Novachord: Hammond’s Polyphonic Synthesizer

Was this the first commercial synthesizer? Built in 1938, the Novachord hit the market long before Moog, Buchla and other synthesizers saw the day of light. The Hammond Novachord is a hybrid machine, a mixture of an electronic piano and a synthesizer.

Technically speaking, this is a fully polyphonic (!) instrument that consists of 12 master oscillators (with frequency dividers), various high- and low-pass-filters and even LFOs. The Novachord, which has a whopping 150 tubes, was actually designed for home use. But high costs and lack of tuning stability caused the instrument’s commercial downfall.

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Doepfer Dark Energy III now available

Doepfer Musikelektronik announces availability of the new Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer as of today, July 4th 2018. The synthesizer’s signal path is 100% analog. Needless to say, everything is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side panels, while high-quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used; ultimately, each potentiometer is mounted firmly to the chassis. Ok, ok – we all know that from its predecessor, Dark Energy II …

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Moog ONE – the new 8/16-voice Memorymoog?

Rumours spread about a new polyphonic Moog synthesizer. There are people who already know precise details about it. And there are people who have already seen it. The new Moog ONE, probably available as 8-voice and 16-voice machine, is reputed to look similar to the good old Memorymoog. And its features are impressive: 3 VCO’s per voice, 3 part multi-timbral, Eventide reverb, arp, sequencer … seems as if this synth has everything you could possibly wish for.

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Knobs & Wires: Snapshots of a Synth-Festival

Snapshots of Knobs & Wires – June 2nd, 2018 / Creative Quarter / Munich, Southern Germany. Live concerts, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and trade fairs: All about synthesizers / modular systems / electronic music. This was a synthesizer festival in the best sense of the word. The weather was fine, the audience inquisitive and open-minded – no wonder the organizers were highly satisfied.

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Waldorf announces KYRA VA-Synthesizer

The KYRA is a collaboration between Waldorf Music and the British synthesizer developer Exodus Digital. Their Valkyrie Synthesizer, which was been shown at the Frankfurt Musikmesse 2018, will be relaunched and presented as Waldorf KYRA Synthesizer at NAMM 2019. The instrument will initially be available as rack version (1899 Euros) and finally, at the end of 2019, as keyboard version …


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Audiowerkstatt – trigger2midi2trigger Rev. 2

Audiowerkstatt trigger2midi2trigger v2 – honestly, spelling the name is not a child’s play. Anyway, this module converts analog clock signals to digital (MIDI) clock signals – and vice versa. Furthermore, it’s a multifunctional trigger device, useful in many ways. Need to convert S-Trigger to V-Trigger? No problem! The other way ’round? Ah, easy – that’s a piece of cake!

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Knobs & Wires 2018 – Synth-Festival Munich

In 2018 things really get going: NAMM, Frankfurt Music Fair, SynthFest France, SuperBooth, Moog Festival, currently Happy Knobbing. And soon also Munich. On June 2nd the KNOBS & WIRES Synthesizer Festival will take place – with exhibition, vintage exhibition, workshops and of course with live program. Place of the festival is the Kreativ Quartier München (Import Export & Mucca Halle), it starts on Saturday at 10 o’clock in the morning and ends Sunday at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Munich is not only a remarkable city, but also a historical place around synthesizers. “I Feel Love”, the first track recorded exclusively by electronic means, was produced here in 1977 by Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer. But 20 years earlier, electronic music pioneers such as Ligeti, Kagel, Boulez, Riedl, Pousseur, Cage, and Stockhausen had been exploring the basics of electronic sound synthesis in the Siemens Studio Munich.


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SUPERBOOTH18 – Synth Expo Berlin (Part 1)

225 exhibitors were at the Superbooth18 from 3.-5. May in Berlin. The event took place in the so-called FEZ (leisure and recreation center). This year it was two weeks later than 2017 and so the surrounding Wuhlheide Park was full of spring – green through and through. A very pleasant setting for the concerts on the floating stage, in the beer garden behind the FEZ and in the cafés.

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