The great pleasure of music is – in my opinion – not only connected to the obvious thrills; creative process, playing live etc. For me, the attraction of musical equipment also weighs a lot. When it comes to keyboards I, with minor exceptions, like them crappy and lo-fi. These keyboards simply are the most fun and they can actually sound pretty good too.
Below you’ll find my little introduction to some of these instruments that I consider classics. If you’re too lazy to read long Sound on Sound articles or browsing Vintagesynth.com for ages this should be perfect for you.
A fantastic little thing. If you know the sound of it, you can recognize it on so many recordings. The original omni has a very wide sound that blends really good into almost everything. You used the buttons for chords and strum on the metal pad to the harp like sound that this thing is primarily known for.
The Omnichord Om-100. Classic!
A synth that is also a calculator! This small synth is something special. It has some great presets but is also programmable to a certain extend. To program it you have to punch in different numbers for attack/decay/release/sustain so it’s pretty easy to work with. Not so versatile though. But great sounding – especially the trompet preset.
What is so special about this keyboard is that has a 5bit (I think) sampler built in. All you have to do is hold down a button and sample. Easy. The samples sound very gritty and noisy. Great for noise textures. The Sk-1 was the most sold toy keyboard of it’s time but it’s so much more than that.
The yellow buttons are effects sounds like waves, dog barking etc. Fun, but not exactly useful…
Stay tuned for my follow-up presenting 3 other great machines.