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date: 11 July 2020


  • Hugh Davies


A digital synthesizer developed by the Finnish composer and electronic designer Erkki Kurenniemi (b Hämeenlinna, 1941), with Jukka Ruohomäki (b 1947), and manufactured by Digelius Electronics in Helsinki between 1971 and the late 1970s. An early example of the digital synthesizer, the Dimi resembles neither more recent digital instruments nor the analogue synthesizers of its own period. On a small tablet (40 × 40 cm) a printed circuit is laid out in a fan shape, with 46 terminations; a stylus is used to make all interconnections and operate all controls through the tablet (though the tablet and stylus may be replaced by an alphanumeric keyboard). The system also includes a television screen, which can receive input from a television camera; the graphic images shown on the screen can then be converted into sound, in a manner analogous to the techniques of graphic sound. The Dimi contains a range of modules similar to those on a small modular synthesizer, as well as a memory, which can be used as a rhythm generator. A recording ‘DIMI 1’, featuring Ruohomäki as performer in works by Bach, Kurenniemi, and Ruohomäki, was released in ...

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