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The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding, Programming, Playing, And Recording The Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument Paperback – 19 Feb 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding, Programming, Playing, And Recording The Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument
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  • Vintage Synthesizers: Groundbreaking Instruments and Pioneering Designers of Electronic Music Synthesizers
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  • Analog Synthesizers: Understanding, Performing, Buying- from the legacy of Moog to software synthesis
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (19 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195394895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195394894
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Synthesizers are wonderful musical instruments that cover a very wide range of implementations and uses. Mark Vails The Synthesizer is a must-read for anyone who has interest in learning about these engineering marvels. It is a great introduction if you are new to synths, but also very informative and up-to-date for the seasoned synth player. (Dave Smith, Dave Smith Instruments)

A hugely detailed, exhaustively researched and splendidly idiosyncratic work which nails its extensive subject matter. Mark Vail enthusiastically charts the development of the synthesizer from the Trautonium to the latest software instruments, and also gives us valuable insights and tips from leading electronic composers, including legendary synth pioneer Wendy Carlos. (Dave Stewart, Keyboardist)

In the past few decades, the synthesizer has finally come of age. Mark Vail's extensive work documents this journey from its austere and rarified beginnings to its present technologically sophisticated state. His well-illustrated book is filled with anecdotes and insights, amazing successes and ridiculous flops, expert advice on how to roll your own, lots of commentary on artists, their gear and their methodology, and finally, a guide to recording and disseminating your own musical masterpieces. Stash this volume where its easy to get to; you'll be using it a lot. (Don Buchla, Composer and Instrument Designer, Berkeley, California)

Mark Vail is the best explainer and historian of music synthesizers that I know. I highly recommend this book, which is a whole lot of fun to read. (Roger Linn, Roger Linn Design)

About the Author

Building on his life-long interest in music, Mark Vail discovered synthesizers in 1973 and bought his first in 1976. After earning an MFA in electronic music in 1983, he served on the editorial staff at Keyboard magazine from 1988 to 2001. The author of Vintage Synthesizers and The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B, Mark is internationally acknowledged as a foremost authority on synthesizers.


Customer Reviews

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Lets address a few points here. a few people out there dont like the paper stock. well i love it. its a off white old school grade and the pictures are all B&W. i knew this wasnt going to be a glossy almanac of synths. it really harks back to the synth books of the 80's like the Crosbie series.
It covers a LOT of ground from the forerunners of the synth universe to the current soft synth developers of whom i work with quite a few myself.
A book such as this, needs to cover the modern take as well as engaging with the historic past. but i wil concede the book titling is a tad misleading. i already knew what to expect. but it promises to teach you about programming etc of which it really doesnt.

If you spend 2 mins in the preview on amazon, you can flick through most of the pages and clearly see what kind of book it is, so its not rocket science. i got this from my wife for my birthday. im a fulltime composer and this is pure busmans holiday at its finest i really enjoyed it. if your only has room for full colour ad you need to be taught how to use a synth, this isnt your book.
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I have bought quite a few books that state in the title similar sentiments to this one. I have yet to find one that does what it says on the cover. The print quality is very poor, looks like it was run off on a photocopier.
This is a large book filled with rehashed pictures that I've seen in many others.
The idea that it will teach you anything in depth is soon dispelled when you read, not how too but Wendy did this or George did that but never wrote anything down.
As a history of Synthesis it's OK and there are little snippets that can be educational but as with all synths (analogue module types that is) forget the books and just try plugging chords in anywhere and see what you get.
Maybe it is because I am an A-B-C-... learner with logic and order in mind that I find these books so frustrating.
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sorry, but after the near perfection of "vintage synthesizers" i was perhaps anticipating more of the same.
it isn't,....not even close.
im desperately trying not to be critical out of respect for the earlier book but i cant find anything to commend this book and have barely looked at it since i got it in April, physically, it feels awkward to hold, the paper quality and printing is very poor (especially considering the price), it just seems a cynical attempt to sell junk on the back of the earlier work.
Sorry Mark Vail, i loved the first book, but not this one, i wish i had just bought a newer issue of "vintage synthesizers".
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for the newby this is a very good book indeed,cause it explains the terminology
and for the experienced user that might not valuable info, cause you already know what "attack' means
but then there is lots of info on history and development.
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Very informative
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