What was your gateway drug into synthesis?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Synthaholic
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Post by Synthaholic » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:42 pm

For me it would be the 80s too. That and I loved to dabble with any electronic gadget with a keyboard on it. Even a Fisher-Price toy... it was monophonic but I created songs on it.

But what really got me into the synth addiction was when I dropped a Sound Blaster Pro card into my '386 back in '92 or so. It came with some MIDI sequencing software, combined with the cheesy 2-op FM chip on the card, I was hooked. Soon I found software to edit patches on the thing. A year later I dropped a wad on a Korg O1/W. Then a D-50, and a Korg Polysix in '94.

Getting married "cured" my addiction for a while, and my synths became dust collectors for a few years, and I even considered selling them just to get them out of the house. But then a house fire in '05 took care of that, and I went synthless for a couple years, but addicted once, addicted always. I was suffering major synth withdrawal which I thought I could cure with a quick fix (a Microkorg). No, instead it just kicked my addiction back into high gear. I wanted more keys, more sounds, more polyphony, so now I'm back to my 3 synths a day habit, much to my wife's chagrin. :) (well, she is enjoying the Christmas music I'm starting to make on them).
Last edited by Synthaholic on Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Solderman » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:43 pm

1975 age 2, got "Love will keep us together" on my new 45 player
1981 first radio, played 80's music endlessly
1983 saw video of "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock - mind officially blown - listened to Electro on the local Soul station with much enthusiasm
1987 got Commodore 64 - fell in love with the SID sound
1989 heard music from and went to dance clubs in Houston, TX much of which are at the dawn of the explosion of sample based music, but are still heavily synth-laden with high production values
1991 Got Mark Vail's "Vintage Synthesizers" and read Keyboard magazine regularly
1994 Started sequencing covers of said dance music with a friend's copy of "Music Contrsuction Set" for the Applie IIGS

The rest all stems from that sequence, but I didn't actually have anything until I bought a Korg X5 in 1996, quickly replaced by a Kurzweil K2000 and Akai S2800. The analog came later.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:30 am

For me, it was actually a combination of the music of the 80's, the upright piano in our playroom and a cheap Casio keyboard we got for the holidays in 1987.
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Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Moog.

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Post by smallsynth » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:35 am

the 80s, and a novation k-station.

the final countdown and new order.

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Post by hogberto » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:59 am

elo

out of the blue
new world record

the rest is history 8)

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Dr. Sound
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Post by Dr. Sound » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:22 am

gallant steve wrote:> The 80's! .
:D Well said.

But seriously..

saxophone to guitar to piano to DJing to stumbling high into the MIDI lab in university and saying out loud "what the f**k is this?!?"

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:39 am

Dr. Sound wrote:
gallant steve wrote:> The 80's! .
:D Well said.

But seriously..

saxophone to guitar to piano to DJing to stumbling high into the MIDI lab in university and saying out loud "what the f**k is this?!?"
And, THIS is what turned you into a synthesist? Walking into a composing lab and swearing? :lol:

Just joking. I doubt my first reaction to that kind of arsenal (Phil Collins' No Jacket Required tour videos) was a whole lot different.
The greatest thing we ever have is the will to survive.

Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Moog.

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Post by ford442 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:46 am

rebirth and MOD music...
Image

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Dr. Sound
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Post by Dr. Sound » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:49 am

MrFrodo wrote:
Dr. Sound wrote:
gallant steve wrote:> The 80's! .
:D Well said.

But seriously..

saxophone to guitar to piano to DJing to stumbling high into the MIDI lab in university and saying out loud "what the f**k is this?!?"
And, THIS is what turned you into a synthesist? Walking into a composing lab and swearing? :lol:

Just joking. I doubt my first reaction to that kind of arsenal (Phil Collins' No Jacket Required tour videos) was a whole lot different.
:D

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Post by energetik » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:54 am

First... I heard Vangelis' soundtrack for Blade Runner. That stayed with me for a few years. Then I heard real trance music and realized that it really did go way beyond cheese, and bad lyrics. Acid Trance, and Psy/Goa trance f**k rule. I listen to that stuff everywhere. It's the only thing in my iPod.

Those sounds just make my head spin. I know enough about synthesis to understand how some of that mayhem is done, and I appreciate it all the more because of it.
Modulate er... MODERATE THIS!

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Post by gryphon » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:23 am

the first synth i played was my friend's juno-60. i couldn't understand what anything did (except the arp) and it seemed so overwhelming but I lost several days of my life trying to understand.

but as far as synth music it had to be like kraftwerk and some space invader stuff, plus video game music since I was like 5 and blade runner/other sci-fi.i used to get really h__h in h__h school and my friend had a cd with a ton of synthpop and that music in that state actually made it seem incredibly necessary to obtain one of these mysterious instruments and create. In austin the community college has a couple semesters of synthesis, so i took that for free (also in h___h school). f**k reason (but i learned a lot from it).
PEK, ms2000r, Z1,

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Post by cornutt » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:55 pm

Gateway, schmateway! I went straight for the hard stuff! In 1984 I convinced a guy that I knew who had a band that I played keyboards (total lie) and that I owned a synth (even bigger lie). Since his band was desparate for a keyboard player, they hired me on the spot, without an audition. That evening, I had to go buy a synth and learn to play it. :shock: Without really knowing what I was doing, I went out and bought a Juno-106. It was probably the best choice I could have made at the time; it was quick to learn to program and pretty easy to get good sounds with even lacking any keyboard chops. The first few band practices were, em, interesting... fortunately, I have a good ear and I was able to pick up enough to fake my way around quickly. And I was pretty good at recreating patches and sounds from songs. We did a Prince song that began with a random-filter-cutoff patch, which you can't do in a straightforward way on the 106 because it lacks a sample-and-hold. I set up a bank (eight memory locations) with eight copies of the same patch, with everything the same except for the filter cutoff setting. I plugged a foot switch in the patch change jack, and cycled through the bank by tapping the switch in rhythm, simulating a S/H action. Later, I rigged up a homemade LFO circuit with a bilateral switch and plugged that into the foot switch jack, so it did the patch changes for me.

We played small gigs around South Florida, mostly school dances and private parties, and a few bars. Fun stuff, but eventually getting home at 2 AM and having to be at work by 8 got a bit old. But I kept the 106. Still have it.

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Post by gallant steve » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:40 pm

Box wrote:The 80's!

Yeah, all the music of that time... Particularly Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F." That and Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme" and the rest of the Miami Vice music. Also, can't forget Van Halen & Depeche Mode. :)
it's weird , but synths were much more 'in the public consciousness' on the cusp o' the mid-80s , than just before in the earlier synthpop era ,,( or after the late 80sHouse boom peaked up the charts) .. summat to do with fun public orgies of cheese like this :


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Post by supercluster » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:09 pm

obsession with brian eno, fruity loops/ reason 3, wanting to make hip hop beats...

all contributed in different ways
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Post by aredj » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:14 pm

Piano as a child
Bass player in punk, then not so punk bands
Then someone showed me FASTRAKKER II and I started sequencing samples into tracks... I learned to play my friend's MC303
Then reason 1 came along...
Then Ableton 1 came along...
Then I started buying gear... buying gear.... buying gear......... buying gear................buy.... ing

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