Wendy Carlos is without a doubt one of the pioneers when it comes to synthesizers, but is also very strict about her privacy. This has resulted in an aura of mystery around the artist, especially as she doesn't have any interest in public appearances or performances. Her "Switched-On Bach" album is credited with helping to establish synthesizers as credible musical instruments, but Carlos herself prefers to stay out of the limelight.
In our previous article, we took a closer look at some of the synthesizer related Kickstarter projects that saw success during 2020. These included the LIVEN 8bit warps from SONICWARE, the Super Sixteen Eurorack Sequencer Module by Matthew Cieplak as well as the VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer from Abstrakt Instruments. These were by no means the only synth related projects of the year, so check out the rest below.
Synth.BT (Modular Synthesizer Tools)
The period between 1963 and 1995 saw the release of numerous synthesizers that changed the musical landscape. These synthesizers had a huge impact on music culture and many of them are still coveted by fans. Synthesizer Evolution: From Analogue to Digital (and Back) is an upcoming book by Oli Freke that takes a closer look at synthesizers of this era.
A while back the TR-808 celebrated its 40th anniversary and Roland marked the event with all kinds of treats, such as a conversation with Tadao Kikumoto, a 40-year playlist of hits made with the drum machine, and more. As part of the occasion fans could also try out the virtual instrument version of the TR-808 through Roland Cloud, but they have now gone a step further and launched a new online studio platform in collaboration with Yuri Suzuki.
Cable and clutter have always been a concern for musicians who would like to make music whenever and wherever they want. The solution is obviously to go wireless, but latency has always been a barrier. Roland has decided to tackle this issue by unveiling the WM-1, their wireless MIDI adapter.
Not a lot of good things happened this year, but it looks like there will be at least one highlight thanks to Dave Smith's Sequential. They have announced that the much-loved Prophet 5 is getting a re-issue this month.
We've seen time and time again that there is virtually no limit to the types of MIDI controller designs that people have come up with. However, in contrast to the trend of massive controllers with as many buttons and dials as possible, there is the upcoming Noise Machine.