Introduction – what’s so great about analog?

How do we usually describe modern high-tech musical instruments? Terms like ‘digital’, ‘sampled’ or ‘virtual’ are commonplace, though telling us very little about what the instrument actually sounds like. But when we hear the word ‘analog’, we get an instant idea of the type of noise we can expect – a certain sense of power, simplicity and richness which dates back to the earliest days of electronic music.

Of course, those times aren’t so very far in the past. We’re talking about a field which only has a modern history of some 40-odd years – so that many musicians still very active in the field today have been creative throughout the whole period of its development, not something which can be said ...

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