A look at some of the new products revealed at the Musik Messe '83
Covering this year's Frankfurt Music Message was a demanding but nevertheless enjoyable task. Armed with cameras and tape recorder, E&MM visited each of the huge exhibition halls in turn, and in the few days available collected a treasure trove of information on what are likely to become the top selling musical products of 1983.
Our three-page feature in this issue is intended just to give a taste of what was there. Apart from new polyphonic synthesisers from Korg, Yamaha, Roland and Jen, there were new digital keyboards from Publison and Realton, organs from Yamaha, Solton, Crumar and many others, a vast range of amps and accessories from British manufacturers and new ranges of guitars from both sides of the Atlantic. Drum machines are still popular, with models from Yamaha, Simmons, MXR Innovations and more, and as usual there were a selection of novelties, prototypes and one-offs on display. These included a guitar synth and wind synth from the Synsonics people at Mattel.
We'll be covering many of the items featured here in greater depth in the coming months. In the meantime, telephone numbers are given if you want to obtain further information, and it will usually help to mention E&MM when doing so.
1. The Synx 508, a new polyphonic synthesiser from Jen featuring memories, built-in sequencer, several keyboard modes and joystick modulation. (Contact Details).
2. E-mu Systems Drumulator, offering 12 sampled percussion sounds, complex chaining, cassette dump, external sync, timing correction and programmable dynamics for 995 dollars. (Contact Details).
3. Celestion speakers on display; G12H-100, G12K-85, G125-50, G12M-70, G12L-35, "the raw material of Rock & Roll for over 20 years" (Contact Details).
4. Wersi MD Reinhard Franz with the Comet organ, Wersi accompaniment unit and PA system, just part of a huge range of ready-built and kit instruments on show. (Contact Details).
5. Oberheim's new OB8. Cheaper than the OBXa although outwardly similar, with completely redesigned electronics and an additional 'Page Two' function for almost every control. New facilities include a versatile arpeggiator. Also shown, the matching DMX digital drum machine and DSX sequencer. (Contact Details).
6. Crumar's Spirit synth and DP-30 Dynamic Piano. The DP-30 has 73 weighted keys, digital tuning circuitry, 4 presets, touch responsive filter, Chorus, Bass and Treble controls and comes complete with pedals, legs and bag. (Contact Details).
7. Roy Goudie and Lia Vandermark of Moog Europe, with Moog Rogue, Source, Memorymoog, Opus 3 and Taurus Pedals. The Source and Taurus are to be sold as a new interfaceable package aimed at guitarists.
8. Lowrey's Micro Genie prototype, offering stereo split keyboard functions and a range of top-flight organ facilities in a compact single-keyboard design. (Contact Details).
9. New from Siel, the Opera 6 and Piano Quattro. The Opera 6 is a 6 voice x 2 VCO, 61 key, 100 memory polysynth with 2 LFOs, arpeggiator and an erasable state for programme names. The Piano Quattro offers 4 presets plus bass, 5 band EQ, Chorus, Flanger, Sustain, Transpose, Attack and Dynamic Response. (Contact Details).
10. Carlsbro's new Hornet range, the 45W keyboard and 45W Bass being particularly interesting. Carlsbro are concentrating on the continuing market for small, colourful and portable amplifiers, and are also extending the Cobra range. (Contact Details).
11. CBS Rhodes have introduced an expander for the Chroma, which more than doubles its capability. Pictured here are the Expander, the Chroma itself and the Rhodes 88 piano. (Contact Details).
12. From Realton, the SAPP ZERO, giving Selective Stimulation of Acoustic Perception by synthesis of partials. The instrument stores 8 sounds, expandable to 120, with 8 digital sound generators and 4 complex ADSR per voice. Additions which can be fitted on the front panel include a more conventional synthesiser unit, a programme chain sequencer, and a modulation unit compatible with Variphon wind transducer. (Contact Details).
13. Gibson research manager Bruce Bolan with the L5 and Moog-designed Lab series combo. New Gibson models include the wedge-shaped Futura, the Challenger series, reintroduced Epiphones and an Adagio acoustic. (Contact Details).
14. Adam Hall supplies with a new range of extrusions, handles, Musiflex mic cables, flightcase components, rack systems, panels and much more. Most of their range can now be supplied coated black to order. (Contact Details).
15. The Cutec CD 424 Digital Delay (top), seen with Vesta Fire and t.c. units. The Cutec is a 14-bit design with 4 sub-delays, total 1024 mS, and retailing at £336 plus VAT. (Contact Details).
16. Welson's new Prosynth, with mixable footages, built-in amplifier, battery power option, 18 presets and 3-octave keyboard.
17. Dave Simmons with German demonstrator showing off the SDS5 kit and new electronic cymbal. (Contact Details).
18. Yamaha's top-of-the-range Electone organ features a digital music recorder. (Contact Details).
19. Vox V125 2x12" valve combo from Rose-Morris. (Contact Details).
20. Custom Sound's 725 combo offers 150W of power for guitar with hi/lo inputs and channel select control.
21. The new MXR Omni programmable multi-effects unit, offering 5 effects in one package MXR Innovations have also introduced the Rooverb, a short spring reverb designed for a guitar amp. It has S/N of 65dB and variable gain in and gain out so you can choose whether or not to overdrive the spring. Retail price about £50.
Also on the way is the Kit II, with 9 drum sounds, tuning on all toms, decay, micro controlled pattern storage for 99 rhythms and dump to ZX81. Linked to a ZX81 micro it will store 99 songs each consisting of 99 bars from a choice of 99 sequences; these can then be dumped back on to the onboard memory before a gig so the computer need not be taken along.
The interface package to the ZX81 fits on the back of the Kit II; a 12 key pad controls programming functions, which can be step or real time, and programming display uses a Compumusic-style moving cursor. Sounds include a realistic clap and a ring modulator-produced cymbal. Presentation of the 8-pad unit is excellent, retail prices will be announced soon.
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