The evolution of synthesizers 1963-1995


One may always debate whether a new book is needed on the subject, but it has apparently not refrained the authors for providing this new read. The book titled Synthesizer Evolution: From Analogue to Digital (and Back) celebrates the evolution of the electronic instrument and its impact on music culture.

From acid house to prog-rock, there is no form of modern popular music that hasn’t been propelled forwards by the synthesizer. As a result, they have long been objects of fascination, desire and reverence for keyboard players, music producers and fans of electronic music alike. Whether looking at an imposing modular system or posing with a DX7 on Top of the Pops, the synth has also always had an undeniable physical presence.

The book charts a time period from 1963 to 1995, featuring hand drawn illustrations of every major synth, drum machine and sampler that was released in this time alongside detailed descriptions. It’s written and illustrated by London-based musician, artist and author Oli Freke and comes out via Velocity Press on January 8, 2021.

Oli Freke said: “This book has grown out of a life-long obsession with synthesizers and electronic music, and it’s fantastic to be able to share this with my fellow synth obsessives and music fans who celebrate the synth’s role in modern music. I’m eternally grateful to Velocity Press for going with me on this journey and supporting the project so keenly.”

Find out more and pre-order it here.

Oli Freke

Oli Freke is a London based musician, artist and author who has had a life-long passion for analogue synthesizers and electronic music. He has spent twenty years in the music industry, variously supporting the Human League on tour with his electro band Cassette Electrik, writing music for television and recently seeing success with a string of dance tracks. His Synth Evolution posters, launched in 2017, have become a popular product among synth fans and he was commissioned to produce a version for the London Design Museum’s exhibition, Electronic – from Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers in 2020.