A NEW musical instrument is being launched this month by a company which boasts keyboard ace Rick Wakeman as a director. Called the Birotron, after its American inventor, Dave Biro, the instrument is a keyboard that offers taped sounds to simulate virtually any orchestral sound.
The instrument is being marketed by a company called Complex 7, a group of companies headed by Pete Robinson and a select board of directors including Wakeman.
Several distinct advantages are claimed for the Birotron. The keyboard does not operate the tape system mechanically. Therefore it has a standard keyboard feel. The sounds are produced from eight-track cartridges and thus give continuous sound without any delay. The eight-track cartridges can be instantly changed to offer different sounds.
Complex 7 claim that substantial orders have already been received for the instrument and a national promotion campaign is planned for the autumn.
OBERHEIM ELECTRONICS have acquired a new director and vice-president of marketing in Russ Jones, formerly vice-president of sales at Acoustic Control Corporation. His primary task will be to set up distribution, both domestic and international, for Oberheim's product.
Oberheim Electronics have been in existence for nearly six years. Based in Santa Monica, California, they have been manufacturing synthesisers and accessories as well as developing and producing products for Norlin Music under the Maestro label. Oberheim's latest products include Two Voice and Four Voice polyphonic synthesisers, and an assortment of sound modification devices and two new Studio Amplifiers.
AT THE recent AMII trade fair, Rose-Morris showed the American MXR range for the first time. The company has just gained U.K. distribution rights for the pedals and vs units.
U.S. ORGAN star Maurice Cole is set for a series of Lowrey demonstrations during a forthcoming U.K. visit. The organist has recently undertaken a highly successful Lowrey tour of the U.S.A. and his first sppearance for Lowrey in the U.K. will be sponsored by the Burton and Derby Organ Centre in Burton-on-Trent. Other venues are currently being arranged throughout the country.
The Lowrey concerts will take the form of demonstrations of the versatility of the Lowrey "Genie" organs and Maurice Cole will be explaining how various effects are achhieved. After the concert, a question and answer session will be held to give visitors the opportunity to get specific answers to problems.
BARNES AND Mullins will be distributing the new Modulator electric guitars, recently introduced at the Trade Fair. These instruments feature a variety of interchangeable modules for variation in tone colours. The man behind this unique project is Jack Golder, former technical director at Burns. Golder later developed his own Shergold factory for the manufacture of not only complete instruments, but also necks and bodies for various companies. Because of losses incurred through the demise of Hayman guitars, Jack decided to branch out on his own. His colleague Bob Pearson, who was previously designer and chief technician with Hayman, invented the new instrument which was thoroughly lab-tested by, among others, top session players before its introduction at the Trade Fair.
The basic instrument should retail at about half the price of the American guitars, and at the moment, is available in four versions. There is the standard guitar and bass models, as well as a single pickup stage model and a 12 string. There are five modules available, although others can be made to special order.
There's a module which gives a stereo effect, and lined up for future production is a transmitter module which will eliminate the need for guitar to amplifier leads. The guitar's flexibility in tone is expanded by inserting a neat, 6½ inch module in the body of the guitar.
TOP GEAR (Music) Ltd. have recently announced the opening of a new shop, Broadway Music. Located at 9 The Broadway, Brighton Road, in Worthing, Sussex, the new shop is ideally situated to serve the South coast area.
The aim is to offer comprehensive service to the surrounding area, and Top Gear announced that Barrie Feest, a guitarist and teacher well-known in the area, will be managing the shop. Guitarists in the West Sussex area will be glad to know that an exhaustive range of guitars, ranging from student instruments to professional models, will be provided. An equally comprehensive range of amplifiers and P.A. equipment will also be on display.
KEYNOTE MUSICAL Instruments Limited is a new name in the organ business. Launched earlier this year, the company is run by Managing Director Jeremy Syons and Sales Manager Stephen Radford. Both have had considerable experience in the retail and wholesale music business and as working musicians. They have recently introduced a new type of two manual portable organ, which, it is claimed, can be carried in the back of an ordinary saloon car. Called the Consort, it is aimed at the professional and semi-professional market and retails for £625, including V.A.T.
Keynote have also introduced a new 60 watt tone cabinet, called the Vortex, which is available in two models. The 600 features a black leather cloth finish and kick-proof grilles, while the 601 is aimed more at the home organist. It is housed in a satin finished veneered cabinet with black grilles. Both are suitable for connection to either home or portable organs, and are expected to retail at well below £300.
VITAVOX HAVE won their largest order ever from Japan for domestic hi-fi equipment. Acknowledged masters of the world hi-fi market, the Japanese have been buying Vitavox's hi-fi products for some time and the latest order involves the very expensive System 191 Loudspeakers which have been manufactured for over 27 years.
MUSICIANS WILL be able to see a and hear the ultimate selection of hi-fi and recording equipment at this year's Audio Fair. The fair is being held at Olympia, London, between October 20th and 26th and in addition to the fabulous array of equipment on display, there is also a live-theatre show each day.
BRODR JORGENSON have set up a distribution company in the U.K. to handle the Japanese-made Roland electronic equipment. Brian Nunney, previously export director with Dallas, will be in charge of the new company, Brodr Jorgenson (U.K.), which is situated at Strand House, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex. From here, they will be distributing their range of synthesisers, guitar amplifier effects units and electronic pianos. The U.K. distribution for The Roland Corporation has previously been handled by Hammond Organ (U.K.) and John Hornby Skewes and Company. Hammond are discontinuing the Roland lines, while Hornby Skewes will still be handling various effects units and the RE201 echo machine.
Brodr Jorgenson (U.K.) recently held an exhibition at the Morton Hotel, Russell Square throughout the duration of the Trade Fair last month. Among the exhibits were the Roland rhythm boxes, electric pianos, synthesisers, a PA mixer and their new SH200 synthesiser.
THE MUCH talked about Leeman drums are now becoming available. The British Leeman Drum Company are producing a range of six kits. Since the drums were first shown at this year's Frankfurt trade fair, orders have been building up that ensure the name of good start.
The kits are finished in stainless steel under the name Leeman Silver and although the company produced their own fittings, kits are custom-built which allows other fittings to be used if required.
MACINNES LABORATORIES of Saxmundham, importers of Am-cron amplifiers, entered an Alfa Romeo Alfasud T.I. in the Avon Motor Tour of Britain last month. Jon Dooley of Alfa Romeo and Ian Marshall, director Macinnes, drove for the Macinnes Amcron Team. In the up to 1300 cc class, the car took the lead from the first day and for three days battled with the Fiat Coupe of Tony Dron, eventually beaten into second place by only seven seconds.
The car won four of the circuit races, including the night race at Snetterton, and came second in the fifth race at Silverstone. Dooley and Marshall came 17th overall (out of a total of 100 cars), beating drivers like Gerry Marshall and Will Sparrow in much more powerful cars.
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