Google launches spectacular free online electronic music exhibition, featuring playable AR vintage synths

Best of 2021: As if to try and make the rest of the online music technology press look primitive in comparison - thanks guys - Google has launched Music, Makers and Machines, a lavish, interactive electronic music exhibition that celebrates the genre’s rich and varied history.

This is being hosted on the company’s Google Arts & Culture platform, and covers electronic music’s inventors, artists, sounds and technology. It’s been created with the help of more than 50 international institutions, including The Bob Moog Foundation’s Moogseum.

One of the highlights is the AR synth, an experiment that enables you to make music with five classic pieces of music technology hardware in 3D or augmented reality. Specifically, we’re talking about the Moog Memorymoog, ARP Odyssey, Fairlight CMI, Akai S900 and Roland CR-78.

All of these devices can be dragged into a virtual space and come with their own step sequencers. There are basic sound tweaking controls, too.

Other highlights include 3D, spinnable images of 22 classic synths, 360-degree tours, countless photos and videos and profiles of some of the key figures, tracks, places and genres in electronic music history. It’s a real treasure trove, basically, and something you could easily lose hours to.

You can dive into the Music, Makers and Machines exhibition on your desktop now. Mobile users can access it from the Google Arts & Culture app that’s available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. There are also lesson plans for teachers and students.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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