MusicRadar: Novachord + Solovox and "Under-appreciated Synths"

MusicRadar has published a story on five legendary synths, including the Novachord and the Solovox, and an illustrated look at Cherry Audio's emulations.

What we can say, though, is that the history of synths could have looked quite different. All through the past decades, there was an alternative history that didn’t get selected – machines that didn’t have their time in the sun, went underappreciated, or were simply ahead of their time. In this feature, we’ll shine a light on these ‘alternative synths’, giving them the love and admiration they missed first time around, and their second chance at a new audience.

We’ll look at the Novachord and Solovox, two of Hammond Organ Co’s instruments that can be considered – depending on your frame of reference – to be muscling in on synthesiser territory a couple of decades before its rise to prominence. Then there’s the perennial ‘alternative’, the Buchla Music Easel with its West Coast synthesis pedigree. We’ll run through these three alternative synths below.

How about the EMS Synthi, with its ‘battleships’ style pin matrix and its sequencing abilities? And have you ever heard of the Akai AX73, the analogue synth that came just at the turn of the digital revolution? Software emulations of these instruments are the focus of the tutorials below, so join us through the synth looking glass and see what the radio could have been playing if things had taken some slightly different turns.