synthesizer

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synthesizer

an electrophonic instrument, usually operated by means of a keyboard and pedals, in which sounds are produced by voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers, with an envelope generator module that controls attack, decay, sustain, and release

synthesizer

[′sin·thə‚sīz·ər]
(electronics)
An electronic instrument which combines simple elements to generate more complex entities; examples are frequency synthesizer and sound synthesizer.

synthesizer

A device that generates sound by creating waveforms electronically (such as subtractive or FM synthesis) or from stored samples of musical instruments (wave table synthesis). Although rudimentary electronic instruments were developed as far back as the 1920s, it was Robert Moog (pronounced "Mogue") who popularized the synthesizer in the 1960s. The term itself was coined after his devices, which were the first to combine an electronic (piano-style) keyboard with extremely flexible sound creation capabilities. In the 1970s, the Minimoog portable synthesizer was widely accepted. See MIDI and speech synthesis.


Recalling Times Past
Looking very much like the original portable device of the early 1970s, this 21st century transformation of the Minimoog Voyager Signature Edition synthesizer was introduced in 2002. (Image courtesy of Moog Music Inc., www.moogmusic.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
The popularity of the synthesiser and the success of the company named for Moog took off in rock as extended keyboard solos in songs by Manfred Mann, Yes and Pink Floyd became part of the progressive sound of the 1970s.
But the now-pervasive synthesiser's ability to mimic strings, horns, and percussion has also threatened some musicians.
In 2004, musicians extracted a promise from the Opera Company of Brooklyn to never again use an advanced kind of synthesiser, called a virtual orchestra machine, in future productions.
Robert Moog, whose self-named synthesisers turned electric currents into sound and opened the musical wave that became electronica, has died.
A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesisers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.
"Nick bought himself a new velvet cape and we needed an excuse for him to wear it, so we had to get him a big bank of synthesisers to play."