Synthesizer Facts

Synthesizer Facts
The synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that creates music when electrical signals are converted into sounds mimicking a variety of musical instruments or natural sounds. Although the exact origins of the synthesizer are not known because of their similarity to other instruments, the musical telegraph, invented in 1876 by Elisha Gray is sometimes referred to as the first synthesizer. Synthesizers were introduced in the 1960s in pop music and became popular in disco in the 1970s as well. Mass market versions released in the 1980s made them a popular instrument for home users. Today they are used in dance, pop, rock, and even in classical music compositions.
Interesting Synthesizer Facts:
Tonewheel organs are considered to be early predecessors to a variety of keyboard type instruments including the synthesizer.
Early instruments that resemble the synthesizer include the ANS, the subtractive synthesizer, the polyphonic synthesizer, monophonic keyboards and entire electronic music studios.
The term 'sound synthesizer' was developed by RCA. RCA created an Electronic Music Synthesizer in 1951, followed by a programmable sound synthesizer.
In 1957 RCA installed the Mark II Sound Synthesizer at the prestigious Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Famous composers who used this early synthesizer include Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and Charles Wuorinen.
Synthesizers became more portable in the late 1960s and early 1970s when miniaturized components were able to be created.
The creation of MIDI made synthesizers easier to connect to other instruments and for recording purposes.
Software synthesizers became available in the 1990s as computer technology advanced.
One of the most popular software synthesizer software options in the 1990s was Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology plug-in software which helped to make the technology more available to personal computer users.
One of the first Moog synthesizers was purchased and used by Micky Dolenz of The Monkeys. He used it in their 1967 album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.
Following the use of the Moog synthesizer by The Monkeys, other bands quickly followed including The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, and many more.
Genres of music most commonly associated with synthesizers include house, techno, techno, electronic, and dance, but it is also used in many other music styles.
Synthesizers are often used during recording but are not always preferred during performances when live instruments sound better. However synthesizers are ideal during performances when sounds not made by instruments are required for effect or when it is not possible to transport a piano or other heavy or awkward instrument.
Successful instrumental albums that featured synthesizers include many released in the 1980s by Vangelis, Larry Fast, and Jean Michel Jarre.
New Wave artists and electronic bands emerged in the 1970s and 1980s that featured the synthesizer. These included Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and one of the most famous and celebrated musicians of the 20th/21st century - David Bowie.
Famous songs that have featured the synthesizer include "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode, and "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League.
The synthesizer is considered to be one of the music industry's most valuable instruments.


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