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Thread: Synthesizers

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    Default Synthesizers

    As someone who loves the synthesizer with all of the tones and textures it can call forth from its innards, I was wondering what people who were more concert oriented thought of the instrument. I feel it has monumental potential as the next step in the piano world. Keep in mind that while technological progression seems like it isn't in its infancy, I doubt that it is yet a child. The progress technology makes seems fast, but I wager that we have yet to see what something like the synthesizer can do. Anyone care to comment?

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    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    In searching for evidence of "classical" music that requires a synth, I found this article, in which two leading film and TV composers lament the rise of the synth.

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/201...sic-television

    The proliferation of scores from the Zimmer studios collective suggests they have a point. What they fail to acknowledge is that poor quality composition cannot be redeemed by a 'real' orchestra.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    In searching for evidence of "classical" music that requires a synth, I found this article, in which two leading film and TV composers lament the rise of the synth.

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/201...sic-television

    The proliferation of scores from the Zimmer studios collective suggests they have a point. What they fail to acknowledge is that poor quality composition cannot be redeemed by a 'real' orchestra.
    This is all about a synthesizer, chips loaded to the skies with samples of acoustic instruments mainly, taking the place of real instruments and players -- one part of the point I did not raise in the post I made in today's composers about computer software and composing.

    Synthesizers, worked to the end goal of producing new sounds instead of imitating them, can be used well and I think even better / best in the context of adding one or several timbres to an ensemble of acoustic instruments.

    If you think of the Ondes Martinot in some classical works, even though it is sometimes featured, it is often times handled as 'just another instrument,' doubling another instrument or instruments to achieve a particular timbrel color just as instruments are combined for similar timbrel effect.

    There are parts for two synthesizers in John Adams' Violin Concerto, their use ultra discrete while their presence is essential, i.e. very much an integral part of the piece.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFfcFrNRDaM

    I'm for them -- but that is entirely dependent upon how well I think they've been used, natch :-)
    Last edited by PetrB; May-31-2014 at 08:27.

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    Senior Member dgee's Avatar
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    I assume you mean keyboard synthesizers? Because obviously we have electroacoustic music deploying similar technology to get a range of effects beyond what a keyboard is capable of. Electronic keyboards are good at being microtonal tho (definitely does not demonstrate the timbral possibilities to any great extent!)


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    Yes I did mean keyboard synthesizers, and in regards to "lament of the rise of the synth" =) I am merely stating that as a keyboard instrument, it has much potential; not as a symphonic substitute. The various abilities a keyboard synthesizer/workstation has, such as the ability to develop your own sounds or its capability of tonal expression are a winning attribute to me.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
    Yes I did mean keyboard synthesizers, and in regards to "lament of the rise of the synth" =) I am merely stating that as a keyboard instrument, it has much potential; not as a symphonic substitute. The various abilities a keyboard synthesizer/workstation has, such as the ability to develop your own sounds or its capability of tonal expression are a winning attribute to me.
    There are available sound libraries for use via computers and desktop recording software of vintage 'old style' synths, the Moog and others, with virtual knobs to twiddle included.

    With all a synth which is made as a synth (not an acoustic instrument imitator) has to offer, that is what it best has to offer. Imitation instruments are handy, economical, etc. but the first intent of synthesizers was to venture forth into those sound envelopes and make sounds "where no man has gone before." LOL.

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    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    There are parts for two synthesizers in John Adams' Violin Concerto, their use ultra discrete while their presence is essential, i.e. very much an integral part of the piece.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFfcFrNRDaM
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    You are welcome, sir.

    This is a very nice violin concerto, regardless of the inclusion of two synthesizers in the orchestra :-)

    Best regards.
    Last edited by PetrB; Jun-01-2014 at 16:08.

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    If it could be said that as a keyboard instrument is its own entity and the sounds which it produces are of its own as well, than I suppose it could become regarded as a contender. For instance I utilize a lot of electric piano sounds to provide eerie qualities no other instrument can. If I must use a piano patch than tweaking the sound based on various functions of the synthesizer can create another otherworldly sound. For expression and perception I feel there really is no substitute for the synthesizer. I use, currently, a Korg M-50 88 key workstation/synthesizer and am in love with its abilities.

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    Who could forget this timeless classic from Wendy Carlos' "switched on bach"
    <object width="1280" height="720"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/ghDpcGuUUm4?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/ghDpcGuUUm4?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="1280" height="720" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

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    Oops... That didn't seem to work as expected.... Anyway, do a search on Wendy Carlos. She recorded an entire album of Bach using a Moog back in the 70's. She also did the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange playing a number of classical staples on either on a Moog or an ARP or both.

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    What's with that video ? Who would want to listen to that ? It's horrible. I don't get it.

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    Senior Member dgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinylEupho View Post
    What's with that video ? Who would want to listen to that ? It's horrible. I don't get it.
    Do you mean the Enno Poppe? It's a total blast! That's cool tho - it's not for everyone

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