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Smuth – an ode to the early synthesizers

AAS Ultra Analog VA2

In my first band, I played synthesizers. Though we rarely hear that word these days, it was all the rage then. These keyboards literally attempted to “synthesize” the sounds of other organic, acoustic, and space-age instruments.

So, when I would go out to hear other bands, I was always curious to hear sounds that were similar to or completely different from the ones I was playing and creating on my own synths. After one such concert, I was inspired to compose “Smuth“.


Korg Wavestation VI

Unfortunately, in those days, I was incredibly inexperienced with recording and mastering. I still released a few instrumentals. One of them was Smuth. Sadly, the bass line was overpowering, the stereo spread was lackluster, and the overall mix was simply unpleasing.

Ironically, I had an opportunity to include Smuth in a DJ setup at a recent gig. However, once I heard the dreadful mix, I removed it. Still, I appreciated the intention of the piece, so I decided I’d re-record it. And I did.


Spectrasonics Stylus RMXFortunately, in the ten intervening years, there had been a plethora of wonderful emulations of synthesizers. Some of these had made their way into my recording palate.

Included in the new recording of Smuth are Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 (emulating their earlier synthesizer Atmosphere), Stylus RMX, and Trillian; AAS Ultra Analog VA 2; Korg Wavestation VI; and NI (Native Instruments) FM8. Each of these synthesizers carries a completely different character and sound production to the recording.


I won’t torture you with the old version/mix of this instrumental, but if you really want to, you can still hear it on all the streaming services like Spotify. (The new version is also there and on all the other streaming services!)