[sdiy] FM Synth Designs

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Tue Aug 13 08:51:24 CEST 2002

Y-ellow Peter 'n' all.

At 11:42 PM 8/12/02 -0600, Peter Grenader wrote:
>I thought the Synclavier was a sampler. no?  Don't stone me for this.  I
>have a friend who owns one and that's (by the impression he gave me) what it
>does with it exclusively.
>Am i (once again) totally off base or did it become a sampler later on?
>Seems like a far departure from one to another.

Yeah basically. The Synclavier 1 wasn't really all that exciting. Unless 
you liked a keyboard the size of a CS80 that just did FM. I've never played 
one but I was looking at a broken one at the local uni one time. The 
Synclavier II on the other hand was based on a DEC PDP11 and grew to be a 
mighty powerful beast. Sampling and FM were just two of the strings on it's 
bow. It also did partial synthesis (Ah Lah those roland things. Err D50 was 
it?) and linear additive. Ah Lah Kawai K5K etc. It was also a multi-track 
digital recorder and could be coupled directly to a CD FAB. As was done in 
a number of cases.

It was said of the synclavier II that you didn'y install one in a studio, 
you bought one and built a studio around it. In the film industry they were 
regularly used to replace a building full of full-coat machines. These are 
tape machines which use sprocketed tapes the same as film for obvious 
reasons. Many films required as many as 40 of these things and each one 
only handled one mono track. Thus the term Full coat. I read some Wallywood 
dildo raving on about how each full coat machine cost around 90 grand so at 
a million and a half bux, a synclavier was really quite a saving.

They were built and configured to order. As you can imagine, at those kind 
of prices, they weren't exactly mass marketed. Yet Frank Zappa had 3. They 
also made a concert version which was about as luggable as a PDP11 gets I 

Now of course, you could get a fully configured Kyma cappybarra for 7 grand 
and piss on a synclavier. But of course, this was the 80s we're talking about.

Stock, Aitkin, Watterman, the people behind Kylie Mongrel, Melanoma and Kym 
and Rick Ashtray etc, used a synclav to get their products done faster. As 
rumor has it, Kylie Mongrel spent just 90 minutes in the studio for her 
entire first album and SAW fixed it in the mix with the synclav.

Be absolutely Icebox.

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