Monday, October 11, 2010

Oberheim DSX Digital Polyphonic Sequencer, Keyboard 1981

Oberheim DSX Digital Polyphonic Sequencer advertisement from page 31 of Keyboard Magazine August 1981.

Look familiar? It should... Oberheim wasn't just efficient at synthesizer design, but in advertising design as well.

They created that original two-pager advertisement in such a way that the two halves could easily be split up and used as singles. I can't say for sure that it was intentional or not when they created it, but either way, good on 'em for figuring it out at some point. It's an easy way to help keep 'the look' of Oberheim throughout an ad campaign. Even without the Oberheim logo, this advertisement would be recognized immediately as distinctly 'Oberheim'.

As you can see, pretty much this whole ad is taken directly from the right half of that two-pager. All that had to be done was slap the 'Xtra Hands' ad title (great title with the big OB-X-like-X!) and top ad-copy into this ready-made ad, and, Voila! Instant DSX ad.

But their is one other little piece of information that has been added to this ad that I love from a historical/reference point of view. Look for the small text to the left of the DSX photo that reads 'available July'. Tadum! We have the exact month in 1981 that the DSX became available! Excellent!

This advertisement only ran a few times, mostly during the last half of 1981.

I've been obsessing over the Oberheim System for quite a few posts lately. I know that - and that's the first step to recovery. :o) But I keep going on about Oberheim because it really intrigues me to know that they had commercialized a communications system years before MIDI was launched.

But here's the thing. Although I hate to admit it, outside of syncing up my own DX drum machine to other non-MIDI gear (mostly experimentally), I've had very little access to the other members of the Oberheim's system. I've never had the chance to plug them all into each other as Oberheim wants 'The System' to be plugged in together to see the synchronizing magic first hand.

I do know there is that 37-pin computer interface cable involved in somehow connecting an Oberheim compatible synthesizer up to the DSX sequencer. But did that same cable somehow get used to connect the DX or DMX drum machine into 'The System' as well? I doubt it - my Oberheim DX drum machine certainly doesn't have that connector on it.

So, how exactly did everything get connected together? Well, a little research went a long way in this regard.

But those research results will have to wait until my next blog post, because up here in Canada it's Thanksgiving weekend. And you may or may not know how hard it is to write a blog post after eating ALOT of turkey. Most people blame the tryptophane found in turkeys, but I think it just comes down to eating a lot of everything.

Last year I posted a great E-mu Turkey-based sampler advertisement. So, go check it out. Gobble gobble.

End note: Digestion should be an Olympic event.

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