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'FAQ' Posts

Frequently asked questions about the Optigan and some answers. These posts populate the Optigan FAQ.

Optigan Featured on latest Sonic Talk episode

Posted by peahix on 31st March 2017

There’s some Optigan chit-chat on the latest Sonic Talk episode: Many thanks for the kind words from Dave Spiers & company! To answer a couple of the questions brought up: 1. Yes, various folks have used Optigans in live performance (including yours truly), and yes, they’re a pain in the ass to play live, especially [...]

Posted in Archives, FAQ, Sightings | No Comments »

Use Of Our Original Optigan/Orchestron Disc Titles

Posted by peahix on 11th April 2016

Since we’ve been authoring new disc titles for the Optigan, our feeling all along has been that these discs (at least the ones with significant musical content in the form of original arrangments and phrases) are sort of like “singles,” ie creative musical products in and of themselves, albeit with an interactive component. We’ve never [...]

Posted in FAQ, New Optigan / Orchestron Discs, Orchestron, Shoptigan | 4 Comments »

What are the weights and dimensions of the Optigan models?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Here’s a list of the weights and dimensions of the various Optigan models (minus the 37003, which I don’t have info for), to aid in estimating shipping costs. Note that these figures are for just the Optigan itself, not including a bench or any other extras. Model 34001: width: 34.75″ height: 32″ depth: 18″ weight: [...]

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Posted in FAQ | 1 Comment »

The “A Major” and “E Major” buttons on my Optigan sound wrong. Are they?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Yes and no. From a musical standpoint, they’re very very wrong. But nothing is actually wrong with your Optigan. In order to fit enough stuff onto the discs, they had to cut corners a bit. There wasn’t enough room for A and E major, so they decided that they would take a C# dim chord [...]

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Other than discs, what kinds of Optigan accessories were there?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

There were several different models of benches made to match the different cabinet designs. If you bought your Optigan at Sears, though, chances are you received a generic Sears organ bench. These are the most common type of bench found with Optigans today. Each Optigan also came with a felt cleaning wand, used to clean [...]

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Will Talentmaker Discs play in an Optigan and vice-versa?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Again, yes and no. The center hole diameter is slightly different between the two types of discs. It’s a very small difference, but one that results in more crosstalk when you try to play a disc on the other machine. Also, the Talentmaker discs contained a total of 61 rings of soundtrack, versus the Optigan’s [...]

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Posted in FAQ, Talentmaker | No Comments »

Will Orchestron Discs play in an Optigan and vice-versa?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Yes and no. First of all, the Orchestron was not an “organ” and thus did not have an chord buttons- only a 37 note keyboard. Second, the actual track layout of the Orchestron discs differs from the that of Optigan discs. With the Orchestron, Mike devised a track layout which was much more forgiving of [...]

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Posted in FAQ, Orchestron | No Comments »

What are some other instruments similar to the Optigan?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Information on the Vako Orchestron and Chilton Talentmaker can be found on this page.

Posted in FAQ, Orchestron, Talentmaker | No Comments »

Were there ever any Optigan Promotional Demo Tapes?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Yes, and you’re in luck because all of the known Optigan promotional audio material is now on a single CD, available for purchase from this website!! You can hear most of the contents of this CD in the video below.

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Posted in FAQ, Shoptigan | No Comments »

Were there ever any Optigan TV commercials?

Posted by peahix on 23rd April 2006

Yes- two in fact. The original was produced under Mattel and was hailed as one of the first TV commercials for a musical instrument. From what I’ve heard, this commercial’s theme was “Make Your Own Kind Of Music.” It featured a middle-aged guy who was not very successful as the host of a party until [...]

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