- The “miniKORG 700FS” (over $2,000). This one’s interesting for two reasons… 1) Korg went back to this one… they’re first mono-synth and 2) This was the very first Synthesizer I ever purchased. At that time, it was known as the “miniKORG 700” (without the “FS” in its name). This was in the early 70s. I was 16 or 17 and still in High School. I don’t remember what I paid for it but it was no where near $2,000. Probably around $200 brand new at that time.
It took me quite a bit longer to feel the limitations of the MiniMoog but its sounds were some of the richest I have ever interacted with. Even today.
- Shortly after this purchase, I became the Drummer for a Top-40 Band in the town I lived in — Jacksonville, Florida. I used that Synthesizer with my acoustic Drums for most of those Gigs. I actually invented a Switch Box so both could be used when I wanted to combine them. I would setup a Patch (sound) on the 2600 before starting the Song. I made sure the Synthesizer setting on the Switch Box was OFF. Then, while playing the Song on my acoustic Drums, I would use a Drumstick to hit a rubberized arm that I created and the Switches I placed under the Drumheads would send their Signals to the Synth. This would allow me to play a sweeping-down sound along “with” the sound of my acoustic Drums. (Hit each Drum and get both sounds.) Of course, I could also Trigger many other ARP 2600 sounds this way.
- I met my first wife while playing with that Band. After we got married, I quit the Band, sold my Drums and my ARP 2600. At the time, I thought I was doing the “right thing” by “settling down”. It was my own mindset that did me in. That was a big mistake on my part because: 1) My wife married a “Musician” but I turned into an “every day guy” / a “non-Musician” and 2) That was a real working Band. Although we were only a “local” Band at that point, we were good. Very good and just starting to get a foothold to better and bigger opportunities.
- Just before Sylvia and I got Married, we had heard (still not “Internet”) that the ARP company had just gone out of business. I told Sylvia: “They make the ARP 2600. That’s probably the most important Synthesizer we should have in our set up.” She agreed and we immediately called the ARP company. A man answered the phone and to “me” I always felt as through it was Mr. Pearlman himself. What an honor… not only to be talking to a Synthesizer Engineer “Legend” but to also be purchasing one of the last (or maybe it “was” the last) Synthesizers left in that company. The one we bought was the “all-black with orange lettering” version.