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Electrophone instruments

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Theremin

The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after its inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

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Synthesizer

A synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound. Synthesizers may imitate traditional musical instruments such as piano, flute, vocals, or natural sounds such as ocean waves; or generate novel electronic timbres. They are often played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, fingerboards, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, and electronic drums. Synthesizers without built-in controllers are often called sound modules, and are controlled via USB, MIDI or CV/gate using a controller device, often a MIDI keyboard or other controller.

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Digital audio workstation

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer. Regardless of configuration, modern DAWs have a central interface that allows the user to alter and mix multiple recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.

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Electric guitar

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, or taps the strings. The pickup used to sense the vibration generally uses electromagnetic induction to do so, though other technologies exist. In any case, the signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is fed to a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

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Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance. Along with the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster, it is one of the most-often emulated electric guitar shapes. "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender.

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Gibson Les Paul

The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The Les Paul was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and their team, along with guitarist/inventor Les Paul. Its design typically comprises a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.

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Roland TR-808

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer is a drum machine introduced by the Roland Corporation in 1980 and discontinued in 1983. It was one of the earliest drum machines that allowed users to program their own rhythms instead of using preset patterns. Unlike its nearest competitor at the time, the more expensive Linn LM-1, the 808 generates sounds using analog synthesis rather than playing samples.

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Mellotron

The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England, in 1963. It evolved from a similar instrument, the Chamberlin, but could be mass-produced more effectively. The instrument is played by pressing its keys, each of which presses a length of magnetic tape against a capstan, drawing it across a playback head. Then as the key is released, the tape is retracted by a spring to its initial position. Different portions of the tape can be played to access different sounds.

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Fender Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster, colloquially known as the Tele, is the world's first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950, it was the first guitar of its kind manufactured on a substantial scale and has been in continuous production in one form or another since its first incarnation.

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Hammond organ

The Hammond organ is an electric organ, invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to specify a variety of sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs generated sound by creating an electric current from rotating a metal tonewheel near an electromagnetic pickup, and then strengthening the signal with an amplifier so it can drive a speaker cabinet. Around two million Hammond organs have been manufactured. The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker.

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Stylophone

The Stylophone is a miniature analog stylus-operated keyboard. Invented in 1967 by Brian Jarvis, it entered production in 1968, manufactured by Dubreq. It consists of a metal keyboard played by touching it with a stylus—each note being connected to a voltage-controlled oscillator via a different-value resistor—thus closing a circuit. The only other controls were a power switch and a vibrato control on the front panel beside the keyboard, and a tuning control on the rear. Some three million Stylophones were sold, mostly as children's toys, but were occasionally used by professional musicians.

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Moog synthesizer

Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems in the mid 1960s. The technological development that led to the creation of the Moog synthesizer was the invention of the transistor, which enabled researchers like Moog to build electronic music systems that were considerably smaller, cheaper and far more reliable than earlier vacuum tube-based systems.

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Talk box

A talk box is an effects unit that allows musicians to modify the sound of a musical instrument by shaping the frequency content of the sound and to apply speech sounds onto the sounds of the instrument. Typically, a talk box directs sound from the instrument into the musician's mouth by means of a plastic tube adjacent to their vocal microphone. The musician controls the modification of the instrument's sound by changing the shape of the mouth, "vocalizing" the instrument's output into a microphone.

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Vocoder

A vocoder is a category of voice codec that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, multiplexing, voice encryption, voice transformation, etc.

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Drum machine

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that creates percussion. Drum machines may imitate drum kits or other percussion instruments, or produce unique sounds. Most modern drum machines allow users to program their own rhythms. Drum machines may create sounds using analog synthesis or play prerecorded samples.