Thursday, December 1, 2011

Korg "Synths for all the music you'll ever need" family of synths ad, International Musician 1978



Korg "Synths for all the music you'll ever need" one-page family advertisement including PS3300 synthesizer, PS3100 synthesizer, 800 DV synthesizer, 700s synthesizer, Preset synthesizer, 770 synthesizer, Synthebass, Polyphonic Ensemble 1000, Polyphonic Ensemble "Orchestra" 2000, and Micro-Preset M-500 synthesizer  from page 13 in International Musician and Recording World (UK) July 1978.

This ad is proof that great things are often the result of small progressive increments. The best from Korg was still to come when it came to their ads in IMRW, but this one-pager was definitely an improvement over the earlier March 1978 2-page "Seven-hundred and fifty words..." ad.

One of the first thing you will notice about the ad is a thick grey line along the right edge of the page. It does look odd out of context. The thing is, this ad was part of a four page "Rose-Morris Advertising Feature" section in the magazine that also included ad pages on other products the company distributed - including Marshall amps (page 11), DiMarzio pick-ups (page 12) and Ludwig drums (page 14). That line is simply a design element that helped readers differentiate this series of ads from the rest of the mag.

The only other ways readers would know these ads were related would be the small text at the bottom of each ad that reads "A Rose-Morris Advertising Feature", plus a small, virtually unnoticeable form at the bottom of page 14 that readers could fill out to receive more info. Check a separate box for Marshall, DiMarzio, Ludwig and Korg. And don't forget your address!

But, like I said, it wasn't all bad and was an improvement over the last Korg ad. Rose-Morris did throw away the useless small talk that made up most of that previous Korg ad. They granted my wish and kept the ad-copy strictly instrument-related. In fact, I should be careful about what I wish for, because not only did they cram info about all the gear from the previous ad, but finally threw in a few more Korg instruments as well - the PS3300, PS3100 and Micro-Preset M-500. The US Korg ads had been pushing these synths  since March.

The cramped feeling is only magnified by some not-so-succinct ad-copy, an extra small font, and that grey side bar.  I can't decide if the lack of both the Korg and Rose-Morris logos were an oversight, or if there was just no room.

And, not to get really picky - but what is with that ad-title? "Synths for all the music you'll ever need". Does that even make sense?  

But, I'm getting all negative on Rose-Morris' ass. I'm actually really happy to see the appearances of the Korg PLS-series in this ad. Unlike in the US where PS ads appeared almost monthly between October 1977 and July 1978, PLS-series synth sightings seem quite rare in UK ads up to this point. And even better - unlike in the US where both PLS ads fail to mention the actual synth model names - both the PS3100 and 3300 get a nod in this ad.

Likewise - finding the Korg Micro-Preset in the ad was another big plus. I think the poor thing often got the short end of the stick. For example, check out this extremely small Spec Sheet promo in the May 1978 issue of Contemporary Keyboard:
"Korg Micro Synthesizer. This preset synthesizer has a 32-note keyboard. There are 30 voice selections, plus a filter, two-position portamento controls, two types of delayed vibrato, repeat, random repeat, modulation controls, and a pitch control. The price is $449.00. Unicord, 75 Frost St., Westbury, NY 11590."
Yup. That's it. Just a couple of sentences.

I'm guilty of ignoring that little sucker too. Most of my interesting in these Korg ads has been about the PLS-series synthesizers as well. While doing some online research, it didn't take me long to come across a great February 2001 Sound On Sound article by Simon Lowther on the PS3100. It contains some good information on all three of the PLS-series synthesizers, including information on the voice architecture, resonators, modulation generators and patch panel. A great read!

The wikipage for the PS3300 also seems very good with sections on it's history, resonators, tuning, audio mixer and modulation, and keyboard and foot controllers. Use your Google chops to find more info.

I promise I'll be out of my negative mood soon. It could possibly have to do with my inability to grow any sort of moustache for Movember.   It kinda hurts.   :)

This ad was a step in the right direction. And the good news? The best from Korg was yet to come!

1 comment:

zenbecca said...

Speaking of not making sense... "Korg is rapidly becoming a world-beater..."?

Oh, that wacky 70s auto-correct.

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