Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.

Of the 2 choices below, which is/was your primary influence for your interest in synthesizers

EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and all of its sub-genres to include ambient (EDM based), acid, techno, detroit, house, rave, jungle, d&b, minimal, dub/step, trance, etc. etc.
38
20%
Any other form of music (everything else - pop, rock, hip-hop, indie, punk, post-punk, wave, synth-pop, soundtracks, krautrock, classic rock, prog-rock, post-rock, sound effects, ambient (non-EDM, such as Eno), experimental, industrial, metal, etc. etc.
155
80%
 
Total votes: 193

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by otto » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:44 pm

jaypodesta wrote:The “problem” I have with this is that the poll and otto’s first post don’t tie up for me:

The poll asks:

Of the 2 choices below, which is/was your primary influence for your interest in synthesizers

A simple question and one we can all answer.

But the purpose of the poll according to otto's first post is:
otto wrote: to determine whether or not EDM has had the strongest influence in the “resurgence” and/or continued popularity of synthesizers. You have 2 choices EDM and all of its variations and sub genres or any other type of music.
Well firstly what is the definition of the “resurgence”?

If you got into synths via Yes in the 70’s and but now make Techno and are buying/interested [in] synths today for that purpose you are surely “contributing to the continuing popularity of synths” [because of EDM]. Right?

But your poll vote doesn’t reflect that ‘cause you answered Non EDM in your poll vote.

Or have I missed something?

Don’t get me wrong I think this is interesting and I’m into it. :)

So thanks otto :thumbright:
I didn't want to be so specific that someone felt trapped in a particular answer. That is probably why the question comes off as a little ambiguous. I couldn't think of a better way the phrase it. I also felt that having a middle of the road third option would have nullified everything.
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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by otto » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:50 pm

pricklyrobot wrote:Another problem is that, as far as I can tell, dance music, as a genre distinct and separate from regular pop music, didn't really exist until the mid '80s. So some things that would've been considered dance music at the time they came out (New Order, Depeche Mode, etc.) now get retroactively shifted to the other category, because they're not as "dancey" as the strictly dance music (i.e. you won't hear it on the radio and in the club) that came after them.
I work with a chick that's into dancing. They call the music they dance to, dance music. They dance to Beyonce, Rhianna, No Doubt etc. SHe's never heard of Daft Punk. My point? You could potentially call everything "dance music". You can dance to most music. I would say most people recognize EDM as specifically techno related music and its off-shoots. synthpop and new wave don't fit that. However, New Order did some true dance songs such as Blue Monday but I think you can credit the popularity of the song to it being a crossover. I would say most of New Orders music is still synth-pop. You can still answer the question the best way you feel fit.
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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Yatmandu » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:49 pm

New Order "Blue Monday" definitely fits into the EDM space. It's one of the grandfather tunes that helped create the spark, IMO. I would gladly include it in my definition of EDM, but I actually don't like the "dance" part of the label. In fact, I don't like EDM as a label - period. I do like techno as a label, in its widest sense, its original sense, before it was defined as a sub-genre of electronic music as in the following guide:

http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/music.swf

^^^ In effect, that entire guide sums up the music that inspires me today to use synthesizers, sequencers, drummachines, analog, digital, software, hardware, whatevah sounds good....

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by vcs3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:09 pm

jaypodesta wrote:Only trouble with this; what if you are old and got into synths before EDM...

Unless of course you're including 70's disco? :wink:
Like me!

P.S.-I'm old but I'm happy :D

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:15 pm

The more responses I read, the more I am saddened by how the internet has created this bizarre revisionist history.

The notion that people want to separate New Order from dance music fills me with dread. Granted, New Order did a number of different "genres"... okay, wait. f**k that s**t, I am sick of it. The fact of the matter is, outside of electronic music, MOST artists do songs which cover a MANY different "genres." It is only the electronic music demographic who meticulously nitpicks tiny and unimportant distinctions in order to isolate and label a "genre." I am not going to jump in the revisionist boat and try to describe New Order as straddling a number of genres. New Order did what everyone did back then, and most people do now... write music which is inspired by a number of different styles of music. In any case, anyone who thinks that songs like Blue Monday or Bizarre Love Triangle weren't some of the most powerful, replayed, and influential electronic dance music tracks in the 80s, or perhaps ever, has been reading the internet too much. It is a simple fact of life.

I think the ability for electronic musicians and electronic music listeners to distinguish between the so-called genres of electronic music and electronic dance music clearly indicates that within the style, the resolution of differences is on a very minute level. This is not true for most other genres. One need only listen to the Beatles' White Album as an indication (how many "genres" would the Beatles be if you tried to label them???), or if you looked at the insane depth and breadth of music of the 19th Century, all of which gets the genre label "Romantic Era."
Anyway: there isn't much to techno... it is really no different than any music that has ever made anyone dance. It contains intricate rhythms, sparse instrumentation, and timbres from electronic, digital, or electronically manipulated sound sources. It is largely quantized. There is nothing really happening in it (especially at the time of its origin) which hadn't happened in other musical instances before that point. It was merely a pared down version of what had already happened. Song structure was removed, most non-electronic instruments were removed, the beat was further amplified, musical changes happened slowly over a long period of time (deeply influenced by the Minimalism movement [which I remind you was not about limited instrumentation, but rather about limited musical change... basically, repetition], and etc. It was not like everyone stood back in awe and thought a musical revolution had occurred. It was just pared down and very focused exciting-to-dance-to utility dance music.
If you think any of this was meant to condemn it, you're wrong. I loved the stuff as much as you do, and recorded it just like you do. It's just that in conversations like these, we need to look at the facts, and not the internet hype often= written by very enthusiastic people with very limited experience and perspective.

Regarding industrial: In America, we were all dancing to industrial in clubs in 1987. Ministry was huge among the clubgoers in my circles. Not a single one of us had heard of Juan Atkins, et. al.
It's just further evidence that information based in appreciation but lacking in sound research (no pun) is dangerously misleading.
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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Yatmandu » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:43 pm

Nice post Gainsay! I agree with a lot of what you wrote there. I remember dancing like a lunatic to Blue Monday. I also went through an industrial phase (Ministry, Front 242, Jesus&Mary Chain, Alien Sex Fiend, etc.). I also got into very ealry house and acid in 1988 or so. In my case, frequent trips to Europe sort of helped me get acquainted with this music sooner than most. Finally, a trip to Goa, India in 1990 sealed the deal and I've been dancing to and listening to many forms of techno since then. I guess we're pretty well arguing over semantics here. I have no doubt that what inspired you to become a synthesizer freak is some awfully great music in the end!

Cheers.

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Soundwave » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:41 pm

At high school I was into Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Yello when everyone else was into Guns and Roses.

At collage I was into FSOL, Orbital, Prodigy when most were into Nivarna.

I think it all depends on how old you were when you got into electronic music but the fact of the matter is dance music has had a more profound effect of pure electronic music getting into the mainstream than the synth pop/rock of the 80's which was more a fresh flavor on traditional instrument styles with new electronic timbres rather than innovative sound design and pushing the boundaries without the limits of physical instrument playing.

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Arturo00 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:00 pm

For me, it was The Rentals "Return of The Rentals" back in 1996 when I was 18 years old. It was my first exposure to the Moog synthesizer. Not long after that I got my first synth, a Korg Polysix, followed by a Multimoog. After that it was game over! I am now hooked on analog synthesis!

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Christopher Winkels » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:20 pm

I'll skip of the genre arguments, as they don't hold a lot of attraction for me.

What got me into electronic music (as a wide, vast, catch-all rubric)? Hearing two Depeche Mode albums back-to-back in 1985: Construction Time Again and Some Great Reward. I've moved on since then, but listening to those two albums (or rather a tape dupe a classmate made of them for me; suck on that people who say copying music is evil...) changed the game for me. They were unlike anything else I'd heard at the time (I grew up listening to The Beatles and pretty insipid '70s soft rock that my folks had on the radio), but all that went out the window the moment I heard "Everything Counts".

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by redroomrecordings » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:28 pm

nvbrkr wrote:
redroomrecordings wrote:i don't know how to answer this as industrial is what got me into synths, but i think it belongs in the dance category. most industrial / ebm (in the last 20 years not counting throbbing gristle type stuff) follows similar formats to techno, just with vocals and a proper song structure.
That's why it is called EBM, not industrial, and that's why those two different genre definitions exist in the first place. EBM is a dance music genre with a few nods here and there to industrial music (which usually does not have a proper song structure). there's no definitive need to call it industrial just in order to make it sound edgier than it is.

You must have heard this before though.

Usual argument repeated over 20 decades - starting from fanzines and migrated from there to usenet and to more current internet forums - so I won't get into it any further and save everyone the hassle. Semantics. :wink:
trust me, i fully understand the different genres revolving around the term industrial. I make ebm now and don't in any way consider that the same as what is "industrial" proper. the problem is that there was no way for me to tell what use of industrial the poll was using as the dance section did not list other dance oriented genres often refered to as industrial...if it had listed ebm, synthpop, dark electro, yadda yadda yadda it would have been more clear.
otto wrote:
redroomrecordings wrote:also i think the demographic of this forum will skew the results. i think most people here are more into non dance related synth music. i also thing its an older crowd than the overall synth crowd. put this poll up on an access virus form for example the the poll would be even more skewed the other way around.


for the record....who cares, we all share a similar interest in the end, doesn't matter why.

I disagree with both of your posts. First industrial is not a descendent of techno and the fact that it has "proper" song structure and "proper" vocals is exactly the point... I don't see how skinny puppy, Ministry, etc. have much to do with Juan Atkins.

It's difficult to know the exact demographic of VSE but I think it will be about as good of a spread as your likely to find in a synth based forum. I would say the vast majority of people on this forum are young enough to have been a product of techno. If you can demonstrate or elaborate on how this forum is skewed it might be more convincing. Unlike the virus forum there is no focus on a particular type of gear. People here love and own virus', TB-303s, Moogs, etc. etc.

For the record... please stop whining.
for the record i wasn't whining....i was participating in a discussion that you started. if you are just looking for answerers that suit you then don't bother. i personally thought it was an interesting topic and interesting poll, i was just making my vote clear...is that not the point?

and i do think that skinny puppy and bands of the era do belong in the edm category. don't know about you but i've been to plenty of clubs where many people enjoyed dancing to skinny puppy era industrial very much, right along side more modern 4 on the floor instrumental dance tracks.... i think 80s era industrial has a lot to do with techno, even if it does have guitar and a chorus, i think it has more to do with techno than it does prog rock. but again, that's just me, not saying im right, just saying how i personally classify things for myself and really genera classifications are bullshit anyway and change depending on who you talk to or what city or even country you are in.

as for the demographic, i didn't say it was skewed, i just think that it might be. i've personally always gotten the impression that for the most part the crowd over here is a bit older and not overly interested in synths as a dance music tool. obviously that's not completely true and you are right that it is as good a place as any for a poll like this since people are here strictly for synths, of all kinds, and not for a type of music production.


as for the original topic i don't think dance music is a driving force in analog synth production, it contributes but isn't the main target. i speak for myself and a lot of dance music producers i know in saying that we are more interested in cutting edge technology. analog in most cases is a nostalgic, aesthetic thing more than a practical tool. i think dance music is a driving force in computer integrated hardware, controllers, vsts, and new forms of synthesis more than anything. the only place i see dance music being a driving force for the analog market is perhaps in the modular realm, specifically euro format, and especially with more experimental forms of dance music. idm / breakcore producers i think make up a large part of the doepfer customer base. again, not all.

wait, where was i? what the h**l am i talking about....again, i'm not whining. i was the one who said who cares we all share a similar interest despite or reasons or how we got here....and that's what makes this forum great.

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:47 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I think the ability for electronic musicians and electronic music listeners to distinguish between the so-called genres of electronic music and electronic dance music clearly indicates that within the style, the resolution of differences is on a very minute level.
When a "genre" is defined by the BPM rate or whether the kick drum is an 808 or 909 I just scratch my head.

AG's entry is about the only piece of sanity in these two threads.
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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Ian S » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:01 am

My influences: pretty much prog through & through; Emerson, Wakeman, TD, Genesis, i.e. the usual suspects (OK, classing TD as prog might be stretching it a bit, but I wouldn't class them as Krautrock either ;) )

Dance in its myriad genres & sub-genres doesn't really hold any interest for me (though I did buy the original 12" version of Blue Monday), but I'd say one of the earliest EDM records must surely be Donna Summer's I Feel Love. OK, it was classed as disco then, but it was a record made for dancing to, & it was definitely synth-based.
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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Yatmandu » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:16 am

Ian S wrote:My influences: pretty much prog through & through; Emerson, Wakeman, TD, Genesis, i.e. the usual suspects (OK, classing TD as prog might be stretching it a bit, but I wouldn't class them as Krautrock either ;) )

Dance in its myriad genres & sub-genres doesn't really hold any interest for me (though I did buy the original 12" version of Blue Monday), but I'd say one of the earliest EDM records must surely be Donna Summer's I Feel Love. OK, it was classed as disco then, but it was a record made for dancing to, & it was definitely synth-based.
"Blue Monday" was proto-techno and "I Feel Love" proto-house in many ways. Two huge hits that had a lot of influence on the beginnings of techno/EDM, for sure. Funny, I was a huge prog and heavy-rocker until I heard the first few chords of the Sex Pistols "God Save the Queen" and that's when the crazy journey in appreciation of different styles of music truly began for me. Hopefully nobody will come and tell me to read some historian's account of all this. I don't need to, as I lived it.

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:33 am

For me, it was Depeche Mode in high school and Nine Inch Nails while i was in the Army... then i started moving backwards from there.

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Re: Poll: your musical influence for interest in synthesizers

Post by Old Iron Giant » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:54 am

Just wrote a thread on my Inspiration.
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =8&t=49242
Iv been composing music for only two years now, so i'm still a novice with much to learn. I'll be honest, I'm only a Graphic-Designer / Traditional Artist, who was seeking a new medium of art to dabble in. I chose the Synth As my weapon of justice, because of its versatility & complex nature. :wink:

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