I think its exciting times for analog hardware synths especially as digital synthesis development in hardware has stopped.
I'm not sure this "stopped" is true. Plenty of good, relatively new digital synths out there. Roland, Korg, Novation, and more. Yep, a limited number, but in that sense it is like the analog manufacturers. Of course, digital hardware is always in competition with software synths, and there have been some very fine VST synths released this past year.
Yes Anthony "stopped" is a bit abrupt.....its more a "stopped" personally speaking. I haven't seen anything that has grabbed my attention since the Hartmann Neuron. I had the software with the joystick controller. In one sense the Neuron Keyboard was a soft synth with a very stylized and expensive user interface as I believe it was run by a pc internally. For me the Neuron was a major development in digital synthesis and something I have not seen since.
John Bowen has created the Solaris which is digital...I haven't heard it but if it is digital technology emulating analog then Im not sure I would call that a development imho.
I have always felt that digital would be the touch bearer for synthesis development and it has in software. I love my Virus TI and the sounds it produces but for me its not a torch bearer.
Of all the synths I have used the Oberheim Matrix 12 / Xpander still stands as a unique synth that was lock in time and never developed further. And thats ok....however programming and play it is an experience that no other synth Ive used has equalled considering it was created nearly 30 years ago
In this light one could argue the new Prophet 12 is no synthesis revolution.....looks very special but the technology under the cover is "old school" yet put together in a new way perhaps.
Actually I believe the Buchla 200e has memory.
The 200e does have memory but you still have to repatch everything, it only remembers the settings for each module. I started learning the art of synthesist first on a Moog modular and then on an old Buchla 100 system. I try to take a sort of zen approach to modulars, a patch is here one day and gone the next. You can literally start with a clean slate at any time.
That makes sense...how can a memory module remember where a physical patch cable was.
I was really fortunate to own a 3 panel Serge system and what was unusual was the ability to stack the banana plugs, something that is true for the Buchla systems as well. I can recall having up to six banana plugs coming out of one jack on a Universal Slope Generator....serge speak for a strange and wonderful LFO, well sort of an LFO but much more. Programming the Serge modular became almost 3 dimensional. Layer one was the initial patch with plugs in contact with the various jacks and then the was the next possible layer.....banana plugs into banana plugs.....and the next layer. TRS and mini jack systems have patch bay type modules to do the same thing but for me the Serge system offered a way of seeing the physical sonic layers of a patch.