NTS Radio special : David Baron and the Synton Syrinx
David Baron guest curator for the Synth Hero Show on NTS Radio ! David puts together an hour of the finest cinematic sounds featuring the extremely rare Synton Syrinx synthesizer. Previous synth hero shows include Vince Clarke, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Gotye, Stephen Morris (Joy Division and New Order), Orbital, Future Islands (4AD), Clint Mansell and Kyle Dixon (Stranger Things).
The Syrinx, manufactured by Netherlands company Synton in short supply (only a few hundred) between 1983 and 1984 is famously used by Vince Clarke, Air and John McEntire (Tortoise drummer and producer). David owns a syrinx and uses on productions for Lenny Kravitz and his solo work for Here & Now Recordings.
Listen to David Baron Synth Hero Show on NTS Radio
Under Rain - David Baron runs some Syrinx voltage through his classical piano and strings piece. Bass by syrinx !
Woodstock composer, arranger, producer, orchestrator David Baron has worked on albums by Lenny Kravitz, Shawn Mendes, Michael Jackson, The Lumineers, Jade Bird and Bat For Lashes. He is currently scoring a film for Gregory Colbert, the follow up to Ashes And Snow. David’s synths feature on much of his work such as his cinematic debut album ‘Cycles’ out now on Here & Now Recordings
For his Synth Hero mix, he chose to theme it around songs created with the Synton Syrinx. An incredibly rare synthesizer, only a few hundred were produced in the Netherlands between 1983 and 1984.
TRACKLISTING W/ NOTES BY DAVID BARON
00:00 Spoon - I Turn My Camera On (John McEntire Remix)
John McEntire confirmed that the Syrinx was the primary synth used on this remix. Great groove coupled with fat bass and the buzziness of the Synton.
05:48 The Prodigy – Poison
Starts with the classic bandpass mode of the Synton Syrinx. 909 drums and processed vocal samples accompany in classic Prodigy style. Pure early 90s vibe. Met them once in a mastering studio – they looked scary as hell but were super polite.
8:05 DAVID BARON – Syrinx Only (exclusively written and produced for this mix)
The only synthesizer used on this track was the Synton Syrinx. Heavily processed through delays and reverbs.
11:07 ERASURE – Jacques Cousteau
A classic song by someone highly influenced by “Rachel’s Song from Blade Runner”. Rhodes and Roland string machine phasey strings. The Syrinx plays the part of the Yamaha CS80. Bendy nasal sounds. Beautiful programming.
14:19 Yazoo – State Farm
Vince Clarke uses the Synton for the hardness. Part of this is due to the lack of sub frequencies when the filters are set to their bandpass. This makes it much harder sounding than a Minimoog – for example.
20:41 Tortoise – Didjeridoo
Duke Ellington cover. Great drums against experimental sound. The Syrinx provides some nice filtering. Like a mad frog in a funky swamp. Tortoise are a brilliant band. I went to Oberlin Conservatory with John McIntire and he spent a lot of his time obsessed with the EMS Synthi and slowing tapes down. A very talented drummer and programmer.
25:06 Aphex Twin – Tha
29:15 Bat For Lashes – In God’s House
32:22 Sophie Hunger – She Makes President
35:49 Depeche Mode – World Full of Nothing
No synth list can be complete without Depeche Mode. It surprises me how loose a lot of the synthesizers are played. There’s a humanity to their music that contrasts the robotic drums. They play stadiums and have lasted for thirty years. Listen and learn.
38:32 Air - La Femme D'argent
Rhodes electric piano against picked Rickenbacker bass. The Synton is used with the pressure pads assigned to filter. This makes one of the most expressive and unique patches of any synth. You can set the three highly resonant filters to different cut-offs and modulate them with the pad. Normally you’d have to do that on a modular Synthesizer. From one of my favorite albums of all times. Reminds me of the utopian 60s and early 70s ideal that never came to light. The Synton is all over this. Against live strings recorded at Abbey Road through the same EMI console that recorded the Beatles.
45:22 David Morley – Tonus
49:12 David Baron feat Simi Stone – Reverie (Syrinx Brothers Remix)
The Syrinx provides the pulsing wah-wah low frequency against the hip hop style drums and Simi’s sweet vocals.
51:53 Lettie and David – Shoot The Breeze
The opening Roland Jupiter 4 arpeggiation through a gold foil EMT reverb makes way to the dark bass of the Syrinx. The pristine bell textures of the Rhodes are counter pointed with the electric violin of Richard Moore.
56:02 Air - Ce Matin Là
Analog recording & synthesizers. Reminds me of the utopian 60s and early 70s ideal that never came to light. The Synton is all over this. Against live strings recorded at Abbey Road through the same EMI console that recorded the Beatles.