Wendy Carlos's Moog-synthesized classics

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In summary, the Moogseum in Asheville NC has a large collection of old musical equipment, including two old albums by Wendy Carlos, which are out of print and can only be found used or remaindered.
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When I wrote about my recent visit to the Moogseum in Asheville NC in this thread in the General Discussion forum, I commented:

jtbell said:
When I was in high school in the late 1960s, two of the first albums I bought were Walter/Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach and The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, which helped make Moog famous.

I bought those albums on tape cassettes, which eventually became unusable due to sticking tape reels or flaking iron oxide or whatever, probably by the 1990s. They weren't among my last remaining cassettes which I digitized in the mid to late 2000s.

So, after I returned from Asheville, I started looking for them on CD, and was surprised to learn that they're out of print, even though they were best-sellers in their day.

The original releases were on Columbia Records, one of the old-time major labels, which was bought by Sony in 1988. Carlos's contract with them apparently ended sometime in the 1990s. She remastered the recordings, and released them on CD around 2000 on the small East Side Digital label in Minneapolis.

According to her web site, she lost her distribution by ESD. According to another site, she has not made any of her music available online via download or streaming. So the only way to find the music now is via sellers of used or remaindered (leftover) recordings.

Her website has apparently not been significantly updated since 2009, except to warn visitors about an unauthorized biography of her which appeared in 2020, written by the author of the second link in the preceding paragraph.

On Amazon, I found a third-party seller with the East Side Digital CDs of my two old albums, plus two other albums which I never bought in their original versions:
  • Switched-On Bach (1968)
  • The Well-Tempered Synthesizer (1969)
  • Switched-On Bach II (1973)
  • Switched-On Brandenburgs (1980), with all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
They've now arrived:

cds1.jpg


cds2.jpg


Between the remastering and the format change, I'm sure they sound a lot better than my old cassettes. They certainly bring back memories.
 
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I bought a copy of her Beauty In The Beast, which I thought well worth a listen or three.
 
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jtbell said:
When I wrote about my recent visit to the Moogseum in Asheville NC in this thread in the General Discussion forum, I commented:
I love all that old equipment in your linked thread. But speaking of Moog synthesizers, I was lucky enough to attend a Electrical Engineering seminar that my University sponsored with Robert Moog explaining all the components of his first synthesizer. I was on the front row. His lecture inspired me to design a synthesizer that simulated string and percussion instruments.
 
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Moog appeared on an old TV show called "To Tell the Truth" where he demonstrated an early version. The intro states that "Switched On Bach" sold over 700 000 copies.

Cheers,
Tom

p.s. My wife ran across the video a few weeks ago and pointed it out to me.
 
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I'm embarrassed to admit that I picked the wrong guy. o:) All those photos I saw at the Moogseum didn't sink in enough.
 
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jtbell said:
I'm embarrassed to admit that I picked the wrong guy. o:)
So did I.
 
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Tom.G said:
Moog appeared on an old TV show called "To Tell the Truth" where he demonstrated an early version. The intro states that "Switched On Bach" sold over 700 000 copies.

Cheers,
Tom

p.s. My wife ran across the video a few weeks ago and pointed it out to me.

I'm fairly sure that's the exact synthesizer he had when he explained how it worked at my University's EE seminar.
 
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Incidentally, my wife and I watch the current version of To Tell the Truth, when it appears on ABC, hosted by Anthony Anderson with help from his mama Doris. The format is similar, but a bit livelier nowadays.
 
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jtbell said:
Switched-On Bach (1968)
The Well-Tempered Synthesizer (1969)
My father had those on vinyl for as long as I can remember. I definitely have fond memories of listening to them with him. Thanks for the reminder - I may need to find copies myself!

Jason
 
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Related to Wendy Carlos's Moog-synthesized classics

1. What is "Wendy Carlos's Moog-synthesized classics"?

Wendy Carlos's Moog-synthesized classics refers to a collection of music created by electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos using the Moog synthesizer. These albums, including "Switched-On Bach" and "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer", helped popularize the use of electronic instruments in mainstream music.

2. When were these albums released?

The first album in this series, "Switched-On Bach", was released in 1968. Other albums, such as "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer" and "Switched-On Brandenburgs", were released in the following years. Carlos continued to release Moog-synthesized albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

3. How did Wendy Carlos create these albums?

Wendy Carlos used a Moog modular synthesizer, which was one of the first commercially available synthesizers. She would program the instrument to produce specific sounds and then record them onto tape. She also used multitrack recording techniques to layer different sounds and create complex compositions.

4. What impact did these albums have on the music industry?

Wendy Carlos's Moog-synthesized classics had a significant impact on the music industry, as they helped introduce electronic instruments into mainstream music. These albums also demonstrated the potential of electronic music and inspired many musicians to experiment with synthesizers and other electronic instruments.

5. What is Wendy Carlos's legacy in the world of electronic music?

Wendy Carlos is considered a pioneer in the world of electronic music. Her use of the Moog synthesizer and her innovative compositions helped pave the way for the development of electronic music as a genre. She also inspired many other musicians to explore the possibilities of electronic instruments in their own music.

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