West Coast vs East coast

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SAZ318
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Post by SAZ318 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:38 am

Subotnik being the West Coast approach?
Pardon my ignorance on this....


[qucote="ignatius"]Image


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really though.. it's just fine to combine them both w/the parts you like and make the system you like..

there is no 'VS' really.

FM and an oscilaltor w/a waveshaper can sound great through a typical low pass filter... etc etc..

find things you like the sound of and go there.[/quote]

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EATyourGUITAR
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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:56 am

SAZ318 wrote:Subotnik being the West Coast approach?
Pardon my ignorance on this....
yes. Subotnik is a famous buchla user. one of the first musicians to release a lot of music made on a buchla. he met Don Buchla in real life early in Don's career making buchla.

I could be wrong but I think Switched on Bach was made with a computer plugged into a moog modular. They sold millions of records and also made money off the law suits claiming anyone who used midi to send classical music to a synthesizer and sell it as a recording was infringing a copyright. the use of the moog, the piano keyboard, classical music...made it totally normal music that was very familiar. the only thing new was the sound of the synthesizer replacing real instruments. at that time, because it was such a new sound no one had ever heard, people were extremely fascinated with this phenomenon.
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Post by starthief » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:22 am

EATyourGUITAR wrote:I could be wrong but I think Switched on Bach was made with a computer plugged into a moog modular. They sold millions of records and also made money off the law suits claiming anyone who used midi to send classical music to a synthesizer and sell it as a recording was infringing a copyright.
Switched-On Bach was from 1968. It was recorded on custom-built 8-track tape, performed by Carlos on the keyboard, and took 5 months to record.

The MIDI specification was written in 1982.

Wendy Carlos' first use of MIDI was a Peter and the Wolf parody with Weird Al Yankovic in 1988.
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SAZ318
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Post by SAZ318 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:45 am

Thanks for all the info.
Indeed, I know both Subotnik and Carlos, although not really the details of the equipment they used and the odd business decisions made in that environment.

All very interesting.

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spilthyfred
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Post by spilthyfred » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:46 pm

I got into synthesis because I am absolutely obsessed with the subtractive analog sound.
..got into euro because I wanted more control of the signal flow so that I could step outside the boundaries of what I am used to.
..got into west coast style because I got into euro.

So at heart I am an east coast guy, but with the opportunity offered by euro these days, it would seem silly to not embrace the west coast side of things. These days I am in love with both, as I am sure many users on this forum are. That is the beauty of modular afterall.

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sutekina bipu-on
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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:11 pm

I literally dont know what is east coast and what is west coast. Like i generally know what brands fall into either category and i am probably more east coast solely because i refuse to let go of the keyboard, but i have unpredictable sequencers too. I dont think there is much point to trying to compartmentalize your module based around it. Just get what you like? Maybe im just highlighting my lack of knowledge on the subject. I always thought of it as musical vs experimental but idk.

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Post by peripatitis » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:56 pm

East coast/west coast is probably more meaningful when talking about hiphop than when talking about electronic music.
This labeling seems to be completely oblivious of Stockhausen, Xenakis, and other prominent composers in the field and utterly obsessed with Subotnic and Emmerson Lake and Palmer.

A Buchla style/ Moog Style labeling would be more honest and clearly identifiable without being so historically ridiculous.

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Post by GuyaGuy » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:30 pm

Dave Smith: West Coast
EMS: West Coast
Make Noise: East Coast
Korg: East Coast
Waldorf: West Coast (of the Rhine. I looked it up.)

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Demi Jon
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Post by Demi Jon » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:00 pm

peripatitis wrote:This labeling seems to be completely oblivious of Stockhausen, Xenakis, and other prominent composers in the field...
Yes, but then you can start the whole Musique Concrete vs Elektronische Musik debate :despair:

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Post by speakeron » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 am

East coast modules are black and west coast modules are silver - it's really that simple.

If only there was some way they could get together and live in perfect harmony like the black and white keys on the keyboard...

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Post by starthief » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:37 am

I'm coming around increasingly to the point of view that West/East Coast dichotomy should never be prescriptive, and is only usefully descriptive in a narrow context and if you ignore part of the history not just of synthesis, but even of Buchla and Moog specifically.

(I'm right now listening to an album that was done on the Buchla Touché... a digital FM synthesizer with an organ-like keyboard, from 1978.)

Not to mention the geographic absurdity... I mean, EMS or Wolfgang Palm: "East Coast" or "West Coast"? :bang:

I'll probably still be guilty of describing Easel-like synths like Aalto or Volca Modular as "West Coast," but I'll try not to.
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Post by Peake » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:43 pm

Image
This is not the place I'd imagined it to be.

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Post by cornutt » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:38 pm

Bearing in mind that the discussion is mostly of historical interest at this point, and stems from a time when ideas didn't travel around the world as fast as they do now:

Going back to what Pelsea wrote, it helps to look at that different groups back in the early days had as touch points. I think a lot of the East Coasters had come into contact with Ussachevsky, who was one of the main influences over the design of the RCA Synthesizer. Ussachevsky influenced the user interface of that synth very much in the direction preferred by the serialists. (A note here: Moog was at Columbia, but it appears that he left a few years before the RCA Synthesizer was installed there.) Then there were the people like Cage, who created new sounds mostly by modifying/absuing conventional instruments. (Although Cage wasn't averse to electronics; he did a lot of things that involved messing with AM and shortwave radios.)

On the other hand, a lot of the West Coasters, including Buchla himself, had originally learned their trade in the tape-music studios. Tape music was a crude sort of sampling -- you'd record a snippet of some sound (lab oscillators, springs, strings, whistles, found objects, farts, whatever), and then do horrible things to the tape in order to change the pitch, mess with the timbre, and chop up the sound into various bits. (A lot of the British performers were tape-studio people too; I recall from the Delia Derbyshire documentary where she talked about stringing a tape, with hundreds of edits, down the hallway at the BBC building, so she could measure the physical length of various bits.)

The point is that both of these schools of thought, to a considerable extent, had their roots in the limitations of the tools they had available, plus the fact that at the time they didn't have the means to maintain constant contact with each other. Today, these limitations don't really exist anymore; we're all in contact via the Internet and we have much better electronics and components than anything Moog or Buchla could get their hands on in 1962. So although it's worth knowing about from the historical standpoint, it's not something a performer should get too hung up on now.
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