Total recall (Part 11)
Vintage technology strikes back
Inside the vintage vault
Sometimes the cutting edge has a soft, round nostalgic feel to it. If you do too, Total Recall is for you...
Continuing MT's definitive directory of every analogue synth ever. Included are keyboards, expanders and sound modules. Readers are invited to expand upon or correct any part of the A-Z. Parts 1 to 10 may be ordered on Music Maker's mail order hotline: (Contact Details).
Part 11 - compiled by Peter Forrest
A very small American (New Jersey) firm in the early '70s. They made one model of a ready-built synth, the Performer, and several modules that you could build into a synth yourself - VCOs at $60, ring modulators at $50, VCFs for $56, envelope generators for $66, reverb for $40, and the power supply/rack for $90. They also made a 4,096-note (impressive, huh?) digital sequencer, the Digionic, and a video image-maker, the Ionicamera, which used the waveforms put out by the Performer to produce far-out patterns on a TV screen.
3-VCO 49-note (C-C) quadraphonic output pushbutton matrix monosynth, c.1973.
An Italian company - Jen Elettronica of Pescara.
37-note (C-C) 1-DCO monophonic synthesiser, c.1978 - c.1982.
Original price: £210 (£149 in 1981).
Target price: £50 - £100.
Users include: Eskimo & Egypt, The Future Sound of London, LFO, Man Machine.
|Ease of use:||★★★|
|Ease of use:||★★★|
Actually an electronic music studio in Camden, it gave its name to a proprietorial one-off. It had a model number (KM1) but it was also referred to as 'the Kaleidophon'.
Electronic string bass with CV and gate outputs, c.1980.
Users include: David Vorhaus.
At one stage the biggest manufacturers of electric musical equipment in the world, Kawai have always produced solid instruments (and, as the old joke goes, very 'useful' jelly). For some time they marketed them world-wide under their original name in Japan, Teisco, and it took them some time to realise that this was a marketing liability in Britain. All their more recent products seem to be under the Kawai name, but several of the early synths were produced as both Teisco and Kawai machines - identical except for the logo and the colour of the manual. Each model is included in the A-Z under the name that seems to have been more common.
|Ease of use:||★★★|
37-note (C-C) 2-VCO monophonic synthesiser with filter bank, Feb 1981 - c.1983.
Users include: Vince Clarke
|Ease of use:||★|
Next month: Kawai continued...
It's a big Moog, and it's got a big manual. Need one?
If you picked up one of these at a car boot sale, you'd curse if there was no manual, wouldn't you? Before pausing to ask how a Moog Mk3 Modular found its way into the back end of a Volvo Estate next to an egg whisk and the complete Top Of The Pops Volumes 1 to 24, you'd be pestering the guy for even a photocopy of the contents list of the original service guide.
Well, next time this happens, help is at hand. Engineer and programmer Chris Newman has expanded his Intermanual Rescue service to include the supply of copied manuals for Moogs and a whole lot more besides. Originally, Chris provided user and service manuals for a crop of fashionable analogue synths. He even supplied Roland with booklets they had lost, written for their own products. Now the surge (or should that be Serge?) of interest in these bleeping relics has encouraged him to introduce a sales and exchange service for the synths themselves - including (whisper it gently) some digital models.
He will also buy your discarded keyboards and modules from you; make offers for deceased items which he can use for spares; and service and restore the insides and the outsides of synths you want to treasure. He has supplied The Mix with the following list of supported manufacturers: ARP; Bokse; Casio; Chase; Cheetah; Chroma; Digisound; EDP; EMS; E-mu; Fairlight; Korg; Kurzweil; Linn; Moog; Oberheim; Octave; OSC; PPG; Roland; Sequential Circuits; Simmons; SRC Friendchip; Waldorf and Yamaha.
To keep your Moog Mk3 Modular in full working order, call or fax Chris on (Contact Details). Or if that's a dream yet to come true, try him on that dodgy Stylophone.
AKG's classic C12 valve mic, first introduced in the early '50s, is being relaunched at the APRS show. Called the C12 VR, it has an almost identical in sound to the original, and will cost £3170 inc VAT.
More from: Harman Audio. (Contact Details).
An approved Fairlight sample CD, released at the beginning of July, suggests that not all nostalgia centres around the analogue circuitry of yer Prophets and yer Moogs. Digital Domain has secured the rights to the original library of the IIx series, and has lovingly recreated that crunchy 8-bit sound in over 1000 samples. Fairlight aficianodos will spot immediately that the original library only had about 500 sounds, but in a recycling frenzy that will ultimately lead to the implosion of the Universe (we reckon), multisampling has been applied to the original Fairlight samples for added, er, samples. I don't know, just when we were getting used to knobs again...
More from: Digital Domain, (Contact Details)
Feature by Peter Forrest
mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.
If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!