Beaten to the Punch

October 11th, 2008

A few regular readers might remember some old posts where I talked about my attempts to create new discs for the Mattel Optigan organ. I won’t rehash the detailed explanation of what the Optigan is, but in a nutshell, it’s a cheesy home organ that hasn’t been in production for about 35 years. To produce the sounds, audio loops are read from a transparent sound disc. Various discs covered specific musical genres, like country, folk, or polka just to name a few. I’ve always wanted to make my own discs with my own sounds, but technical obstacles always got in my way. I was able to scan existing discs and print copies, but the fidelity was not all that great and it was difficult to punch out the center hole of the disc. Making a disc with brand new sounds presented even more challenges, since software was involved. But some folks with far more technical expertise have managed to do what I never was — create a new Optigan disc. Go here to see a demo. I’m super excited about this development and I’m eagerly awaiting the opportunity to buy a new disc.

Entry Filed under: Obsolete Technology, Electronic Music

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