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Vako Orchestron


wd8dky

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I can only imagine the issues with a real Orchestron. You'd have to be loopy on cough syrup to buy one at any price. That's not vintage lust, that's a mental disorder.

 I told Hazel about my youth as a djinn, of how we used to eavesdrop on the angels
  and how they would throw comets at us if they spied us listening.
        ~ Neil Gaiman, "Trigger Warnings"

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I really liked my Orchestron. No problems. Very mellotron-like sounds, much more portable, much more reliable. Unfortunately, stolen long ago,

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I tried one out in the 70's. I couldn't discern what the sound was. It was like a scratchy old record. I asked the sales guy "Is that a flute?". He said "That's a vocal choir". I said "Oh yes, now I hear it".
C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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Long, long time ago I went to check out a friends band. I was amazed how well they did " Watcher of the Skies" - even more amazed at keyboard players' Orchestron. He told me it was tech from the Mattell toy company. Amazement number 3.

Professional musician = great source of poverty.

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I owned a Vako Orchestron back in the 1980s. Since I couldnt afford a Mellotron, I found a demo Orchestron in a Philadelphia, PA - area music store (dont remember which one it was), that was half the price of a Mellotron. After years of playing Genesis with a Korg Poly Enemble, I had to have it. Mine was the single keyboard black wedge design.

 

It was a big disappointment to me. The samples were looped, and you could hear the loop point in the sounds, and since they were looped, you missed the attach of the instruments (no breathy chiff in the flute, no bowed attack of the strings).

I dont recall who I sold it to, but it was not a substitution of a Mellotron.

 

I have referred to it as the Easy Bake Oven of musical instruments, as it had a light bulb in it, to activate the photocells, when you pressed on a key. It certainly was an interesting concept, but the sounds seriously lacked due to the looping. And the clear plastic disc revolving around in the slot was a weird thing to experience, as you used the gear shift lever to start the disc spinning.

 

I also owned a Mellotron a few years later, and that was no picnic. A maintenance nightmare to keep it running and in tune. I get the nostalgia for these vintage instruments, and I am extremely fortunate to have owned, played and experienced these iconic instruments, but reality is very different from our dreams.

 

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I have referred to it as the Easy Bake Oven of musical instruments, as it had a light bulb in it, to activate the photocells, when you pressed on a key.

lol made me laugh out loud! If I remember correctly, the pedal for my Combo Compact had a light bulb in it.

"I  cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long"

Walter Becker Donald Fagan 1977 Deacon Blues

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