Tales of Testing
Mike Kobrin, Musician
Synthesizer pioneer Moog lent me its first-ever guitar, whose custom pickups amplify the strings’ sound like regular pickups but also pulse magnetically in or out of time with their movements. That keeps them vibrating in “sustain” mode for synth-like effects or stops them dead in their tracks in “mute” to replicate the sound of a banjo. I immediately set the mode to “full sustain” to capture the synth sound from Stevie Wonder’s song “Living for the City” that blew my mind as a teen. Then I tried “mute,” giving a song I wrote years ago a new, more melancholy character than the original. And all it took was flipping a few switches.