For no other possible reason than to create nightmare fuel, modder Sam Battle of Look Mum No Computer rewired 44 individual Furbys and programmed them to do his bidding, creating a nightmarish organ that emits the song of the damned when he tickles its ivories.
If there was one new sound that turned up more than any other back in ’80s music, it was the Yamaha DX7 and its cutting-edge FM synthesis. Polyphonic explores what made the DX7’s sound and tech unique, and some of the many artists who incorporated it in their music.
We already know that a rubber chicken can be used to make music. But Andrew Huang amped things up with Hexinverter’s mutant rubber chicken that uses compressed air to allow it to be played electronically. This is some serious mad scientist sh*t. Crazy sounds start at 1:59.
The latest creation from the analog synthesizer greats at Moog, the semi-modular DFAM (or Drummer from Another Mother) is designed specifically to create distinctive rhythmic sounds for use as the backbeat to electronic music tracks. Listen to sample tracks here.
Bell Tone Synth Works provides a look inside a keyboard that predates the digital sampler. The Mellotron used multiple strips of magnetic tape to play sounds recorded from other musical instruments. The M400 shown here is from the 1970s, but you can see an earlier model here.
The Royal Institution shares a 1985 lecture by professor David Pye as he shows off a vintage analog device which allowed a skilled player to synthesize sounds that approximated a human voice. He then showed off what was then state-of-the-art electronic speech synthesis.
Animator Eran Hilleli shows off an awesome work-in-progress system which allows him to animate the movements of a character using a series of faders and knobs, not unlike a sound mixing console. The system is based on code by keijiro takahashi. We want this now.
Spectrasonics spent 10 years refurbishing, tuning, and capturing the sounds of some of the world’s greatest pianos, organs, and synths, and collected them into a digital library you can play with a MIDI keyboard and a computer. If it’s good enough for Stevie Wonder…
A nifty noisemaker for electronic musicians, the softPop’s analog brain makes a virtually endless variety of sounds. Its semi-modular design means you can modify sounds not only with its sliders, but via a patch bay. It can also process external sounds through its filters.
2BTruman demonstrates his custom-built synth, which looks like something off of a starship’s bridge. The system is powered by a Mac Mini, Ableton Live and Analog Lab, but the custom interfaces make it truly one of a kind. You’ve gotta check out the epic power-on sequence.
Musician Louis Cole’s short song works on more levels than you’d expect. Most of us can relate to its lyrics, and while it starts out like a novelty tune, we quickly learn that Louis is a serious electrofunkmaster. And then there’s this. Louis, you’re our new hero.
An awesome bit of classic footage from the 1985 Grammy Awards ceremony in which Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones and Stevie Wonder do battle on a stage packed with their favorite electronic keyboards. Oh, and on the same night, this happened. Damn.
The latest addition to Teenage Engineering’s awesome Pocket Operators is a programmable drum machine you can tote in your pants. Available by itself, or bundled with Microtonic VST letting you upload custom sounds. A nifty calculator inspired pro case drops this April.
Steve Reich’s 1976 composition Music for 18 Musicians was about performers working in harmony to produce a minimal sound. Inspired by these properties, Simon Cullen and Neil O’Connor are creating a fully-electronic version. Coming 9/15/16 to Dublin’s Button Factory.