There are some names, such as Suzanne Ciani, Gary Numan, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Herbie Hancock that should be instantly familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in synthesizers. Groups such as Kraftwerk, Human League, Duran Duran, Soft Cell, and Depeche Mode are also famous for their use of synthesizers. However, there are many other artists and bands from Japan that has also left their mark with synthesizers. Apart from perhaps Yellow Magic Orchestra these performers are not always as familiar to western audiences.
Chances are that anyone making use of software synthesizers will already be very familiar with Daichi Laboratory's Synth1. It's one of the most downloaded synth plug-ins of all time, which is no surprise as it is based off the Nord Lead 2. Now a self-professed computer science geek, music theory nerd, and wannabe science educator named James Skripchuck has come up with a unique way to offer presets for Synth 1.
Most people will know Jon Benjamin for his voice acting as Archer on the animated series of the same name or Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers. However, Benjamin has also attempted music with his 2015 album, "Well, I Should Have..." where he played piano. The album was subtitled "Learned How To Play Piano" and was billed as an experimental jazz record. Benjamin stated that he doesn't play piano at all and was never a huge fan of jazz, which is why he thought it would be funny to create a jazz album.
There's still a few days left on the Blipblox After Dark Synthesizer IndieGoGo campaign, but it has already soared past its funding goal thanks to more than 200 backers. For those not familiar with this device, it promises to be an electronic toy that's ready for the stage, studio or family room. According to Playtime Engineering, the Blipblox as designed to be safe and accessible for all ages yet engineered with the latest synth technology so any one can produce professional-level sounds and beats.
The cheaper cost is often a big motivation for musicians to pick software synthesizers over hardware, but space can also be a big motivation to do so. Few people would say no to an entire studio of hardware synthesizers, but not many have the money and space to make that a reality. However, with a decent computer, DAW and controller it is possible to have an entire studio's worth of synthesizers on your desk. Unfortunately, working with soft synths can be a pain if your computer is not up to the task.
Mobile virtual synthesizers and digital audio workstations have come a long way and these days it's not unusual to see people using them when out and about. However, if you are going to try your hands at being a mobile producer, then you are going to need a backpack friendly keyboard for the best results. Midi keyboard manufacturers appears to have realized that there is a growing market for gear that is sturdy, portable and packing a lot of features.