Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic music

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Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic music

Post by TheSecretRaver » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:00 pm

I'm a student, and in my current project im currently looking at vintage synthesisers and instruments. I want to know what have been the most important for the growth of electronic music, more specifically electronic dance music? what synthesisers have made it what it is today? I would really appreciate feedback

I've looked at:

Mini Moog
Roland tb303, tr909, 808
linn drum

I would really appreciate feedback
thanks

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Bitexion » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:52 pm

Don't forget the EMS Synthi. Mostly used for making effects since it's very hard to keep the oscillators in tune with eachother. One of Jean Michel Jarre's most used synths in the 70s and 80s.

The ARP 2600 was also a hugely popular synth, since you could detach the keyboard and pretend to be a guitar player. Very popular with prog/rock bands in the 70s.
It was pretty much a direct competitor to the Minimoog.

You'll find articles on both on the front page of VSE.

The 2600/Minimoog were also a huge contribution to most 80s pop hits, like Madonna, Michael Jackson songs. The producers used them alot.

The Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 was a very popular polyphonic synth in the 80s. Also the Oberheim OB-Xa/Ob-8.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:05 pm

Definitely the EMS VCS-3/Synthi-A as these spawned an entire genre of progressive music -- from modern composers to bands like Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Hawkwind, Gong etc.

Being the first portable of its kind helped the VCS-3 a lot, too, although Moog and ARP quickly followed and ate EMS´ lunch because you could also play little tunes on a Mini Moog or an ARP 2600. From these cornerstones everything else has since evolved -- and the TB-303 was merely meant to be a pun, a replacement bass player, not a serious musical instrument. Like the 101, 202, 606, 808, and 909, it was embraced by a generation of performers who were broke and couldn´t afford anything more advanced (and synthesiser evolution had quickly rendered these Roland boxes as useless junk by the mid-1980s). Necessity was the mother of invention in this case.

As important as Buchlas or modular Moogs certainly were, they were not overly popular outside academic circles or Electronic Music Laboratories on some college campi.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by zoomtheline » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:57 pm

What about a newer one? JP8000 supersaw is over everything throughout the 90's and beyond

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by c-level » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:27 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote: From these cornerstones everything else has since evolved -- and the TB-303 was merely meant to be a pun, a replacement bass player, not a serious musical instrument. Like the 101, 202, 606, 808, and 909, it was embraced by a generation of performers who were broke and couldn´t afford anything more advanced (and synthesiser evolution had quickly rendered these Roland boxes as useless junk by the mid-1980s). Necessity was the mother of invention in this case.
while i understand and appreciate the cultural relevance and re appropriation of the 303, i kinda dont think it deserves a place in the hall of 'most important synthesizers' it really appeals to such a small portion of the population, and is praised mostly for its shortcomings...

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Bitexion » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:37 pm

Big Moog Modular systems were mostly found in music labs in universitys, yeah. Ordinary people couldn't afford them, not most musicians either without unlimited budget from a big record company.It was also common for record studios to have a big modular system that bands could "hire" for a daily fee, along with an expert on the system. So the band would say "I want a sound that's like butterflies flying inside a whale's belly, maaaaaaaaan" and the operator would have to try and realize it, as most musicians couldn't operate a system like that themselves.

Subtractive synthesis in itself startet with the late 60s modular systems however, everything is derived from them.
The Minimoog was designed as a pre-patched mini-modular system so normal musicians could afford using synthesizers aswell.
The now-normal VCO-VCF-VCA audio signal paths for instance, or the standardized sawtooth, pulse/PWM, sine/triangle waveforms.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by analoglsd » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:14 pm

c-level wrote:
ppg_wavecomputer wrote: From these cornerstones everything else has since evolved -- and the TB-303 was merely meant to be a pun, a replacement bass player, not a serious musical instrument. Like the 101, 202, 606, 808, and 909, it was embraced by a generation of performers who were broke and couldn´t afford anything more advanced (and synthesiser evolution had quickly rendered these Roland boxes as useless junk by the mid-1980s). Necessity was the mother of invention in this case.
while i understand and appreciate the cultural relevance and re appropriation of the 303, i kinda dont think it deserves a place in the hall of 'most important synthesizers' it really appeals to such a small portion of the population, and is praised mostly for its shortcomings...

I agree, but the OP isn't compiling a list of the "the most important synthesizers" in general, he's looking for instruments which are "the most important for the growth of electronic music, more specifically electronic dance music".
In this case, the 303 should be towards the top, along with the SH-101.
It's not a synthesizer, but the entire Akai MPC line should be on the list as well.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Walter Ego » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:04 pm

c-level wrote:while i understand and appreciate the cultural relevance and re appropriation of the 303, i kinda dont think it deserves a place in the hall of 'most important synthesizers' it really appeals to such a small portion of the population, and is praised mostly for its shortcomings...
Turn on a radio. It's everywhere, because acid is everywhere in pop songs now that club music has gone massively mainstream. That's not a small portion of the population. It IS a small portion of the population that actually knows it's a 303 or a 303 knock-off that's making those lines...
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by silikon » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:16 pm

TheSecretRaver wrote: I want to know what have been the most important for the growth of electronic music, more specifically electronic dance music?
I believe you could state that:

The Yamaha DX7 deserves a place in 80's dance music culture;
The E-MU Emulator II also deserves similar distinction. (although a sampler technically)

The Roland Alpha Juno {1,2} for the Rave/Techno sound (WhatThe? patch).

The Roland 303 in terms of 90's Acid, as does the SH-101.

Early industrial dance used the Ensoniq Mirage to a certain degree... (again, sampler...)

Later (more current) dance stuff is lousy with the Access Virus...

Most 'electronic dance music' of earlier years was not really using the expensive kit mentioned in previous posts, I believe mainly because back in the day the genre wasn't exactly running amok with people having stacks of cash, unlike more popular acts that used the JP8, Minimoog, Oberheim OB-whatever, etc...
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by silikon » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:21 pm

Walter Ego wrote:Turn on a radio.
Move along, geezer -- before we re-arrange your dentures. :lol: (kidding, if it wasn't obvious)

edit: 777th post, therefore... :la:
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by tekkentool » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:01 pm

Walter Ego wrote: Turn on a radio. It's everywhere, because acid is everywhere in pop songs now that club music has gone massively mainstream. That's not a small portion of the population. It IS a small portion of the population that actually knows it's a 303 or a 303 knock-off that's making those lines...
I can't think of a pop song in recent memory that used a 303.

Are you sure you aren't thinking of the 90's? -

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by c-level » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:33 pm

Walter Ego wrote:
c-level wrote:while i understand and appreciate the cultural relevance and re appropriation of the 303, i kinda dont think it deserves a place in the hall of 'most important synthesizers' it really appeals to such a small portion of the population, and is praised mostly for its shortcomings...
Turn on a radio. It's everywhere, because acid is everywhere in pop songs now that club music has gone massively mainstream. That's not a small portion of the population. It IS a small portion of the population that actually knows it's a 303 or a 303 knock-off that's making those lines...
no. ;) i like my anti c**p-pop culture bunker that is my studio... not saying i have no respect for 303 i just think the hyped analog/digital generational user gap makes it unique in that it's importance was not immediately apparent. where as other synths were easier to use, recognized for what they were and took off immediately... (sh101?)

yeah silikon how did the DX7 not get mentioned yet? might as well throw the M1 in there too. HOUSE PIANO BABY!

if were talking about contemporary times, wed be stupid not to mention sylenth or massive, with papen's predator and NI razor probably proving themselves as contenders in the next few years....

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Alex E » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:47 pm

Late 60's
Moog Modular Systems
EMS Synthi

70's
Minimoog Model D
Arp 2600
Arp Odyssey

Early 80's:
Roland Jupiter 8
SCI Prophet 5
Oberheim OBX/Xa

Linndrum
Oberheim DMX

Roland TR-808 and TB-303

Yamaha DX7

Mid 80's:
Roland Juno-106
Roland TR-909
Roland Alpha Juno 1, 2

Late 80's:
Korg M1
Roland D-50

90's:
Roland JP-8000
Access Virus
Clavia Nord Lead

00's:
Alesis Andromeda
Dave Smith Poly Evolver
Access Virus TI

And of course, software synthesizers like Massive, Sylenth1, FM8, etc.

-It's definitely not a complete list, but those are some important highlights.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:32 am

I was all excited... but you want them in regard to electronic dance music.

If you change your mind, I've got 70 years worth of really important synthesizers. :)
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Bitexion » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:44 am

I think this is in order:



Then you go ACID

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