The Optigan was created in Californie in 1971. It was produced by Optigan Corporation, a Mattel subsidiary, up until 1973, and by Opsonar afterwards. The Optigan was an instrument that used celluloid discs, which featured recordings of real musical instruments (especially organs) and accompaniments. The term “Optigan” comes from the words “OPTIcal orGAN”. It was […]


After a concert in 1975 at Carnegie Hall, Rick Wakeman (the keyboardist of Yes) met David Biro, an American from Connecticut. Biro presents his invention to him, an instrument capable of playing recorded sounds without the downsides of the Mellotron (sound limited to 8 seconds, impossibility of playing quickly…). It is a keyboard connected to […]


The Mellotron directly comes from the Chamberlin (see History). In 1946, in California, Harry Chamberlin created a musical instrument that was able to play pre-recorded magnetic tapes. Somehow, it was the first sampler in history. 1948 – 1949 Model 100 Rhythmate Approx. 10 unitsIt’s the first Chamberlin. It could play 14 drum loops recorded on […]


Summary In 1971, in Australia, Kim Ryrie creates the magazine Electronics Today International (ETI) in which are published the diagrams of two hybrid analog / digital synthesizers available in kit and designed by Trevor Marshall, the ETI 3600 and 4600 . These two synthesizers will be marketed in England by Maplin Electronics Ltd. But frustrated […]


Vintage SynthesizersMark VailEd. Miller Freeman Books Text + photos: p214-219 The SynthesizerMark VailEd. Oxford University Press Text + photos: p72-73 Digital SamplingThe Design and Use of Music TechnologiesPaul HarkinsEd. Routledge208 pages Synth Gems 1Exploring Vintage SynthesizersMike MetlayEd. Bjooks Text + photos: p128-133 The Musician And The MicroRay HammondEd. Blandford Press Text + photos: p126-146 Synthesizer […]


Peter vogel instruments The Peter Vogel’s web site, one of the founding members of Fairlight Instruments with Kim Ryrie The Holmes Page One of the first sites about the Fairlight K.M.I Klaus Michael Indlekofer’s web site. A comprehensive and very technical section on the different Fairlight models Mustudio The site of my friend Jean-Bernard Emond, […]


In the early 80’s, the Fairlight CMI, a new instrument created by an unknown Australian company, was about to start a revolution in the field of sonic and musical creation, with the introduction of sampling and a brand new conception of sequencing. Most of the records of these times featured the very distinctive sound of […]


Dumps by my friend Jean-Bernard Emond = Download .bin file CMI I MAINFRAME Q032 – Processor Control Card 4 EPROMs 2708 CMI IIx MAINFRAME Q219 – Lightpen / Graphics Interface Card 1 PROM Harris 7603 2 PROMs Harris 7611 CMI-02 – Master Card 2 PROMs Harris 7611 Q133 – Processor Control Card 2 EPROMs 2516 […]


Streetly Electronics Martin Smith and John Bradley – son of Leslie Bradley, designer of the Mellotron – restore all models of Mellotron and sell spare parts and new tapes.Since 2007, they have been marketing a new model, the M4000.Streetly Electronics is located in England, near Birmingham. Streetly Electronics mellotron tape library Audio excerpts of the […]