Some ideas, taken further by Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and other pioneers in the Sixties, were present in the art movement called Musique concrète: let sound guide composition, use recording equipment, have fun and be playful. A similar movement also emerged in Japan.
Forties radio studio equipment; shellac recorders, mixing desks, loudspeakers, plate and spring reverbs, filters and mikes were all viable instruments for exploring and manipulating the time and space of sound.
In the rocking and rolling Fifties, Chuck Berry’s distinctive warm, fuzzy electric guitar sound (think Maybellene) was a result of using a small, inexpensive valve amplifier that distorted the sound through high gain. An accidental discovery, now so prevalent the sound is genre-defining.
Link Wray also experimented with creating noise and dirt, using imperfect valves, poking holes in speakers and creating feedback.
Millions of people heard the world’s first wholly electronic theme music open the 1963 television premiere of Doctor Who. Its creator, Delia Derbyshire, was unknown to the public at the time.
Delia’s early use of electronics, primarily reel-to-reel magnetic audio tape manipulation (and EMS synthesizer equipment), broke new ground, including layering, looping and sampling of sorts, and some of her unique ideas haven’t been heard since.
The Seventies, the first golden age of analog synthesizers, introduced the world to a whole new palette of sounds. Kraftwerk was the band that above all others would be associated with the rise of synthesizer music.
Although the vocoder was an existing piece of 1930s telecom tech, its refit to musical use and popularity is something we can thank Kraftwerk for. Its sound, equally robotic and harmonic, still sounds great.
We love this effect: it uses time to create the illusion of space. Like the vocoder, it is also an analog synth of sorts. A chorus effect takes an input signal and mixes it with a few delayed, LFO-modulated copies of itself to turn one voice into a shimmer of voices. Gives the sound a 3D feel.
Boss released the DC-2 Dimension C pedal in 1985 (based on the rack effects unit SDD-320 Dimension D from 1979). 4 presets, goofy-looking and spacious-sounding, this one was used liberally by greats like David Gilmour and Johnny Marr.
This little wonderment by Elektron offers a choice of eight distinct analog effects circuits in one box. The Analog Heat features highly adaptable enhancement, saturation, drive, gain, distortion, fuzz and crunch at the twist of a dial.
Add to that a comprehensive multimode filter, an LFO and an envelope follower that lets the effect kick in at a specific amplitude: if this carnival of effects does not satisfy our thirst for texture, nothing will. The Analog Drive, a bona-fide analog 8-circuit effects pedal, was released shortly afterwards, footswitches and all.
Add sparkly brilliance, or grimy roughness, to any sound source. Samplers, drum machines, synths, the master bus, you name it. Analog Heat MKII is a fiery furnace destined to make your music glow.Read more
Analog Drive gives you eight analog distortion types in one box. It is the ideal pedal for guitarists who want to wreak havoc to signals and tones in the most diverse and characterful way possible.Read more