Sound Theory -

West Coast vs East Coast Synthesis

Today we will be talking about West vs East Coast Synthesis and the significance of the two different styles.

These two different approaches to workflow stem from Bob Moog (East Coast, NY) and Don Buchla (West Coast, CA) in the 1960s and are important to synthesizer theory due to their philosophical and technical approach. 

West Coast Synthesis revolves around the idea of Additive Synthesis, Wave Shaping and Dynamic Depth FM (Frequency Modulation) Synthesis. 

    • Features Low Pass Gate (LPG) 
      • Essentially a Voltage Controlled Filter Amplifier (VCFA)
    • AD/AR (Attack-Decay/Attack-Release)
    • Unique Touch Based Sequencer 
      • Experimental Sequencing Capabilities

East Coast Synthesis revolves around the idea of Subtractive Synthesis oriented around a filter that removes specific frequencies to get the desired result.

    • VCO-VCF-VCA with ADSR Envelope Generators.
    • Simple Waveforms such as Sawtooth, Sine or Square
    • Designed to be utilized by a black/white keyboard 
    • Classic Step Sequencer