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					Chapter 8
The Voltage-Controlled

•History of the Voltage-Controlled
    •The Moog Synthesizer
    •The Buchla Synthesizer
    •Other Commercial Synthesizers
Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • The secret of Robert Moog’s successful
     synthesizer design was that he listened
     to musicians and overcame three
     important technical challenges: size,
     stability, and control.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • In a voltage-controlled device, a small
     amount of current is applied to the control
     input of a given component to modify the
     output signal. This voltage signal can be
     preset, precise, and quick, and activated by
     such easy-to-use voltage-controlled
     components as the synthesizer keyboard,
     thus making the analog synthesizer much
     easier to manage.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • Moog presented a paper at the 1964 AES
     conference detailing his design for a modular,
     voltage-controlled electronic music
     synthesizer and began taking orders.

   • Moog developed an influential design for
     voltage-controlled ADSR envelope generation
     based on a specification created by
     composer Vladimir Ussachevsky.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • The first voltage-controlled synthesizers were
     monophonic and modular.

   • Switched-On Bach (1968) by Wendy Carlos
     was a popular recording using the Moog
     synthesizer and helped popularize electronic
     music and spawned a new industry of
     industry makers.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • Buchla created his first voltage-controlled synthesizer
     modules for the San Francisco Tape Music Center in
     1965. Buchla’s synthesizer became a commercial
     product in 1966.

   • Buchla created innovative sequencing designs that
     helped automate analog synthesizer functions.

   • Silver Apples of the Moon (1967) by Subotnick was
     the first work of electronic music commissioned solely
     for release as a long-playing record.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • Following the success of the Moog and
     Buchla systems in the late 1960s, many
     new manufacturers entered the market
     with variations on the modular voltage-
     controlled synthesizer.

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Chapter 8 The Voltage-Controlled Synthesizer

   • No industry standard existed for linking
     synthesizers and computers until 1984 and
     the introduction of the Musical Instrument
     Digital Interface (MIDI).

   • The MIDI communications interface was
     designed to link and control multiple
     synthesizers and to connect synthesizers to
     personal computers.

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