Monday, February 20, 2012

Korg Wavestation A/D and SR "Five and a half amazing rack systems" ad, Keyboard and Electronic Musician 1993

Korg Wavestation A/D and SR synthesizer "Five and a half amazing rack systems" 1-page advertisement from the inside front cover of Keyboard Magazine and page 79 in Electronic Musician November 1993.

Man - is it nice out.

*And* it's a long weekend.

*AND* I have a geek date to play Legend of Drizzt.  

*AND* I'm currently building a new table-top to fit onto my studio desk. I've had one of those Quik-Lok WS500 workstation desks for quite a few years. Not the most stable workstations (people can't dance in my studio because it makes my Tannoy's and computer monitor bounce), but very useful and serves my needs.  I used a Korg Z1 as a large master controller that sat on the upper arms, and then had a small wooden board on the table portion of the desk that held a keyboard, mouse, Mackie Control, and a various midi/audio in-out devices. Needless to say, it was getting very crowded.

And now that I've recently upgraded to a laptop, I need to make room for that. So, I took out the Z1 and put the 17" laptop on the open arms. Nice fit. And my master keyboard has now become a much smaller Korg MicroKey and sits on the desk now - closer to me than the laptop keyboard. Figure I input notes a lot more than I use the laptop keyboard. We'll see.

But, that small board was now really crowded with the addition of the keyboard. So, off to the store to buy a much larger 44"x30" piece of wood. Now everything fits nicely. The less cluttered look really makes me want to be in the room and create music again.

 I'll post a pic or two on my Retro Synth Labs blog in the near future.

Anyways, point is this will be a short blog post for all the reasons above. And ptobably my next blog post too. :)

Okay... time to be honest. I'm getting waaaaay past my comfort zone as I venture more into the early-90's. And I'm not just talkin' synthesizer ads - that includes many synthesizers as well.

I found that by this time, more than a few of the big synthesizer companies were just pumping out too many of what I considered to be just derivative versions of previous synths (if I'm using the word derivative correctly?!?!). Sure they would add a few new features, more ram/voices/etc... but nothing really "new". E-mu was in full swing pumping out their Proteus series, Roland with their JVs, Yamaha with their SYs (actually, not too shabby), and of course Korg with their 0x/Ws.

Don't get me wrong - they were nice sounding machines. They were workhorses. They were powerful. But I just didn't find them fun.

Sure, there were a few interesting things popping onto the market - the Wavestation stuff, Roland JD800, E-mu Morpheus, Kurzweil K2000 and the Waldorf Wave - but they were the exceptions that proved the rule.

Luckily there was more fun to come. I just had to wait for big and small companies a-like to get their butt in gear and release things like the Korg Prophecy, Doepfer A100 gear, QuasiMidi Raveolution, and Access Virus... it would just take time.

Until then - we got this. Korg's 1993 holiday push for it's five and a half racks.

It got good play in the November and December 1993 issues of Keyboard Magazine appearing on the inside front cover, but then got kicked into the back-half of the magazine in the January and February 1994 issues when Korg decided that their new Korg X3 workstation needed inside-front-cover attention. In Electronic Musician, the "Five and a half amazing racks" ad ran for a similar length of time, but never hit cover status as far as I can tell. Boo.

At least Korg had the courage and respect (hee hee) to list the Korg A/D and SR first. Even before the newer X3R and 5R/W. Makes me happy.

Korg was using the shotgun approach this holiday season - spraying pellets of rack-goodness at all types of musicians from the professional musician with a six-figure advance to the amateur home recordists in need of an under-$1000-all-in-one-box solution. And when I say all-in-one-box, I mean it. That little 05R/W had a built-in MIDI interface for MAC and PC. Okay, maybe the synth-gear world wasn't as stagnant as I made it out to be earlier.

I'm not too sure how long the SR and A/D  remained in production after this ad was released, but the Wavestation's Wikipedia page gives the Wavestation series an end date of 1994.

Almost hurts to see the Wavestation brand end with this ad - sharing advertising with an X3R. Bah!

It's kinda like Madonna sharing a stage with Britney Spears.   :)

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