Monday, December 12, 2011

Korg Wavestation Introductory Advertisement, Keyboard 1990

Korg Wavestation introductory 2-page advertisement from the inside front cover and page two of Keyboard Magazine, July 1990.

Okay. I know what you are thinking. Wavestation? Vintage ad? But I just had to scan and post it.

You see, my buddy had just popped into town. During our early years we were in an electronic band together and we were both greatly influenced by early Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and other music magazines. Until the Internet, those magazines were where we got 99% of our info from. What synths our favorite bands were using, what news synths were coming out. You know what I'm talkin' about.

Anways, it never fails that while maintaining our 20+ year tradition of gear-store/movies/pizza habit, our conversation eventually turns to the topic of synthesizers. But this visit, the conversation mostly revolved around iPad apps.
Aside: He's always wanted a Fairlight, and discovered the Fairlight app while in town. It wasn't long before sounds from Art of Noise's Moments in Love was making a come-back in my living room)
But in between spurts of iPadding and Netflixing (did I just use Netflix as a verb?), we also talked about my recent Korg infatuation. I was talking about Korg's evolving ads and it soon became apparent that it wasn't a 70's or even 80's Korg ad that had one of the biggest effects on me. It was this two-pager for the Korg Wavestation.

I can't remember half of my good friends' names, but I can clearly remember looking at this two-pager, as well as other Wavestation ads, thoughout the second half of 1990 and beyond. And I can remember walking into my favorite local gear store and the keyboard guy pressing his index finger on a single key and hearing the enormous and complex sound that emerged. I even remember that guy's crazy hair. But most of all I remember having to walk out empty-handed. Well - I did take the six-page brochure. Still have it. Can you guess what my next post is?  :)

The thing that stood out most for me was that the Wavestation wasn't a workstation. I disliked workstations at the time. Still do for the most part. Especially that miserable M1 - 80% because I knee-jerk to most really great mass-appeal ideas (not really a "plus" for someone in my occupation), 10% because it didn't have a resonant filter and 10% because of all those patches that became go-to signature TV commercial sounds (yes, I realize the hypocrisy of that last statement - I'm aware that Wavestation sounds became TV and movie soundtrack staples as well as the Apple Mac start-up sound).

But the ex-Sequential Circuits crew that designed the Wavestation had the balls to make this thing pure synth. Sure, they used the internal architecture from Korg's M- and T-series, but as far as I'm concerned, they gave that system new life. And they had the balls to not even include drum sounds in the original keyboard. I never missed drums, and tend to not touch the drums too often when programming on my Wavestation A/D.

In my opinion, the timing was perfect for bringing wave sequencing to the masses. What the Wavestation did for Korg at the time, is like what punk did for rock music.

Heck - Dave Smith was, and still is, punk with a capital P-U-N-K.

He took Korg technology and made it his bitch. He turned it upside down. He, along with Bob Moog and a few others, brought hardware back when few others would dare.

A "P," thats "PUH" and a "U"-"N"-"K", "UNK". Put those guys together and you got PUNK.

But I'm getting away from my point. Errr... what was my point? Oh yeah.

I *had* to post this two-pager introductory ad that appeared on the inside cover and page two of Keyboard magazine (a page position that Korg held for quite some time). I had to post it so you could see a great example of how Korg ads had evolved from the 70s and the 80s.

Sure, that second page has yellowed a bit compared to the heavier-duty magazine inside cover page. But even today I still get all gushy looking at it. It was perfect then and it is perfect now. Enough info to start me drooling. Enough info to make me hang around home as much as possible until the next issue of Keyboard came in the mail so I could check for a Keyboard review of the beast. Enough info to make me go back to my gear store every weekend so that I could hassle them into keeping one from walking out the door until after I could check it out.

And can you guess what the first thing that workstation-loving keyboard guy with the crazy hair said to me: "Doesn't have drums... or a proper sequencer".

Nice sell job. And I honestly thought he knew me better than that.  :)

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