Open Mic: Has Electronic Music Lost Track Of The Future?

jean-michel-jarre

Open Mic: Pioneering synthesist Jean Michel Jarre shared a vintage shot of himself today on Facebook. He added the comment “Back in the Seventies, we had a romantic, poetic vision of the future, like it was in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Parliament-Mothership-ConnectionIn the 60’s, 70’s and, to a lesser degree, the 80’s, the sounds of the synthesizer were shorthand for ‘the future’.

Synth artists like Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis created electronic soundscapes, inspired by futuristic themes. Kraftwerk created a futuristic synth pop world, populated with robotic musicians.

Science fiction movies, from Forbidden Planet to Blade Runner, often had electronic soundtracks. And mainstream funk and new wave musicians adopted synths and space age ideas and visuals.

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Open Mic: What Record Got You Hooked On Electronic Music?

vintage-turntable

Open Mic: For most electronic musicians, there’s a track or an album that got them hooked on electronic music.

You hear the music and wonder how the artist made it – and soon you want to be making sounds & music like that. Next thing you know, you’ve got a home studio and a wall of gear.

Was there a track or an album that did it for you?  Continue reading

Open Mic: What Gear Would You Recommend For Someone Getting Started With Electronic Music?

modular-synthesizer-goodness

A reader faces a common dilemma: they wanted to get started with electronic music making, they need to spend their money wisely and they aren’t sure where to start:

I’m researching building an analog startup kit for a home studio. Some years ago I was pretty involved with software-based DAW production and a little MIDI. I’ll likely go back to DAW at some point but I really want to try going more hardware based for a while.

I don’t have a lot of money to drop initially and will probably piece it all together over time. I don’t want to over-shoot and want quality components, while getting value for my money.

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Open Mic: What’s The Best Synthpop Track Ever?

synthpopAs long as there have been synthesizers, there have been composers creating pop synth music. Many of the earliest synth albums were ‘switched on’ or ‘mooged out’ versions of pop tracks, and tracks like Gershon Kingsley’s Popcorn and Kraftwerk’s Autobahn were the first synth music that many people ever heard.

But it took another decade for synth pop to take off as a genre, lead by artists like Gary Numan, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ultravox & Depeche Mode. And it’s never really gone away since.  Continue reading

Open Mic: What Do You Want To See Introduced At This Year’s NAMM Show?

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The 2013 NAMM Show is next week, Jan 24th-27th.

The NAMM Show is one of the largest music industry events in the world, and manufacturers use it to showcase their latest gear and make some of their biggest announcements of the year.

We’ll be on location to provide full coverage of the show. In the meantime, though, what do you want to see companies introduce at this year’s NAMM Show?

The 10 Most Talked About Synth Stories Of 2012

light synthesizer2012 was an interesting year in synths and electronic music gear.

2012 brought a resurgence of analog gear, a major Windows release that holds promise for new types of music apps, a growing acceptance of mobile music making tools and many surprising announcements.

The most talked about stories of 2012 at Synthtopia reflect these changing technologies. But more importantly, they reflect the debate over how new technologies fit into music-making.

Check out the list and let us know what you think!

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Open Mic: Was ‘Santa’ Good To You This Year?

Open Mic: For the holidays, my wish is that you have family, health and peace.

And, yes, since it’s Synthtopia, maybe some wicked gear under the tree, that new app that you’ve been wanting or some great new electronic music….

So, let us know if ‘Santa’ was good to you this year!

Image: rthakrar