Nostalgic flavors of The Optigan

Back in the day I hated noise, hum and wow & flutter. But not anymore ’cause these days I think that these artefacts add nostalgic layers to a sound. Digital is flat uncoloured, which is a great thing because digital lends itself for further processing, but without it digital can sound too clean. And since I’m a guitar player I’m also very much interested in all sorts of distortion/overdriven effects not only applied to a guitar trac, but on anything really. To make a long story short: I’m very much interested in producing less than perfect sounds, lofi sounds, oldish sounds, haunted sounds, broken sounds, et cetera.

One of the instruments I bought years ago and have used ever since is the G-force M-Tron Pro plugin (of course I also own and use the Re-Tron for Reason). I also bought the Optigan Expansion Pack for the M-Tron Pro (VST/RTAS/AudioUnits formats only since no expansion packs can be released in the Reason Rack Extension format due to current RE SDK limitations).

Since I bought that plugin and the additional Optigan sounds I became interested in the original device as well, the Optigan (a combination of the words Optical and Organ) an electronic keyboard instrument which uses pre-recorded soundtracks on optical disks to reproduce sound. Since 1976 they were no longer being produced but thanks to this guy called Pea Hicks its history and sounds are being preserved at

Pea was being interviewed about his Optigan collection by documentary maker Rodney Ascher. This makes an interesting story because it not only focusses on the Optigan story but also digs deep into why we as people love to collect things:

Recently The Organist interviewed Rodney about his video:

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