Admittedly, there aren’t many encyclopedias around that are dedicated to synthesizers. One of those few is Julian Colbeck’s KEYFAX. To be exact, we’re talking about a series of books that started in 1986 with “Keyfax 1”. The “Omnibus Edition” introduced here is a compilation of synthesizer history between its beginnings at the end of the 60s and publication in 1997.
The HOT 100 synthesizers are described in detail. Excellent test reports give an in-depth view into the individual instruments. There’s also background information about each synth manufacturer and some important “fax data” associated with each instrument (type of synthesis, dimensions, weight, number of instruments made, period of production, …). Not all details are absolutely correct (e.g. some data considering the number of instruments made), but this is definitely outweighed by the correct information.
Since the Hot 100 represents only a small part of total synth production, there is a PRODUCT DIRECTORY at the back of the book with short informative captions describing instruments which didn’t find more room in the main body of the book.
The good news: this book is still available (for example at amazon.com). The bad news: it has become a rather expensive item …
Nonetheless a MUST (!) for all of you synth freaks out there.
KEYFAX – Omnibus Edition
Series: Mix Pro Audio Series
Paperback: 203 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation; Omnibus ed edition (June 1997)