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Jack Hertz

Topic: RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer

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The RCA combined diverse electronic sound generation with a music sequencer, which provided a huge attraction to composers of the day, many of whom were growing tired of creating electronic works by splicing together individual sounds recorded on sections of magnetic tape. The RCA Mark II featured a fully automated binary sequencer using a paper tape reader analogous to a player piano, that would send instructions to the synthesizer, automating playback of the machine. The synthesizer would then output sound to a synchronized shellac record lathe next to the machine. The resulting recording would then be compared against the punch-tape score, and the process would be repeated until the desired results were obtained.

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