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I have not contributed much to this article, but it needs some desperate help. I happen to be interested in the subject and have the Wikipedia skills to bring this up to Featured Article status. Obviously it's a mess right now - and I am looking for some help to restructure and rewrite this article. Any general comments on where to start would be good. So far, I have rewritten the lead (but even that could be improved far beyond what I have done just as a start).
Comments from La Pianista (talk · contribs)
Sorry for the delay! I've been away for a while (maybe I should have put a notice on my userpage?). Anyhow, to cut to the chase...there were a few minor things that I felt were too detailed to put here, so I've stepped in to tweak them myself. Below are either explanations for my edits or a few clarifications that need to be made by someone who knows more about the topic.
- "By contrast, an instrument that primarily records and plays back samples is called a sampler. If a sample playback instrument does not record or process samples as a synthesizer, it is a rompler." To be blunt, I don't understand the need to define a sampler and rompler if you already have them bluelinked. Tricky, tricky...see if you can elaborate it.
If there's one thing I can say in general, it's cite, cite, cite. Many sentences and paragraphs need to be sourced if you would like to see this as FA someday.(Never mind, that's been mentioned) "the sound is horrible with mostly noise..." Peacock, peacock. Try describing how horrible it is, preferably in a way that isn't too POV. "Following the success of Yamaha's licensing of Stanford's FM synthesis patent, Yamaha signed a contract with Stanford University in 1989 to jointly develop digital waveguide synthesis. As such, most patents related to the technology are owned by Stanford or Yamaha. A physical modeling synthesizer was first realized commercially with Yamaha's VL-1, which was released in 1994." What place does this paragraph have under "Physical modeling synthesizer"? It would best be put under "History" somewhere.
- I have done a few things (struck those out). I am in the process of sorting out the History section, and citing all of it (always takes a while to find good sources for everything). Thanks for your help so far. — Wackymacs (talk) 18:51, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Comments from La Pianista (talk · contribs) (cont.)
- If there's one thing in general, try to avoid the use of "very" in an encyclopedia. I think some philosopher (I can't remember whom) said that it was the most banal in the English language... I've changed a few of them, but I may have missed some.
- "By 1976, the first true music synthesizers to offer polyphony had begun to appear, most notably in the form of the Yamaha GX1, CS-50, CS-60 and Yamaha CS-80 and the Oberheim Four-Voice. These early instruments were very complex, heavy, and costly. Another feature that began to appear was the recording of knob settings in a digital memory, allowing the changing of sounds quickly." is a little awkward, especially the placing of the second sentence. I'm afraid I don't know how to change it for the better without adding false "however"'s (in other words, "however"s without a point.) Catch?
- "When microprocessors first appeared on the scene in the early 1970s, they were expensive and difficult to apply." This sentence looks out of place, but I'm not tech-savvy enough to figure out where to put it. As a general advice, it has to fit best chronologically and logically.
- "As such, most patents related to the technology are owned by Stanford or Yamaha." Here, "as such" is a tad awkward. Anything else that is comprehensible will probably fit better.
- It's probably best to link some of the terms instead of defining them within the article (e.g. MIDI). But that's just my opinion - it all depends on style.
- "It provides for the transmission from one device or instrument to another of real-time performance data. This data includes note events, commands for the selection of instrument presets (i.e. sounds, or programs or patches, previously stored in the instrument's memory), the control of performance-related parameters such as volume, effects levels and the like, as well as synchronization, transport control and other types of data." is awfully long. I've done my part, but maybe a little technical shortening (not of the cooking type =D) will do.
- Current ref 10 "1970 Robert Moog Moog..." is lacking publisher information
- Main problem is a big lack of citations. It's not close to the standard required for GA citations, much less FA standards. The sources look good, what there are of them.
Ruhrfisch comments: As requested here are my comments. Agree that there need to be many more refs. Since you are expanding the lead, make sure it follows WP:LEAD. Here are some more ideas:
- References need to follow punctuation, so it should be The first electric synthesizer was invented in 1876 by American inventor Elisha Gray, (not the current ...Elisha Gray, See WP:CITE
- The WP:MOS says not to repeat the title of the article in headers, so "How a synthesizer works" should be changed. perhaps to "How it works" or "Sound synthesis" and the whole series under "Types of synthesis" is problematic
- Ref 1 needs publisher info too
- "Impact on the music industry and culture" seems to end in the 1980s - have there been no hits using synthesizers since or impacts on culture since?
- I now notice that the most recent date in the whole article seems to be 1994 - needs more recent information.
- Physical modeling synthesizer section is quite short - can it be expanded or combined with another section?
- Seems to have a fair amount of information in it, so once it is properly cited, updated, and copy edited, should be much better.
- Any chance of a picture of someone actually playing one?
- The semi-automated peer review above has several useful suggestions on MOS issues.