I then got a Casio CZ1000 which was like the CZ101 but with full-size keys and then, when I was sixteen, I got an Ensoniq ESQ-1 which was my first decent synth that you could really do something useful on. It was analogue with digital oscillators, eight-note polyphony and a sequencer. I would sync it in a rudimentary fashion with a drum machine and a four-track tape machine that I used to borrow from school during the summer holidays, so I recorded a lot of my early music using that. It was just another world!
There might be a perception with the Nord synths, like the Lead A1s that we started off with and now, with the Wave 2s, that somehow the feature set is not as big as some of the Japanese rivals. But to me that is a positive. Perceived limitation is a real advantage because you work much tighter and you work much more efficiently. And, also, I like the idea of knowing every bit of gear that I own back to front, as opposed to feeling that there's this feature set that is stretching away from me into the beyond. And I like the idea that we’re getting more into synths that do encourage you to program, or at least delve into and to really dismantle presets.
"Everything we know now about synths and workstations and DAWs over the last 50 years started with that album". - Robin Bigwood
Switched on Bach
If modern music was born on the night Robert Johnson met the Devil at the crossroads, then the modern synthesiser was born on the day Bob Moog presented his new invention to Wendy Carlos. Carlos used this new instrument to create the Switched on Bach album which bought the sound of the synthesiser to the World’s attention and the rest, is synth history.
Nord Wave 2 Arpeggiated Pads - Robin Bigwood