Interesting Brian Eno quote regarding synth design

i think he’s totally overrated, but ht was in right place at right time with a synth people were interested in using… but not programming.

obviously hes massively successful. what do i know…

Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder and if there are many of them, that’s it. The beautiful thing about music is that you never know this in advance. And even if his music is not to your taste, who knows, maybe he inspired many others whose music you actually like :slightly_smiling_face:

Can we take a second to appreciate what a flex Brian eno’s signature is .


Brian Eno was using a JMS DX programmer for his DX7 (w. real-time control for each parameter):

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He’s so comfortable with that Eventide, he could use it upside down…


Sequential said that the majority of Prophets that came in for repairs in the 80s only had stock presets too, and I think that is a pretty good interface (though from a different time when musicians hadnt adjusted to the tech yet)

Eno is probably talking about the DX7 though of course

I really don’t want to debate but share a fact that I rarely save presets on say, my OB6. I sometimes use presets, most often tweak my old sound, either from scratch or deriving from a preset. I lately save presets on say 2 slots when working on a piece, and when done overwrite them for the next piece.

Yet I find the interface of the OB6 brilliantly simple to tune in a good sound :wink:

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Oh, it MUST be the DX7. The design of it was so alien to its users at the time that it severely damaged the synth/keys work in majority of the top list songs for almost a decade.

A11, the most evil of all presets, was used in its pure form or through a cousin interpretation in close to 90% of all top 10 billboard tracks 83-93-ish.

The DX7 design was a perfect example for me to use in a “Designing for intermediate users” work/paper to illustrate the importance of knowing the users, experience curves and to balance UX-driven requirements vs more technical and sales-driven ones in a solid way.

Us oldies still have scars from all those cheesy power ballads :grin:.


I think he meant the dx7 too - and as someone pointed out above he did have an external controller (not sure if he also programmed it from the panel too). Another quote (from musicradar article linked above):

“I use the DX7 because I understand it. I was quite ill for a while, and I filled the time by learning it. I think it’s just as good as anything else. Sticking with this is choosing rapport over options. I know that there are theoretically better synths, but I don’t know how to use them. I know how to use this. I have a relationship with it.”

And this is very much against the common give-me-all-the-features-ever mindset often found on synth gear boards:

“I’m always saying to synthesizer people, ‘why don’t you make a synth that makes just six great sounds, has a couple of tone controls, but has lots of ways of articulating? Why don’t you build them with switchable degrees of reliability, so instead of using all 2% tolerance, gold resistors, you make them with 2%, 5% and 15% circuits that you can switch between? So that if you want a completely linear response, 2% is what you use?’


…whatever he was referring to, let’s face it…only 2 out of 10 are actually working beyond the given selection of presets if a tool is offering such thing…

all first signs of conformity in modern pop music started along with first mass produced synth like dx7 and m1…

Lol. He’s the Jimi Hendrix of the H3000!


That’s kind of a weird map, which I find oddly distracting


I’m not sure if he was planning out a war with, or against Boards of Canada.

“Midjourney, give me Brian Eno dressed as Paul Atreides, riding a glacier in Greenland like it’s a Shia Hulud”

“The ice must flooooooooow”

Most be a subscriber to the “the south equator doesn’t exist” camp.

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I’m guessing the studio shot was mid to late ‘90s judging by the Mac. Digitech and Zoom FX, plus a Lexicon Jam Man (I think) and an E-mu Proteus. Anyone know what the mixing desk is? Looks like Soundcraft or Soundtracs to me.

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I think he still uses the Digitech. He loved that thing.

There’s a couple of Digitech fx in there. The 2u black one at the top is a Studio 400 released in 1996 - Digitech Studio 400

And the blue 1u in the middle of the rack I think is an S100 released in 1998 - Digitech S100

I’m off to get a life, though I fear it may be too late.

Samples From Mars needs to sample that next.

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Isn’t it funny that they were even looking for user patches? For what purpose? Farming? Maybe pro users knew about this and deleted theirs’ before servicing.

If I’m sending in gear for repairs, it’s pretty likely that I’ll have done a full backup and factory reset as part of the troubleshooting beforehand anyway, especially with something like a DX7, so I’d imagine most ones sent in would be similarly factory fresh in the preset department.