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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:10 pm
by CZ Rider
Interesting subject really, as these original analog memory type monophonic synthesizers used different methods to make presets. The most recently produced synth today, with analog memory being the Buchla Music Easle with program cards that can be factory presets or user configured.

Korg had a few models that had individual filter circuits for the various presets. The X-911 had seperate filters per preset and the Sigma contained 12 of the Korg35 filter chips. So Korg was switching audio path for some of the preset parts.

Other manufactures, like the Moog Satellite used a matrix of resistors that were simply energized via 9 volts and routed to the various voltage control module inputs.

While many synthesizers that had this analog memory were strictly factory presets, some were user configurable. EMS had the " Presto Patch" Synthi cards, while Buchla had the "Meta Programing" Easle cards. The Buchla cards are small circuit boards with edge connector, where the various preset values are soldered in via selected resistors. Very old school method. The Yamaha GX-1 used a similar analog memory cart that could be user configured, but that synthesizer was polyphonic.

The first fully programable monophonic synthesizer was the Moog Synthesizer I. As early as 1968, R.A.Moog offered this programer that would recall user configured presets via trimmers on a program card. The patch was routed much like the not yet realized Minimoog. Three oscillator with mixers to filter then VCA both controlled via two envelope generators. The oscillator range, mixers settting, filter, VCA and envelope settings were all recallable. These were custom configured and from what I have gathered, used a type of vactrol wired to each module pot that used this preset value. Gershon Kingsley had a few of these and later Keith Emerson ended up with the System IC used by Bob Moog and company at the "Jazz in the Garden" concert. They were expensive like any synth from the 60's, but they were commercially available if your pockets were deep enough.
From a 1969 R.A.Moog catalog:
Image

The use of RAM came later and the first I can recall was the 70's Sequential Circuits model 700 programer. Marketed to give 64 patch settings for synths like the ARP 2600, Odyssey or the Minimoog. These only saved three oscillator range settings and two programable DADSR's that could be routed to the VCF and VCA inputs. The one envelope had an offset much like filter cutoff with CV tracking on/off. Interesting feature was the ability to sequence through up to a selectable 8 settings in a bank. Had a seperate gate input to advance to the next patch, so it could double a step sequencer with programable envelope settings. Very basic but possibly the first commercially available RAM type memory add-on, and it could effectivly program settings.
Image

But those analog type memories were interesting and implemented many differeny ways. :D

Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:03 pm
by Micke
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Micke wrote:Wolfgang Palm says in his "PPG story" that 16 units were sold:
http://wolfgangpalm.com/about/ppg_blogs/c4/

Not sure what number is correct because in Mark Vail's "Vintage synthesizers" he mentions that "I think we sold only six pieces of that machine".

It's cool to hear that you actually had one!
Wolfgang ought to know but then again, he is known for not being really good at keeping records :).

In Germany┬┤s Fachblatt magazine, the 1003 was reviewed as a quirky beast, and the reviewer pointed out that PPG as a company would benefit tremendously from some more elaborate quality control -- maybe the units they sold came back so quickly, got fixed, and then went out of the door again. Every unit that went out of the door counted :).

Stephen

Stephen, one thing I've been wondering about for quite some time is whether the oscillators in the 1003 were all-digital (digitally generated waveforms) or just digitally controlled analog oscillators?

It's still not clear to me because in Mr. Palm's "The PPG Story: Part 4 "Digital Age" he's talking about both Digital oscillators and DCO's...

I hope you can shed some light on this.