In that rare combination in which an ad campaign is both sexist and nonsensical, Dataton promotes the versatility of its 3301 Control Voltage sequencer by arguing you could hook it up to washing machines. (And we know how much women love doing laundry. Enough that they’d be interested in a CV sequencer. Because it’s not like some of the most important pioneers in synthesis, lighting, and theatrical visuals were women or anything. Ahem.) Happened to see this while rooting through Flickr; thanks to Brandon Daniel for posting it.

To read the full copy, check out the full-size ad.

Of course, the device itself looks fantastic. And if I could figure out a way to connect to a lineup of washers and dryers, you bet I’d love to take the whole laundromat onstage. Fog machines are so last year. Suds, and clean shirts and underwear on tour? That’s priceless. US$995 new, but I’m betting there are a few of these 3301s out there collecting dust because no one would know what they are.

And what happened to Dataton? Did their misguided ad department doom them to commercial failure? Nope. The company has remained a leader in audiovisual products, and is known as a favorite presentation / installation vendor.

Anyone know anything about this box specifically?

  • Strikes me as more of a satire of sexism, as opposed to actual sexism.

    Not that it's any good. 🙂

  • Yes, indeed … ironic sexism that's … a bit confusing, really.

    I still want to use it to control a washing machine; I think I was distracted by that.

  • VanceG

    I take it the same way – Satire of sexist ads. That era of ads had a good bit of satire pointed back at the "typical" das of the day.

  • I happen to know everything about this device and the entire system it belonged to (Dataton System 3000 modular syntesizer and light/projector control system) because I designed it. I also was involved in the design of the ad togehter with a US-native synth guru named Patrick Fitzpatrick. "I know exactly the style they epxpect from an ad over there" he told me and let his girlfriend act as a housewife in their basement on the picture. I outlinied tho photo with a sissor (Photoshop was not available in 1978…) and made the background graident using blach spray color.

    When I get the time (I'm still the president of the company I intend to collect all the documents for all the syntesizer modules and make them available on the web, including all manufacturing and design details.


    Bjorn Sandlund

  • Bjorn: Admirable of you to take credit while we poke fun at the ad. 🙂