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Synthesizers

Pocket Operators Metal Series

Pocket Operators Metal Series

Teenage Engineering’s third batch of Pocket Operators is now complete. Accompanying the PO-32 Tonic drum machine are the PO-33 K.O.!, a micro-sampler with 40s memory, and the PO-35 Speak, a voice recorder and sampler.

The Rubber Chicken Synth

The Rubber Chicken Synth

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.

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Moog DFAM Percussion Synth

Moog DFAM Percussion Synth

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.

Wonderwall Synth Fun

Wonderwall Synth Fun

Musician Seth Everman decided to test out a bunch of different sounds and beats that his Yamaha PSR-S670 synthesizer can make, all while only performing Oasis’ hit track Wonderwall. We enjoyed the bassed-up Russian techno version best. How about you?

Mechanical Speech Synthesis & More

Mechanical Speech Synthesis & More

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.

character.animation.synth

character.animation.synth

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.

Andrew Huang: Modular Synthesizers

Andrew Huang: Modular Synthesizers

YouTube star Andrew Huang made this wonderful introductory video about modular synthesizers – both the software and hardware kind. He not only simplifies and shows how they work, he also shares what he loves about them.

Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics Keyscape

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

Yamaha GX-1: The Dream Machine

Yamaha GX-1: The Dream Machine

Polyphonic looks back at the groundbreaking features and the resulting legacy of the Yamaha GX-1. Intended to be a proof of concept, less than 10 units of the analog polyphonic synthesizer were made, put to good use by great artists such as Stevie Wonder.

softPop Analog Noise Creature

softPop Analog Noise Creature

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.

Genesis I Polypatch

Genesis I Polypatch

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.

The VODER

The VODER

We’re so used to hearing computers sound like Siri and Alexa, but the earliest days of synthesized vocals dates back all the way to 1939, and Homer Dudley’s invention, which combined buzzes and hisses with varying intonations to produce humanoid voices.

Louis Cole: Bank Account

Louis Cole: Bank Account

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.

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Viva La Vida Synth Check

Viva La Vida Synth Check

Seth Everman titled this video simply as: “When you try all the sounds and beats on your synth (while only playing coldplay – viva la vida).” His description couldn’t be more accurate. We want to run on the treadmill to the techno version.

Zoom ARQ Aero RhythmTrak

Zoom ARQ Aero RhythmTrak

This strange looking gadget isn’t a self-aware vacuum cleaner. It’s a complete drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, clip launcher, and wireless MIDI controller in one. Its packed with hundreds of sounds, and has 96 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads.

Purple RISE

Purple RISE

During NAMM 2017, musician Marco Parisi turned in a nuanced instrumental performance of the Prince classic Purple Rain with the help of the amazing ROLI Seaboard RISE, a keyboard which offers touch and pressure sensitivity along the length of each of its keys.

Grammys Synthesizer Showdown

Grammys Synthesizer Showdown

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.

PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

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.

Voxarray 61

Voxarray 61

The latest creation from the Wes Anderson of makers, Love Hulten. The Voxarray 61 is a tribute to synthesizers from the ’70s. It has a clamshell construction, with the top lid housing a variety of analog and digital modules that can be connected using patch cords.

Music for 18 Machines

Music for 18 Machines

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.

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KOMBOS Modular Keyboard

KOMBOS Modular Keyboard

For musicians and DJs who want to carry a MIDI keyboard anywhere. KOMBOS come in sections which snap together to form keyboard controllers ranging from 25 keys to 61 keys. Works wirelessly over Bluetooth 4.0, perfect for controlling iOS and Android synthesizer apps.

Dam’nco: French Kiss

Dam’nco: French Kiss

Dam’nco owe more than a small debt of gratitude to Daft Punk (and the entire disco era) for plowing the fields for this kind of music, but that doesn’t make their funk-jazz track with a heaping help of analog synth and talkbox vocals any less awesome.

Dato Duo Synthesizer

Dato Duo Synthesizer

Toon Welling and David Menting designed this plaything which encourages face-to-face interaction, with one person controlling an analog synthesizer, and the other controlling a sequencer on the other side. Its simple enough for kids, but awesome enough for all ages.

Super Audio Cart

Super Audio Cart

An electronic musician’s dream tool, this Kontakt audio sample library lets you play a huge variety of chiptune sounds from classic gaming and computer systems like the NES, C64, SNES, GameBoy, SEGA Genesis and more. The library includes over 5,500 samples.

The Rise of the Synths

The Rise of the Synths

Castell & Moreno Films upcoming crowdfunded documentary looks at the growing popularity of 1980s style Synthwave music, and the musicians, technology and sounds that provide their inspiration. Sizzle/concept reel here.

Doctor Who: Raspberry Pi Edition

Doctor Who: Raspberry Pi Edition

A brief demonstration of the shockingly good audio capabilities of a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero computer, as the bargain priced computer replicates the sounds and music of the iconic Doctor Who theme music. Remember when you needed a $1000 synthesizer to do this?

Korg Minilogue Synthesizer

Korg Minilogue Synthesizer

A compact analog synthesizer at a great price. The four-voice, 37-key synth offers up warm and rich sounds, and has a built in 16-step sequencer, arpeggiator, and delay, along with an OLED display that doubles as an oscilloscope for tweaking sound waves.

Daft Punk Talkbox Cover

Daft Punk Talkbox Cover

Musician Lorenz Rhode turns in a spot-on cover version of the talkbox modulated vocals from Daft Punk’s 2001 classic Harder Better Faster Stronger. It would be cool to see him recording the other parts of the track too.

Yamaha Reface Keyboards

Yamaha Reface Keyboards

Yamaha’s new 37-key synthesizers may be tiny, but they make the kind of sounds you’d expect from a pro synth. Our favorite is the tribute to the DX7, made famous back in the ’80s on tracks like Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F. Out 9/2015.

Play That Funky Music White Boy

Play That Funky Music White Boy

While it’s a sound that owes a ton of credit to Stevie Wonder and Zapp & Roger, we have to say we’re extremely impressed with this funky demo of a talkbox with a Moog Little Phatty synth by Steveland Swatkins of Excellent Gentlemen.

Massive Attack Vegetable Cover

Massive Attack Vegetable Cover

Ok, so the produce in this video is used more for show than for sound but we still have to hand it to j.viewz for making such good use of a maKey maKey and his edible circuit triggers.

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