MATRIXSYNTH: Laurie Spiegel and the Bell Labs Programmable Digital Synthesizer

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Laurie Spiegel and the Bell Labs Programmable Digital Synthesizer


YouTube Uploaded by MusicMouse on Jan 26, 2007
Audio on left channel only.
"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.

This is a legal copy uploaded by the owner of the original tape. The OHM DVD's video was taken from this.

For more info on see http://retiary.org/ls/obsolete_systems

For tech info on the synth see:
http://www.matrixsynth.com/blog/media/misc/spiegel/Alles1.pdf"

Laurie Spiegel's website: http://retiary.org/ls/.

Laurie on Wikipedia

Update embeddable video and description above sent my way via Laurie Spiegel, and via Reed in the comments before the embed: "She's playing a digital synthesizer built by Hal Alles of Bell Labs. Somehow it found its way to Oberlin College in Ohio, where it has remained broken & unused in the basement for over 20 years. (The video, btw, is from the new Ohm DVD compilation). "

Update via Andrew Dean on AH:
"Here's the credit for the Spiegel trackl on the DVD:

Track 12: Laurie Spiegel Improvisation on a 'Concerto Generator'
(2:40) Music, Performance, and Interactive software by Laurie Spiegel,
1977

So, "Concerto Generator" it is. Probably early digital by Hal Alles."

Update: PDF on the instrument. Via ivan on AH.

Update: And more from steve sloan on AH.

Update via Loscha: You can find the patent for Laurie Spiegel's machine here.

11 comments:

  1. And what the hell is she playing? I'm stumped - maybe a McLeyvier prototype?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know but I like it. She worked at Bell Laboratories. I'm wondering if it could be something from there. Check out the wikipedia link I updated the post with. Thanks for the typo correction, missed the p in both, but I'm seing i before e in all references.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's really awesome! What a great performance synth! I'd rate it right up there with the Virus Ti!

    ReplyDelete
  4. She's playing a digital synthesizer built by Hal Alles of Bell Labs. Somehow it found its way to Oberlin College in Ohio, where it has remained broken & unused in the basement for over 20 years. (The video, btw, is from the new Ohm DVD compilation).

    ReplyDelete
  5. What "new" Ohm compilation? Got URL?

    Thx

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://www.therelaxationcompany.com/cd3690.html

    Don't let the company name fool you, it's a great compilation of academic electronic music up to 1980. The dvd features interviews with Babbit, Chowning, Clara Rockmore, etc., and there are some trippy 60's films set to pieces by Subotnick, Oliveros and others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interestingly, you just posted about the Alpha Syntauri, which was my fist synth, and also one that involved Laurie Speigel to some extent in it's development.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is interesting. : )

    ReplyDelete
  9. You know, I do believe it is "Spiegel" unless her cd's and website lie.
    Awesome machine too by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  10. she is a true pioneer of electronic music and a very gifted composer. everybody should check out her music (a bit hard to get by). best work imho is what she did on the GROOVE Bell Labs machine, thtmust have been a very cool machine.

    ReplyDelete

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