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date: 02 June 2020


  • Hugh Davies


A polyphonic digital synthesizer developed by Dean Wallraff in the late 1970s and manufactured by his company Digital Music Systems of Boston, MA (originally Brooklyn, NY) beginning in 1980. The DMX-1000 was designed to be controlled by a master computer, such as the PDP 11 made by the Digital Equipment Corporation (which also forms part of the DMX-1010 package). The complete system includes a visual display unit, two disc drives, an alphanumeric keyboard and a real time control panel. The first commercially-produced digital synthesizer offering microprogramming, the DMX-1000 has a ‘transparent’ capability, permitting any combination of synthesizer modules to be programmed using the Music 1000 digital signal processing language (which was developed for the DMX-1000). It allows signal processing of synthesized, live, and pre-recorded sounds, and was used for speech synthesis. Faced with competition from Yamaha, Wallraff left the synthesizer business in the mid-1980s and turned first to composing, then to Internet distribution of educational software, and finally to practising law. (D. Wallraff: ‘The DMX-...

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