most beautiful synthesizers

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h4ndcrafted
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by h4ndcrafted » Fri May 22, 2020 5:20 am

Having looked through everybody’s idea of what constitutes a ‘beautiful synth’ and all wonderfully different, btw. I have to say the DX5 is just beautiful. Taps into a bit of 80’s child nostalgia for me. Has the 80s high end Hifi aesthetic. It looks like the keyboard 1980s Bang & Olufsen would make :)
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by sir stony » Fri May 22, 2020 6:39 am

A lot -and I really mean most- of the suggestions (mostly the old ones) I have seen piled up here have absolutely nothing to do with my idea of something beautiful. They may have been more or less impressive and stylish around the time they came to be, but from today's view, most of them aged *very* badly. I mean, come on, the medical light beige of akai samplers, or the black and brown plastic contraptions of old yamahas have been visually nasty even when they were new. Or such as the orange waldorf xt... it was a bold eye catcher, but never beautiful. The somewhat blinding colour makes it hard to read labelling and even more unpleasant to operate in bright sun- or stage light. And all the designs like the old moogs, like crumar's ds2 (which is still one of the nicest of those), the korg MS, the Polivoks and whatnot others, they're all just "form follows function" in a nutshell. We have a function, we need a knob/switch for it. And put some label on it, too. Basta. There have been more artful technical designs long before even radio tubes have been invented! Look at old smithworks like door bells or locks, shaped like leaves bending in the wind, ornamented boxes and handles, such stuff has been man made since many hundreds of years, but when synthesizer technology came, it all went out of the window. We could have done so much better!
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by bitflip » Fri May 22, 2020 9:35 am

sir stony wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:39 am
A lot -and I really mean most- of the suggestions (mostly the old ones) I have seen piled up here have absolutely nothing to do with my idea of something beautiful.
Well, that's just like, your opinion, man :slapfight:

But i can agree with your general point in some ways. I personally like the form follows function approach but see how it might not work just right for someone else - after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and i suppose the same can be said of ergonomics.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by doombient.music » Fri May 22, 2020 9:49 am

sir stony wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:39 am
A lot -and I really mean most- of the suggestions (mostly the old ones) I have seen piled up here have absolutely nothing to do with my idea of something beautiful. […]
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, no?

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by sir stony » Fri May 22, 2020 1:27 pm

bitflip wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:35 am
I personally like the form follows function approach but see how it might not work just right for someone else - after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and i suppose the same can be said of ergonomics.
But so do I, form follows function is a basic and imho rather important rule, and with todays loaded toys eventually even more so. I just meant, back then they followed that rule without any inspiration. Lo and behold, someone had the idea to use knobs with a shiny metal inlay. And those were really nice. But beyond that? Just making things look a bit more artful doesn't mean it has to veil its purpose. An ornamental box is still a box and usually reckognisable as such right away. Look at the Jupiter family of synths. Still very much the form follows function concept, but at least the tried to put some personality in it. And it proved its worth. Any of the JPs is even today immediately reckognisable by the coloured buttons and the graphic separation of the individual sections. I wouldn't say it was particularly beautiful, but a hell of a lot better than most others at that time.
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by h4ndcrafted » Sat May 23, 2020 3:56 am

sir stony wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:39 am
A lot -and I really mean most- of the suggestions (mostly the old ones) I have seen piled up here have absolutely nothing to do with my idea of something beautiful. They may have been more or less impressive and stylish around the time they came to be, but from today's view, most of them aged *very* badly. I mean, come on, the medical light beige of akai samplers, or the black and brown plastic contraptions of old yamahas have been visually nasty even when they were new. Or such as the orange waldorf xt... it was a bold eye catcher, but never beautiful. The somewhat blinding colour makes it hard to read labelling and even more unpleasant to operate in bright sun- or stage light. And all the designs like the old moogs, like crumar's ds2 (which is still one of the nicest of those), the korg MS, the Polivoks and whatnot others, they're all just "form follows function" in a nutshell. We have a function, we need a knob/switch for it. And put some label on it, too. Basta. There have been more artful technical designs long before even radio tubes have been invented! Look at old smithworks like door bells or locks, shaped like leaves bending in the wind, ornamented boxes and handles, such stuff has been man made since many hundreds of years, but when synthesizer technology came, it all went out of the window. We could have done so much better!

/general rant
That’s all well and good, but fairly impractical seeing how eye wateringly expensive that would of made them.

Any chance you can link said doorbells and locks, I can imagine what you mean , but I’m not having much luck with google.
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by KSS » Sat May 23, 2020 4:33 am

@ sir stony
Form follows function is pretty much a given here. That's no big point.

One could put a synth in an Art Nouveau beautifully carved case. Or use artfully engraved brass panels, or otherwise artistic panel graphics. Luka and Phobos both have done so with their DIY builds. It's been done more than a few times. Does Arty equal beautiful?

Is a Majorelle, Thonet, Stickley, Rietveld or Nakashima more beautiful than Loewy, Gehry or Ive?

Is a jetliner beautiful? Are some more beautiful than others?

All you've really shared is a preference for a certain type of 'beauty'. No more or less valid than any other entry in the thread. Waxing on about how the old school smiths did something misses the point that the electrosmiths in this thread were just as innovative. Just as much focused on fine details and flourishes. And some did create very beautiful synths, even if they aren't old smith style.

To dismiss modern industrial design as not beautiful because you prefer something different, while dismissing its varied choices and nuances is easily done, but adds little actual value.

Show us a synth you think is beautiful. Then there's something to talk about. Otherwise you're only navel gazing.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by sir stony » Sat May 23, 2020 4:39 am

KSS wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:33 am
Show us a synth you think is beautiful. Then there's something to talk about. Otherwise you're only navel gazing.
I did so on page 1...
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by KSS » Sat May 23, 2020 4:52 am

Ah, I missed that one. Passed over it since it was only linked.
Here it is. Now I'm trying to resolve your comments with this choice? Very much form following function. Poorly proportioned wood cheek thickness, poorly made, but it's a prototype. Would expect the production would be crafted to a finer degree?
What is it about this that makes it beautiful for you?
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by KSS » Sat May 23, 2020 5:05 am

Besides the clunky wood, it does have a beauty to it. When taken only as visual art in itself. Its 'beauty' as a synth for me diminishes due to the overly shiny knobs, which I imagine will reflect stage lights on me during performace. Reflections which may also make reading their positions and navigating the panel in general more difficult than it could be.

There's part of the answer for me. Beauty of a functional object is more than its visual stance. If visual were the only parameter, then I'd agree this is a nice looking synth. The elegance of the panel and logo, nicely angled in relation to the KBD. The well-considered tones of the various parts work well together. Visually. But then I'm back to the beauty as it relates to use. And there it breaks down. I find it hard to separate the two in a way I wouldn't face if this were a sculpture alone.

Hard to get past the overly thick cheeks. It makes an otherwise elegant picture look like some kind of Hobbit-Jetson's mis-mesh.
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by htor » Sat May 23, 2020 5:11 am

rauch wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:34 pm

Image

i just love the combination of cold brushed alumium and warm wood!
wow! me too! and together with the silly colors it's like a mashup of 70s and 80s.

hammon organ

external-content.duckduckgo.com.jpg

roland MC-4 (technically not a synth, but i couldn't resist)

maxresdefault.jpg
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Chaklack » Sun May 24, 2020 5:10 am

minimalist wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:42 am
While probably a pain to programme, this looks gorgeous to me. If I was a player this is what I would want in my living room.

Edit, inspired by this image, I just did a search for DX5s and now think this photo is particularly flattering. Viewed from directly above, the top panel is not as clean as it looks in this photo.
Voltcontrol wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:10 am
DX5? Now we're talkin'!
Image
I have to 3rd or 4th agree with the DX5. It just looks really quite stunning with those wood sides...I'm sure it has a subtle warmimg effect on the sound as well.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by dadek » Sun May 24, 2020 12:06 pm

Do love the look of that with the the “after market” wood sides. As shipped, was less likeable/beautiful. Interesting how much some simple wood siding can add to a design.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by abandonist » Sun May 24, 2020 12:46 pm

I adore the look of the Moog 37 line.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Dave Peck » Sun May 24, 2020 2:03 pm

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by cptnal » Mon May 25, 2020 4:34 am

This channel appears to be dead, but I do love their cases.

https://www.youtube.com/user/creativega ... nth/videos

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Chaklack » Mon May 25, 2020 5:54 am

cptnal wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:34 am
This channel appears to be dead, but I do love their cases.

https://www.youtube.com/user/creativega ... nth/videos
Does this person just have a stockpile of modules and just makes a new synth/iteration every so often? That's kind of a neat idea and maybe an interesting way to combat GAS - just have a smaller case that you can swap stuff in and out or rearrange at leisure...

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by cptnal » Mon May 25, 2020 6:08 am

Chaklack wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 5:54 am
cptnal wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:34 am
This channel appears to be dead, but I do love their cases.

https://www.youtube.com/user/creativega ... nth/videos
Does this person just have a stockpile of modules and just makes a new synth/iteration every so often? That's kind of a neat idea and maybe an interesting way to combat GAS - just have a smaller case that you can swap stuff in and out or rearrange at leisure...
It's what I plan to do when the cost of electricity becomes prohibitive. :tu:

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by DigitalNativeDunce » Mon May 25, 2020 9:48 am

Huge fan of the Serge stuff and the Fenix II - the coloured banana jacks all give a simple visual language to follow for someone patching them. Buchlas look fun but there's a lot to take in, near sensory overload there.

All the graphic design of the black and orange ARP stuff is cool, though I like the grey 2600 the best of the variations of that.

Lots of touches all over the Roland stuff obviously, it's almost boring to talk about at this point. System 100m, the oval sliders on the early green-faced SH units, the COMPUPHONIC font, the VU meters, 808 colourscheme, on and on...

GRP A4 is my favourite take on the Model D/5U modular trad wooden case and knobs style. Looks like nice furniture!

The tolex'd Voyager XL posted earlier is quite hot. That green Lyra-8 is very good too, real Soviet-era control unit vibes. DX1 is enormous, and enormously impressive, in the metal.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Voltcontrol » Mon May 25, 2020 1:26 pm

A cheeky 'Freak.
Image
Not the most beautiful synth by a long shot, but wooden cheeks sure look great in this case, really round off the design in a nice way to my eyes.

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Samwise » Mon May 25, 2020 4:11 pm

Do combo organs count as synthesizers? I'd argue they do.
Image

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Lux A Turner » Mon May 25, 2020 7:49 pm

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Lux A Turner » Mon May 25, 2020 8:04 pm

Admittedly not a synth, but still beautiful...
schimmel-pegasus-piano-black.jpg
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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon May 25, 2020 8:39 pm

CZ Rider wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:03 pm
Of the ones I own ...... no four voice here, but threw together a custom three voice. Wood is good!
Image

Image
Oh, "just threw it together" didya now? A beautiful Oberheim 3 voice performance synth ... that you just tossed together right quick ... cuz y'know ... you just had these absolutely BITCHIN synth modules kickin' around doin' nothin ...... so you just tossed together an excellent instrument.

Yea? well fuck you! ... ya preenin' sasquatch! :) 8-)





... goddammed thing is gorgeous ... excellent job! ...

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Re: most beautiful synthesizers

Post by wuff_miggler » Mon May 25, 2020 8:48 pm

Lux A Turner wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:04 pm
Admittedly not a synth, but still beautiful...

schimmel-pegasus-piano-black.jpg
schimmel-pegasus-piano-red.jpg
^ what do you get when you cross a sports car with a piano
that is pretty neat!

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