- Anne Beetem Acker
Modular synthesizer manufacturer owned and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Grant Richter (b Racine, WI, 1956). Richter, a design engineer at Micronetics International, Inc. from 1990 to 1999, collects vintage synthesizer equipment and was a founding member of the Midwestern Electronic Music Ensemble (MEME). Wiard produces two series of modules (all with a distinctive blue front panel with a Celtic knot design): the custom-order 300 line and the less expensive, less versatile FracRac-compatible 1200 line. Richter describes the Wiard system as a cross between the ARP 2600 and Buchla Music Easel. Production of the 1200 series ended in March 2012, but several module designs have been licensed to other manufacturers. The popular Miniwave, a wave table audio and control voltage processor, licenced to Blacet Research, makes use of EPROMS (erasable programmable read-only memories) to hold 256 waves that can be tailored to specific functions, either using available wavetables, or by programming the EPROMS with Richter’s Wave256 software. The synthesizer module manufacturer Malekko is reissuing early Wiard designs in Eurorack format....