‘Lost’ Optigan Demos Offer A Vintage Intro To The Unusual Keyboard

This playlist features a collection of Optigan demo recordings, made by in-house musical director Johnny Largo.

The recordings, via Pea Hicks of Optigan.com, are previously unreleased, having languished on the original studio master tapes for 45 years.

“This will give a good sense of what the Optigan can sound like in the hands of a true professional, as well as serve as a general demonstration for the various discs,” he notes. “Sorry, I don’t have recordings of Johnny demonstrating every last disc that was released, but I’ve posted what I do have.”

They also highlights that the Optigan, like the Mellotron, was originally made for the home organ market.

The Optigan is a sample-playback keyboard instrument, introduced in 1971. It uses transparent sound disks, with sounds optically encoded on them.

The company was originally a subsidiary of the Mattel toy company. It’s been resurrected as a website dedicated to releasing new sound disks for the instrument and sharing information about the unusual instrument.

4 thoughts on “‘Lost’ Optigan Demos Offer A Vintage Intro To The Unusual Keyboard

  1. I like how there’s no decay. The sample just cuts out when it’s done playing.

    And the optigan seems to have it’s own vinyl hiss on top of the actual vinyl hiss on the recording.

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