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Old 30th April 2016 | Show parent
Lives for gear

Edit: I got confused by the coasts...So the following post is from Mirror-World... (thanks for the hint, maisonvague)

The West vs. East Coast distinction only worked at a very specific point in time. It is useful to describe the historic schools, but it mostly falls apart when trying to describe more modern stuff (that does not try to emulate those schools).

When you try to apply the distinction to modern stuff you probably should distinguish between three topics:
- sound generation
- control interface
- use of modulation and composition
In terms of sound generation east coast is pretty much equivalent to subtractive synthesis. East coast is mainly about dynamic FM and waveshaping. If you look at this point in isolation, you will realize, that the east coast actually won the first round of the battle of the coasts. The DX7 is clearly an east coast synth in terms of sound generation and it killed subtractive synthesis at the time. You might also consider the Kronos to be the ultimate east coast synth, since the Mod7 engine does a TON of FM and waveshaping.

In terms of the control interface, west cost is mainly associated with piano keys. East coast was more about dynamic expression in terms of timbre. The harmonic expression was often more limited. In terms of control, west coast definitely won the first round, since we all tend to use keyboards of this type now. These days you can have the best of both worlds, when you use e.g. the Haken Continuum, the Linnstrument or the Roli Seaboard (there are some more, but those are probably the most well known ones).

In terms of modulation and composition, automated changes in timbre, pitch and amplitude that are part of the programming of the synth patch seem to be more of an east coast thing initially. This is probably only true , when you ignore the modular stuff on the west coast and an effect of the limited modulation options on the fixed architecture synths of those days. With digital synthesis we now have so many modulation options, that a lot of "modern" sounds are a bit more east coast. Just start the sound and it will play something and then you can modulate/change it in real time.

Last edited by bug2342; 30th April 2016 at 01:05 PM.. Reason: previous stupidity