Some 70s electronic oddities

The Computone Lyricon is an analog synthesizer with a wind controller interface.  The horn-controller responded to three input parameters: the keys (‘valves’) themselves, lip pressure, and wind force pressure.  It sounds beautiful.  Listening to this thing, I can’t help but think of the infamous Charles Napier ‘space hippies’ episode of Star Trek.

Other things that come to mind: Steve Douglas’ “Music of Cheops”;

(image source)

…and Quicksilver Messenger Service’ “Just For Love” LP. 

Kinda makes me want to get a CV wind controller for my MS20…




“Maestro will travel anywhere for new sounds.” Indeed.  Maestro was the effects-device division of CMI in the 60s/70s. CMI was best known as the parent of Gibson Guitars in this era.  When I was growing up (late 80s/early 90s), Maestro effects were considered fairly shite by professional musicians and we could still readily find these things for a few bucks at yard sales and pawn shops.  M. has collected many of these units, so I’ve been able to use a lot of these things on recordings through the years.  Missing from this family photo is the epic ‘Universal Synthesizer,’ which is not a synth at all, but rather a very early (the first?) multi-effect unit for guitar ETC.  Synth or not, this device can make some fantastic synth-esque sounds with just about any input signal.




The Ampli-Tek Phaser AT-10, circa 1973.  An early Leslie rotating-speaker emulator with a charming cottage-industry aspect.  This piece is truly lost to time.  Anyone?


2 thoughts on “Some 70s electronic oddities”

  1. The Lyricon’s biggest hit was Blondie’s “Autoamerican” album. It had several big singles wnd the Lyricon parts were Tom Scott AFAIK. Chris got sick, and by the time he recovered Blondie had been put out of business by a pushy Italian broad from Detroit.

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