Betamaxx is an 80’s synth revival project by Nick Morey, hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A. The project was formed in mid-2012 with the release of the Lost Formats LP in September of that year. The name “Betamaxx” was contrived from Sony’s “Betamax” video player from the mid-80’s. Betamaxx’s sound is inspired and created with analog and digital synths from the 80’s and today. They include Roland’s Juno-60, Sequential’s Prophet-6, and Korg’s M1 workstation. Combining these sounds with a soundtrack inspiration in mind, Betamaxx has created a neo retro-future sound similar to the likes of John Hughes and John Carpenter. He has been featured on such works as the Kung Fury official soundtrack, and the Amazon prime series Red Oaks. His most notable remix was Tangerine Dream’s “Love on a Real Train” from the Risky Business soundtrack.
We chatted with Nick on how he’s using the Prophet-6 in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet-6?
I was always enamored with the original Prophet-5 synthesizer. It was kind of an unattainable dream of mine since I started making music with hardware synths back in 2012. When I saw the original demo video of the Prophet 6, I knew it was the synth I had been waiting for. It’s currently my favorite piece of gear, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
How are you using it?
I’m currently using it mostly for studio production, but I also bring it out for live performance as well. It’s an extremely versatile synth, especially for that authentic 80’s sound that I desire.
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
Mostly its versatility, and easy programmability. It’s a very well-made instrument, and it is a lot of fun to write and experiment with. It doesn’t take long to achieve a unique sound and make a really cool loop with the step sequencer. At that point, you can change all the parameters in real time, which is very satisfying.
What does it give you that other synths don’t?
The arpeggiator and step sequencer are among my favorite features. The built in effects are also very helpful. I feel that it provides a very strong and rich sound that is different from any of the other synthesizers that I have. The filters are incredible.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
The most interesting and recent discovery with the new OS is being able to send a MIDI signal out to another synths (i.e. my Juno-106) and control it using the features of the Prophet’s sequencer and beat clock.
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