Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Karl Learmont / Angelspit is known for vicious synths, slamming modular distorted drums, and lyrics with a twist of sarcasm. Angelspit’s new album The Ignorance Cartel is their nineteenth release since their inception in June 2004. Currently based in LA, Angelspit has toured the USA and Europe multiple times – dragging their synths around with them.
We chatted with Karl on how he uses the Prophet Rev2 in his music:
What made you choose the Rev2?
I’ve owned a Prophet-5 (Rev3) for 25 years. I love it! It’s in storage in Sydney and still works. When I moved to the USA I wanted a poly with knobs. I researched the current crop of poly synths and the Rev2 won – hands down. An added advantage is that it’s made here in California. The Rev2 is the real thing – it’s designed and built by the same genius who’s been building these beautiful machines since the beginning. The sound of the Rev2 is so versatile. It can be tough – big, thick and massive. It can also be gentle, light and spacious…plus they’re built like trucks! I would not hesitate taking the Rev2 on the road.
How are you using it?
It’s a dream to write on – it has music already in it. What I mean by that is that you don’t need to delve into the menus or the manual to create a sound that will inspire – it keeps up with you when you are in the zone. When it comes to sound design – the Rev2 is another beast entirely. You can do anything with the mod matrix – it’s very well designed. I use USB when I’m writing/recording. The MIDI CC specs are great! I can control all major functions via MIDI – which makes recording and tweaking a live performance easy. I use the CV and Seq interface when performing with the modular. Syncing the effects, LFOs and Gated/Poly Sequences to an analogue trigger is great fun!
What is one of your favorite things about it?
The mod matrix is insane!
You can create a wonderful “analog poly” sound on it by just tweaking the panel knobs, then add some OSC SLOP and it’s instant 1979! But when you start delving into the mod matrix you can create something mind-blowing. You can create enormous analog synth pads, or futuristic cross-modulated tempo synced soundscapes. Oh yeah, and the UNISON is KILLER!
What does it give you that other synths might not?
The complexity of the mod matrix does not exist in any other synth at this price-point…trust me, I researched it before I bought it! The sonic possibilities are stunning.
You can make a Rev2 sound like a very expensive vintage synth – but there’s no way you can make that vintage synth sound like a Rev2.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you would like to share?
1) Key Sync Gated Sequence #1 so it moves to the next step on each keystroke.
2) Assign Gated Sequence #1’s steps to be a random set of numbers – just dial in random numbers.
3) Using the Mod Matrix, assign this to the filter envelope decay.
As you play, the Filter Decay will “randomly” change its length. Make it subtle for that analog sound, or significant to get something that sizzles.
4) Now set up Key Sync Gated Sequence #2 and #3 so they also move to the next step on each keystroke.
5) Assign Gated Sequence #2 and #3 steps to be a random set of numbers. Make Seq#2 15 steps long, and Seq#3 14 steps long. This way, the 3 Sequences will start overlapping.
6) Using the Mod Matrix, assign Gated Sequence #2 to the Reverb decay, and assign Gated Sequence #3 to the Reverb wet/dry mix.
As you play, the sound will bounce in and out of the reverb – with different lengths and depths. Make it subtle by assigning less AMOUNT in the mod matrix, or significant by assigning more in the mod matrix.
Works great with snappy synth basses and arpeggios.
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