Open Mic: Did ‘Synther Claus’ Pay You A Visit?

Open Mic: For the holidays, our 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, leave a comment and let us know if ‘Synther Claus’ paid you a visit! Continue reading

Open Mic: Is The Surge In Vinyl Sales ‘A Hipster Thing’?


The BBC reports that vinyl record sales have hit an 18-year high:

Earlier this month, Pink Floyd’s The Endless River became the fastest-selling vinyl release since 1997. UK’s Official Chart Company told the BBC it will soon launch a weekly vinyl chart.

And we’ve seen a surge in electronic releases on vinyl, ranging from reissues of classics to new releases, like Aphex Twin’s Syro, above.

“In an era when we’re all talking about digital music, the fact that these beautiful physical artefacts are still as popular as they are is fantastic,” said Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company. Continue reading

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


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.

Continue reading

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


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?


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.

Continue reading

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?


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?