Watch the great Wendy Carlos demonstrate her Moog synthesizer in 1970

Originally published at: Watch the great Wendy Carlos demonstrate her Moog synthesizer in 1970 | Boing Boing

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When I was a kid my folks bought a copy of Switched-On Bach, and I absolutely loved that album! I’m pretty sure that’s why I’ll still a huge fan of electronica today.

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Déjà vu (Reboing) @pesco

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Ah - male wig & phony sideburns at work before transitioning there - but likely transitioned everywhere else already. Probably binding her breasts as well.

I remember those days. Binding sucks. Especially in summer.

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Here is the story…

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A girl’s gotta eat.

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Kristen Wiig Yep GIF by Where’d You Go Bernadette

I can imagine it was a difficult thing to be getting famous for your work at the very same time you’re starting to transition in a world that’s hostile to your very existence.

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So - everywhere then. :wink:

But few as famous and public.

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Indeed.

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As an engineer, I find it interesting to hear signal waveforms described in terms of ‘bright’ or ‘trumpet-like’. Yet it’s important for understanding what sorts of signal processing are needed to make music of a certain type. I’m glad that they showed all the waveforms on an oscilloscope so that we could see what she’s talking about.

As an aside, the former KISS sound technician John Robison, in his book Look Me In the Eye, described his ability to design a circuit and both ‘see’ the waveform and ‘hear’ what it sounded like in his head as he was inventing and modifying effects pedals. It’s quite a useful skill to have if you’re in that field of work.

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You may ask “I wonder where that synthesizer is?” It is in the music department of a liberal arts college in New Jersey (assuming the one in the video is the actual one on which she performed “Switched-on Bach”:

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No, Drew University has the instrument used as a prop for the photoshoot for the album cover of S-OB, not Carlos’ own instrument, which she is using here, and which is still in her possession.

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There’s a now (to my understanding) unavailable TV video of a 1970 episode of The Dick Cavett Show. Peter Ustinov, and Wendy Carlos poorly disguised as a man, were the guests. Ustinov first, and then Wendy. From what I’ve read, Ustinov appeared “perplexed” as he continuously stared at Wendy during her interview. I suspect that what Ustinov saw, Cavett and the audience possibly saw… something that must have been on Wendy’s mind while on nationally televised TV. Yes, there’s the inevitable hostility to stand up to, but I can’t imagine the levels of desperation and stress and who knows what else Wendy went through during that transition period out in the open before coming out.

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Seriously! Have been huge fan for ages and never knew this. Epic shots

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She has a degree in Physics… so her interest in science is strong. :smiley:

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