The Centre for Computing History is running a two day festival entitled Synthesized; celebrating the computer and synthesizer and how the two technologies grew up together. They'll have a load of early synths and iconic machines available to use, as well as demos from some inspirational figures: The event starts tomorrow Saturday the 25th June, and runs until Sunday.
Here's a gear rundown to whet the appetite:
And some words on whats planned:
The two technologies have crossed paths many times since the CSIRAC mainframe played the "Colonel Bogey March" in 1951. The mighty Fairlight CMI, the PPG and the humble Dragon 32 both share the same processor - as do the Moog Source, Prophet-5 and the ZX Spectrum.
By 1990, the Atari ST found its way into almost every recording studio. Technologies from the flagship Yamaha DX7 and Roland D-50 found their way into almost every PC sound card of the 1990s. Today, modern computers can emulate almost any classic synthesiser with near perfect accuracy.
Without computers we wouldn't have FM, wavetable, additive and phase distortion synthesis - or even be able to save the sounds on our analog synthesiser.
This year it's a special celebration - MIDI, the protocol that allows our synthesisers and computers to talk to each other, is 40 years old this year. We'll be demonstrating the power of this little five-pin cable that all electronic musicians know and love by showing a range of MIDI equipped computers.
It's with much sadness with note that Dave Smith, a key player in the development of MIDI and founder of Sequential Circuits and designer of the groundbreaking Prophet-5, has recently died at the age of 72.
Over the years we've were lucky enough to have a Fairlight CMI, a PPG Waveterm and a Greengate DS4 together in the same room. We even had Colin Holgate from Greengate and John Molloy from 80s band Mainframe to demonstrate it to us.
This year we hope the event will be even bigger, even better, even noisier and will have more wonderful synthesisers for everyone to see and use! While we're waiting to confirm exhibitors for this year - and to get you all in the mood - here's some pictures from the last event.
More information and tickets here: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/
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