A Revolutionary Voyage
Featuring a foreword by renowned songwriter Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure), SYNTH GEMS 1 takes readers on a visual voyage through dozens of synthesizers that shaped the last three decades of the 20th Century. Fittingly, the book opens in 1970 with the remarkable story of the Minimoog, including high-quality photos of the prototypes that led to its final design. From there, the reader will encounter historical milestones like the Yamaha GX-1, Korg PS-3300, and Oberheim Matrix-12, and rare and unusual treasures like the RSF Kobol, Gleeman Pentaphonic Clear, and Waldorf Wave – ending in the year 2000 with the Alesis Andromeda.
Each instrument is stunningly photographed, and the accompanying text gives readers a detailed breakdown of its historical context, sonic design, visual aesthetics, and impact in the contemporary music world. These articles — meticulously researched and verified by industry authorities, including many of the instruments’ original creators — turn SYNTH GEMS 1 into an unprecedented reference volume.
As the synthesizer’s role in modern music grows, more and more people are exploring the idea of creating electronic music themselves rather than simply listening to it. To help this growing audience, SYNTH GEMS 1 begins with ‘The Synthesizer: An Introduction’ — a detailed 6-page breakdown that discusses some of the most common synthesizer features and provides a brief education on how they work. Supplemented by a comprehensive Glossary in the book’s Appendix, it offers amateur enthusiasts a well-rounded foundation on the ins and outs of synthesis – as well as an increased appreciation for each of the instruments featured in this volume.
“Over the last few years, there’s been a massive increase in interest in these beautiful vintage instruments,” Bjørn says. “As a result, we wanted the SYNTH GEMS series to provide those just starting out with a solid basis and unique insight into the history of synthesizers. We hope that some of these pages might inspire creative musical journeys among our readers.”