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 if you’re touring. Here’s a fun early example (no relation to the singer Pete Hicks!):
2. The idea of directly drawing your own optigan discs with a pen is one that comes up, but in reality it basically doesn’t work. Basically all you can hope for is a bunch of noise. Mike Le Doux told me that he experimented with trying to “draw out” the loop joint thumps on the discs, with zero useable results. And that was just an attempt to draw in a very tiny bit of waveform.