Synthesized - 23 & 24 June 2018
Synthesized celebrates the computer and synthesiser - and how the two technologies grew up together.
The two technologies have crossed paths many times since the CSIRAC mainframe played the "Colonel Bogey March” in 1951. The mighty Fairlight CMI 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.
This year, Synthesized will bring you some of the landmark machines from the last 30 years that have shaped and transformed how music is made. The Fairlight and the Greengate DS:4 introduced us to a new way of making music with digital sampling. 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.
As ever, we’ll have the our collection of synthesiser out for everyone to play on - bring your own headphones! We’ll also have demonstrations of the iconic synthesisers and computer music systems of the 80s and 90s, plus some examples of the very latest technologies too. Keep checking back to see what’s happening!
Rob Puricelli, Fairlight Enthusiast & Restorer and Music Technology Blogger
Rob (of failedmuso.com and UK representative of Fairlight CMI restoration experts, Horizontal Productions) will be coming to talk about his restoration of a Fairlight CMI and tell us about the history of this iconic machine that featured on almost every hit of the 80s! We also hope Rob will bring a Fairlight to demonstrate to us.
Martin Ley, John Molloy and the Greengate DS:4
Martin (of Twilight Passion) will be bringing his Greengate DS:4, probably the only working example in the world. Greengate built this budget British Fairlight, based around an Apple IIe, from 1982 to 1987. It was used by bands such as Mainframe, The JAMs (aka The KLF), New Order and even appears on "I want your sex" by George Michael. We hope we'll be joined by John Molloy of 80s band Mainframe, who were closely involved in its development, to demonstrate it to us.
Come and take a look at the awesome Atmegatron Synth - a mini 8-bit synth based around an Arduino! They'll also be bringing along some fantastic retro gear including a Mac Plus running Trax, Fostex R8 8-track, Emu Drumulator, Sequential Pro One, Yamaha DX7 IIFD, Roland Juno 60, Ensoniq ESQ1. Soulsby will be at the event on Saturday and Sunday.
Equipment on Display
Come and experience some classic machines of the 80s and 90s including as well as some modern gear :
Time: 10am - 7pm.
* Concessions include Students, OAPs, Disabled and Carers.
Remember - All proceeds go to support our Computing Museum!