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Interface '84

Continuing on our campaign for communication, one aspect of the growing synth and computer boom has been causing no small amount of difficulties. The problem - language.

Different manufacturers have always seemed to put a new label on old facilities, but with so many new pieces of equipment becoming available, the language barrier becomes a mountain range!

Surely there must be some way that a common, standard, series of terms can be produced, enabling the capabilities of all the new items to be recognised. The case for such a move is more valid when viewed in the light of the sheer weight of new equipment being released - and the development of the market to which they will be sold. This includes not only 'old hands' but new faces - with puzzled expressions. Some semblance of terminology is really a must for 1984, but, again, the communications block must be overcome... hello? hello?... anyone there...

New Workshops

Although it is far too early to properly assess the results of the readership survey we published last month, it is becoming very clear already - just from keeping an eye on the responses flooding into the offices (thank you for taking the time to complete the questionnaire) - that the two things that everybody wants more of are features on performers and workshops on synthesis.

Well, we're happy to say that this month we have more interviews than ever before: Michael McNeil and Charlie Burchill of Simple Minds, who talk about their own approach to modern music-making; Jim Gilmour of Saga, with some very revealing comments about the Moogs and PPGs he uses; Hawkwind, the original space rock band with expansive plans for 1984; and Dave Hewson, composer of electronic film scores, who has also turned his hand to producing pop singles. We have a deliberately chosen mixed bag there, with something for everyone.

Now that our two long-running workshops, Advanced Music Synthesis by Steve Howell and Guide to Electro-Music Techniques by Dave Crombie have just about exhausted their respective fields of study, we have two new workshops beginning. The reasoning behind this is that in general synthesiser players fall into two distinct categories. On one hand there are those who want advice on how best to use and expand the modular systems they are assembling whilst on the other are those who have to work within the strict confines of a particular mono or poly-synth and want advice on how to exploit its potential to the full. These two areas seem to be mutually exclusive, so we have come up with two separate workshops to deal with them.

The first of these, entitled Modular Synthesis comes from the pen of Steve Howell as it is a natural extension of his Advanced Music Synthesis work over the years. Dealing exclusively with getting sounds from modular set-ups, it will give insights into the best use of both limited and expanded systems thereby showing which modules are likely to see most use from a potential purchasers point of view.

For Patchwork, the second of these new workshops, we will be calling on a much larger resource to cope with the range of synths that may be encountered by the aspiring player/programmer. Besides pooling our collective knowledge here at E&MM, we will be asking manufacturers and famous synth players for programming tips and interesting patches. But most of all, we are appealling to readers to share their hard-won expertise with us and with each other. If you have a sound on your favourite synth (be it big or small, old or new) that you think other owners may not have discovered, please send it in to us at our Cambridge address (marked 'Patchwork'). We will of course be crediting all contributors.

In this issue there is also a special feature on Using Sequencers with music and programming notation to help you come to terms with this rapidly expanding area of electronic music. Add to this our usual mixture of in depth equipment reviews, new product information, specialist record reviews and reader input (letters and cassettes) and in this issue we have set the standard for 1984.

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Electronics & Music Maker - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Electronics & Music Maker - Jan 1984

Donated & scanned by: Stewart Lawler


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