EMEAPP Institute Project:

The Real (Objective, Technical) Reasons for the Characteristic Sound of Vintage Instruments and Other Gear

Description: Why does a Moog sound like a Moog, or an Arp sound like an Arp? The characteristic sound qualities of vintage instruments is being widely discussed these days in forums ranging from informal online discussions to rigorous academic discourse. In our experience, though, there is a great deal of lore about the characteristic sounds of vintage instruments, and speculation about their underpinnings, that has not been definitively investigated, or which a lack of consensus exists. And there is in any case an opportunity for EMEAPP to help collate, disseminate, and in some cases extend what definitive results have been obtained previously.

The EMEAPP Institute therefore undertakes rigorous analysis of the sounds of vintage instruments and gear, including acoustical analysis of the structure of sounds, and the circuitry and electromechanical design elements that cause these sounds. While we might not always be able to create definitive consensus about the sound of such and such an instrument, we hope to shed some light, and in some cases, maybe even produce a few revelations!

In these efforts we utilize analysis techniques such as spectral evolution analysis, A/B listening tests, circuit modeling, and electromechanical modeling. We write our own computer codes where needed, and consult with a wide variety of experts.

Project Status: This project is a permanent and long-time effort.