MATRIXSYNTH: Analog Synthesizers by Mark Jenkins

Friday, February 08, 2008

Analog Synthesizers by Mark Jenkins

brian c found this one on analog synths. If anyone knows if it's any good feel free to comment. The following is the description on Amazon. I also added it to my Synth Books section.

"Analog Synthesizers: Understanding, Performing, Buying- from the legacy of Moog to software synthesis (Paperback)

Book Description
In this book, the technical explanation of the nature of analog sound creation is followed by the story of its birth and its subsequent development by various designers, manufacturers and performers.

The individual components of analog sound creation are then examined in detail, with step by step examples of sound creation techniques. Then the modern imitative analog instruments are examined, again with detailed instructions for programming and using them, and the book is completed with appendices listing the major instrument lines available, hints on values and purchasing, other sources of information, and a discography of readily available recordings which give good examples of analog sound synthesis.

The CD which accompanies the book gives many examples of analog sound creation basics as well as more advanced techniques, and of the abilities of the individual instruments associated with classical and with imitative analog sound synthesis.

* A complete history of analog sound in one work
* Interviews with industry Legends and developers of of analog synthesizers
* Audio CD of demo sounds and tuitional pieces to illustrate the processes discussed in the book"


  1. Mark Jenkins is a crackerjack synth player and programmer (check out his Sequencer Loops CD), and he runs an outfit called Amp Records, which retails through the Artists' Shop Web site. Among other things, he's got two Keith Emerson records in the catalog.

  2. I own this book and it's a nice addition to any personal library. The listings of classic analog synths and their values are interesting, espeically the synths Mark thinks are often overlooked and vastly underpriced (eg Korg DW-8000).

    The material is just slightly out of date (he lists Waldorf as still being defunct) but any book that mentions something as obscure as the SMS Mars can't be all that bad! :-)

  3. Jenkins knows his stuff. This should be a very good book.

  4. Jenkins knows his stuff. This should be a very good book.

  5. I own this book and have read most of it. It’s expensive but I thought it was definitely worth the price. His overview of “What Is Analog” might sound overly familiar to people who’ve already read books on analog synthesis and have some experience with synths. But his descriptions of typical analog synth features and modules were among the clearest and most useful I’ve ever read. And his section on “Using and Programming” analog had some interesting ideas I hadn’t thought of before. (I’ve only been using synths for a couple years.) Overall, I thought this was a classy, clear, knowledgeable addition to the synth library.

  6. interesting that a book titled "analog synthesizers" uses a picture of the MS-20 Legacy usb controller on the cover.


  7. I just saw this book in a bookstore and looked through it. I was impressed. Basically:

    1) there's a lot of info on analog synth history (like the books from Keyboard Magazine but more up-to-date)

    2) a chapter (at least) on programming a virtual analog synth (using the Virus)

    3) A chapter on buying a vintage analog synth

    4) a CD of sound examples from various synths, from bare oscillators to complete patches.


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