Thursday, February 16, 2012

Korg Wavestation SR "15 sounds" ad, Keyboard and Electronic Musician, 1992


Korg Wavestation SR "15 sounds" 1-page advertisement from inside front cover of Keyboard Magazine and page 48 in Electronic Musician, November 1992.

Talk about good timing.

This ran exactly a year after the last Wavestation A/D and EX ad ran in Keyboard, and just in time for the Holiday buying spree! And Korg probably figured out that since the Wavestation SR was a lower-cost rack-mount, it probably had a better chance of getting permission from the spouse for purchase and entry into the house. Plus I'm sure the spouse got something of equal value too...  :)

The ad had a good run. It spent the whole holiday season - November 1992- February 1993 in Electronic Musician (albeit not near the coveted front of the magazine), but Korg opted for a more spread-out approach in Keyboard. After appearing in the November issue, there was a month break before re-appearing in February and March. And then, didn't make another appearance until June. But, if you look a little closer, there often seemed to be a possible reason for its absence. And on purpose or not, it allowed the SR to lengthen its eye-ball run considerably in Keyboard.

In the December 1992 issue, The SR turned up in the Spec Sheet section of Keyboard - a good replacement for an ad in my books - and free! I'm doubt Korg gets a courtesy call before a Spec Sheet blurb their gear appears, but it would have given them good reason to switch out the SR ad and use the Spec Sheet appearance as a substitute:
"Korg rack-mount synth. Korg has introduced the Wavestation SR, a single-space rack-mount synthesizer with 550 sounds (600 performances with optional program card). With three RAM banks and eight ROM banks, the SR contains a collection of performances from the Wavestation library. The unit is also compatible with Wavestation program cards and Korg's 0/1W PCM cards. The SR's multi-sets can play a complex split layered performance on each of 16 MID channels. $1,399.00 Korg, 89 Frost St., Westbury, NY 11590. (516) 333-9100. Fax (516) 333-9108."
That December 1992 as well as the January 1993 issues of Keyboard also had two other ads that may also played a role in giving the SR ad the boot. The first was that Korg included a two-page, horizontal ad for the O/1W that appeared on the inside-front cover and page 1 of the mag. You had to turn the magazine sideways to read the ad properly. A great way to grab attention.

The second was an ad for the Korg M1-PlusONE - a board that put "four megabytes of killer new PCM sounds like screaming electric guitar, celestial ebony flute, classic rock organ, and world percussion*" into your M1. The asterisk at the end of that sentence continues the voice list at the bottom of the page: *Also contains new PCM samples of acoustic guitar, electric piano, solo violin, rap percussion, harp, analog synth, marimba, string bass, assorted ethnic percussion, glockenspiel, and more.

Killer glockenspiel? Really? But I respect their attempt at keeping "synth hot-rodding" alive.  :D

Anyways, point being, that ad was "a sound partnership" ad by Korg and InVision Interactive (pun intended I'm sure). And maybe both this ad, and the O1/W two-pager in the mag, resulted in the SR ad getting punted.

The SR ad then got great ad-space in the February and March 1993 issues of Keyboard appearing on the front inside cover and page 3 respectively. .

The ad's April 1993 absence was no doubt due to Keyboard's cover feature that month - the "M1 Monster Sound Round-Up". Korg did the right thing by choosing to run a "lowest price ever" ad for the Korg M1 where the SR ad appeared the month before (page 3). Good work.

The May 1993 absence of the SR ad was easily made up for by its appearance in the "Short Takes" review section of Keyboard. Jim Aikin's review actually clocks in at just under one page if you include the full length photo of the front panel running across the top of the page, and does more than any ad could have making people think "happy thoughts" about the SR:
"The best thing about the Wavestation has always been its distinctive sound. Or sounds, actually. While it's known for rich, swirling pads, ferocious one-finger grooves, and hair-raising special effects, the kind of thing that other synthesizers can only do weak imitations of, it will produce detailed electric pianos, punch basses, crisp clavs, vibrant solo winds, and a wide range of other standard timbres just as easily. It's hard to program a Wavestation sound that doesn't have character."
Can't beat that kind of introduction.

The ad then made one final showing in June 1993, a full four months after it stopped running in Electronic Musician. Eight months long - not a bad run with only January and April missing out on anything SR-related.

The Wavestation brand had now been running close to three years. Hard to believe Korg wasn't done with it yet...

1 comment:

Pierre Serné / NetPierre / PatchPierre said...

This ad also appeared on the back of Future Music issues 7, 8 and 9 (may/june/july 1993), the follow-ups were the '0'-series ads. Let me know if you need more info on FM ads from issue 1993 through ca. 2000
I kept them all... and i have a 300 dpi scanner :-)
Keep up the good work!

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