Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
Richard Wright & Pink Floyd - Keyboard, synthesizer & electronics equipment [pdf]. A comprehensive, detailed and readable analysis of the keyboards, synthesizers and assorted electronics used by Rick Wright, the other members of Pink Floyd and assorted studio and live accomplices. [more inside]
The THX logo theme consists of 30 voices over seven measures, starting in a narrow range, 200 to 400 Hz, and slowly diverting to preselected pitches encompassing three octaves. [mp3 link] [more inside]
The Mellotron features prominently on the 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, more commonly referred to as The Village Green Preservation Society. The weird, eerie quality of this electronic keyboard, which uses pre-recorded tapes of individual sounds such as strings and woodwind instruments, worked well with singer/songwriter Ray Davies' nostalgic, backwards looking sensibility. [more inside]
Dead musical instruments... brought back to life by YouTube? Check out this mellotron demo film, a rare trautonium keyboard in some guy's garage, trautonium music by composer Oskar Sala, an original Ondes Martenot, a documentary on the telharmonium (parts 1, 2, and 3), and the Sonovox (used to funny but not-suitable-for-work effect in this parody of Sparky's Magic Piano). Meanwhile, avant-gardists have revived the art of prepared piano, but more mainstream acts such as Tori Amos and Ferrante & Teicher have also experimented with it. Last but not least, another performer of prepared piano is Margaret Leng Tan, but I think she should get more accolades as the best virtuoso of the toy piano since Schroeder from Peanuts.
In 1975, armed with a big pile of 8-track car stereos and a whole lot of moxie, Dave Biro set out to change the sound of rock music. He failed spectacularly. This is the fascinating and tragic story of one of the rarest instruments in rock music- The Birotron. [more inside]
You may have never heard of it, but you've damn near certain heard it. The Mellotron (FortuneCity link) is a keyboard instrument; each of its keys triggers a tape with a pre-recorded instrument on it. It was effectively the world's first sample player. [more inside]
"What did you do to my Intelligent Synthesizer?" Wonderful collection of DIY sound gizmos from Mike Walters at Mystery Circuits. Includes the Pena-Tron, the Electronic Earthball and detailed instructions for the Moog Source Membrane Switch Cure. Most recent: The Melloman, a hilariously elliptical DIY Mellotron. [note: 3rd, 4th and 8th links are mp3s] [via]