Bass Synths and Synth Explorer – Vintage Synthesizers

by Philip Holt

When you take a look at any industry, there are always certain products and elements present that is truly outstanding. This is no different from the synthesizer and synth instrument industry. Here are a couple of synths that have genuinely left their mark in the industry.

ARP Odyssey dates back to 1972. It has to be recalled for their alleged theft of the primary four pole Moog filter design. Having said that, it has naturally became Moogs competition. It didnt take long for the ARP engineers to invent their personalised 2 pole filter. Once this was blended with the duophonic then players had the advantage of an extra synth. Again during the entire concert, it would stay in tune.

One will remember the success of Dave Smith and associates from Sequential Circuits with the Prophet five. This is round 1978. There are earlier made in their garage and were addressed as the Prophet 10. There was an overheating problem that shortly led them to no other option but to cut the voices to half. Its superior in the way it can be programed, plus the micro-processor controlled keyboard granted for patch storage. To top this all off was the dcor of the exquisite Koa wood. Eventually it went through three major revisions. They are no longer produced after 1984.

In 1970, the Moog MiniMoog was the inception of the sound synthesizer. It was not all that affordable but the booming , shrieking melodies combined with the SFX key board players hands made it a most favorite possession. It had a peculiar foldable lid to a gorgeous wood case. The problem with it is the fact it did not have a dedicated LFO plus it wouldn’t stay in tune and it didn’t have a patch storage.

The Roland Jupiter during the time period of 1981 is well remembered. It had a digital patch storage, splitting and layering across the key-board and as if that wasn’t sufficient, it also had an arpeggiator. The sound had to be the most favourite feature as Roland made it extremely pleasant, thanks to the analog signal path. Programming was a breeze with the knob laden interface. It had a massive price-tag when it came to the oscillators and filters.

At last, the Yamaha DX-7 must be noted. It was the very 1st time that polyphone, a splendid key-board and a very affordable price all came as one. What was achievable with their DX-7s frequency modulation synthesis was brilliant. Not some thing a few well known music star required to pass up. Programing it’s somewhat of a mystery, but the FM synthesis has never caused quite the same stir since that time. It paved the way for other new synthesis types.

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