Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yamaha DX9 and DX7 Gary Leuenberger ad, Keyboard 1983


Yamaha DX9 and DX7 Gary Leuenberger 1/4-page black and white advertisement from page 22 in the August 1983 issue of Keyboard Magazine. 

If my last blog post featured the very first Yamaha "DX" advertisement in the July 1983 issue of Keyboard Magazine, then this little quarter-pager appearing a month later is actually the first advertisement to promote the DX7. Strange. And cool.

But before I go on, I just have to mention something else about the August 1983 issue of Keyboard Magazine.

THE COVER!

Why, hello there Thomas Morgan (Dolby) Robertson. Do you remember me in row seven dancing in the isle during your Flat Earth tour? What? No? Gah! It took you a while to get to my small neck of the Canadian woods. But when you finally did, you did not disappoint.

In fact, you did the complete opposite of disappoint. Yah, that.

I have been a Thomas Dolby fan since before *he* was born. Seriously. I knew his music had to exist - it just took him a while to get on with creating it for me.   :D

It was crazy hard to find information out about him back then, so when this issue came off the presses and into my mailbox, you can bet it was cut up with a pair of scissors and the photos up on my wall by the time my mom and dad came home from work that same day. Due to those scissors, this cover photo scan is obviously not from my original magazine collection. Thank you very much eBay.

I have never stopped following his career. And now with his Web site, Twitter and every other type of communication platform, its a whole lot easier to keep track of him.

Okay, just one last thing to say about him... and a little too much information about me: I've always fantasized Thomas Dolby would marry Annie Lennox and they would have cool kids.

You too, eh?

*silence*

Fine. Back to the ad...

Does the name Garry Leuenberger ring a bell? Back in May 2010 I posted my first Garry Leuenberger advertisement for the Yamaha GS1. Yup - besides being the guy with a wack of vowels in his last name, he's also the guy that got the jump on Yamaha by putting out his company's GS1 ad four months before Yamaha's appeared. His relationship with Yamaha is not just in selling instruments either, as this ad mentions, he was a Yamaha consultant, which included the programming of patches for the GS1 as well as for a CS80 patch guide.

And although not as far ahead of the game this time around with the DX series, he's still pretty much at the front of the line. And why not - as I pointed out in the GS1 post, apparently he was one of the original programmers of the presets for the DX7 as well:
According to the IEEE Global History Network's page on the Yamaha DX-7, Gary was also involved in programming the DX-7 as well:

"Apparently many DX-7 users found programming the device too difficult, and preferred instead to use the preset voices provided with the instrument. The credit for programming these voices goes to two individuals, David Bristow in the United Kingdom and Gary Leuenberger in the United States. The two developed a range of “voices”—imitation of bass guitars, brass instruments, bells, marimbas, the sound of a Fender Rhodes electric piano, and numerous special effects."
Did I just quote myself quoting another quote. Yoiks.

Point being, if anyone was going to be at the front of the pack with this new era of FM synthesis, it's Gary. And he's even got the balls to switch-up Yamaha's own DX ad-slogan of  "The performance is about to begin" to his own The Performance Begins.

Balls I tell you!

Yamaha's first minimal introductory ad for the DX series only ran in the July and August 1983 issues, and this GL advertisement only ran in the August and September 1983 issues. Not much of an initial bang for FM synthesis, I'd say.

But Yamaha would throw everything they had into the next DX advertisement and finally give the the DX7 and DX9 the attention they deserved.

Yum.

2 comments:

jo said...

i just picked up two cassettes from yamaha...one is called "DX Performance Demonstration" and the performances are by Gary Leuenberger and Don Lewis. I'm in process of digitizing and will let you know when I'm done!

Roger J said...

Gary was a clinic demonstrator for Yamaha on the CS60-80 series. He worked at the San Fransisco Yamaha store(owned by Yamaha). When Yamaha closed it, Val St Regis and Gary Leuenburger opened St Regis Leuenburger Yamaha on Market St. between 3 and 4th.
He was the produce manager for the GS1 and DX series. There were several other before and after that he managed. He frequently traveled to Buena Park and Japan for these products.
There would never have been a DX7 without Gary, as Yamaha saw no need of having a velocity sensing keyboard and only wished to release the DX9. Gary was the connection between Stanford's labs and Yamaha. Most of the useful patches were done by Gary and Don Lewis.

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