What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

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What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by GameChanger » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:20 pm

Sorry for my lack of synth knowledge, but was just wondering about this. What was the first digital-analog hybrid synth?

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by memory cords » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:26 pm

GameChanger wrote:Sorry for my lack of synth knowledge, but was just wondering about this. What was the first digital-analog hybrid synth?
I think it was the PPG Wave?

You can see Edgar Froese playing one in the clip below:



I guess many people would also consider the Fairlight CMI an early digital synth though technically it is a sampler. But it was definitely used by a lot of 70's and 80's synth artists (Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Cabaret Voltaire, Coil etc). The E-mu Emulator series also which have digital waveforms with analog filters...

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by moremagic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:39 pm

I downloaded the P5 rev 3 user manual the other day and was reading it, and it refers to the Prophet-5 as a hybrid synth because of the digital control and patch storage! :lol:

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Technically, wouldn't it be one of those 1950s synth that use punch cards to program them? I mean, those use on/off info, like digital synths do. Or is that stretching it?

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:44 pm

It depends what parts you want to refer to by "digital". Many analogue synths (both monos and polys) use digital circuits for keyboard scanning, voice allocation and patch storage. I presume you're referring to digital waveforms followed by analogue filters etc.

As for PPG, the Wave was not the first; Palm's 1020 monosynth was earlier, followed by the Sonic Carrier.

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by cornutt » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:31 am

Phollop Willing PA wrote:Technically, wouldn't it be one of those 1950s synth that use punch cards to program them? I mean, those use on/off info, like digital synths do. Or is that stretching it?
That's the RCA Synthesizer in the pic... I'm pretty certain that it did not do any digital sound generation or processing; it only used digital data for control. It was more like a '50s version of a P5.

There were people doing digital synthesis with PDP-8's and 11's in the 1960s. Some of them did some analog post processing, but I think it was more of the nature of "fix it in the mix", since those systems were not capable of doing the digital synthesis in real time.
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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:06 am

and some people say that DCO synths are hybrids as well, so its a matter of specifics.

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:21 am

GameChanger wrote:What was the first digital-analog hybrid synth?
Define digital-analogue hybrid synth first, and then someone can answer your question.

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by GameChanger » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
GameChanger wrote:What was the first digital-analog hybrid synth?
Define digital-analogue hybrid synth first, and then someone can answer your question.
I was thinking more along the lines of what keyboard/s started the digital analog hybrids of the 80s. Digital Waveforms, but Analog Filters, Evelopes, Etc.

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:19 pm

From http://documentation.apple.com/en/logic ... tasks=true

I found the following:

Digital Synthesizers

....

The breathtaking developments in the digital world are best illustrated by the following example. The first program that emulated sound generation entirely by means of a computer was Music I, authored by the American programmer Max Mathew. Invented in 1957, it ran on a university mainframe, an exorbitantly expensive IBM 704. Unimpressively, its sole claim to fame was that it could compute a triangle wave, although doing it in real time was beyond its abilities.

This lack of capacity for real-time performance is the reason why early digital technology was used solely for control (and storage) purposes in commercial synthesizers. Digital control circuitry debuted in 1971 in the form of the digital sequencer found in the Synthi 100 modular synthesizer—in all other respects an analog synthesizer—from English company EMS. Priced out of reach of all but the wealthiest musicians, the Synthi 100 sequencer featured a whopping total of 256 events.

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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Micke » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:55 pm

nathanscribe wrote:It depends what parts you want to refer to by "digital". Many analogue synths (both monos and polys) use digital circuits for keyboard scanning, voice allocation and patch storage. I presume you're referring to digital waveforms followed by analogue filters etc.

As for PPG, the Wave was not the first; Palm's 1020 monosynth was earlier, followed by the Sonic Carrier.
Everything on the Sonic Carrier (1976) seems to have been Digitally controlled, incl. the filter. However I'm not sure whether
the oscillators were actually digitally generated or just DCO's! Anyone knows for sure?
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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by calyx93 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:57 pm

Fairly certain it was the PPG 1020 - don't own one, but all I've ever read or heard about them is that it was Palm's first synth to use digital oscillators.

I'm curious about the RMI KC1 - if it utilized any analog processing after the digital waves (analog VCA/ENV), it would be an even earlier hybrid - 1974.
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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:37 pm

calyx93 wrote:Fairly certain it was the PPG 1020 - don't own one, but all I've ever read or heard about them is that it was Palm's first synth to use digital oscillators.

I'm curious about the RMI KC1 - if it utilized any analog processing after the digital waves (analog VCA/ENV), it would be an even earlier hybrid - 1974.
Also from: http://documentation.apple.com/en/logictasks=true

"Ever-increasing processor performance made it possible to integrate digital technology into parts of the sound generation engine itself. The monophonic Harmonic Synthesizer, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Instruments (RMI), was the first instrument to do so. This synthesizer had two digital oscillators, combined with analog filters and amplifier circuits.

"The Synclavier, introduced in 1976 by New England Digital Corporation (NED), was the first synthesizer with completely digital sound generation. Instruments like the Synclavier were based on specialized processors, which had to be developed by the manufacturers themselves. This development cost made the Synclavier an investment that few could afford."
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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by Micke » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:48 pm

I dunno about the monophonic RMI Harmonic synth, but to the best of my knowledge there are no filters
nor ADSR's in the RMI KC-I & KC-II. The waveshaping, like the envelope shaping, is done with the units computer.

The incredibly rare Strider systems DCS-1 & II polyphonics were also digital/analog hybrids I think.
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Re: What was the first digital-analog hybrid?

Post by vin14 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:31 pm

Was it the WASP?

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