A sound synthesizer (often abbreviated as "synthesizer" or "synth") is an electronic instrument capable of producing a wide range of sounds. Synthesizers may either imitate other instruments ("imitative synthesis") or generate new timbres. They can be played (controlled) via a variety of different input devices (including keyboards, music sequencers and instrument controllers). Synthesizers generate electric signals (waveforms), and can finally be converted to sound through loudspeakers or headphones.
Etymology and Alternative Spellings
Sticks, Mallets, Beaters