Stefan Stenzel has released iOptigan for iPhone and iPad. This is the story in his own words...
The Optigan, short for Optical Organ, was a chord organ from the early 1970's. It is remembered today for its unique system of sound reproduction using optical discs. These LP-sized film discs were optically encoded with 57 concentric tracks, which contained loops of musical combos playing chord patterns in different styles. Each disc contained a specific style of music (Bossa Nova, Big Band etc) which the user could control by pressing the chord buttons. Changing the discs was as simple as putting a new record on your turntable. Think of it as the 1971 version of GarageBand.
Despite this novel technology, the scratchy sound of the Optigan left a lot to be desired.
The iOptigan we present here truthfully recreates that lo-fi sound.
25 of the original 40 discs are included, the remaining 15 can be purchased individually or all together in the Complete Pak.
Specifications and Features:
• Disc loading rigth-side-up or upside-down
• Spring Reverb (virtual)
• Optical Metronome
• Audio Demo for each Disc
• MIDI in/out
• MIDI chord detection
• MIDI File Import
• Sequencer with Record and Playback
• Sharing for songs as Audio and MIDI File
• iTunes File Sharing
• Inter-App Audio
• Smart background audio
• Help overlay
• Headphone optimised stereo (optional)
• Radio Mode for Chord Buttons or Keyboard
• Comfortable speed control in semitones or BPM
Pricing and Availability:
$4.99 at the app store.
Complete Disc Pak: $5.99
We sat down with Rob to discuss the creative process and what lead him to using a modular