Historical Optigan Photo


The Optigan

In the early 70's, Mattel tried to go upmarket with an innovative concept for an easy to play home organ. Rather than generating tones with expensive electronics, a 12 inch optical film disc played 57 tracks, with actual recordings of a rhythm section in various styles as well as a 37-note keyboard. With "one touch" the home organist ...


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"Each disc carries up to 60 circular optical sound tracks, capturing the actual waveforms of the recorded instruments. Each track has an optical sensor that reads out the signal, and feeds a bank of keyboard controlled, clickless switches that sum any or all of the tracks into the master output signal. The Optigan disc format assigns the 37... "