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Fuck Yeah, Electroacoustic Instruments

I'm a musicologist obsessed with electroacoustic instruments. This blog is created to share the love.

Feel free to ask questions.

(Note: electronic instruments are part of the category of electroacoustic instruments. An example of an electroacoustic instrument that is not an electronic instrument is the Hammond organ, since the sound of the Hammond is produced with tone wheels, not by electric current.)

The French Connection (synth controller), as played by Jonny Greenwood.

The French Connection (synth controller), as played by Jonny Greenwood.

(via italox)

Wurlitzer - Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, MS (US), 1955-1982.
Electromechanical piano. Sound is produced by acoustic piano mechanics combined with electric pickups and is vaguely comparable to that of the much more popular Fender Rhodes. 
Check: The Beatles (Let It Be), Pink Floyd (The Dark Side of the Moon), Beck (Where It’s At)

Wurlitzer - Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, MS (US), 1955-1982.

Electromechanical piano. Sound is produced by acoustic piano mechanics combined with electric pickups and is vaguely comparable to that of the much more popular Fender Rhodes. 

Check: The Beatles (Let It Be), Pink Floyd (The Dark Side of the Moon), Beck (Where It’s At)

Herbie Hancock jamming with his Fairlight CMI.

Worth watching.

Fairlight CMI, the first digital sampler - Peter Vogel/Kim Ryrie, 1979. (photo: Alan Parsons)
In 1979, a failed attempt at making a digital sequencer resulted in the accidental creation of a sampler. The Fairlight CMI was promptly used by Peter Gabriel and many more eighties experimentalists.
Check: Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer (the shakuhachi flute in the break is sampled)

Fairlight CMI, the first digital sampler - Peter Vogel/Kim Ryrie, 1979. (photo: Alan Parsons)

In 1979, a failed attempt at making a digital sequencer resulted in the accidental creation of a sampler. The Fairlight CMI was promptly used by Peter Gabriel and many more eighties experimentalists.

Check: Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer (the shakuhachi flute in the break is sampled)

Pierre Schaeffer - Étude aux chemins de fer, 1948, France.

Schaeffer used records to edit sounds in these last days before the common use of magnetic tape. This noise collage is composed solely from manipulating playback and rerecording it. The search for new and ‘unmusical’ sounds resulted in the ‘musique concrète’ movement.

Clavinet - Ernst Zacharias (produced by Hohner), 1960s.
Electromechanic: it is in fact an amplified snare instrument.
Check: Stevie Wonder (Superstition), Commodores.

Clavinet - Ernst Zacharias (produced by Hohner), 1960s.

Electromechanic: it is in fact an amplified snare instrument.

Check: Stevie Wonder (Superstition), Commodores.

 
Electrotheremin - Bob Whitsell, 1958.Played by Paul Tanner. 
This is the electrotheremin. This is not a theremin, it only produces a sound similar to the theremin. It is played by tweaking knobs and sliding along a keyboard diagram. Contrary to popular belief, the Beach Boys song ‘Good Vibrations’ features an electrotheremin, not a theremin. For live performances, the Beach Boys used a custom made Moog ribbon controller.
Check: Beach Boys, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times’

Electrotheremin - Bob Whitsell, 1958.
Played by Paul Tanner. 

This is the electrotheremin. This is not a theremin, it only produces a sound similar to the theremin. It is played by tweaking knobs and sliding along a keyboard diagram. Contrary to popular belief, the Beach Boys song ‘Good Vibrations’ features an electrotheremin, not a theremin. For live performances, the Beach Boys used a custom made Moog ribbon controller.

Check: Beach Boys, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times’

Mini documentary on Christian Marclay, so-called pioneer in scratching. 1970s. Sound art - unwanted sound - sampling - scratching - sound collage (literally).

Intonarumori - Luigi Russolo, 1913.

Intonarumori - Luigi Russolo, 1913.

Akai MPC-60 music production center (sampler+sequencer) - Roger Linn, 1988.
Check: Jean-Michel Jarre, Apollo 404, A Guy Called Gerald, DJ Shadow (Endtroducing…).

Akai MPC-60 music production center (sampler+sequencer) - Roger Linn, 1988.

Check: Jean-Michel Jarre, Apollo 404, A Guy Called Gerald, DJ Shadow (Endtroducing…).

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