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Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer
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Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Though ubiquitous today, available as a single microchip and found in any electronic device requiring sound, the synthesizer when it first appeared was truly revolutionary. Something radically new--an extraordinary rarity in musical culture--it was an instrument that used a genuinely new source of sound: electronics. How this came to be--how an engineering student at Corne ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Harvard University Press (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 195)
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Steven
A bit more lightweight than might be expected, given its origins, but still an interesting look at the history of modern synthesizers. There are a few inaccuracies, mind you, and a few missing points (in their discussion of Hawkwind the authors fail to note that not only did Del Dettmar and Dik-Mik use the EMS VCS3, but they also built their own synthesizer gear; likewise they don't mention that Kraftwek built much of their own equipment. Also absent is the connection between EMS and the BBC Rad ...more
James Ethridge
A must read for synth-nerds. Partially responsible for the continuing delusion that I can accomplish a fraction of what this man did.
N.J. Ramsden
There aren't too many books on the history of the synthesizer, so it's nice, speaking as a complete nerd, to find something like this - focusing mostly on Moog and his company, it also contains a smaller quantity on brands such as ARP, Buchla, and EMS. Pinch & Trocco have given us 300 pages of - in favourable terms - conversational history. They focus mainly on the 1960s, when the development of modular systems was the zone of exploration, when synths were big, and alien, and a long way from ...more
John Grabowski
If you're looking for a technical book about analog synthesis, this is not the book you're looking for. If you're looking for perhaps the only book I've read that really tells the story of the musicians, designers, and communities that were a part of the development of the Moog and Buchla synthesizers, then this book is for you.

This book was far more enjoyable and readable than I expected it to be; it was much more about the people and the regional music cultures and community than it was about
...more
Brandon James
One of my favorite subjects is analog synthesizers. How these authors managed to butcher not only parts of analog synthesist history as well as write such a poor book is beyond me. I fought my way though it hoping to glean some new information here and there, but ultimately came away very, very, dissatisfied.

Not even the discography is worth it.

For those who may know nothing about Moog, Buchla, ARP, EMS, etc, this might be a good read. For anyone else that has a basic knowledge of the history of
...more
Joshua
I'm completely into old analogue synthesizers and this is the most detailed and comprehensive book I've seen on the early days of the musical instrument. I can't imagine anything being more detailed as this looks into the early days of both Robert Moog and Bob Buchla as they break sonic boundaries with their creations while combining sound + electricity to create the modern "synthesizer". Tons of terrific photos of wall sized systems, patches everywhere and people playing and turning knobs. Wond ...more
Maciek
An excellent history of the birth of the Moog synthesizer, complete with technical overviews of the basic concepts of a synthesizer (a little hand-wavy, but most people with an understanding of the physics of sounds should have no trouble following it), the people involved, some background on Bob Moog's earliest competitors, and how synthesizers were seen both by serious avant-garde classical musicians and the hippy and rock star crowds. Really interesting, with a ton of endnotes and a discograp ...more
David
Nice overview of the early days of analog synthesizers. I would have liked more pictures, especially since the writing doesn't go too deep in to any one subject. I'm reminded of how much I can't stand Wendy Carlos' disgusting evil musical opinions. Also, it was a lot of fun to think about the difference in apprach between those first moog and buchla synths. It's kind of fun to imagine how things would have gone differently if moog had not started working on theremins.
John
An extremely interesting story about the origins of the synth in the 60s and early 70s; does a nice job of letting you know about the people involved, and the weirdly intersecting influences they all had. Unfortunately, the book is marred by clunky writing and in places, dodgy editing. Harvard U Press, I am surprised by this!
Fabio
May 14, 2008 Fabio rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: music
If you love synthesizers this is a must to read - the whole story, told by those who made it. Full of details and anedoctes on people, factories and models. Some of the stories are so funny, like Rick Wakeman buying his Minimoog from a guy who thought his instrument was broken because it could play only one note at a time!
walker
I thought it was excellent overall. My more knowledgeable friends have told me that some of the emphasis is flawed to the extent that it can't be called factually accurate, but for me this book is just the first bit of research, not the last, so it isn't a big problem. When I find out more I'll report back.
Thomas Herlofsen
A good story competently told. A bit esoteric for most, not technical enough for some. I especially liked the analysis at the end, but I can't help feeling that a better writer would have made this material indispensible rather than diverting.
Jeff Summers
nice history of early machines for making synthesized sounds, many of which became iconic, known for things like the coke fizz, and their marketing. Also how it pertains to early experimental music,
Jeff
I devoured this book. If you're into music of the late 60s and early 70s, I can't recommend it enough.
Genevieve
last night i dreampt i bought a mini moog. reminded me of this book.
Jenni Valo
interesting!
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