Weapon of Choice: Other Classic Synthesizers
this keyboard hall of fame series I have tried to cover those instruments
that I thought had a profound impact on music over the past 40 years.
Naturally, there are going to be keyboards that some of you might
feel should be on that list. So on this page I am giving honorable
mention to a few other keyboards and manufacturers that have made
a difference. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
Classic Synthesizers in Action
info for all of these synths can be found at vintagesynth.com
I suggest opening the vintagesynth.com link in another browser window
and referring to it as you look through this list.
Alpha Juno 2
D-50 is probably the standout synth in this
bunch, although Roland is to be commended for continually producing
quality keyboard instruments with sonic character.
Mirage was the first keyboard to put sampling
technology in the hands of the common man. I bought one when
they first came out and sold it about a year later because it
really sounded like shit!( 8-bits) However, if you could let
go of what it was trying to sound like it was still pretty cool.
The ESQ-1 was on of the first keyboards to
offer an all in one synth/sampler and sequencing workstation.
Extremely cool at the time.
have not had much experience with Kurzweil instruments, but
I did use a K2500 for a brief tour and thought
it was great. I also almost purchased a rack mount K2000 in
the mid-90's, but the tour got cancelled so I didn't need it.
The K2000 was really cool because it uses V.A.S.T.
( Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology ) which allows
you to take any multi-sample, noise or waveform and process
it using just about any synthesis technique! In addition, Ray
Kurzweil is a pretty heavy dude. He is s a pioneer
in the fields of optical character recognition
(OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech
recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments.
Read more about him here.
CS-80V ( plug-in made by Arturia )
GX-1 was a real beasts from the 70's. It cost $50,000
and less than 10 were ever made. It was used by a very short
list of keyboard legends like Keith Emerson, Stevie
Wonder, Rick Wright, and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.
The CS-80 was somewhat smaller but still weighed
over 200 lbs. The good news is that there is a great software
plug-in version made by Arturia
called the CS-80V.
Wave 2.V ( plug-in made by Waldorf )
Wave series synthesizers were among the first
to employ oscillators to generate over 2,000 different single-cycle
8-bit digital waveforms ( Wavetable Synthesis
). They were always a bit pricey, but found a home in many recordings
in the 80's by artists such as David Bowie,
The Fixx, Trevor Horn, and
founder Wolfgang Palm began to work for Waldorf
when his company went belly-up. He brought with him his "wavetable
synthesis" technology. Today, nearly every digital synthesizer
implements wavetable synthesis in some form .
actually would not really consider any of these to be "classic"
synths, but Korg deserves mention here for making the latest
technologies affordable and road worthy. To this day, Korg
continues to make some of the best full-featured synths on
the market. I love my Triton and MicroKorg!
to Other Classic Synthesizer Parts, Maintenance and more
are a few links to some great Classic Synth Sites
Rodney Lee -- The Satellite Orchestra
Satnam Ramgotra &
Sheet Music Fast?
Digital Sheet Music
from the number one source on the web