in the library of a public school. 

Everyone there was super friendly and we all just spent hours and hours (eight hours?!) going around the room and playing with stuff. At one point David and I felt like our heads were about to explode so we took a walk. We ended up finding a greenhouse and took the liberty of letting our selves in. Greenhouses really are lovely.

So, let's talk about these photos shall we? The first photo in the above collage is a sort of general picture of the whole even from as far back as I could get. The second is Jon and David working with an Arp Axxe, SEM, and Roland MC-8 (thing David brought), struggling a little to get the pitch to track properly. The third photo is David playing a very old R. A. Moog version of the minimoog. Ever since I've known David he's had a thing for minimoogs, so I was glad to snap this pic. 

Fourth photo is David playing and Oberheim Two Voice, which is essentially two SEMs put together with a keyboard. He's having a really nice time playing it as you can see! The fifth photo is Jon holding a little clapping device, sort of an updated version of the clap trap. The sixth photo is Andrew tryin' out one of those new Buchla music easels. I may have mentioned before that I was pretty interested in this little Buchla when it was first announced that it'd be reissued but then was kind of turned off when they subsequently announced the price (yikes!). I played with this one a little too, I liked it but wasn't quite convinced it was for me.

After the meetup was over... it wasn't over. We all went out to dinner together and after that we all went back to the hotel and hung out until the wee hours of the night, having a couple drinks and still talking about analog synthesizers - I guess that's why they call it Analog Heaven.

The last photo is all of us together at the hotel the next morning. Jon and David thought it would be funny to wear shirts of my old (and I do mean old!) band Polaris. The trip was totally a blast I'm so glad I went and I'm so glad that I have these three friends to geek out with and get excited about stuff that no one else understands. They are all such a blessing! I don't know that the AH Midwest meetup will be a yearly event for me, but I'm certain it won't be my last!

UPDATE: just uploaded a hi-res version of the above photo, so you can click on it and see what's join on. And this video just turned up, if you'd really like to get a feel for what the day was like:





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