Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic music

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by musden » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:19 pm

"Vintage synthesizers" by Mark Vail will tell you what you need.
Last edited by musden on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Phenom » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:27 pm

The OP might find it useful to look up these, sorry no links, but easy enough to find on youtube I would think...

Sonicstate's Top 20 synths of all time...

The shape of things that hum (episodes on 303, 808, DX7, Fairlight etc)

and for some historical perspective Synth Britannia

Lots of decent docs about the rise of techno and house on youtube too, maybe something worthwhile there as well.

My own choices for Important synths...

Minimoog, Putney, ARP 2600, Jupiter 8, Juno 60, TB303, D50, M1, DX7, Nord Lead, 808, 909, LinnDrum, MPC, JV1080, Prophet 5, Rebirth.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by bochelli » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:35 pm

Ems gear is a bit hyped to me hard to get a sound of if you dont know much, the Moog Minimoog i feel is the sole Synthesizer that set new standards for the shaping of electronic music, ask Kraftwerk and Gary Numan.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:09 pm

bochelli wrote:Ems gear is a bit hyped to me hard to get a sound of if you dont know much, the Moog Minimoog i feel is the sole Synthesizer that set new standards for the shaping of electronic music, ask Kraftwerk and Gary Numan.
I have to agree here.
The EMS is a very unique sounding piece of gear. But there is a reason why the Minimoog overshadows it. The lack of patch points on the mini makes it a lot easier to use. Wheras the EMS stuff is baffling (I am going by Xils virtual version, as I have never touched one myself).
The EMS stuff is excellent at making sci fi sounds, atonal rhythms and psychedelic sequences. But the Mini is undeniably funky, while also being capable of weirdness.

A far as the "only a 303 is a 303" argument. I am sure there is some intrinsic character that does not carry over to the clones. But I have exactly the opposite problem. I find I need to go out of my way to make my X0xb0x NOT sound too acidy. When the slide is in use and the resonance is high it is pretty easy to expect a huge 4/4 kick is just around the corner.
Which is not the case in my tunes!
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:03 pm

Might I add something?
  • DX7, because it introduced a new breed o' sounds compared to the infinite supply o' sawtooths, blocks 'n pulses of the years before. Maybe you'd think "but it wasn't a TB!", that may be so, but it's not like EM was purely TB/TR, it needed other sounds too.
  • JV1080, because it had 64 voices, was relatively cheap, had effects, has expansion options. A real studio workhorse of the 90's (followed by the 2080, 3080, 5080)
  • VST, it democratized music production because of the tons o' useful freebees and the fact tha you could use more than once instance. Indirectly this caused all kinds of creative (but not so rich) hobbyists to actually have the tools of the trade, and with social media and free exposure they've made their name without the sucky record industry or the sucky bank.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:14 pm

CS_TBL wrote:Might I add something?
  • VST, it democratized music production because of the tons o' useful freebees and the fact tha you could use more than once instance. Indirectly this caused all kinds of creative (but not so rich) hobbyists to actually have the tools of the trade, and with social media and free exposure they've made their name without the sucky record industry or the sucky bank.
^^^^^
this.
Even though I now have a pretty decent pile of analog synths, once upon a time all I had was a PC and Midiman Oxygen.
Just purchasing a program like Sonar, Cubase or Logic you have dozens of VST/AU synths out of the box. All of which can have almost any parameter automated using CCs.
Talk about democritization of beatmaking!
Sure it doesn't sound exactly like a 303 or a Minimoog. But honestly the only reason we "need" real analog gear is because it's more fun, and we dont want to look like total assholes by loading in for a show with laptop and a usb controller.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by griffin avid » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:59 pm

VST, it democratized music production because of the tons o' useful freebees and the fact tha you could use more than once instance. Indirectly this caused all kinds of creative (but not so rich) hobbyists to actually have the tools of the trade, and with social media and free exposure they've made their name without the sucky record industry or the sucky bank.

The only helping-hand for 'poor-musicians' who couldn't afford studio time (which was the issue, not the tools) was the home DAW, powered by mommas PC with computer speakers and onboard or gaming soundcard.

Free exposure from social media is nothing like being on a label, even a sucky one. The only revolution and freedom is each person having their own studio.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by balma » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:44 pm

CS_TBL wrote:Might I add something?
  • DX7, because it introduced a new breed o' sounds compared to the infinite supply o' sawtooths, blocks 'n pulses of the years before. Maybe you'd think "but it wasn't a TB!", that may be so, but it's not like EM was purely TB/TR, it needed other sounds too.
the first time I saw somebody playing a keyboard on live band, was a DX7. Synthesizers became closer to musicians (not talking only about electronic or pop music) thanks to it. It was heavily used on latin bands on eighties and even nineties. It was the synth chosen by many keyboard players, to make companion to different music styles.
Many DX7 were replaced by Korg M1s and Roland XP80s after several years of serving on cover bands and latin music.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Steve Jones » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:06 pm

Anyone that lived through the 80's listening to film scores or Trevor Horn albums or artists like Propaganda, Art of noise, Peter Gabriel, Jean Michel Jarre, Tears for Fears, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Giorgio Moroder would have to mention:

PPG Wave and Waveterm
NED Synclavier
Fairlight CMI
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:23 pm

balma wrote:
CS_TBL wrote:Might I add something?
  • DX7, because it introduced a new breed o' sounds compared to the infinite supply o' sawtooths, blocks 'n pulses of the years before. Maybe you'd think "but it wasn't a TB!", that may be so, but it's not like EM was purely TB/TR, it needed other sounds too.
the first time I saw somebody playing a keyboard on live band, was a DX7. Synthesizers became closer to musicians (not talking only about electronic or pop music) thanks to it. It was heavily used on latin bands on eighties and even nineties. It was the synth chosen by many keyboard players, to make companion to different music styles.
Many DX7 were replaced by Korg M1s and Roland XP80s after several years of serving on cover bands and latin music.
Well to be truthful the DX7 is more well known in general, but the smaller, 4-op only DX100 is probably bigger in terms of impact on the EM scene and pop music in general. Refering of course to the "Lately Bass" patch which is on everything from the 80's and 90's like kudzu in a Georgia backyard.
It was also Roger Troutman's axe of choice, so it has some R&B/hip hop pedigree as well.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Jay200MPH » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:40 pm

A lot of excellent suggestions here, definitely agree on the DX7 & DX100. I'd also add the MOS 6581 SID. Its sound only really broke out beyond the demoscene in the 2000s but I'm willing to bet a lot of the people who produced dance music from the late '80s on started by messing around on their C64s in the early half of that decade. It's certainly how I got the electronic music bug.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by bochelli » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:48 pm

Yes the Yamaha DX7 has its place in synth history, often thought as a overnight rejection of analogue gear , it was king for a while 80s groups like Aha come to mind, i have no problem with the dx7 but strangely i understand over 180,000 were made , but nowadays not too easy to find, 6 years ago in England less than £50 working in abundance strange old world.
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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by tekkentool » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:55 pm

I'd argue the invention of the VST/rise of computer functionality. Didn't just democratize production for electronic music, it democratized the creation of music across way more genres. Particularly sampled drum kits and amp sims made production 10x more affordable and easy for the average person to do themselves.



For example this, no physical amps, no physical drum kits. Pretty much recorded in a bedroom studio.

Alongside the democritzation was a direct expansion of techniques, so much has changed with mixing and post processing in electronic music entirely because of computer editing/vst's.So much music comes out now that wouldn't and couldn't have happened without the VST.

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by shaft9000 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:20 am

it all depends what you're dancing to, really.

there's always exceptions,
but an acid-head probably won't give a toot about a DX1 vs a synclavier, and an italodisco fiend won't give a damn between ems and steiner.
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when you get down to it, what really changed things, more than any synth, was
THE SAMPLER, specifically the Akai s1000.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

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shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Re: Most important synthesisers in evolution of electronic m

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:50 am

OK, so we've narrowed it down to every synth ever made, good job! :thumbleft:

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