Got a chance to use this KB Electronic Music Instrumentation Wavemakers Modular System at The Synth Sanctuary yesterday, an extremely rare synth!
You should go and follow New York City based Tone Tweakers and The Synth Sanctuary - @tonetweakers. As a recording studio and dealers of vintage synthesizers, they put an extreme amount of care into the various intricacies of refurbishing each machine. I couldn’t recommend a better place to buy or record with vintage synths.
This particular KB system is the precursor to the Wavemaker 4, Wavemaker 6 and other Wavemakers synthesizer products.
Wavemakers, established in 1970 by Dr. Terry Kincaid and Dr. David S. Bates, closed its doors shortly after in the early 1980s. With such a short lifespan, it’s no wonder these synths aren’t more well known.
Here’s an excerpt of their brief history from John Loffink’s website dedicated to Wavemakers. On the website are documents and other history tidbits:
Wavemakers was a mobile operation, beginning in Ann Arbor, Michigan, later moving to Edmonds, Washington. The company began in 1970 around the University of Michigan, creating custom modules for the university and area musicians.
These were large format modulars with varied size control knobs and 1/4 inch jacks. The first generation modular panel sizes were 10 inches high with widths of 2, 4, 6, and 8 inches. Often these panels had multiple integrated module blocks, such as the 245 Quad VCA module with four VCAs and integrated panning or the 308 Triple Bandpass Filter with three multimode filters.
Despite the format the designs appear to be very un-Moog-like. Some unusual ideas are presented such as lap (scanner/crossfader) circuits, switched capacitor filters and quad panning circuits. Earlier modules were completely patchable but had some patch over hard wire capability where preset signal paths could be wired. These connections were often made through toggle or rotary switches.
References: Wavemakers-Synth.com, Tone Tweakers, Great Synthesizers.
You might not know about Ruth White, but you should! Born in 1925, she was an electronic music composer, pioneer, and used the Moog synthesizer in her early explorations of sound.
Her recordings ‘7 Trumps From the Tarot Cards and Pinions’ in 1968, ‘Flowers of Evil’ in 1969, and ‘Short Circuits’ in 1970 all featured the Moog synth.
Her career began by studying music and composition at Carnegie Tech in Pennsylvania where she received three degrees. She could play piano, violin, cello, harp, clarinet, and horn. George Antheil - an avant-garde composer who was known for his film compositions - was her teacher.
Her first studio was self-built in 1964. Later, it was on display at The Fiske Museum for Musical Instruments in Pomona, California!
In 1967 she was commissioned by the University of California to create the music for a performance titled 7 Trumps From the Tarot Card and Pinions, and In 1969 she recorded Flowers of Evil. The latter was a record based on French poet Charles Baudelaire’s volume of poetry Les Fleurs du mal. Baudelaire’s words were recited over electronic music. In 1970 she released Short Circuits, which according to Discogs, was lighter in comparison to her previous works.
Like Wendy Carlos, she used these releases to showcase the possibilities of synthesizers in classical music.
Not only was she a musician and composer, but she eventually served as Vice President to The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. She also formed a film company through Cartridge Television properties, where she produced several stop animation films.
She was a close friend of Paul Beaver (who I’ve mentioned on here before.. he was one of the few Moog session musicians who knew how to use the newly invented synth back the late 60s and early 70s). Her and Paul were invited to record with the legendary Tonto's Expanding Head Band at one point!
A pretty impressive human being, if I do say so myself. Flowers of Evil is on Spotify, although you might need to find her other records via Discogs.
References: Wiki, Discogs, The Norton Grove Dictionary of Women Composers.
Thank you guys so much for the amount of support ive gotten from everyone it really means alot to me and the @syntheticesports there will be more content soon!!!
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