S Y Z Y G Y X
Bleak, post-apocalyptic soundscapes powered by retro punk biting synth lines and minor scale hooks fuel the sound of S Y Z Y G Y X. A creative collaboration between Luna Blanc and Josh Clark, S Y Z Y G Y X currently have three EP’s out that are generating attention and accolades (Hex’n Equinox on Cleopatra Records, Broken Mirrors on Burning Grave Records, and Encounters on Cold Transmission). Over time, their music has evolved from mostly instrumental pieces with heavy distortion to more recent work that weaves together catchy vocals and melodies. The group continues to evolve.
Josh and Luna play equal parts in the creative process and the production of their work. They enjoy taking turns at vocals, creating different sounds, with each engineering different parts of their songs. Be on the lookout for heir debut L.P. soon to be released on their own imprint, Burning Grave Records.
We chatted with Luna and Josh about how they’re using the Prophet Rev2:
What made you choose the Rev2?
“Josh started making electronic music (Drum n’ Bass) with Sinthetix and Corrupt Souls back in 1999 and always dreamed of owning a Sequential synth. But after several years he stopped making music for a time and never really got one. But once we decided to start building our home studio, a Sequential synth seemed like an obvious choice to start with. We also were very much inspired by John Carpenter’s movie soundtracks where he used the Prophet-5. Sequential synthesizers are so musically distinctive, and an analog polysynth was a necessity for us. So in April 2017 we grabbed our first Sequential instrument — a Mopho x4, which was a huge part of our sound on our debut E.P. Hex N’ Equinox. In 2018 we moved our studio to a new location, and along with the progression of our sound, it became apparent that we needed to upgrade to a more powerful analog poly with more voices. We wouldn’t have gotten any other product than our beloved Prophet Rev2 to continue our journey as S Y Z Y G Y X.”
How are you using it?
“We use the Rev2 in our studio along with our other hardware synths, we think of our Rev2 as the workhorse synth in our studio. We have it running through our Antelope Audio interface on the way into our DAW and it sounds so big through the Antelope’s onboard FPGA processing.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“The Rev2 is our go-to synth for any element in our music — from bass, mid-range riffs, arps, and pads, to crazy warped effects. We love creating our own sounds on the Rev2, and even from the existing patches. It’s so easy to completely change and warp sounds to something different using the knobs and encoders on the front panel. We find that we are both creatively inspired emotionally and spontaneously, so being able to make and change the sound on the spot (without any menu diving to hinder that creative impulse in the moment) makes coming up with ideas, hooks, and riffs very fluid for us, and we love that. We also think that our eerie pads made with the Rev2 are definitely the type of sounds that could possibly get someone to recognize our music, as they’re very characteristic of S Y Z Y G Y X.”
What does it give you that other synths might not?
“In our studio we have five hardware synthesizers, but we constantly both find ourselves going to the Rev2 for any type of sound. It can be anything from soft and lush to aggressive and tough. We love that it’s able to create such a vast range of timbres and sounds. We particularly love to make bass sounds on it. It’s kind of strange, but if you research the Rev2 online you’ll find certain folks on the internet say that the Rev2 isn’t good for bass and lacks low end, or that it is harsh and not warm. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve created some of our best basslines with the Rev2. Most of our tracks have their main bassline created and played right off the Rev2. If you guys don’t believe us, try it yourselves! You won’t be disappointed.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“Wow, there are just so many things. One we’d definitely like to mention about Sequential synths in general is that they all have this space and width in the stereo field that sounds so awesome. The modulation and sequencing capabilities of the Rev2 are areas where this board really shines. We like to create interesting space in our music and the modulation matrix is wonderful for that, since it allows you to create movement in sound over time in the stereo field. Being able to stack two different patches is also out of this world! It gives such tonal and spatial possibilities. You can stack two pad sounds and modulate, say, the filter or even the onboard effects on the left channel to create differences between the left and right channels — and there you have that interesting stereo imaging we’re talking about.”
Ultimately, we wouldn’t trade our Rev2 for the world — unless it was for the Prophet X!”
MORE ABOUT THE PROPHET REV2
For more information, check out the Prophet Rev2 product page here.
Find your local dealer for pricing here.
If you’re using Sequential products in interesting ways, tell us about it. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.