Riding The Synthwave

Aside from robotics and computers, my other interest is synthesizers, mainly the ones from the 80’s and, of course, hand-in-hand with this: the Synthwave genre of synth music. Synthwave has been described as

a genre of electronic music influenced by 1980s film soundtracks and video games

I prefer to think of it as all the music we wanted to create in the 80’s but weren’t able to. Many of the people I know who are into Synthwave are, like me, technically and musically orientated but, back in the 80’s, didn’t have the finances or the right circumstances to be able to produce the music we wanted to. I certainly didn’t, although I did beg my parents to buy me a PowerTran Trancendent 2000 self-build synth from Electronics Today, to no avail. Still, I was able to still make music using my ZX Spectrum although it was harder work than playing a synth. I sated my thirst for synth playing by spending my time in Andertons Music in Guildford most Saturday afternoons, playing a range of synths such as the Roland Alpha Juno, Prophet 5, Yamaha DX7, MiniMoog, PolyMoog, Jupiter 8 and so on.

My parents eventually bought me a wonderful piece of kit called the Eminent 310U, a dual keyboard organ with Solina String synth attached. Even though it wasn’t a Prophet 5 or a DX7 I loved playing it, especially as I managed to sound (and play) a bit like Jean-Michel Jarre (the reason being that he uses an Eminent liberally on both Oxygene and Equinox and several other albums). Unfortunately, my parents had to get rid of it when we moved as it was too big to fit into the new place. To say I was unhappy was an understatement.

Since those days I haven’t been in a position to write music or afford the hardware to do so (that’s another story I may get into one day), until now.

Thanks to a good friend of mine, I’m now the proud owner of a Sequential Circuits Prophet 2000 and a Roland Alpha Juno 1 plus various DAW’s (Digital Audio Workshops) and a heap of VST synth emulators (mostly 80’s synths and one specifically for JMJ type sounds). I also have a Soundcloud account performing under the nom-de-plume of TransSonix. I also have an album being released on various online platforms called “No Ordinary Life

Most of my music fits into the Synthwave genre and I am now creating a project called The Trans Synthwave Orchestra, a music collaboration site designed to enable musicians from anywhere to share music, stems, advice and, hopefully, to perform together online and create wonderful music, synthwave or otherwise. It’s going to take some work but I’ve already got a good start and hopefully I’ll be able to launch the website soon.

 

Christine x

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