Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Where Have All The Synths Gone?


Back in 1985, every keyboard player had a stack of synthesizer keyboards and modules connected by a spaghetti of MIDI and audio cables. Something new and exciting was introduced every six months. Fast-forward twenty years and the average electronic music studio looks more like the computer shop, dotted with flat panel monitors and a PowerMac or two. The synths are all simulated in software these days, and it's getting hard to find real physical instruments.

That's why I was excited when veteran synth designer Dave Smith (of Sequential Circuits fame) added a genuine keyboard synth to his company's lineup. The Poly Evolver is based on a little synth module he released several years ago. It has 4 voices (each with analog *and* digital sound generation circuitry) and sounds amazing. But -- best of all -- it offers 77 knobs, 59 buttons, lots of blinky lights, and weighs a cool 23 lbs (9.5 kg). A rack-mount version is available if you don't want knobs (hah!).

They're not cheap at $2,699.00, but they'll last a few decades and run without a computer. Try that with a soft synth.

Poly Evolver Synth Keyboard (Dave Smith Instruments)
Review of the Poly Evolver Keyboard (Keyboard Magazine)


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