This video captures a panel discussion on The State Of 21st-Century Synthesis, held at the 2014 NAMM Show.
Led by author Mark Vail (Vintage Synthesizers, Beauty In The B, The Synthesizer), the panel features industry leaders offering their take on the state of synthesis.
The panelists, from left to right, are:
- Composer/synthesist Drew Neumann (Aeon Flux, The Wild Thornberries)
- Composer/producer & Continuum expert Edmund Eagen
- Synth designer and MIDI creator Dave Smith
- Synth designer & sound designer Eric Persing (Roland, Spectrasonics)
- Gerry Bassermann (E-Mu, Opcode, Be, Propellerhead)
The video is close to 90 minutes long and offers some great perspectives from true gurus of synthesis.
A former product specialist, voice programmer, and instrument demonstrator for E-mu Systems, Gerry Bassermann has also been an editorial contributor to Keyboard magazine, a product demonstrator for Opcode Systems and Be Incorporated, and a creative consultant to Antares Audio Technologies, Zoom Corporation, and many others. He is currently the director of North American Markets for Propellerhead Software (www.propellerheads.se). Gerry also taught electronic music composition at the University of California at Santa Cruz for twelve years.
Audio producer, music composer, and sound designer for film and video with over 28 years of professional experience, Edmund Eagan is an award winner for scoring the animated production “The Woman Who Raised a Bear as Her Son” and as a producer for CBC’s “The Health Show.” Edmund has worked on countless television and radio commercials, animation series, television programs, and live multimedia events. He’s been working with Dr. Lippold Haken for the past ten years in the design, development, and evolution of the Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard (www.hakenaudio.com) and the EaganMatrix synthesizer, both of which he astoundingly demonstrates in performances on Youtube.
Composer/synthesist Drew Neumann created the captivating music, sound effects, and voices for Peter Chung’s Aeon Flux, launched on MTV’s critically acclaimed Liquid Television animation series in 1991. Drew also composed music for all 84 episodes of Nickelodeon’s The Wild Thornberrys and the Paramount Pictures feature The Wild Thornberrys Movie, 52 episodes of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, along with episodes of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Evil Con Carne on the Cartoon Network. In addition, he created sound effects for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Rollercoaster Rabbit, and Off His Rockers, and composed music for Disney Television Animation, E! Entertainment Television’s Talk Soup, and major advertising agencies worldwide. He has consulted and designed sounds for synthesizer manufacturers/distributors Tom Oberheim of Marion Systems, Studio Electronics, Dave Smith Instruments, Moog Music, GSF Agency, and many more. Drew is currently working on shorts for Renegade Animation and for Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover series Bravest Warriors.
Eric Persing was the chief sound designer for Roland from 1984 to 2005, programming sounds for popular hardware synthesizers including the innovative D-50. An accomplished studio musician and composer, Eric is the founder and creative director of Spectrasonics a leading softsynth company that produces Trilian, Stylus RMX, and the flagship synth Omnisphere.
Synthesizer pioneer Dave Smith founded Sequential Circuits during the mid ’70s and in 1977 designed the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer, the Prophet-5. He was the spearhead behind the development of MIDI in 1983, for which he received a Technical Grammy Award in 2013. Dave served as a consultant for Yamaha and Korg and was the president of Seer Systems, developer of the first professional software synthesizer, Reality. In 2002 he founded Dave Smith Instruments, manufacturer of analog and hybrid synthesizers built in San Francisco.
Moderator: Mark Vail
Music journalist, historian, teacher, and performer Mark Vail discovered synthesizers in 1973 and bought his first in 1976. After earning an MFA in electronic music at Mills College in 1983, he served on the editorial staff at Keyboard magazine from 1988 to 2001 and has taught Propellerhead Reason classes since 2003. Mark is the author of Vintage Synthesizers, The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B, and his latest book The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Programming, Playing, and Recording the Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument (Oxford University Press USA, 2014).
Note: When the event started, we realized that there was no video or recording crew on hand, so we quickly set up a tripod and captured this video guerilla-style. As a result, the video misses Mark Vail introducing each of the panelists, and suffers from some production quality issues.