Are you ready to meet the grandfather of the synthesizer?
Between the 1950s and the mid 1960s, long before Robert Moog and Wendy Carlos injected electronics into pop-music (with a few exceptions like the Barrons and Raymond Scott), electroacoustic music was pioneered by european radio laboratories and US universities. Composing with tapes and electronics was a serious painstaking and expensive affair, prerogative of a restricted elite of contemporary music composers and adventurous sound engineers. At that time there wasn’t any electronic musical instruments market, as a matter of fact, most of the equipment was adapted from scientific tools belonging to radio engineering departments. Sometimes the equipment was built from scratch cannibalizing anything that had wires, tubes and pots, more rarely, the studios used the few commercial instruments available in those days, such as the Melchord, the Trautonium and the Theremin. Contrarily to what happens today, electronic music then was everything but fast and easy to create. A few minutes of electronic composition could take more than one year of work. Everything was handmade, from complex timbres with multiple sine oscillators bounces to tape editing with scissors and scotch-tape. Even sound envelopes were manually built by cutting tapes’ edgdes at different degrees of inclination. Ussachevsky’s ADSR was yet to be invented!
Berna is a software simulation of a late 1950s electroacoustic music studio. Oscillators, filters, modulators, tape recorders, mixers, are all packed in a easy-to-use interface with historical accuracy.
Explore serial, concrete and tape music or create strange new sonic worlds with instruments inspired by the greatest studios of the early days of electronic music.
Thanks to Josh for passing that on.