Thursday, August 7, 2008

Laurie Spiegel Playing 1977 Bell Labs Hal Alles Synth


Concerto for Self-Accompanying Digital Synthesizer. The instrument is possibly the first realtime digital synthesizer, built at Bell Telephone Labs, NJ by Hal Alles and team, with C language software written by Laurie that processes the player's live input into an ongoing accompaniment that will continue to be played live against.

more info
technical info for the LSI-11



Alan Evil said...

You should have mentioned that this was 1977! I didn't realize digital synthesis even existed before the early 1980's. Were there any well known pop recordings this unit was used on? Could it sample?

I know your knowledge of samplers and sampling is quite extensive, Mr. Zhivago, perhaps you should write a long post with links that covers that history.

John M. said...

It was in the title.

I didn't know about it until yesterday.

I'm not sure if it was ever used in any professional recordings and from what I saw in the material on it was based on sampling technology, but I believed it sampled the sounds created by the oscillators internal to the synthesizer, as opposed to recorded sounds from an outside source.

I covered a nice chunk of sampling history in my Fairlight Robbery Revisited post:

but perhaps a more detailed look at the sampler is in order and due.