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The Essense of the Classic Synthesizer Makers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author The Essense of the Classic Synthesizer Makers
ricko
In simpler days, I could instantly tell whether a synth sound on a record was a Minimoog (portentious), Oddysey (funky) or Roland (cold) etc. Not possible now, with any confidence of course. But I wonder whether it is possible to characterise an essence for each classic manufacturer, either by a characteristic technology, architecture or aural interest? Here goes (and leaving out the things in common such as their boring semi-clones that had no individuality):

Buchla: Vactrols. + Uncertainty (slow noise)
EMS: Diode filter. + shallow 30Hz cutoff filter on FM + Joystick manipulation of two modulations at once
Moog: transistor ladder filter + premixed waveshapes (Moog sharktooth, Moog 1 waveshapes) + stacked oscillators
ARP: op-amps + parallel processing chains (2500, prosoloist, chroma) + sync
Yamaha: focus on suppress first few harmonics in favour of next few. (GX1 tracking BP, CS* sine +dual filters, FM, PM) + Ring mod + more interesting envelopes
Roland: suboscillator + chorus leading to supersaw
Steiner: breath control
Franco: transistor arrays (3046, 3054, 3096, 3086, etc in SalMar Consturction)
Marshall: CMOS (4600 etc)
Korg: part count reduction ?
Sala (Trautonium): ribbon, subharmonics, frequency shifter
Fricke/Reuter4Ohler (Variophon): pulse forming

All these fit into the generations of technology: discrete, opamps, transiator arrays going to OTAs, logic, and then ASICS then DSP.
These generations alliwed the succession if approaches to synthesis: 1960s large modulars, early 70s performance minis, mid 70s formant arrays, late 70s polyphonic, 80s FM, Sample based and synth chips, and finally PM, virtual analog and convolution approaches.
ashleym
EDP and CMOS
Serge and DSUG
Polymoog, Solina and divide down
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