This week, we got an all new perspective on the subject with a great new article from Gear Patrol.
According to the mag, the expansion and evolution of electronic music styles can be traced alongside the technological advances in production tools. That is, after new product launches and updates, artists seem to find innovative and unique means of using the new tools at their disposal.
The writers at Gear Patrol break down the years’ most iconic music production tech into three basic categories: synthesizers, drum machines/samplers, and turntables/CDJs.
Did your favorites make the cut?
First released in 1971, the Minimoog was the very first fully integrated synthesizer. This new technology overcame classic limitations with its groundbreaking portable design and supremely high sound quality.
The Minimoog’s smooth and versatile sounds are a staple in Kraftwerk‘s 1971 album, “Autobahn”
Roland’s Transistorized Bass 303 was released in 1981 as a means to play bass accompaniments for solo guitarists. The 303 started getting seriuos face time when early Chicago house DJs began to experiment with its signature wonky bass sounds so characteristic of albums like Jesse Saunders‘ “On and On”
Drum Machines and Samplers
Roland TR-808 & TR-909
Another 80’s Roland favorite, the Transistor Rhythm 808, was created to replicate the sound of a drum kit with up to 32 possible patterns. Shortly after, the Roland TR-909 succeeded the 808, raising the bar with digital samples for cymbals and hi-hats, as well as additional functionality that increased pattern capabilities up to 96 possible combinations.
As for the quirky synthpop sounds that we love in classics from artists like Yellow Magic Orchestra, we have the TR-808 to thank.
Akai S1000 and MPC Series
Just seven years after the TR-808 came the Akai S1000 sampler. The S1000 gave producers the ability to splice, crossfade, and trim music in new and improved CD quality. Then, another three years later, Akai’s release of their Music Production Center (MPC) sampling sequencer quickly gained a massive following. With features like sampling, manipulating, storing, and sequencing music, the MPC allowed for all new levels of production ease and efficiency.
Prefuse 73‘s early 2000’s glitch-hop abum, “One Word Extinguisher” is a classic sample of the Akai MPC’s wobbly grooves and funky samples throughout its highly structured pieces.
The backbone of any DJ setup has always consisted of turntables and a mixer. A minimum of two decks are used to layer beats in real time, but great DJs can mix up to four.
Classic turntables like the Technics SL-1200 series have been a staple in DJ setups for nearly 40 years since they began production in 1972.
However, top-tier Pioneer CDJs have slowly but surely become the mainstream solution for DJs and Producers globally, coming as a simplified alternative for the heavier equipment and vinyls necessary to rock the classic turntables.
Earlier this year, Moog Music Inc. announced a limited re-release of three modular synthesizers. The three mod-synth models, which were originally manufactured back in 1973, include the System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15.
To celebrate this announcement, Moog uploaded a short film to their Youtube entitled, “Back to the Future Sounds,” which chronicles the history of the modular synthesizer.
This 20 minute short is a time warp, alternating between gritty, retro, sci-fi cutaways and recent interviews at the Moog Factory, held with a range of electronic musicians from Dick Hyman to Holy Ghost.
So be sure to plug in your highest quality headphones or monitors, as Moog suggests in the video, for the “proper listening experience,” and enjoy.
Our Music Synthesis class can guide you through the new world of music synthesis. Times certainly have changed, but the synthesizer, created in 1876, isn’t going anywhere.
Moog Music just launched their new Category 5 video series with a conversation with M. Geddes Gengras, troche who described his exploration of analog effects modules and the process-based sound design used in the composing of the 3 Impressions EP.
Check out the first Category 5 video below, cialis along with the 3 Impressions EP; which is offered as a free download!
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