The Shape Of Things That Hum (Vintage Synth Documentary)

The Shape Of Things That Hum is a synthesizer documentary series, originally aired by Channel 4 in the UK in 2001.

Featured instruments include:

  • Mini Moog 00:12
  • Vocoder 09:45
  • DX7 20:19
  • Fairlight 30:27
  • Simmons 40:12
  • TB-303 50:27
  • TR-808 1.01.01
  • Akai Sampler 1.11.20

The series focused on electronic instruments that helped shaped modern music, with every episode focusing on a specific instrument. The episodes were broadcast between 01.30am and 01.41am, and featured musicians talking about classic vintage synthesizers.


  1. Mini Moog (15-01-2001) – Cult electronic instruments that helped to shape modern music.
  2. Vocoder (22-01-2001) – Developed as a scrambling device in World War II, includes interviews with Orbital and Rick Wakeman.
  3. DX7 (29-01-2001) – Synthesizer that defined the sound of the 1980s. Interviews with Vince Clarke and Nick Rhodes.
  4. Fairlight (05-02-2001) – Computer based snthesizer offering sampling, digital recording, sequencing and editing. Includes Nick Rhodes.
  5. Simmons (12-02-2001) – Includes producer Arthur Baker talking about making “Planet Rock”.
  6. Roland TB-303 (19-02-2001) – House innovators Coldcut and Orbital discuss the Roland 303 synthesizer.
  7. Roland TR-808 (26-02-2001) – Includes producer Arthur Baker, plus Ray Keith talks about the importance of the bass.
  8. Akai Sampler (05-03-2001) – Instrument that helped fuel the rave scene and the white label explosion

via The Soundtrack of Zapresic

6 thoughts on “The Shape Of Things That Hum (Vintage Synth Documentary)

  1. I was initially hesitant to watch this as well, but I’m glad I dd. They really slammed the fairlight.

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