Synthtopia

Mark Vail – The Synthesizer

At the 2014 NAMM Show, we had the chance to talk with writer Mark Vail, who has written extensively for Keyboard magazine and is the author of two books found in a lot of keyboardists’ libraries, Vintage Synthesizers & The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B.

Vail was carrying a proof copy of his latest book, The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Programming, Playing, and Recording the Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument.

With a title like The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Programming, Playing, and Recording the Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument, you might get the idea that the book covers a lot of territory. In fact, Vail’s book is an epic 432 page, profusely illustrated tome.

Or, as Vail told us, “it’s got thump”.

The book is not yet available, though you can pre-order it at Amazon. Based on the brief look we had at it, though, it looks like it will be another must-have for electronic musicians. 

Here’s the official summary for Vail’s new book:

Mark Vail – The Synthesizer

Throughout its history, the synthesizer has always been at the forefront of technology for the arts. In The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Programming, Playing, and Recording the Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument, veteran music technology journalist, educator, and performer Mark Vail tells the complete story of the synthesizer: the origins of the many forms the instrument takes; crucial advancements in sound generation, musical control, and composition made with instruments that may have become best sellers or gone entirely unnoticed; and the basics and intricacies of acoustics and synthesized sound.

Vail also describes how to successfully select, program, and play a synthesizer; what alternative controllers exist for creating electronic music; and how to stay focused and productive when faced with a room full of instruments. This one-stop reference guide on all things synthesizer also offers tips on encouraging creativity, layering sounds, performance, composing and recording for film and television, and much more.