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I don't think the article reads like an advert. I'm deleting the link to (it doesn't exist anymore) and to the synclavier yahoo group, as it also doesn't exist anymore. I have "inherited" a full blown synclavier system and will get it running soon. From there, I hope to revitalise a synclavier user group, early next year. I'll do what I can to update this article then as well, unless someone beats me to it. Hwarwick 02:03, 20 AUG 2007 (UTC)

Notable Synclavier users[edit]

I don't recall ever hearing of Kate Bush using a Synclavier (she was always a heavy Fairlight aficionado). BenedictPoole (talk) 13:19, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I take it back; Dave Lawson programmed for her on The Dreaming and The Red Shoes (at least)! BenedictPoole (talk) 21:16, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I've never heard of Imogen Heap using one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

What? No mention of Gary Numan? His albums from 1981-1983 were loaded with synclavier


Does't anyone have a better photo of a Synclavier? They looked quite pretty, design-wise. The current one looks like a 1960 tone generator – no keyboard, no monitor... Are Synclavier company photos still under copyright? -- megA (talk) 17:39, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

The photograph is actually a Synclavier I, which is a primarily academic system. The Synclavier II always had a keyboard, and the V/P Keyboard is an option for the Synclavier II, not the basis of the Synclavier II generation.

I have NED promotional literature for the Synclavier II in my files, but I don't know if the use of photos from that brochure is OK here. I know of a system near me that I could photograph, but I'd have to get around to it. MRJayMach (talk) 18:16, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I have a lot of information on the Synclavier, including boxed manual sets from the New England Digital days, as well as a PSMT Synclavier with polyphonic sampling, a Post Pro (Direct to Disk) and tons of spares and service parts. Feel free to contact me here for information and--while I'm not a service tech--I'll try to help out.Timecodejockeys (talk) 15:35, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

When did it ship?[edit]

The intro says 1975, the body says 1977-1978. Which is it? Does the Alles Machine pre-date it or not? Maury Markowitz (talk) 13:35, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

The early Synclavier (then called the Dartmouth Digital Sythesizer) was developed during the mid-70's, at the same time as the Alles machine. See Brown University bought the first system to go outside of Dartmouth, in mid-late 1978. (talk) 09:31, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

  • According to that source, NED's first product "ABLE computer" (dedicated processor for later Synclavier) developed in 1975, was sold for academic data-collection applications.
    Source: "SYNCLAVIER EARLY HISTORY". Synclavier European Services. 
  • According to Joel Chadabe's article on, he bought first Synclavier in September 1977.
    Source: Joel Chadabe (May 1, 2001). "The Electronic Century Part IV: The Seeds of the Future". Electronic Musician. Penton Media, Inc. 
    -- (talk) 20:40, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

I stand corrected regarding the first delivery of a Synclavier. My professor at Brown always told me that we bought the first one in mid-late 1978, but now I realize that Joel Chadabe had bought a keyboard-less one in September 1977. Ours was probably the first one with the keyboard and control panel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Series, modular[edit]

I think it's actually worth mentioning that there wasn't _A_ Synclavier, but a series of Synclavier systems from commercially available Synclavier II, 3200, PSMT, 9600 and PostPro. Since these systems were heavily modular, usually one could upgrade/advance system owned by adding cardcages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Words to watch...[edit]

"There is absolutely no doubt that the Synclavier System was "the" pioneer system in revolutionizing"...

Please check out the Wikipedia Style Guide. Otherwise, good article :)

Atom Bomb Speedster (talk) 09:35, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I removed the offending text - see WP:BEBOLD --hulmem (talk) 01:12, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

ABLE computer[edit]

With respect to the architecture of ABLE processor, there are two descriptions on Wikipedia:

  1. based on Data General Nova processor   (as written on Synclavier#Processor)
  2. based on Transport triggered architecture with a single instruction "MOVE from source to destination"   (as written on Transport triggered architecture#Implementations and its source)

After an addition of above 2nd hypothesis [1], I've received following message from a person who might be involved in the Synclavier software development. Currently I have not enough sources to judge these suggestions, so I'll quote a message before altering the descriptions of article, for later references by others. --Clusternote (talk) 00:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Quoted from my talk page:

Thanks for your suggestions, and sorry for my late response. For each suggestions, I think as follows:
  1. as for multiple cards configuration of ABLE processor, it seems not inconsistent to above two descriptions and other sources.
    Thus we should add your source on article, and also we can add additional details (ex. ABLE processor consists of 2 or 3 cards, including: "Sequencer", "Register module", and "Multiply/divide unit")
  2. the existence of "Scientific XPL compiler" derived from Data General XPL compiler, seems imply some relationships between ABLE and DG processor (Nova ?), and probably the NED's two manuals ("ABLE Series Hardware Reference Manual" and "Creating Programs for ABLE Series Computers") may provide the important hints for it. However still we need to verify the contents of these manuals.
    Thus, as a concession of the utmost, I propose the replacement of tag from current {{citation needed}} to {{verification needed}}.
  3. I'm prospecting for the designs of various campus made computers and early digital musical instruments. The architecture of ABLE processor seems provide important hints for how the enormous signal processing required on Synclavier was realized on the relatively limited computing power on mini-computer cards in 1970s.
    Thus, I think it is better to keep a mention to Transport triggered architecture article and its source, as possible as not inconsistent to your description. Or otherwise, we should follow Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
(Off Topic: I am currently trying to organize the details of models and options of Synclavier for this article, based on available references. I'm glad if you kindly commented on my later updates)
best, --Clusternote (talk) 03:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the enormous signal processing on a Synclavier and realization with mini-computer cards, you have an incorrect understanding of the Synclavier architecture. The waveforms are produced by the Synclavier Synthesizer cards (named SS1 through SS5). Each set of these five produced 8 mono FM voices (later variants supported stereo). The processor is only sending start-stop-setPitch-setParameter commands to the SS card set(s), as well as handling scanning of the keyboard and control panel. Hence this can be done with 1970's technology. For documentation, look at and notice how the processor and laboratory automation cards are described as being in the 'computer' bin, and the SS cards are described as being in the 'synthesizer' bin. There is little documentation available on these cards, as their design was the unique asset of the Synclavier. However, their structure was similar to other digital synthesizers of the mid-late 1970's realized in Medium Scale Integration (MSI) hardware. For a good overview of this field, see Foundations of Computer Music ( specifically the articles on pages 192-205 and on pages 206-224. Also see Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer. (talk) 07:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

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