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Laurie Anderson – Optigan / Panoptigon 2010 One-Off Disc Demo

Posted by peahix on February 11th, 2019

This is a historical oddity that was never intended for public consumption, but in honor of Laurie Anderson’s Grammy Award for LANDFALL (which prominently features Robert Becker’s heavily modified “Optigan Pro”), we thought it’d be fun to share this and get in a quick Panoptigon demo at the same time. When we lent Laurie the Optigan, we thought it’d be fun to put some of her own sounds on a one-off disc for her to mess around with. We pulled drums & musical loops for the chord buttons, and short spoken phrases for the keyboard. This demo is just some spontaneous noodling, which was recorded in multiple MIDI passes and then dumped live to audio. The video was shot during the actual audio recording, so you can see the disc speed up, slow down, and go into reverse in time with the audio. Maybe not Grammy material (OK, decidedly not!), but a geeky curiosity nonetheless! Congrats, Laurie & Kronos!

Posted in New Optigan / Orchestron Disc Player, New Optigan / Orchestron Discs, Panoptigon | No Comments »

Laurie Anderson’s LANDFALL, feat. Optigan, Wins Grammy Award

Posted by peahix on February 11th, 2019

Big congrats to Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet on their Grammy Award! We had a tiny hand in the creation of Landfall, having lent Laurie one of Robert Becker’s heavily customized Optigans which she used prominently in the piece, including our own original Sitar disc! The Optigan was in Laurie’s studio at the time of Hurricane Sandy. It managed to survive, because it was upstairs. Many of her other keyboards and archives were down in the basement, and were destroyed.


Posted in Sightings | No Comments »

Panoptigon @ NAMM 2019 Coverage

Posted by peahix on January 27th, 2019

Robert Becker has been holding down the fort at the Quilter Labs NAMM booth all weekend (Pea joined him on Friday) showing off the new Panoptigon! has included us in their “best in show” list, and overall folks are really digging it! will be taking pre-orders for the first limited run of Panoptigons very soon (MAP $3999), so send us an email if you’d like to get in on that. Here’s a couple videos from NAMM- thanks to SonicState & Reverb for stopping by!

Posted in New Optigan / Orchestron Disc Player, New Optigan / Orchestron Discs, Panoptigon | No Comments »

PANOPTIGON – Available Soon! Showing Production Units at NAMM

Posted by peahix on January 19th, 2019

Happy 2019, Optigoners!

We’re happy to announce that the PANOPTIGON – the new Optigan/Orchestron disc-playing hardware developed by our associate Robert Becker & his company Quilter Labs – will finally be available in an initial limited quantity production run of 25 units for US customers in 2019. (The initial run are not approved for Europe due to additional requirements that will be addressed on the next build.) Click on the thumbnails above to see the official flyer and photos of one of the first production units. We don’t have a release date yet, but it will be in the coming months. An official demo video will be ready soon, but in the meantime you can view a demo of the prototype unit from last year:

Quilter Labs will be showing the first two production units at NAMM this year, so if you’re attending, be sure to stop by their booth – number 4144 Hall D.

We’d like to encourage all of you to purchase the Panoptigon from this site ( when it does become available. The Panoptigon was developed with Pea acting in an informal advisory role, but will only be a dealer, rather than a partner, which means the only way we earn any cut is via sales commissions. In other words, if you hear about it from us, and decide to buy it based on our involvement/endorsement, but end up buying it direct from the factory, we will receive no commission. Either way, the price, delivery time, and service will be the same. MAP for the Panoptigon is $3999.

To this end, we will be offering an informal pre-sale for folks who are keen to reserve one of the initial batch of 25 units that will be offered for sale (14 of the initial run are already spoken for as of this posting date). Please send us an email if you’re interested in placing a pre-order, and we’ll get the ordering details to you as soon as we’re ready.

Along with the public launch of the Panoptigon, our entire back-catalog of discs will become more readily available on demand, so no more waiting around for bulk order deals as we’ve had to do in the past. The Panoptigon will play all vintage Optigan/Orchestron discs as well, but we’re also likely to remaster the vintage Optigan disc titles in order to add the strobe patterns that unlock additional features for discs that have them.

OK! That about covers it for now. See you at NAMM!

Posted in New Optigan / Orchestron Disc Player, New Optigan / Orchestron Discs, Orchestron, Panoptigon | 10 Comments »

Orchestron Prototype #1 For Sale

Posted by peahix on December 14th, 2018

We have no connection to this sale, but it’s a unique item so it’s worthy of a mention here. Apparently this is David VanKoevering’s first prototype Orchestron. The earliest Orchestrons were basically just converted Optigans, so that’s what this is.


Posted in Orchestron, Sightings | No Comments »

Optigan Article in Norwegian Musikkpraksis Magazine

Posted by peahix on August 19th, 2018

A recent issue of the Norwegian magazine Musikkpraksis features an article about the Optigan for which Pea was interviewed. Thanks to Geir Sundstøl for the article, and for sending us a copy! If you read Norwegian, please let us know if Pea said anything embarassing.



Posted in Optiganally Yours, Sightings | 1 Comment »

Get iOptigan for FREE this weekend!

Posted by peahix on August 18th, 2018

Starting tomorrow, iOptigan can be downloaded for free for a limited time, including 25 of the original 40 discs!

Posted in iOptigan | No Comments »

Optiganally Yours – O.Y. IN HI-FI – Out Today!

Posted by peahix on July 20th, 2018

The new Optiganally Yours album “O.Y. In Hi-Fi” is finally out to wide release today! You can buy it on vinyl here. You can also get it on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, and YouTube:

Posted in Optiganally Yours | No Comments »

Optiganally Yours – Official Lyric Videos & O.Y. IN HI-FI Wide Release

Posted by peahix on July 17th, 2018

The new Optiganally Yours album “O.Y. In Hi-Fi” is out as a stand-alone release this Friday, July 20th!

Also, in case you missed them, we have lyric videos for the three “singles” from the album:

Posted in Optiganally Yours | No Comments »

Reed & Caroline’s New Album HELLO SCIENCE feat. Custom Orchestron Disc

Posted by peahix on July 8th, 2018


Recently we collaborated on a custom Orchestron disc for the synth pop duo Reed & Caroline. They sent over some of Caroline’s vocal textures and we turned them into an exclusive disc called “Caroline.” Sorry- this is a private title and not available for purchase! You can hear the Caroline disc as well as other standard Orchestron discs on several songs from their new album “Hello Science,” on Vince Clarke’s Very Records label. If you look closely at the album’s cover art, our disc is used as part of the graphic design. We also got a nice shout-out in this review of the album.

Reed reports the Orchestron usage as:

Dark Matter: gliding Caroline “aah” sound in intro and chorus
Another Solar System: Cello, String Ensemble
Computers: Caroline
Internet of Things: Vocal Choir
Continuous Interfold: Caroline
Metatron: Caroline, Vocal Choir

R&C are also currently opening for Erasure on the US leg of their tour, though the Orchestron was deemed too bulky and fragile to take out on the road! Here’s a photo of Reed & Vince inspecting the Caroline disc.



VINCE CLARKE & REED HAYS – An introduction to the Vako Orchestron from VeryRecords on Vimeo.

Posted in New Optigan / Orchestron Discs, Orchestron | No Comments »