A Little History:
The Saturn 09 is a polyphonic analog synthesizer produced by Roland in 1980. It was released and advertised along the Jupiter-4, the RS-505, the Vocoder Plus ,and the Saturn's more well known brother: the RS-09. At that time, Roland had already released the iconic TR-808 drum machine which was well known to be an affordable machine in comparison to others available, so it's understandable that Roland kept pushing forward the idea of keeping costs low within its vast and eclectic number of products, but with time this proved to be the reason why so many of them faced a forgettable life after being released, like the Saturn 09. Nowadays, this synth is not popular at all and usually it's bought to use its components for replacement and repair for the SH-09, Roland's Jupiters and the TR-808.
The Saturn 09 itself is a limited machine compared to its siblings with only one VCO oscillator controlled by CV/Gate (MIDI was on its way in); on its front panel it has a volume knob; a tone slider; chorus and vibrato effects built in; 2 different octaves available; 4 sliders that control the main oscillator defined by 6 classic Roland colored buttons, 4 for selecting tones and 2 for envelope options (organ or percussive); a sustain slider with an on/off switch and a tuning knob.
Arpeggiated & Sustained Chords:
Unlike more complex and popular synths from Roland, like the Jupiter 8, the Jupiter 6 ,and the Juno 106; the Saturn 09 does not have an arpeggiator function built in, and since it runs on a CV/Gate single oscillator the possibilities of patching one, due to limit of time (the synth was not mine), and specially budget, were almost impossible. This record is meant to showcase the Saturn 09 sound capabilities in an alien manner from the synth's ways: performing arpeggiated chords manually as well as sustained chord examples. The recording was done with the synth running through a Crafter Analog Delay (EF-DL) for sound texture.
The record contains nine examples (all named after a few of the more than 50 moons of Saturn): Pallene, Kiviuq, Methone and Jarnsaxa showcase examples of the behavior of the VCO oscillator with no modulations during the performance of their respective arpeggiated chords; Polydeuces is a small interlude with tempo fluctuations within its arpeggio. Ymir, Bebhionn and Helene are the sustained chords' examples made to showcase how the VCO oscillator behaves when the available modulations of it (such as the tone slider, modulator switches, and sound source sliders) are manipulated. Ymir is an example of the sound source manipulation with an arpeggiated chord at the end to show how the drone from sustained chords behave; Bebhionn exemplifies volume, sound source, and delay modulations. Helene showcases sound source and the modulator mode switch manipulations -this last one at a rhythm pattern. The last example, Daphnis, showcases tone, sound source and delay modulations starting on an arpeggiated chord and finishing in a sustained one in an additive way. A format with detailed information of the parameters, modulations and notes used on each of the examples is included in this digital release on each of the songs individual page as well as the booklet included when the album is purchased.
As "bonus tracks" this record contains: 1) A slowed version of Jarnsaxa with layer manipulation based on the original sound source 2) a slowed down and reversed version of Kiviuq and 4) a manipulated mix of a different take of Daphnis.
Composed, performed and recorded in April and May 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico using only an Analog Organ Synthesizer Saturn 09 running through a Crafter Analog Delay (EF-DL). Mixed, remixed and mastered in April 2016. All radio interferences were non intentional. Proofreading and editing of the text included with this album was made by Hugo Gastelum.
Cover photography by Daniela Olsa
Thanks to The Roland Corporation, Galileo Galilei and Vicco.