Wavemakers – the forgotten synth manufacturer

Know the Wavemakers? KB electronic music instrumentation? No? Hardly anyone remembers that American company, which built quality modular systems in the shadow of Moog. Established in 1970, the company closed in the early 1980s. Besides modules / (semi-)modular synthesizers, Wavemakers also made a nice range of audio gear (reverb, equalizers, sequencers, etc.).

WaveMakers-History-02“Wavemakers was a mobile operation, beginning in Ann Arbor, Michigan, later moving to Edmonds, Washington. The company began in 1970 around the University of Michigan, creating custom modules for the university and area musicians. […] Wavemakers was the brand of synthesizers and electronic music equipment created by “kb electronic music instrumentation,” initially a collaborative effort between Terry Kincaid and David Bates.” (source: http://www.wavemakers-synth.com)

WaveMakers-History-01

“Wavemaker 4” and “Wavemaker 6” might be the company’s most known instruments. Semi-modular synthesizers, hand-built, fascinating and beautiful! Their color is anodised blue, with neat chunky knobs …

WaveMaker6-01

WaveMaker6-02

John Loffink’s excellent website http://www.wavemakers-synth.com is dedicated to the history and documentation of the Wavemakers. Have a look – it’s worth reading!

Our report is completed by photos of Wavemakers modules. Some of the modules seem to be working, but others have not yet been completed …

WaveMakers-TripleVCF-QuadVCA

WaveMakers-TripleBandPass-Filter

WaveMakers-Quad-VCA-01

WaveMakers-Quad-VCA-02

WaveMakers-Sequencer

WaveMakers-DualEnvelope

WaveMakers-Oscilllators-01

WaveMakers-Oscilllators-02

WaveMakers-MultiFunctionFilter-DualOscillator-01

WaveMakers-MultiFunctionFilter-DualOscillator-02

WaveMakers-Balanced-Modulator

————————————————————————————————————-

WaveMakers-Logo

Wavemakers Website:
http://www.wavemakers-synth.com

Further Wavemakers Synth / Modul Info:
Peter Forrest: “The A-Z Of Analogue Synthesisers”
(Part II, revised, page 312 – 315)

Filed under General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.

2 Comments

  1. It would be great to hear demos from your kitchen.

    • Theo Bloderer

      … well, our modules are not in working order (as the pictures tell you). But there are soundfiles on the Wavemakers website …

Comments are closed.