Synthesized - 22 & 23 June 2019
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, 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 we hope the event will be even bigger, even better, even noisier and will have more wonderful synthesisers for everyone to see and use! To get you all in the mood, here's some pictures from last year's event.
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!
We'd love you to bring your own synthesisers, music computers, drum machines or anything else you'd think would be of interest. Send a message to email@example.com if you'd like to be involved.
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.
Robbie's also going to bring his Behringer MS-101 - we're looking forward to comparing that with our Roland SH-101 - as well as his IK Multimedia UNO, Korg Prophecy and Mattel Synsonics.
The Greengate DS:4
Last year Martin Ley (of Twilight Passion) and Colin Holgate (co-founder of Greengate) donated to the museum a 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 were very lucky to be joined by John Molloy of 80s band Mainframe, who were closely involved in its development, to demonstrate it to us.
This year, in memory of John who has since very sadly passed away, we will get the DS:4 running again to demonstrate it and possibly even premier a new piece of music written for it.
Darren Blaxcell - Rakits
Darren will be showing off a selection of noisy electronic kits he develops for Rakit. As an electronic engineer with a keen interest in all things stuck to a PCB he looks foward to chatting about synths, electronics, DIY kits and soldering.
https://www.rakits.co.uk/ - fun, noisy electronic kit projects at affordable prices for a range of ages and skill levels.
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.
Ian Taylor and his Modular Synths
Just to show it's not all digital, sampling and computers this year, Ian will be bringing his Digisound Modular, a Roland 100M, a Eurorack (or two!) and his Jupiter 8.