digital Synthesizers

Image of a DX7

What are DIGITAL synthesizers?

A digital synthesizer is a synthesizer that uses digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to make musical sounds. This in contrast to older analog synthesizers, which produce music using analog electronics, and samplers, which play back digital recordings of acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments. Some digital synthesizers emulate analog synthesizers; others include sampling capability in addition to digital synthesis. Read more at Wikipedia.org »

Image of a Yamaha DX7Yamaha DX7

One of the most popular digital synths ever was the DX7 from Yamaha, released in 1983. It featured a whole new type of synthesis called FM (Frequency Modulation). It certainly is not analog and it is difficult to program but can result in some excellent sounds! It is difficult because it is non-analog and thus, a whole new set of parameters are available for tweaking, many of which seemed counter-intuitive and unfamiliar.
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Image of a Roland D-50Roland D-50

Making its debut in 1987, the D-50 was the first fully digital synthesizer from Roland. Linear Arithmetic (LA) Synthesis, which combines traditional subtractive synthesis with harmonically-complex sampled (PCM) waveforms, proved to be a sonic breakthrough. And, as the first performance synthesizer to integrate DSP effects, the Roland D-50 delivered instant studio-quality sounds to keyboard players around the world.
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Image of a Korg M1Korg M1

The M1 was and still is a popular and widely used digital synthesizer and music workstation. The M1 features built-in AI Synthesis for full digital generation and processing using 4MB of PCM sampled and synthesized waveforms which can be shaped using analog-style editing. The M1 is capable of creating acoustic instruments with clarity, nice digital sounds and good buzzy techno sounds. The M1 is sort of like a workstation-version of the Roland D-50.
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