The Synclavier System was an early digital synthesizer and polyphonic digital Sampling system (musical instrument), manufactured by New England Digital Corporation, Norwich, VT. The original design and development of the Synclavier prototype occurred at Dartmouth College with the collaboration of Professor Jon Appleton, Professor of Digital Electronics, Sydney A. Alonso, and Dartmouth, Theyer School of Engineering student software programmer, Cameron Jones. First released in approximately 1975-1976  it proved to be highly influential among both electronic music composers and music producers, most notably Mike Thorne, an early adopter from the commercial world, due to its versatility, its cutting-edge technology, and distinctive sounds.
The early Synclavier Digital Synthesizer used FM synthesis. The system evolved in its next generation of product, which was released in early 1980 with the strong influence of master synthesist and music producer Denny Jaeger of Oakland, CA. It was originally Jaeger's suggestion that the FM synthesis concept be extended to allow four simultaneous channels or voices of synthesis to be triggered with one key depression to allow the final synthesized sound to have much more harmonic series activity. This change greatly improved the overall sound design of the system and was very noticeable. The company evolved the system continuously through the early 1980s to integrate the first 16-bit digital sampling system to magnetic disk, and eventually a 16-bit polyphonic sampling system to memory, as well. The company's product was the only digital sampling system that allowed sample rates to go as high as 100 Khz for full digital sound quality, which was unsurpassed and frequently complimented by leading sound design and music recording engineers, who make up the Who's Who of modern music and sound effect recording. Ultimately, the system was referred to as the Synclavier Digital Recording "Tapeless Studio" system among many professionals. There is absolutely no doubt that the Synclavier System was "the" pioneer system in revolutionizing the movie and television sound effects and Foley effects methods of design and production starting at Glen Glenn Sound. Although pricing made it inaccessible for most musicians, it found widespread use among producers and professional recording studios, competing at times in this market with such high-end production systems as the Fairlight CMI.
Synclavier PSMT & VPK
When the company launched and evolved its technology, there were no off-the-shelf computing systems and integrated software and sound cards. Consequently, all of the hardware from the company's main real-time CPU, all input and output cards, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog cards and all of its memory cards, and more, were all developed internally, as well as all of the software. This was certainly a monumental task at best in those times. In fact, the hardware and software of the company's real-time capability was used in other fields completely remote to music, such as the main Dartmouth Campus computing node computers for one of the nation's first campus-wide computing networks, and in medical data acquisition research projects.
New England Digital ceased operations in 1993, the bulk of the assets purchased by Fostex of Japan. Though Synclavier is no longer manufactured, around fifty systems are still in use today.
Notable Synclavier users
- Christopher Boyes - Supervising sound editor/sound designer for the film Avatar, used the Synclavier for blending or layering different sound effects and matching pitches.
- Paul Davis - singer/songwriter, producer at Monarch Sound in Atlanta
- Patrick Gleeson – film score composer, used the Synclavier to score Apocalypse Now.
- Imogen Heap - Singer/Songwriter uses Synclavier extensively. It can be heard on her Hit "Hide & Seek" 
- Michael Hoenig – film scoring work on the Synclavier, including The Wraith
- Trevor Horn – used the Synclavier to produce records by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Yes, and Grace Jones (Slave to the Rhythm), among others.
- Michael Jackson – particularly on his 1982 album Thriller, programming by Steve Porcaro, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli. The gong sound at the beginning of "Beat It" comes courtesy of the Synclavier.
- Mark Knopfler – The Princess Bride (1987) – With the exception of the guitar sounds, every sound you hear is generated by the Synclavier, including hand claps etc. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) – All sounds except guitar and horns produced by the Synclavier. Tracking for On Every Street was completed on a Synclavier.
- John McLaughlin used it on the albums Adventures in Radioland and Mahavishnu
- Pat Metheny – American jazz guitarist
- Jean-Luc Ponty – Used the Synclavier on many albums between 1983 and 1993.
- Danny Quatrochi used Synclavier on Sting's album The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985).
- Gary Rydstrom – used the Synclavier for sound design, as seen in a bonus featurette on the Monsters, Inc. DVD
- Howard Shore, film score composer – pictured with a Synclavier on the cover of Berklee Today, Fall 1997 
- Alan Silvestri – in producing the scores for the 1980s films The Clan of the Cave Bear and Flight of the Navigator.
- Paul Simon – on Simon's 1983 album Hearts and Bones, Tom Coppola is credited for Synclavier for the following tracks: "When Numbers Get Serious," "Think Too Much (b)," "Song About the Moon" and "Think Too Much (a)," and  is credited with Synclavier on "Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War." On his 1986 album Graceland, Paul [Simon] is credited under "Synclavier" for the following tracks: "I Know What I Know" and "Gumboots"
- Mark Snow – film and television score composer; Synclavier used on The X-Files.
- Mike Thorne – producer, first musician to buy a Synclavier, used it on records by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Soft Cell ("Tainted Love"), Marc Almond, and Bronski Beat, among others
- Stevie Wonder – In an episode of The Cosby Show, Wonder records different snippets of the Huxtable's voices onto his Synclavier.
- Frank Zappa – in 1982 one of the first Synclavier owners; 1984's Thing-Fish (underscoring), Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger (underscoring) and Francesco Zappa (solely Synclavier); 1985's Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention (sampled sounds); 1986's Grammy-winning album Jazz from Hell ("St. Etienne" excepted, solely Synclavier).
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