Thursday, June 24, 2010
Aries Music Inc. Modular, Synapse 1977
Aries Music Inc. Modular ad from page5 of Synapse Magazine March/April 1977.
This 1/2-page advertisement ran in Synapse for three consecutive issues starting in the March/April issue and I have to say right off the bat that I'm a little disappointed (and surprised) that the ad didn't include the awesome Aries logo that appeared in the two Aries ads in Contemporary Keyboard magazine around the same time period (you can catch those advertisements in my two blog posts from November 2009 and March 2010 ).
But the one thing that definitely excites me about this ad is the photo. Look familiar? If you have ever come across the classic 'Explore Sound - The Aries System 300 Electronic Music Synthesizer' brochure, you will notice that this ad uses the same photo (with the second dude cropped out).
In fact, I just came across the cover image of that brochure in an auction post on MATRIXSYNTH. That post was actually what triggered my memory about this ad and I knew it was time to dig it up.
I'm not 100% certain, but based on this photo from Robert Leiner's awesomely cool Aries Web site, I'm pretty sure the guy in the ad photo sitting in the chair is Jimmy Bastable. He was the partner of Bob Snowdale, who purchased Aries from Frank Fink in 1976. Someone correct me if I'm totally wrong on that.
The 'second dude' that is not in the ad, but is in the photo on the brochure (see MATRIXSYNTH link above), has gotta be Dennis Colin. I'm basing that comment on the crazy beard alone. Dennis was the designer of the Aries 300 - and according to Rob's site, before the Aries, Dennis designed the Arp 2600!
As mentioned in the ad, Aries was one of many modular companies that also sold their modules in kit form. I've never been seriously interested in building my own modular synthesizer, though I'll admit I've day-dreamed about being proficient enough in electronics to build any kind of sound device. But seriously... you don't want to be around me with a hot soldering iron.
I can definitely understand the cost-savings incentive when deciding to buy modules from kits - especially when you consider we are talking about 1970's $$'s. But without the Internet around, and only a few music mags, how did someone get enough information to make an informed choice about which modular company to order from? Why choose an Aries kit over, say, Paia or Serge?
Well, I think I found someone with an answer to these questions... more on that in the next blog post.