Timeline of Patchable Synthesizers outside Americas (Updated)

By Rick Jelliffe
April 25, 2009 | Comments: 12

Here is the most recent version of my Timeline of Patchable and Modular Synthesizer Makers outside the Americas. If you have any additions, please let me know: hobbyists making more than a couple of PCBs are definitely welcome.




TimelineOfPatchableSynths.jpg


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12 Comments

Analogue Systems (RS Integrator) is older than 2000. I know from Bob Williams that they were making modules in 1997. Perhaps even before.

Club of the Knobs (Portugal 2000s) would be the first one that comes to mind. MOS-LAB (France) would be the second. Was just troubleshooting Rob Hordyk's miniRungler module kit today. There's Exclusively Analogue (Aviator, UK 1994), Orgon Modular System (UK 90s)

.. but clearly the best source of a reasonably complete list (up until it's publication date) would be to consult Peter Forrest's "Synthesizers A-Z" volumes.

The A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers, Part One (A-M), revised and expanded, by Peter Forrest 1998 ISBN: 09524377 2 4
The A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers, Part Two (N-Z), revised and expanded, by Peter Forrest 2003 ISBN: 09524377 3 2

pforrest@mail.eclipse.co.uk

Geoff Waterston of Orgon Systems made a few complete modular systems, according to these articles:

http://remixmag.com/artists/electronic/remix_chameleon_colors/

http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2006/01/orgon-modular.html

This article from 2001 lists prices:

http://emusician.com/elecinstruments/emusic_something_old_something/

The first Enigisers hit the market in 96 or 97, and I imagine that the modules were introduced sometime between 1999 and 2001.

There's also the Exclusively Analogue Aviator, introduced in 1995:

http://machines.hyperreal.org/categories/patchable/Aviator/info/Aviator.ad.txt

Arg, Nick beat me to the punch. Twice.

There's also the Lassence Ventury:

http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2006/09/lassence-uventury-ii.html

Also, if you include Sherman, Schippmann Music's Ebbe und Flut belongs here. Like the QMF, it's practically a synth already:

http://www.schippmann-music.com/ebbeundflut.html

all: Thanks for these: I will look into them all.

analoguesystems first product fb3 filterbank 1993
fb3 mk 2 1995
th48 sequencer 1996
rs integrator 1997

Niall: For te E&F, I think that rack mounted boxes with jacks at their back don't really qualify as modular or patchable synth modules; they need to have the jacks broken out to the front first. So, for example I would count the Sherman QMF in, but the orginal Sherman filterBanks out.

Same thing with guitar effects pedals & studio effects: sure you can use them, and they may be identical to synth modules, but that is not the main game that is being played with them.

On the other hand, of course there are so many musos who are doing the same things with guitar effects pedals and filter boxes and chaospads and so on, that modular synth people do, so I admit it is rather arbitrary to exclude FX, noise makers and circuit benders.

Club of the Knobs (Portugal 2000s) would be the first one that comes to mind. MOS-LAB (France) would be the second. Was just troubleshooting Rob Hordyk's miniRungler module kit today. There's Exclusively Analogue (Aviator, UK 1994), Orgon Modular System (UK 90s)

.. but clearly the best source of a reasonably complete list (up until it's publication date) would be to consult Peter Forrest's "Synthesizers A-Z" volumes.

There is a nice list of Italian manufacturers at http://www.vsmi.it/vintage-smi/Factory%20List.html

I've updated the PDF to add Synket and Flame at the extremes. Several other ones mentioned by readers are added: thanks for the tips!

I've looked at a few earlier synths (Russian, and the Italian Fonitron?) but they don't seem to be modular.

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