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Old 2nd December 2017
  #21
When I was in college, I heard Exit for the first time. It was very inspiring to me. Before that, the only synth music I had heard was the stuff that made it into 80s rock, and then also Isao Tomita (also hugely inspiring). It wasn't until a year or so later that I came across Jan Hammer, JMJ, and others.

This is one of my attempts at an early TD-style (really just Berlin School sequence) track. It's pretty chill throughout, so not something that shows the TD/Schulze key-change/tempo-change that often happened later in their pieces.



For a sequencer, the little Korg SQ-1 is fantastic and dirt cheap. You don't necessarily need a huge expensive Moog-style sequencer. A pair of SQ-1 sequencers can go a long way.

For the main pluck bass sequence, I used MOS-Lab Moog modular clone modules. But I just yesterday got a Pioneer / DSI Toraiz-AS-1 and I can tell you that it can get surprisingly close. Presumably the Minitaur can as well.

Full list of equipment is in track description on YouTube.

Here's another video (not mine) which shows some basic and really fun Berlin School stuff using just two Korg Monotribes. He also has a how-to video



If you have budget, another awesome synth, often considered "Berlin School in a box" is the Elektron Analog 4. The sounds aren't the huge Moog 901 oscillators, but it does well on its own, and the sequencer is really good.

The challenge for most is often to get that "ratchet" effect. Some sequencers have that built in, but most do not. There are Moog-Unit modular modules that do this as well. Often what you can do is have your sequencer set to say 32 or 64 steps (if supported) using 16th, 32nd or shorter nots, and then space out the normal sequence as though it was on an 8 or 16 note grid. For the ratchet, you use the additional shorter steps in one section.

I did that in this track on the Analog 4. You can hear it starting around 1:27. IMO, it plays really well starting around 6:30. If you only listen to one part, listen from 6:00 through the end



Pete

PS: For info on who Major Atway was: Tangerine - Wikipedia :D