Synthesiser – the history!

The synthesisers been the icon of many a 1980’s music fan. Indeed, Chase Music were iconic for them back in the day. They did not, however, find themselves fame properly until Yamaha (who are, of course, now widely known for their fantastic range of digital pianos and keyboards) released the Synth DX7.

Synthesisers complete history
Synth – the icon of the 1980’s

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Benedetti takes the UK by storm

Today seems to be a day for violins in music news. Nicola Benedetti has hit the headlines with news that her UK tour was a sell out.

Nicola Benedetti

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Chase Direct – The UK’s Number One Digital Piano Retailer

Chase Direct is Britain’s Number One Digital Piano Retailer

Chase Direct was founded back in 1978 by musician Amrik Singh, and from the very beginning it was clear that the company was destined to be something big. The speciality was originally based on and around synthesisers and electric organs which were all the rage back in the 70s and 80s and proved to be incredibly popular! Throughout the years, Chase Music was the biggest synthesiser retailer in the country and produced a number of award winning models that were favoured by the stars of the day (including Queen, Madness, Bad Company, and Kate Bush to name just a few). There were Chase Direct shops scattered across the country so you were never more than a stone’s throw away from your nearest synthesiser and organ retailer!

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Frankfurt Review 1986

FRANKFURT NEWS

Exhibition Special – 1986

CHASE BIT MASTERKEYBOARD IS DEVISTATING

Frankfurt Review

 

As the third and final post on the 1986 Frankfurt review, here is a review of the CHASE BIT MASTERKEYBOARD. It received critical acclaim and will go down in the books of synthesiser history as a legend. If you are looking for an instrument that will provide you with some of the features of a synthesiser and at a superb price, you answer is probably a digital piano. Electric pianos and keyboards come in a whole range of prices and with an expansive range of features! Have a look at the Chase P40 or Chase P55 and see what you think!

The Frankfurt Review

The power of this keyboard is devastating, the price is incredible. Outperforming every other Masterkeyboard up to nearly £2000 it retails at less than £600.

 

With complete MIDI implementation, the extensive R and D programme has produced The Keyboard Players Masterkeyboard. Fully weighted with dynamics, aftertouch and two split points, it encorporates a powerful 4000 note 4-track sequencer.

REAL MIDI 2

The MIDI is very thorough having MIDI in, programmable MIDI out channels – not “parallel” but “real” to cut down transmission delay when controllingup to 16 other keyboards or synth modules.

 

WYSIWYG

But perhaps above all, the beauty of the Chase Bit Masterkeyboard is in its visualisation of what is going on. You can in theory use any MIDI keyboard to control any other MIDI keyboard – but to find out what is going on and carry out adjustments is a minefield – especially when you may be controlling more than just one.

At Frankfurt, Chase demonstrated the full control, status reporting and simple addressability of all 16 synth modules linked to the Masterkeyboard.

 

THE CHASE BIT STORY

Also on show at the Frankfurt Review were the two instruments that this season, are taking the UK by storm, the Chase Bit 99 and Chase Bit Synth Module plus a prototype for the new Sampling Keyboard due out late Autumn which, from its specification, will outperform virtually everything on the market.

Siel Synth from Chase!

FRANKFURT REVIEW

SIEL DK70

-Chase stole the show, and here’s why:-

As the second half of yesterday’s post, here is another archived advert for the Siel DK70 from the highly successful 1986 Frankfurt review from Chase Music. Chase’s main speciality back in the 1980s was synthesizers and this is a perfect example of one. As it has been stated many times before, although Chase now specialises in digital pianos and portable keyboards, there are a whole range of electronic pianos with features not dissimilar to those of the synths that Chase used to sell, for example the Chase P40! Like back in the 80s, Chase Music still has a showroom where you can come and try a whole range of excellent digital pianos from a range of brands!!

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The BIT ONE Synthesizer

As we know, Chase Music used to specialise not in digital pianos, as they do today, but in synthesizers. As one of the world’s leading authorities on synthesizers, they produced the legendary BIT ONE synthesiser which won many awards and was simply a top notch piece of kit. Today, the standard of musical instrument at Chase Music is no less impressive and a wide range of offers on outstanding digital pianos and electronic keyboards are available.Chase BIT ONE Synthesizer Continue reading “The BIT ONE Synthesizer”

80s Master Synthesizer

From Synthesizer to Digital Piano

Back in the 80s Chase Music was known for its synthesizers which were internationally award winning. Having founded the London Synthesizer School, synthesizers made by Chase Music were some of the top synthesizers in the world. Today, Chase is still up and running, but the speciality is now digital pianos and portable keyboards. Chase electric pianos are some of the top in their field and boast a whole range of features, some of which are reminiscent of those of a synthesizer, for example the Chase P-40. This brilliant advert is for the Chase Bit 99 synthesizer from 1985; Continue reading “80s Master Synthesizer”

Organs from Chase

Although Chase Music is now known for its speciality in electric pianos and portable keyboards, this hasn’t always been the case. Throughout the 70s and 80s Chase Music specialised Organ advertmainly in synthesisers, but also had a range of excellent organs. A number of outstanding deals were offered to try to encourage keen musicians to learn to play this fantastic instrument. A predecessor of the modern electronic piano, the electric organ boasted a number of features that are incredibly similar to Chase’s line of digital pianos today.

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Meet Mr Synthesiser

Another synthesiser interview! Following the rediscovery of a plethora of old magazines from business man Mr ‘Synthesiser’ Singh last week, another interview from the 80s has resurfaced. Mr Singh talks about what to look for in a synthesiser and how to tell whether or not you are getting value for your money!

 

MEET MR. SYNTHESISER

AMRIK SINGH

CHOOSING A SYNTH UNDER £300

Article from London V.C.O, March 1980

Synthesiser magazine

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Meet ‘ Mr Synthesiser ’ Amrik Singh

The London Synthesiser Center was the center for all things synthesiser back in the 70s and after uncovering some long-forgotten archive material, an interview with the company’s director Amrk Singh, from the 70s has come to light. It is amazing to think how far the synthesiser has come since then, and to see how often this incredible instrument is still in use. It was only two months ago when the world acclaimed composer and performer Sara Lowes premiered her long-awaited Graphine Suite which made full use of a synthesiser and a digital piano. The unusual orchestration of the composition created a wonderful sound that somehow managed to marry something like Pink Floyd with Queen’s Flash soundtrack. The piece was enhanced massively by the use of a synthesiser, which just goes to show – synthesisers are not dead!

You’ve been called Mr Synthesiser, but are you actually a player?

Yes I like to play as often as I can. I’ve been playing for about ten years although I actually stumbled onto the synth by accident. I’ve been playing music since I was a child – playing both Indian and Western music. I was searching for a new instrument on which to

play religious music and the synthesiser was perfect.Synthesiser King Amrik Singh

Through the London Synthesiser Centres do you get the chance to form an opinion about the quality of the new generation of electronic keyboard players?

I’ve been extremely impressed with the standard of new players from all types of musical background. The synthesiser is no longer the secret weapon of the keyboard players’ arsenal – it is one of the first items that is considered. We get hundreds of young players in our stores who are considering buying a synthesiser as their very first instrument.

Isn’t the synthesiser a very expensive first instrument?

On the contrary, it has become one of the cheapest in the same way that calculators have become accessible to every schoolchild. Computer type technology and the infamous computer

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