Mystery synth

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chris_d
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Mystery synth

Post by chris_d » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:25 pm

Hi,

10 years ago a friend of mine found a synth in a loft - it sounded amazing, but i can't for the life of me, remember what it was called. I'd really love to find another one.

All i remember was it was kind of off white in colour with mint green writing. I recon it was probably late 80's / early 90's, and i'm pretty sure it was made by Korg, Casio or Roland. It had a great appegiator function and sounded quite similar to the synth sounds that Postal Service used.

Does anyone have any idea what it might be called?

Many thanks

Chris

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by chris_d » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:29 pm

Oh, and it was quite large - 64 keys maybe.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by abruzzi » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:48 pm

Most keyboards of that era were 61 keys, unless you opted for a special 88 key version. Leaving aside consumer gear which I know nothing about, it seems unlikely to be a Korg or Casio. Everything I can think of from Korg was black--M1, Wavestation, O1/W. Casio simply didn't make that many pro synths. All the CZ line I'm familiar with had a dark bronze color (CZ1, CZ1000, CZ3000, CZ5000). And the VZ1 and FZ1 were both black as I recall. I've never paid any attention to Roland, so I cant speak to that. Honer made a white version of the VZ10m (rack)--but I don't know if they made a version of the keyboard.

A better description of the sounds might help. I have no idea what sounds the postal service used. We're they sampled? (i.e. Did it play a passable piano?). Did it have FM type sounds (bells, metal clangs)? Or analog sounding?

Edit: here is a pic of the Hohner HS-2, the model number on the right looks green to my colorblind eyes:

Image

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:09 pm

Korg Personal Keyboard.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by chris_d » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:11 pm

I doubt if it would have been considered pro - probably more mid range. Not sure exactly how many keys it had - just remember it was about 3' / 3' 6" wide and about 1' deep. In truth it wasn't very versatile, it just sounded very, very 80's and analogue. The writing was a very definite mint green - it looked as 80's as it sounded.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by ItsMeOnly » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:48 pm

Crumar Bit 99, might be Akai AX73. Could be a custom job on Juno 106, too. A more in-depth description of its look would help immensely.
Last edited by ItsMeOnly on Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by Push-Pull » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:00 pm

ItsMeOnly wrote:Crumar Bit 99
Good idea !

Chris: did it have speakers ? A display ?
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Re: Mystery synth

Post by Z » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:16 pm

ItsMeOnly wrote:Crumar Bit 99, might be Akai AX73. Could be a custom job on Juno 106, too. A more in-depth description of its look would help immensely.
My first thought was Bit 99, but none of the synths you mentioned have arpeggiators.

I can't think of any off-white synths with arpeggiators. Most synths from the 80s were black.
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Re: Mystery synth

Post by Chewy » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:03 pm

As others have said, a more in depth description would be of great help, as much as you can remember

What was the UI like? Did it have a display? Did it have knobs, sliders, or buttons (or a combo?), and about how many if so? Was editing achieved through menu diving, or was it pretty hands on?

What were the sounds like? And if it was gear you could actually edit/create the sounds with, what were the synthesis features like? (What kinda "OSC" waveforms, LFO waveforms, filter features, etc.) This part is very important - did it just have preset sounds (cheap "home keyboard"), or was it an actual synth or sampler? (how "professional" looking it was or was not has no bearing on whether it was a synth or not)

Was the arpeggiator actually an arpeggiator, or was it a sequencer?

I'm actually curious as to what it was - hope you can find out!

The Hohner HS-1 is a white version of the Casio FZ-1, but it doesn't have green writing, unfortunately. Thought I'd bring it up anyway, just in case. That's about all I can think of off the top of my head that hasn't been mentioned

EDIT: If it had envelopes, do you remember how many stages there were? This could also be very helpful

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:13 pm

I don't think I have ever seen a white keyboard with mint green labeling...not any Akai for sure.
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Re: Mystery synth

Post by madtheory » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:27 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Korg Personal Keyboard.

Stephen
Yup. That's the one I'd say. SAS-20. Good call!
http://syntezatory.net.pl/korg_personal_keyboard.htm
Bit 99 has no arp.
HS-1 is a VZ-1, not an FZ-1.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:25 pm

That looks blue, not mint green...whatever, maybe the OP is colorblind :shock:
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by mharris80 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:52 pm

madtheory wrote:
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Korg Personal Keyboard.

Stephen
Yup. That's the one I'd say. SAS-20. Good call!
http://syntezatory.net.pl/korg_personal_keyboard.htm
Bit 99 has no arp.
HS-1 is a VZ-1, not an FZ-1.
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Re: Mystery synth

Post by abruzzi » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

madtheory wrote: HS-1 is a VZ-1, not an FZ-1.
Not to side track, but my googleing around suggested that the HS-1 was FZ (sampler--it has a rise for a floppy above the wheels):

Image

And the HS-2 was a VZ (FM):

Image

Image

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Re: Mystery synth

Post by Chewy » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:14 pm

madtheory wrote: HS-1 is a VZ-1, not an FZ-1.
Nope, HS-1 is the Hohner version of the FZ-1. HS-2 is their version of the VZ-1, abruzzi is correct. (See pics he provided, too)

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