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1970s synths in SF films May 23, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Different SF. This from reverb.com (a fantastic site, and thanks to Joe Mooney for the lead) has some great insights into the use of synths in 1970s science fiction film. It’s a genuinely fascinating area to me because I mess around with Logic Pro and have a number of AU’s including a nice Oberheim OB-8 emulation that does Tangerine Dream/Gary Numan sounds to perfection if that’s your thing. But as the piece notes, the OB-8 like the Yamaha CS-80 was polyphonic and appeared in the late 1970s. Go back a few years before that and the synthesisers were a bit more rudimentary, though no less evocative and capable of creating remarkable music. It mentions Dark Star, Logan’s Run, A Clockwork Orange (particularly brilliant – Wendy Carlos), Solaris, Phase IV and Close Encounters of the Third Kind – and read the site to find out just how that is quite a misleading albeit entertaining example.

Mentioned in passing is Bladerunner from 1982, whose music and visual motifs suffused television for a good decade or more after. And there’s an interesting question, because of course the single most influential SF film of the 1970s, that being Star Wars, used orchestral music on its soundtrack. And to good effect (as did Star Wars: The Motion Picture some years later).


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