In Gootch

Born in the 50’s, raised in the 60’s, gigged in the 70’s

Those were the days… sleep all day, play music all night, and you actually got paid for it. The picture above is me at about 25 years of age with my Polymoog Keyboard and Minimoog on top of my Hammond B3. I still have all three of those instruments today. At the time this picture was take, I was playing with The Andy Gootch Band in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. Like I said, man… those were the days of Rock & Roll.

The Bands

John Rofrano Singing

Over the years I’ve been in a number of bands playing 5-nights week paying my dues. Unfortunately, those dues never did pan out into a record deal. I started out in High School and played professionally for 10 years after that until I joined IBM. Check out my Bands page for more details.


White ARP Odyssey

I started playing keyboards at the dawn of the synthesizer revolution back in the late 1960’s early 1970’s, I remember buying my first synthesizer back in 1973 from Sam Ash Music in White Plans, NY. It was a white-faced ARP Odyssey (see above). I loved that little synth and studied it intensively. I still have the owners guide and the Perform! with Roger Powell guide and tape. I listened to his instructions for hours on end until I knew that synth like the back of my hand.

I gigged with the ARP Odyssey 5 nights a week so you had to know it cold because there was no patch memory except for your own brain. You had to change patches manually between songs and guitar players wait for no one so you needed to be fast!

Eurorack Modular Synthesizers

Of course, I couldn’t afford any of the modular synthesizers of that era like the Moog System 15, 35, or 55. Or the ARP 2500, or Roland System 100m. I couldn’t even afford the semi-modular ARP 2600 which costs as much as a car back then. I always wanted to own one but never had the money to buy one.

I’ve recently gotten heavily into Eurorack and collecting modules that are reproductions of those classic modular synthesizers that I couldn’t afford back in the day. Check out my Modular page for more details on what I’ve assembled.

VST Instruments

For a while I got into Virtual Instruments (VSTi) to record with and it was amazing to have all of the keyboards that I once owned or could never have owned available at my fingertips to compose with. I also still have some vintage keys like my Hammond B3, Minimoog, Polymoog, EMU Proteus/1, ESQ-1, Yamaha TX7’s, and Roland MKB-300 MIDI Controller. Theres something about having the real hardware that virtual instruments just can’t replace.

If you’re doing any MIDI compositions, you’re going to want some great virtual instruments (VSTi) so check out my VSTi page. You might also need some audio plug-ins. I use Waves plug-ins and you can get a 10% coupon if you purchase through this link: 10% Coupon

Songwriting and Recording

Today I use Apple Logic Pro for all of my recording. It has a great collection of vintage softsyths to choose from. Originally, when I still used a Windows PC, I was quite fond of using Sony ACID Pro 7.0 to do my music composition. It was the best loop based composition software I have found. Now pretty much all DAWs support loops but ACID had a nice streamlined interface that doesn’t get in the way of what I’m trying to do. i.e., Be creative!.

I like to write in sections and then arrange those sections into a song. ACID lets me do this easily because its loop based approach allows me to record a verse or chorus once and then use it easily as many times as I want. You can quickly throw a song together and hear how it will sound. Also since I write alone, it nice to be able to have Mick Fleetwood lay down a drum track and Rudy Sarzo a bass track to inspire me. ;-) Of course I’m referring to the ability to purchase loops from other musicians and use them in your compositions royalty free. Quite often when working in a band, someone will play a riff that will inspire a jam that turns into a song. ACID Loops provide the same kind of interactive inspiration.


Instant Acid

I was also lucky enough to have written a book about Sony ACID Pro called Instant ACID It is both an introductory and in depth tutorial written by myself and Iaccobus that gets you started quickly, and then dives into the tips and techniques that I use for getting the most out of ACID Pro.