Chris Huggett is a British engineer and designer who co-founded Electronic Dream Plant (EDP), founded Oxford Synthesizer Company and who is currently design consultant for Novation Digital Music Systems, all manufacturers of audio synthesizers.
Electronic Dream Plant
In 1977, Huggett had been working for Ferrograph, for 3M in their digital multi-track division, and as a freelance studio maintenance engineer. He met up with synthesist Adrian Wagner (a descendant of the German composer Richard Wagner), who had ideas for an inexpensive synthesizer. Electronic Dream Plant (commonly abbreviated to EDP), a British sound synthesizer manufacturing firm in Oxfordshire was formed.
Huggett designed EDP's most successful product, the Wasp, a synthesizer with a hybrid digital VCO / analog VCF design. Employing a unique contact keyboard (with no moving parts), the Wasp was priced at £199, which was less than half the price of any comparable synth at the time Huggett later designed the Spider sequencer and the Gnat synthesizer before EDP's demise in the end of 1981 or 1982.
Oxford Synthesizer Company
After EDP, Huggett went on to form Oxford Synthesizer Company (OSC) with financing and management from his parents. He designed the OSC OSCar with Paul Wiffen and Anthony Harris-Griffin. The OSCar was intended to be an affordable yet sophisticated performance synthesizer with state-of-the-art sounds. The OSCar was a more substantial synthesizer than the Wasp, with dual oscillators and a full-size three-octave keyboard. The OSCar was also one of the first programmable synthesizers, and included both an arpeggiator and a step sequencer.
Huggett later moved on to Akai, where he wrote the operating system for the Akai S1000 sampler alongside David Cockerell, who designed the hardware. Huggett remained at Akai for successive models of Akai's rackmount sampler line, including the S3200, whose operating system he completed in 1993.
Novation Digital Music Systems
While working for Akai, Huggett provided advice and support to Novation's founders, working on the development of the BassStation, which had the Wasp filter in it. He later joined Novation full time to design the Novation Supernova. Huggett's involvement with Novation has continued through many of their hardware synths and MIDI controllers ever since, including the Nova family of synths and the ReMOTE & ReMOTE SL series of controllers.
- Paul Wiffen; Mark Vail. Vintage Synthesizers. , Miller Freeman, 1993. ISBN 978-0-87930-275-7.
- Mark Vail. Vintage Synthesizers. Backbeat Books, 2000. ISBN 978-0-87930-603-8.
- Julian Colbeck. Keyfax Omnibus Edition. MixBooks, 1996. ISBN 978-0-918371-08-9.
- Vail 1993, p. 54 (see also Vail 2000, p. 63)
- Colbeck 1996, p. 19
- Chris Carter. "EDP Wasp". Sound On Sound (February 1995).
- Vail 2000, p. 64: "... However, neither company lasted very long. By the end of 1981, production of Wasps, Spiders, Gnats, and Caterpillars had stopped. ..."
- Vail 1993, p. 56 (see also Vail 2000, p. 64: "In 1883, Huggett reemerged with the OSCar, produced by the Oxford Synthesizer Company, which was financed and run by Huggett's parents.")
- Colbeck 1996, p. 92
- Mark Cottle. "Introduction". The OSCar Homepage (airburst.co.uk).
- Vail 1993, p. 57 (see also Vail 2000, p. 64: "After working as a freelance programmer for Akai for over a decade, during which he created operating systems for their samplers, Chris Huggett is now on the design staff for Novation.")
- Paul Wiffen. "Oxford Synthesizer Company Oscar". Sound On Sound (September 1999).
- "Chris Huggett and the history of Novation" (PDF). Press Release. High Wycombe, UK: Novation. 2007-08-07.
If you look back at the Novation range of synthes, controllers and modules, there is one man who has been involved almost from the start. That man is Chris Huggett and he has been a major design influence in the Supernova 1&2, Nova, A- and K-Station, KS range, ReMOTE 25/25 Audio, X-Station, and the latest ReMOTE SL controller range with its revolutionary Automap mode ... But Chris' career didn't start with Novation - far from it! ...
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