Option-Click: Coffee Shop Jam

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Mark Vail powers his Dave Smith Instruments Mopho with 12 rechargeable AA batteries (total voltage about 14.4 volts when freshly charged); the Mopho runs on 13V to 15V.

For years, Vintage Synthesizers author Mark Vail and I have run electronic jam sessions. Usually we haul out so much gear that setup takes ages and we end up playing each instrument superficially, so I suggested meeting at a coffee shop and bringing only battery-powered instruments that would fit in our pockets.

It was unbelievably fun. I brought a Korg Kaossilator and an iPod touch loaded with soft synths, and Vail brought a Korg miniKP and a Dave Smith Instruments Mopho. We mixed through Belkin RockStar line mixers and recorded into an Edirol R-09 and Zoom H2, monitoring on headphones.

The Mopho is too big for a pocket, but I cut Vail some slack because he rigged up a battery pack for it (see image to the right). Because actual battery voltages vary, adding a regulator circuit would be even better (see bit.ly/7RPLFM).
David Battino,Batmosphere.com