George Mattson On The Past & Future Of Analog Synthesizers

George Mattson has been working with and building synths for about 40 years. He invented the first keytar synthesizer, created the Mattson Mini-Modular synthesizer and is now working with Synthrotek on a new line of Eurorack modules.

In this interview, with Synthrotek’s Steve Harmon, Mattson tells the story of the creation of the Syntar keytar synthesizer, his thoughts on the past and future of analog, the East Coast/West Coast synth battle and his work on the new MST Euro modules.

Synthrotek announced the new Mattson + Syntrotek MST Euro modules at the 2015 NAMM Show. You can find details on the new modules at their site.

Mattson will also be a featured guest this year at the upcoming Denver Synth Meet, scheduled for March 14th, 2015.

9 thoughts on “George Mattson On The Past & Future Of Analog Synthesizers

  1. Good interview, loose with a few factoids but interesting. Yet I don’t understand why people tend to interchange the words ‘analog’ and ‘modular’ – I am currently finding some of the most interesting modular stuff to be digital.

  2. Regarding the DX-7 being the ‘game changer’… I would have to disagree slightly.
    The introduction of the DCO, as found on the Juno 6/60, was a ‘game changer’ back in 1982.
    This brought both stability (no more warm-up time) and affordability never seen before on a subtractive polysynth and gave many younger (and not so wealthy) players an entry into the world of polysynths.
    When I finally bought a Prophet 5 (rev.3), I also found that many of the DX ‘tine’ sounds could be recreated just by experimenting with cross mod…By that time the DX sound was in airplay overkill, so it didn’t really matter.
    Another 80’s ‘game changer’ was the Emulator sampler and its’ offspring.

    1. The DX7 was a game changer because it was all digital. The game changer was the transition to digital sound generation from analog, not pitch stability, though that comes with it.

      It held the record for the largest selling synth in the world for damn near ever, I think the Korg MicroKorg finally dethroned it.

  3. First, I didn’t edit this…. 🙂
    Second, I wasn’t expecting history questions.
    Third, I really, really wanted some coffee!

    But, I stand on my statements. Although, sort of rushed trying to get through the interview..
    But, in the 2 years that the Juno series existed prior to the release of the DX 7, we were still hanging in there in the marketplace. The Juno series were a hybrid of analog and the new digital technology.
    Yamaha released the DX7 as an all digital system and devoted major resources to make their own components. Then, marketed the bajesus out of it quite successfully.
    When a system like that comes out at the same price as a fully analog monosynth, it was hard to compete with.
    GM

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