New 2011 Optigan Disc, Vibrascape

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Optigan.com has announced a new sound disk for the Optigan sample playback keyboard, Vibrascape.

Here’s what they have to say about Vibrascape:

Vibrascape presents the sound of the vibraphone in a uniquely Optigan fashion. The keyboard tones are arranged as a series of rhythmic patterns that create hypnotic, pulsating soundscapes when chords are played. (This disc is not particularly suited to melodic playing).

The chord buttons feature sustained bowed vibraphone chords. The special effects switches help keep the groove going with a selection of rhythms from the Maestro Rhythm King MRK-2, an old-school beatbox and technological contemporary of the Optigan. Optigans equipped with a spring reverb will provide the most haunting sound, which is further enhanced by inserting the disc upside-down for backwards play.

LEFT HAND: Bowed Vibraphone.
RIGHT HAND: Vibraphone Rhythms.
SPECIAL EFFECTS SWITCHES: 1. Samba, 2. Rhumba, 3. Bossa Nova, 4. Bolero, 5. Go-Go.

The Optigan Vibrascape Disc is available for pre-order for $99.99 at the Optigan.com site.

Optigan 2-Disc Strings Library

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Optigan has introduced their first 2-disc Style Pak release, STRINGS.

The two discs are individually titled CHAMBER STRINGS and SYMPHONIC STRINGS. This is a very utilitarian sound set for the Optigan, featuring the “Violin” and “String Ensemble” keyboard sounds previously only available on the Orchestron, each with matching string pads on the chord buttons. Continue reading

Amazing DIY Optigan + Orchestron Disc Player

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Optigan and Orchestron organs are hard to find and temperamental, so gajeanalog decided to build his own:

Optigan and Orchestron are optical organs manufactured in 1970s. One day I heard the sound and liked them, and thought I wanted to play them. However their manufacturing were terminated long time ago and nearly impossible for me to obtain. But the discs are still available, so I have a chance if I build the player by myself.

This is my DIY optical organ built from analog record turntable. It supports both Optigan and Orchestron discs.

It’s an extremely ambitious DIY project. And while modern technology probably makes this DIY disc player more reliable than the originals, the player still features authentic crosstalk action.

See the contruction details here.

New Surf Rock Optigan Disc

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Optigan has announced Surf Rock – the latest in their growing line of limited edition sound discs for the rare vintage Optigan keyboard:

Surf’s up! It’s time to wax the board and catch a wave! Optigan.com is proud to present Surf Rock , featuring the vintage sounds of the 1960′s surf scene. For this music program disc, we’ve gone into the recording studio with a couple of SoCal’s best surf rockers.

Reverb enthusiast Matt Quilter is one-half of the guitar assault from the award-winning Reventlos http://www.reventlos.com/ whose quirky instro albums alternately intrigue and horrify surf music purists. In addition to his duties on guitar, he co-produced the documentary feature Pounding Surf!, an insider’s look at the SoCal surf music scene from 1961 to the present day. For the Optigan session, he chose from his arsenal a Fender Stratocaster played through a blond Fender Tremolux and Reverb unit, both from 1963.

Lee “Kix” rarely strays from playing Death-Surf / Afro-Billy music with the Reventlos. However in days past he has recorded with world famous instrumental guitar gods, The Ventures. As a veteran of many LinnDrum sessions, Kix is no stranger to having his drums sampled for posterity. The Optigan session was recorded with vintage 1960′s Oaklawn Camco drums, 20×14 bass drum and 14×5.5 metal snare. T he 12×8 and 14×10 toms used in the session were obtained when Kix was a Los Angeles Camco endorsee in the mid-70′s.

Guitar and Bass played by Matt Quilter.
Drums played by William Lee “Kix”.
Music arranged by Matt Quilter and William Lee “Kix”.
Music produced, edited, and mastered by Pea Hicks.
Engineered and Mixed by Jon O’Brien. Recorded at The Music Box Studios, Garden Grove CA http://themusicboxstudios.com/
Disc creation software, disc production cover artwork and jacket layout by Robert Becker .
Cover artwork by Mark Crafford.

RHYTHMS: 4/4
LEFT HAND: Bass, guitar, and drums.
RIGHT HAND: Tremolo electric guitar.
SPECIAL EFFECTS SWITCHES: 1. Guitar Gliss, 2. Drums, 3. Tom-
Toms, 4. Snare Fill, 5. Guitar C Chord.

Be sure to check our other videos for a mini-documentary of the Surf Rock recording session!

Continue reading