2nd Edition

Analog Synthesizers: Understanding, Performing, Buying From the Legacy of Moog to Software Synthesis

By Mark Jenkins Copyright 2020
    448 Pages
    by Routledge

    448 Pages
    by Routledge

    Making its first huge impact in the 1960s through the inventions of Bob Moog, the analog synthesizer sound, riding a wave of later developments in digital and software synthesis, has now become more popular than ever.

    Analog Synthesizers charts the technology, instruments, designers, and musicians associated with its three major historical phases: invention in the 1960s–1970s and the music of Walter Carlos, Pink Floyd, Gary Numan, Genesis, Kraftwerk, The Human League, Tangerine Dream, and Jean-Michel Jarre; re-birth in the 1980s–1990s through techno and dance music and jazz fusion; and software synthesis. Now updated, this new edition also includes sections on the explosion from 2000 to the present day in affordable, mass market Eurorack format and other analog instruments, which has helped make the analog synthesizer sound hugely popular once again, particularly in the fields of TV and movie music.

    Major artists interviewed in depth include:

    • Hans Zimmer (Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee and winner, "Gladiator" and "The Lion King")
    • Mike Oldfield (Grammy Award winner, "Tubular Bells")
    • Isao Tomita (Grammy Award nominee, "Snowflakes Are Dancing")
    • Rick Wakeman (Grammy Award nominee, Yes)
    • Tony Banks (Grammy, Ivor Novello and Brit Awards, Genesis)
    • Nick Rhodes (Grammy Award Winner, Duran Duran)

    and from the worlds of TV and movie music:

    • Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein (Primetime Emmy Award, "Stranger Things")
    • Paul Haslinger (BMI Film and TV Music Awards, "Underworld")
    • Suzanne Ciani (Grammy Award Nominee, "Neverland")
    • Adam Lastiwka ("Travelers")

    The book opens with a grounding in the physics of sound, instrument layout, sound creation, purchasing, and instrument repair, which will help entry level musicians as well as seasoned professionals appreciate and master the secrets of analog sound synthesis. Analog Synthesizers has a companion website featuring hundreds of examples of analog sound created using dozens of classic and modern instruments.


    About the author

    Introduction: what’s so great about analog?

    Chapter 1

    What is analog?




    Wave shape

    Harmonics and overtones



    Synthesizer components

    Circuit design

    Sound design

    Chapter 2

    Aspects of analog sound

    Voltage-controlled oscillator

    Voltage-controlled filter

    Envelope generator

    Voltage-controlled amplifier

    Low-frequency oscillator

    White noise source


    Wave shaper

    Ring modulator

    Subharmonic oscillator


    Frequency shifter

    Morphing filter




    MIDI interface

    Assorted modules

    Chapter 3

    The birth of analog, the manufacturers and the artists





    Sequential circuits




    Chapter 4

    The growth of analog



    The Netherlands


    United Kingdom



    Chapter 5

    Using and programming analog

    Classical and avant-garde programmers

    Jazz programmers

    Pop and TV music programmers

    Rock programmers

    Pure synthesizer programmers

    Techno-pop programmers

    Programming for orchestral imitation

    Programming rock, pop and electric sounds

    Programming abstract sounds

    Ten great analog sounds

    Chapter 6

    The analog revival, 1980s–2000s

    Chapter 7

    Programming and using virtual analog hardware and software

    Virtual analog programming

    Virtual oscillators

    Virtual filters

    Virtual LFOs

    Virtual envelopes

    Virtual controllers

    Alternative applications

    Analog software

    Chapter 8

    2013-2019 updates: new instruments, Eurorack and movies/TV


    New instruments, 2013 onwards

    Modules 2013–2019: the Eurorack explosion

    Analog goes to the movies

    Appendix A Classic instruments: specifications and values

    Appendix B Analog and virtual analog instruments: currently or recently in production

    Appendix C Purchasing guide for analog instruments

    Appendix D Bibliography

    Appendix E Discography

    Appendix F Contacts

    Appendix G Website content: www.routledge.com/cw/jenkins



    Mark Jenkins has written about electronic music for Melody Maker, International Musician, Keyboard Player (UK), Keyboard (USA), and many other publications. He has performed and recorded solo and with members of Tangerine Dream, Can, Gong, White Noise, and Van Der Graaf Generator in the UK, USA, Europe, Brazil, Russia, and China, at venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the London Planetarium, the Carnegie Science Center Pittsburgh, the Vanderbilt Planetarium, and the Teatro Nacional in Brazil.