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The Virtual Optigan

Back when we first started this web page, one of my first ideas was to have some kind of java-based Virtual Optigan for people to play with online. My good friend Randy Antler took up the challenge, and the results are available for download here. Itís a temperamental little applet, but the way I see it that’s the way it should be- I mean, it IS an Optigan!!! And besides, WIRED Magazine thought it was cool enough to write us up a little blurb about it (even though they never asked us and got some of their info wrong!!) DISCLAIMER: This program was designed at least five years ago, so USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! Sorry no mac version.

click here to download the virtual optigan!

Remember when Nixon ruled the free world and rock and roll was groovy? Well, today even the temporally challenged can jump on the retro bandwagon with the Virtual Optigan – an online version of the optical organ that took its sounds from flexi-discs encoded with waveforms of actual instruments. This cheesy proto-sampler, coveted by collectors and rock stars alike, was made buy Mattel in the early ’70s. With a little help from Java, Randy Antler has created one of the most swingingly brilliant [apps] around. The Virtual Optigan lets you experience the real thing from the comfort of your own browser. You have all the talent you need to play, so with the click-n-drag of a mouse you’ll be grooving like a pro before you can say “Moog-a-delic, baby!” … Next time the party train stops at your pad [try] some truly mello enbtertainment… laugh-in riot is more like it.

- Wired Magazine

11 Responses to “The Virtual Optigan”

  1. Jason Says:

    Download link doesn’t work. Just takes me back to the same webpage.

  2. Lauren Leilani Says:

    Hi! Is this program still available? When I click on it, I am taken to a search engine within the site?

  3. Gigacake Says:

    It’s missing! Clicking on it only leads to this page again!

  4. admin Says:

    My bad. It should download ok now!

  5. Jack Dull Says:

    I cannot believe there is so much interest in these , I worked as a service training supervisor and set up and trained service centers all over the country in the 70′s. I find the optigan a unique instrument but yes very flawed in quality. A great idea, I can still see and hear these in my sleep, The instruments were all assembled along with the Estey reed organ at the old Alcola Aluminum plant in New Ken. Pa I still know others who worked there. I had bought one for my Mother for Christmas, although she passed in 2005 I don’t know where the optigon is. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Fred Says:

    Where can I buy the virtual (M.I.D.I.) optigan software?
    Thnx BBB

  7. peahix Says:

    hi, unfortunately this project has stalled and i haven’t been able to get it revived thus far. any future progress on this will be fully covered on optigan.com.

  8. bizun Says:

    hi!
    Simply amazing — have You ever thought of making a proper VST plugin with all the NEW disk You’ve produced so far?
    I liked the SITAR most.

  9. michael lindner Says:

    to bad there is not a mac version. there are many musical people using macs.. :) and a “yes to” plug ins…

  10. timmybuk2 Says:

    this would be awesome in Reason 6! RE Baby!

  11. Todd Says:

    Agreed for Reason RE!

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