The Rest of the Messe

MacBeth M5NAs you know, the Frankfurt Musicmesse opened on Wednesday the 28th. There were quite a few exciting announcements including the Nord Wave, Arturia Origen Keyboard, the Dexter and of course the biggest announcement in my opinion, the Solaris hardware synth by John Bowen Synth Designs. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the interview by James here. Aside from the major announcements there was quite a bit more worth checking out in the synth world including this gorgeous MacBeth M5N, a white version of the M5 with a few updates including snappier envelopes, greater signal to noise ratios for the filters, and more. You can find links to more Messepics here, many courtesy of, a great synth site based in Germany. Some of the synth related gadgets include the Tiefenrausch monophonic analog synth, the Anyware Instruments ClockBox, the SteckBox (an EMS style pin matrix with light risters), and more.

Fairlight Series IIIx

Rarities Set Loose

Fairlight Series IIIx

A Fairlight Series IIIx and MFX is up for auction with a whopping Buy It Now of $11,900 US.

Some details:
“Offered for sale is a very rare fully functional vintage rack-mount Fairlight CMI III computerised musical instrument workstation in excellent condition. Also fitted is Fairlight MFX2 capability, which adds a 24 track direct to disc recorder / editor. The system is a late model, and as such has the latest and best in technical innovations, whilst still retaining the classic legendary sound of the CMI.

The system has 16 voices, 16 Mbytes RAM, colour graphics card, digital sampler and 24 output router. It also comes with the later MFX alpha-numeric keyboard, and a proper weighted action music keyboard. A 15” LCD screen (not the one illustrated) is included. There are two 4 Gbyte hard discs, one empty for disc recording, and one full of the following libraries:

Complete Fairlight library, Prosonus Strings, Brass, Percussion, Sound
Genesis strings, plus many libraries collected over the last 20 years
dealing with top producers and musicians. These include libraries from: Pet
Shop Boys, Trevor Horn, Hans Zimmer, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise
and many, many others. The complete Fairlight IIX library is also included.”
Yamaha FX-1

Yamaha FX-1

Next up, a Yamaha FX-1 for auction. The Yamaha FX-1 was an FM based Yamaha Electone behemoth with motorized sliders. Think DX7/DX1 on steroids. There are very few of these known to exist. There is one known model in the UK according to this Sound on Sound article and until this auction, only one that I was aware of in the US, owned by a dying breed, a one man club act from the 60s, Jimmy [BTW, Jimmy’s story is pretty fascinating].

Via the SOS article:
“Lest you think that (other than the DX1) all FM synthesizers were small, neat affairs, let me tell you about the FX1. This was a huge three-manual beast very much in the mould of the GX1, but based entirely on FM synthesis. If you’ve never heard of it, I’m not surprised. Costing £36,000 in 1986, there’s only one working example in the UK, and not many more elsewhere.”

MOOG Model 12

MOOG Model 12

Finally, a MOOG Model 12 modular recently went for $5100 US. The unit was sold as is from The University of Wyoming. You can see the auction here. I also backed it up on Matrixsynth for when it disapears. The price may seem high considering what you can get from current modular synth manufacturers, however this is part of history. You can barely make it out, but there’s a handle at the very top of the modular and latches to the site. The modular is was built into is own carrying case.

The Non-MOOG Modular

Below is a video of some MOOG modulars manufactured by Don Martin. If you remember from the March 16 Week In Synths, Don Martin owned the Moog name in the US after MOOG music went under. He released a Model E Minimoog commonly referred to as the Donimoog. In addition to the Mini, he also release a number of MOOG modules. Cary Roberts posted the following video on AH along with more pics you can find here. You can find a list of the Don Martin MOOG modules here. BTW, word is they actually sounded good. Note: unfortunately there is no audio in this video, but I prefer it a bit more to just the static shots.

Tie-Fighter Cockpit and Willy Wonka’s Music Box

Finally I leave you with two Buchla videos:

Buchla 700

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Video by Electric Parade.

The Buchla Music Easel

Note the Music Easel video is from the Analog Heaven Midwest synth gathering. You can find more videos from the event here.

BTW, credit for the Tie-Fighter analogy goes to Wingo Shackleford via the comments of this post.

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