Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Synthesizers

2. History

The first analogue synthesizer to be developed commercially was designed by Robert Moog in 1967, who through the use of voltage control succeeded in introducing the basic building blocks of synthesis as we know them today - the oscillator, filter and amplifier. Virtually any kind of modern synthesizer, whether analogue or digital, hardware or software, will use some form of these elements.

Commercial synthesizers originally started life as modular monophonic instruments (being only able to play one note at a time), consisting of very large cabinets which housed separate electronic units, whose audio path and the control of it, was connected together with patch cords, like Moog’s Modular 3C, now immortalised in software by plug-in developer Arturia.

Other companies such as ARP followed suit with their own products, including the famous 2500 and 2600, until more practical, portable models like the MiniMoog and ARP Odessy were developed in the early 70s, which retained the concepts of the larger modular systems, but did away with the constraints brought about by their size (and expense!). Both models went on to sell for many years, until the arrival of another landmark product, the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, which was released at the 1978 NAMM trade show. A 5-note polyphonic synthesizer with microprocessor control of all parameters, including tuning, had become a reality.

Until Yamaha unveiled the DX7 in the early 80s, shortly followed by low-cost samplers such as the Ensoniq Mirage and PCM synths like the Roland D50, subtractive synthesis was for many years the most common form of electronic sound production available to musicians. Today, ‘traditional’ subtractive synths have enjoyed something of a renaissance, and are still being produced by companies like Moog with their all analogue Voyager and Little Phatty, and in the shape of analogue modelling synthesizers such as the Access Virus, Waldorf Q and Clavia Nord – all extending the capabilities of subtractive synthesis far beyond those of the early models.

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in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
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Synthesizers overview

Harley Benton Fusion-HSH Roasted Maple Slate Digital ML-2 Clavia Nord Music Stand V2 DPA 4066-OC-A-F10-LH Slate Digital ML-1 JHS Pedals The Bonsai Zynaptiq Intensity Sennheiser ew IEM G4 A-Band Showtec Compact Par 18 MKIII Tour Tech 21 DP-3X Solar Guitars S2.6C ADJ 12P HEX IP
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Harley Benton Fusion-HSH Roasted Maple

Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped mahogany body, "Ultra Flame" flamed maple veneer top, Matching headstock, Bolt-on neck from "roasted" Canadian flamed maple, "Roasted" maple fretboard, Neck shape: Modern C, Clay Dot fretboard inlays, 24 Medium jumbo stainless steel frets, Nu-Bone...

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€398
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Slate Digital ML-2

Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone For Slate Digital VRS8 Thunderbolt audio interface, similar linear and flat frequency response to the Slate Digital ML-1, Allows microphone placement that is difficult or impossible for a larger microphone, Side mounted pad switch -...

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€159
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Clavia Nord Music Stand V2

Clavia Nord Music Stand V2 - music stand for Nord C2 Combo Organ, Nord C2D, Nord Electro 3 HP, Nord Electro 4 HP, Nord Electro 5 HP, Nord Electro 6, Nord Piano 88, Nord Piano 2 HA88, Nord Piano 2...

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DPA 4066-OC-A-F10-LH

DPA 4066-OC-A-F10-LH, d:fine CORE 4066 Omni Headset Mic, professional headset microphone with removable and adjustable neck holder for left or right-sided use. Omnidirectional, 20Hz-20kHz with 3dB boost between 8-20kHz, 144dB SPL max.,TA-4F Switchcraft connector for Shure Transmitter . beige, Great...

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€715
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Slate Digital ML-1

Large-diaphragm condenser microphone Neutral ML-1 condenser microphone that can be combined with VMS hardware and software, Optional Neutral VMS preamp ensures minimal sound-colouration (not included!), Via VMS plug-in software, you can completely change the sound characteristics even after recording,...

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€849
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JHS Pedals The Bonsai

Effect Pedal Overdrive, 9 Tube Screamer Overdrive modes, 5 Classic TS circuits and 2 popular mods, Analogue operation, True bypass, Volume, sustain and tone controls, 9-Way rotary control to select between Tube Screamer modes (OD-1 / TS-808 / TS-9...

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€258
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Zynaptiq Intensity

Zynaptiq Intensity (ESD); enhancer plugin; innovative algorithm increases detail, clarity, density and loudness of any audio signal; suitable for single tracks, groups, mixbus or mastering; easy to us clearly arranged user interface; additional soft-knee saturating limiter at the output stage;...

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€144
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Sennheiser ew IEM G4 A-Band

Evolution Wireless In Ear System Consists of UHF bodypack receiver (EK IEM G4), 9.5" transmitter (SR IEM G4) and IE4 earphones, Stereo / focus / mono modes, Up to 1680 frequencies in 42 MHz switching bandwidth, 20 Channel banks...

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€985
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Showtec Compact Par 18 MKIII Tour

LED headlights Noiseless due to fanless cooling, Compact flat housing, Double bracket for upright and hanging mounting, Light source: 18x 3 Watt RGB 3in1 LED, Beam angle: 28°, Light output: 9600 Lux at 1 m, 4170 lux at 2...

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€192
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Tech 21 DP-3X

Preamp for bass dUg Pinnick signature model, Controls: volume, chunk, high, mid, low, comp, drive, Gain switch, Mix button, Chromatic tuner, XLR DI output, TRS input / output, Headphone output, Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 6.4...

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€299
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Solar Guitars S2.6C

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Neck: Maple, Fretboard: Ebony, Neck profile: C, 24 Super jumbo frets, Graphite nut, Nut width: 43 mm, Scale: 647 mm, Pickups: 2 Duncan Solar humbuckers, Grover 18:1 locking machine heads, Colour: Carbon matte

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€699
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ADJ 12P HEX IP

Universal Outdoor LED Spotlight Wide radiating wash with homogeneous colour mixing, 63 Selectable internal colour macros, Double bracket for standing and hanging operations, Water-protected connection sockets with rubber protective caps, Flicker-free operation for film and video recordings, Five selectable...

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€348
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