Monday, December 21, 2009

EML family of products advertisement 3, Contemporary Keyboard 1976

Electronic Music Laboratories, Inc. (EML) 1/3-page ads of its family of products including ElectroComp 101, 200, and 401 semi-modular synthesizers, 300 manual controller, 400 sequencer, and SynKey (model 2001) from page 38 (both) of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine July/August and November/December 1976.

Okay, I do realize that I've kinda been obsessing with EML ads lately, but I figure the end-of-the-year holiday season is here and I may as well just finish 'em off and then move on to some other great ads in the new year.

So, I'll continue... :o)

This is the third EML ad to appear in Contemporary Keyboard in as many issues. It continued to run for at least the next two to three years - with the only other change being that they sloppily added the 1-800 number after the paragraph of text (see the second image).

If you compare this ad to the the previous ad, you will notice some definite similarities. They continued to run with the 'they grow on you' campaign. They also kept the exact same ad copy and re-shot the photo with the same general positioning of the gear - including some patch cords hanging over the lid of the ElectroComp 200.

EML did change a few things for the better. They pushed up the brightness of the photo so that you could actually make out the ElectroComp 300 sitting on top of the ElectroComp 401. They also moved the headphones.

But the big difference is that the gear and ad copy are rearranged a bit to make room for another piece of EML gear - the Model 2001 SynKey synthesizer. And although I'm glad that EML decided to include another synthesizer in this ad, I am a little disappointed that the ElectroComp 500 synthesizer was not that synthesizer.

It could be that the 500 had already been out for a few years, while the SynKey was a newer synthesizer with a whole different look and feel about it. Plus, as mentioned at the end of the previous blog post, EML had just finished blowing some cash on a full-page SynKey ad as well as in a CK contest give-a-way. So, it would kinda make sense to keep running with it.

But for some reason, even though I've never owned or played an ElectroComp 500, I feel more of a bond with it. Maybe it is because it reminds me of the white-faced ARP Odyssey with its colouring, shape, and sliders (check out Vintage Synth Explorer to compare both the ElectroComp 500 and the white-faced ARP Odyssey). Or maybe it is because the 500 was the underdog in a battle for synthesizer supremacy dominated by the MiniMoog and Odyssey. But most likely it is because I'm cheap - and the 500 was available for a much lower price than the MiniMoog and the Odyssey. Yeah... probably that.

I gotta say, before blogging about these EML ads, I knew very little about EML gear, and I felt like I was playing catch-up.

Sadly, Wikipedia has very little on EML in general, and what little is there seem to be incorrect. The page says that the company stopped producing synthesizers in 1976. Yet I find this hard to believe considering that EML continued to promote their synthesizers in CK well into 1979. And, in Mark Vail's 'Vintage Synthesizers', one of the founders, Jeff Murray, says that although demand fell off, they continued to make all their existing product line in the latter '70s, while also doing custom work for other companies.

Check out some of the other usual online synthesizer reference sites for some good info.

One more thing - I still haven't decided whether to post over the rest of the holidays. Keep an eye on the site!

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