I love controversy. But after a week in which US politicians were talking about World War III (or was that IV) and somehow CDM’s great comment threads wound up on the topics of whether hardware or software was better (discussion = not allowed on this site), and whether starving children would be able to eat affordably-priced laptops, I decided it was time for an experiment. Could I write an entry with total appeal and zero controversy?

I present, as mind candy for the weekend: adorable animals with synthesizers.

Cute kitty + Moog Theremin: Who doesn’t love that? From a local meeting of cartoonists comes this bundle of lovability, plus two music samples, ostensibly from 1936:

Dance of the Saucer Maidens
Dance of the Saucer Maidens

Penguin Lust
Penguin Lust

Sakie and Synthesizer: I think Synthesizer is the dog? There’s a pup we can take into our hearts. I’d say Synthesizer could be co-mascot for CDM with Hatebeak, but that might cause fur and feathers alike to fly. This shot comes from Suki Dhanda’s Year of the Dog series for the London underground; dog lovers won’t want to miss the full series at Platform for art.

Pound the Dog with Custom Gabriel Synthesizer: Gabriel Sound‘s history of custom sound equipment and synths goes back to the 70s. This time, Pound is the dog, and Gabriel is the synthesizer. If you whistle for Gabriel, I don’t think this modular synth will move. Just a guess.

Kitten, the Synthesizer: How better to round out this synth/animal confusion than a synth that actually is a Kitten? The Octave Kitten was Octave’s low-end competitor to pricey classics from Moog and ARP. Steve Baker has a comprehensive site filled with the obsessive collection of sounds and images you normally associate with better-known synth hardware. So, give the Kitten its due.

Here’s where things start to get surreal. I told my Create Digital Motion co-editor and Web wonderworker Jaymis about this idea yesterday, and started assembling links. I was going to round this synth love out by saying a very happy one year birthday to the Matrixsynth blog. Oddly enough, Matrix has gotten the adorable animal fever too: witness Arak and Legion, complete with racks of synths and cat videos, and cats, synths, and music tracks. (Cat from the latter pictured below.)

We all know the World Wide Web is here just to talk about our pets, so I invite you to help CDM follow up its cute kids series with shots of your cat clawing into your Korg and iBook. Don’t be a stranger.

One controversy I’m sure we won’t avert: cats vs. dogs. I’m a dog person, so keep that in mind. This is an equal-opportunity animals-with-synths feature, but I may have to maintain puppy quotas.

Have a great weekend, folks.

  • deb

    good luck peter!

    one can only hope there is somewhere where we can go where there is no controversy. just love love love.

    but……..will it work? time will tell.



  • Cats are better than dogs.

    Cats Rule! Cats Rule! Cats Rule!

    Seriously though, arguing on the internet? I hope you've got a lot of free time to waste.

  • Awesome post Peter. That was refreshing. Great way to start my weekend. : ) And for the record, I am a cat person but I love dogs too. Most animals are a ok in my book. Thanks for wishing me a happy 1 year anniversary. It's been fun and you've been a lot of help over the past year, so thanks for that.

  • BTW, this is one of my alltime favorite animal/synth shots: link.



  • One more. Can't believe I forgot this one. My cat JD working on some patches for my Multi-Trak: link. Apologies for all the comments.

  • WarpedEye

    Wonderful post Peter, you really gave me a chuckle with this concept! I was a bit… I dunno, sad/dissapointed/annoyed about the whole hardware/software debate showing up here.

    But as always, my favorite blog(ger) sets it right with a brilliant idea like this!

    Go team Peter!

  • thesimplicity

    Fun Fact: the patented THX sound was achieved by recording the purring of 19,000 individual wombats.

  • john

    You see what happens when you try to avoid controversy? You get cutesy fluff and you sacrifice substance. I prefer real information to a post that comes from the fear of a good argument.

  • Damon

    Yes, but how do you feel about PETS?

    "People For The Ethical Treatment of Synthesizers"

    I personally feel they are much too extreme and absolute to be considered credible.


  • Jason

    or how about this gem? a personal favorite (and hope I'm linking right, sorry in advance if not)

  • I can't find any photos but have seen the film of the jam Peter Gabriel had with some bonobo apes.. They where amazing really considering they only had the synths for two weeks.

    The cutest was the little baby bonobo called Nathan who was climbing over his mum while she jammed along on a Kurtzweil.

  • I can't find any photos but have seen the film of the jam Peter Gabriel had with some bonobo apes.. They were amazing really considering they only had the synths for two weeks.

    The cutest was the little baby bonobo called Nathan who was climbing over his mum while she jammed along on a Kurtzweil.

  • I just wanted to say thank you for the picture- I was getting tired of nothing but cat pics.

    That's a great dog.

  • is this some sort of animal/ gear pornography? Bestiality for synth fans? You should be ashamed of yourself!

    ( Besides, I'm into kitties!)

    (Just Kidding!!)

  • <a>

    these are my two crappy dogs in the studio

  • kokorozashi

    Hardware is clearly superior…

    FOR ME TO POOP ON! There. I figure that covers all the bases.

  • I have recently started a blog CatSynth.com about (surprise) cats and synths – I have a photo of my kitty Luna snuggled up next to a keyboard in my studio.

    I was going to write a post about this site, is ok to reference one of the two kitty pics for the linkback?

  • NEEL

    cats are gods they are smart, they write musicals, and other great things, they are communications from god without any mental filters.(studies have proven this) they are special to humanity, cats can box , cats can do double back kicks. cats can solve world issues if we just figure out the dialect thing. cats are in tune with synths and what is good and bad in the studio.

    cats are better than dogs cause dogs just bark or eat thier own poop. that ball of yarn thing cats do is priliminary steps in making themselves garments, cats sew, cats sing as heard on arsenio — was arsenio halls name first "arse" damn…

    i hope one day cats will be sent on nasa missions, they are invaluable to society and especially nasa.