Oct 312014
 
What's that synth? John Carpenter's Halloween (1978)

Last night, I saw Halloween (the original 1978 film by John Carpenter) at the movie theater for the very first time, and found myself wondering what synth(s) were used in the soundtrack. Read on for the surprising answer. My teen years having taken place in the ’80s, I’d enjoyed watching pretty much every classic slasher film […]

Mar 252014
 
Synth Degrees of Separation - Apple's Siri and the Kurzweil K250

Any time I’m researching synthesizer history, I’m astounded by the connections I find. With this in mind, I’m starting a series of posts inspired by the “Six Degrees of Separation” philosophy. In each installment, I’ll (hopefully) illuminate an interesting and little-known connection to synthesizers. We’ll call it Synth Degrees of Separation! For this first installment, let’s […]

Apr 252013
 
Eurythmics Sweet Dreams Synth Part - How'd They Do That?

There are well-known synthesizer parts that are relatively easy to re-create and play. Some of these, like “Jump” (Van Halen), “Axel F” (Harold Faltermeyer),  “Separate Ways” (Journey), and “The Final Countdown” (Europe) will trigger instant groans and eye-rolls from synth fiends like me (especially if they worked around keyboards in a music store in the […]

Dec 072012
 
Micro-Key Snob Hypocrite? That's Me!

I’ve watched the growing micro-key keyboard trend with some disdain. “But they’re not full-size keys,” I say. They’re compact, even playable, but … I just realized I’m a hypocrite. Let’s back up a bit first. So where did the micro-key trend start? The lineage of the current line-up of micro-key keyboards is most easily followed […]

Aug 242012
 
Is this the New Golden Age of Synthesizers?

  I came across this post over at one of my favorite blogs, Synthtopia – the question posed is whether Apple’s iPad has made digital synth keyboards obsolete. The discussion there is really great and worth the read – but it made me think even more about an idea that I’ve been thinking about recently: is […]

Jul 072012
 
Frankenweenie Synth Sighting

If you’re like me, any time you spot a synthesizer or keyboard in a movie or TV program, you’re immediately identifying what model it is (and hoping to get at least half the generous camera shots that singers and guitarists get, right?). I was pleased to see a synth appearance in a trailer for the […]