IMPORTANT: This is a downloadable product. Upon payment, you will be sent a download link and code via email. If you don’t receive this email within a few minutes of ordering, please check your spam folder. If you still don’t get the email, let us know, and we’ll get you sorted out manually. Also, please note that this set DOES NOT include any material from any of the brand new Optigan/Orchestron discs we’ve created in recent years. Only material from the original/vintage 1970s discs is included here.
Please note that there are two options for purchasing this set. You can purchase it by itself from this page, but you can also purchase it in a discount bundle with my original Optigan/Orchestron/Talentmaker set.
The Optigan Archives Vol. 1 is an exclusive set of loops and keyboard samples culled from the original Optigan/Orchestron studio master reels. These samples are provided in .wav format, along with associated Native Instruments Kontakt programs.
While the Optigan itself always sounded very lo-fi due to the limitations of its optical-soundtrack technology, the original master tapes retain their hi-fi sound quality.
The Optigan master reels are a vast archive of early 1970s era musical building blocks, covering a wide range of popular styles from the period. Ultimately, only a small portion of this material ever made it onto production Optigan discs. For this initial collection of samples, I’m focusing on that small portion and related out-takes. Future volumes in this series will comprise entirely unfamiliar material- out-takes which never saw the light of day on any Optigan disc.
To answer an obvious question right off the bat: does this sample set make the original Optigan/Orchestron/Talentmaker sample collection obsolete? Well, I suppose that depends on your musical needs, but in my opinion, both sets complement each other. For one thing, as far as we know, the Talentmaker master tapes are lost forever, so if you’re after that material, the original sample set is your only option. But as far as sound quality is concerned, the main thing that makes the original instruments attractive in the first place IS their hauntingly lo-fi sound. While it’s true that you could approximate this sound by filtering samples from the master tapes, in reality it’s simply never going to sound the same. There are just too many quirks about the instruments that make them sound special. So, if you’re looking for quirky/haunting sounds, stick with the original sample set. But if you’re looking for sounds that have a much wider range of possibilities, this new set may interest you.
In addition to the sounds themselves and their related Kontakt programs, I’ve also included a folder of scans of all the tracking sheets from the master reels. These sheets are the sole remaining reference material for these tapes. By studying them, you can find out more about the sounds themselves, and also whet your appetite for all the out-takes that will appear on future volumes of this series.
Our dear friend Mike Le Doux, who was Optigan’s music director and the source of these tapes, lost his 2-year struggle with cancer shortly after I began editing the material for this collection. In honor of Mike’s work and in the spirit of his generosity, 10% of the proceeds from the sale of this disc will be donated to cancer research.
It should be noted that, if you’re used to modern sample loop libraries, where rhythmic and tuning precision are prioritized at every stage of the production, these sounds may take a bit of getting used to in terms of their quirks and imperfections. Everything’s in mono, and some of the early sessions in particular have a degree of tape hiss, mild distortion or other audible flaws. While click tracks were used for every session, it seems that studio musicians in the early 70s weren’t quite used to the concept, and very often things were played quite loosely in defiance of the click. I’ve chosen to present these sounds as-is: I did not attempt to correct any of these deficiencies; only to listen carefully and select the best-sounding iteration of each given loop.
LEGAL STUFF: You are free to use these samples in your own musical creations for commercial and/or personal use, without any additional license fee to me, but I maintain the copyright on the samples themselves, and any redistribution of the samples in any form outside your own original musical creations is strictly forbidden. As far as is known, all original recordings were made on a work-for-hire basis, but since the actual contracts no longer exist, and most of the original artists are unknown, I cannot be held responsible for any residual payments owed to any artists who may step forward with a legitimate and verifiable claim to them. To date, this has never happened, and I don’t expect it to, but in theory it could, in which case the end user will be liable for such fees/payments. Note that this would only be an issue in cases where the samples are used commercially. Please respect the amount of work that went into creating this archive, and don’t put this stuff up on a torrent! Any use of this product constitutes agreement to these terms in their entirety.