I often find myself in the role of "sound designer " because I am very interested in the sounds of a song as well as the content. Many of the sounds I use in my songs are sounds I created and sometimes I do use a few factory or preset sounds that are included with a synthesizer. In my early teens I was greatly inspired by the group Soft Cell. They were two guys making music with just synthesizers and using sounds never before heard. I found this very appealing as using the same approach I could compose my own songs without being dependent upon others to complete the songs. I was equally amazed by the unique and limitless sound capabilities of synthesizers. The unique, engulfing sound I heard just amazed me. It was the beginning of a new era and a new way of thinking for me.
I must admit I am partial to real analog synthesizers for their warm and full sound. I have owned many synthesizers (most were not true analogs) and they all seemed to have their own character and unique (but good) flaws as well. My first synthesizer was a Korg Poly-800 which my mother bought new for me and my brother in November 1983. It was to be our Christmas present. We were very excited at the thought of owning a professional synthesizer. I used the Poly-800 until recently as it stopped working in mid 2007. It was a budget synthesizer but holds a special place in my heart. During the 1980's my brother and I acquired a few other synths and drum machines including a Roland JX-3P, Roland Juno-106, Yamaha RX-15 and an Oberheim DX Stretch. As I began to purchase synths independent of my brother I bought an Ensoniq ESQ-1, Roland R8 drum machine and a used Moog Prodigy from a friend of mine. The R8 is one of my all time favorite drum machines. I still have it but use the R8m instead because the R8 is showing signs of its age. There are some limitations in using a module, something I hope to remedy after I purchased the Dave Smith Instruments/Sequential Tempest Drum Machine and perhaps an electronic drum kit. I eventually upgraded from the ESQ-1 to the Ensoniq SQ80 when it was released (circa 1988-1990), It is my main synthesizer and is heard on almost all of my songs. Additionally, I also use the following synthesizers: Dave Smith Instruments Evolver Desktop and Poly Evolver keyboard, Alesis ION, Kawai K5 (may soon be substituted by a K5m), Yamaha CS6x, Yamaha DX200 and an Akai Z4 (24bits/96KHz) sampler. Upon the sale of some other music equipment I am considering the addition of the Moog Music Sub Phatty or Sub 37 and the Dave Smith Instruments/Tom Oberheim - OB6 or the module/table-top versions of these synthesizers.
I suppose my desire is for my music to be liked by someone... ANYONE :-) I don't want (nor expect) to become a superstar as I don't want to be so far removed from the general population. I would like to be a moderately successful artist, to be able to walk down the streets of my city and still be able to blend into the general population. I think my music is perhaps too far removed from the mainstream to become such a success but it would be an excellent thing to be able to make a good living doing the things a person likes doing (in my case making music that I want to make). I must admit, as my music becomes more known I am amazed that there many people that like my music and have even requested more! I try to be modest as I don't think of myself as being a great musician and I wish to continually improve. I am often very critical of my own work.
I hope that as you browse these web pages that you find some pleasure/enjoyment of my music. Feel free to email me with your comments at: mark(at)theaural.com
I wish you the best of luck in your future and in your endeavors!
Mark S. Lewis aka [The] Aural/Aural Noir