Though it lacked an arbitrary sound-synthesis function, some have erroneously called it the first synthesizer.
Cahill's business was unsuccessful for various reasons, but similar and more compact instruments were subsequently developed, such as electronic and tonewheel organs including the Hammond organ, which was invented in 1935.
These instruments include the Solovox, Multimonica, Ondioline, and Clavioline.
In the late 1940s, Canadian inventor and composer, Hugh Le Caine invented the Electronic Sackbut, a voltage-controlled electronic musical instrument that provided the earliest real-time control of three aspects of sound (amplitude, pitch, and timbre)—corresponding to today's touch-sensitive keyboard, pitch and modulation controllers.
A synthesizer or synthesiser (often abbreviated to synth) is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound.
Synthesizers may imitate traditional musical instruments such as piano, flute, vocals, or natural sounds such as ocean waves; or generate novel electronic timbres.They are often played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, fingerboards, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, and electronic drums.Synthesizers without built-in controllers are often called sound modules, and are controlled via USB, MIDI or CV/gate using a controller device, often a MIDI keyboard or other controller.In this video, Alex Ball takes a look at synthesizing drum sounds, using analog synth modules.Ball demonstrates creating drum patches with a 1978 Roland System 100m modular synthesizer – but you can use a similar approach with other types of subtractive synths.Synthesizers use various methods to generate electronic signals (sounds).Among the most popular waveform synthesis techniques are subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, wavetable synthesis, frequency modulation synthesis, phase distortion synthesis, physical modeling synthesis and sample-based synthesis.Most of these early instruments used heterodyne circuits to produce audio frequencies, and were limited in their synthesis capabilities.The ondes martenot and trautonium were continuously developed for several decades, finally developing qualities similar to later synthesizers.In the 1930s and 1940s, the basic elements required for the modern analog subtractive synthesizers — electronic oscillators, audio filters, envelope controllers, and various effects units — had already appeared and were utilized in several electronic instruments.The earliest polyphonic synthesizers were developed in Germany and the United States.