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Systems Concepts Digital Synthesizer Studio Monitors
Old 13th September 2011
  #1
Systems Concepts Digital Synthesizer

Accidentally i came across this movie



that used a 1979 hardware synthesizer developed by Stanford University. I think the sound is pretty modern (reminds me a bit of Absynth). Couldn't find any picture of the synth, I'm curious how it was operated.
Old 13th September 2011
  #2
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L-feld's Avatar
 

Wasn't Chowning at Stanford in the 70's? I would imagine he was involved in this and that it is some form of an FM synth.
Old 13th September 2011
  #3
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Lumin One's Avatar
where can i get some glasses to watch this joint in 3d?
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
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What a waste of taxpayer money, which happens at universities. They could have driven a few miles to Sequential Circuits, bought a P5 and had been all set. Maybe because Dave Smith was a UC Berkeley grad - Stanford decided to build their own.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumin One View Post
where can i get some glasses to watch this joint in 3d?
I just put my nose a few inches from the screen and focused my eyes until the two images overlapped, stereogram style. It totally worked.
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
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It was also known as the Samson Box, sort of a programmable real time DSP platform. Another similar machine was the Sogitec 4X at IRCAM. There's not really a fixed synthesis architecture. You were supposed to program it to do whatever you want it to do. It's like an ancestor to Kyma.

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/kna/Experiences_Samson_Box.html

I think it was used for this too:


Quote:
Originally Posted by L-feld View Post
Wasn't Chowning at Stanford in the 70's? I would imagine he was involved in this and that it is some form of an FM synth.
It sounds like it's predominantly FM (it was the most common synthesis technique in computer music at the time), but there's probably other stuff in there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franc View Post
What a waste of taxpayer money, which happens at universities. They could have driven a few miles to Sequential Circuits, bought a P5 and had been all set.
Universities generally set their sights a little higher than what's already commercially available. You can't really invent anything new with a Prophet 5.
Old 26th September 2011
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
It was also known as the Samson Box, sort of a programmable real time DSP platform. Another similar machine was the Sogitec 4X at IRCAM. There's not really a fixed synthesis architecture. You were supposed to program it to do whatever you want it to do. It's like an ancestor to Kyma.

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/kna/Experiences_Samson_Box.html

I think it was used for this too:




It sounds like it's predominantly FM (it was the most common synthesis technique in computer music at the time), but there's probably other stuff in there too.



Universities generally set their sights a little higher than what's already commercially available. You can't really invent anything new with a Prophet 5.
Thanks for the info. Sound wise it seemed like an interesting development, pretty different from what was going on at the 'commercial' side of synth development in the late 70's. Pity there seem to be no pics available how the original synth looked like
Old 27th September 2011
  #8
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acreil's Avatar
 

I think the stuff in the David Jaffe video showed what he was working with: just a computer terminal. I haven't seen any photos of it either but I expect it just looked like a large computer. The Samson Box provided pretty much the same stuff that people had been doing in computer music at the time (what you can now do in something like Csound), just in real time. I'm assuming there wasn't a regular keyboard or control panel, so it may not be the sort of "synthesizer" that you're imagining.
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