Synthesizers made their debut in the USA during the 1960’s. Older
instruments have analog controls and use very simple circuits to produce their
wide array of sounds. However, more modern instruments utilize digital controls
and very complex, sophisticated circuits.
Since their development, synthesizers have enjoyed a growing sucess and can
not only take on jobs such as orchestrating a pop song, but do things like
perform as soloists. They can play the entire audible spectrum with countless
special effects. They are particularly famous in pop music, where they are not
only great for creating songs, but can also perform the entire song with the
exception of the vocals.
Electronic keyboard: Electronic
keyboards are not to be confused with digital pianos. They generally do not have
weighted keys and have many more effects like a synthesizer, as opposed to a
digital piano. The electronic keyboard was originally made and sold during the
1940’s, and is designed to allow any musician, or non-musician, to create a
small “one-man band” in their home, with only one instrument.
Digital sampler: Digital samplers didn’t
appear until the 1980’s, because they needed complex computer-like systems to
run them. They work by recording “samples” of sounds and then replaying them
at the desired pitch. They are played back with a keyboard or other controller
(electric instrument or control) that tells the sampler at what pitch and such
to play the sample.