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Synth Documentaries

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:46 pm
by ManInTheFog
I'm sure most of you have seen this, but for those who haven't, a fun and interesting doc on the rise of the synthesizer in 70's Britain. Synth Britannia

Another good one: Modulations: Cinema for the Ear

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:28 pm
by mcomeg
Looks like a groovy link! I'll check it out soon (working now).

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:15 pm
by Esus
Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (2008).

Actually, more of a sociological examination of postwar Germany and how electronic music grew out of it. Lots of great interviews with knowledgable subjects, but unfortunately, Ralf and Florian are not among them (although Karl Bartos is featured). Altogether, a good documentary.

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:52 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
Synth Britannia just further underlines the difference in the history of the synthesizer in popular music between the United States and Europe.

I was horrified at how often the punk mentality of "you don't have to have any skill or talent, you can just make cool noises" was cited by bands which are now described as visionary.
It's somewhat frightening how the portrayal in the documentary seems to suggest that no one had ever thought of an all-synthesizer band until Kraftwerk, and the thought of using all synthesizers seemed to rise out of some sort of futuristic dystopic vision. There were all-synthesizer productions from the moment the synthesizer came to the forefront, and none of them UNTIL the Kraftwerk/Sheffield deal had anything really to do with the future, a democratized view of music making, or etc.
Certainly this line of thinking is valid, as Kraftwerk, those Sheffield bands (and others), etc. did exist, and influenced others, but all of the language suggested that this is where synthesizers in music originated... and I think that's a disservice.

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:25 pm
by JJQ
Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution is a realy nice one, go it on DVD.

And there's the cool documentuary about the BBC radiophonic workshop.

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:49 pm
by Snarecrash
Here's an interesting one about the rise and fall of EMS.
What the future sounded like

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:51 pm
by jeeroj
here's another one i found the other day, haven't watched it yet tho...


Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:16 pm
by Esus
Just finished all 3 parts. Lots of EMS & Yamaha. A good primer for vocoders, multi-track recording/editing, & sound design. A winner. :)

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:06 pm
by RD9
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Synth Britannia just further underlines the difference in the history of the synthesizer in popular music between the United States and Europe.

I was horrified at how often the punk mentality of "you don't have to have any skill or talent, you can just make cool noises" was cited by bands which are now described as visionary.
It's somewhat frightening how the portrayal in the documentary seems to suggest that no one had ever thought of an all-synthesizer band until Kraftwerk, and the thought of using all synthesizers seemed to rise out of some sort of futuristic dystopic vision. There were all-synthesizer productions from the moment the synthesizer came to the forefront, and none of them UNTIL the Kraftwerk/Sheffield deal had anything really to do with the future, a democratized view of music making, or etc.
Certainly this line of thinking is valid, as Kraftwerk, those Sheffield bands (and others), etc. did exist, and influenced others, but all of the language suggested that this is where synthesizers in music originated... and I think that's a disservice.
Synth Britannia was definitely written in a cheesy way. The Krautrock/German electronic music documentary was much better (also BBC).


Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:39 pm
by mcomeg
Oh my, the "New Sound of Music" from 1979 is retro-awesome. Granted, I have a soft spot for cheezy vintage educational films anyway. "Shake Hands With Danger," anyone?

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:24 pm
by Hybrid88
Yeah, I watched all three parts and really enjoyed it :)

Seeing the Radiophonic workshop along with educational explanations was great - also I'm pretty sure that set of test oscillators and small keyboard was the original synth setup used for the Dr Who theme bassline, before they got all the EMS gear, damn cool 8-)

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:30 am
by GuyaGuy
The Moog doc is pretty good not for music but for insight into how Bob Moog views music, circuits, and what he calls the spirituality of music.

US Netflixers can stream it: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Moog/ ... height1848

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:38 am
by wertpog
The Synth Britannia was part of a series of the documentaries made for BBC 4. Also in the series was Punk & Prog Britannia, which maybe of interest to some people.

While somewhat enjoyable, I found the self-congratolatory, "Britain as the centre of the creative universe" tone the films had kind of annoying. It's almost the antithesis of what made the music interesting back then.

Re: Synth Documentaries

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:59 pm
by guillermotin
Have you guys seen "Totally Wired", a documentary about Schneider's Buero synth shop in Berlin?

http://totallywired.tumblr.com/

I am curious to check it out.