Thanks, Tom.  Just ordered it.

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 3:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Very interesting book about early synthesizers, focused
on Moog

I'm very much enjoying this book, and definitely recommend it:

I've found it very interesting to find the early synth recordings on YouTube
and listen as I read the related text in the book. Very educational to me is
the different styles that emerged almost immediately on the two coasts. To
hear the contrasts, I recommeding finding YouTubes of the

West Coast - "The Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds" and "The Nonesuch Guide To
Electronic Music." These feature the work of Paul Beaver and Bernard Krause,
the West Coast pioneers of the Moog synthesizer. 
Also of interest are Morton Subotnick's works on the Buchla syth, also the
Buchla-influenced stuff that came out of the Tape Recording Lab in San

East Coast - Walter Sear was Bob Moog's first distributor and was
influential in Moog's development of the synthesizer. Sear and Walter/Wendy
Carlos were the first NYC-based Moog users and programmers. "Switched On
Bach" by Carlos was probably the most famous early synth album Columbia also
made "Switched On Rock" to glom off the success. Walter Sear worked mainly
with Command Records, making one album of his own and programming the Moog
for Dick Hyman (2 albums) and Richard Hayman (1 album). Walter's Moog
effects were also used on numerous comemrcials and sound-for-picture

An interesting thing that both Beaver and Krause and Sear say in the book is
that, very soon after certain Moog sounds they had programmed were used on a
few successful recordings, those were the sounds everyone wanted. Paul
Beaver got very frustrated that it came down to 30-50 sounds, and no one
wanted to experiment any further. The curious thing, to my ears, is that
Beaver and Krause got a different few dozen sounds that took hold in L.A.
and Hollywood, vs the sounds Sear came up with that took hold in NYC.
There's a bit of crossover, but there are distinct differences. I think all
of this went away when program pre-sets and automation came along, then
everyone could copy the same sounds on any device. Nowadays it's almost all
"virtual," and the possibilities are actually wider, but it's the same set
of sounds.

-- Tom Fine