Re: Modular Analog


Subject: Re: Modular Analog
From: lawrence casserley (leo@chiltern.demon.co.uk)
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 11:30:28 EDT


Hi

Further to our earlier discussions about the Ionic Performer, I
received the following response from Tristram Cary:

I'm not surprised at the Ionic story, though the most likely US outfit
to be
selling it would have been Musonic, who sold the Hi-Fli effects box as
theirs with EMS permission (though EMS made it). When we were getting
ready
for production on the VCS3 (in 1968 I think), we discussed applying for
a
patent - but in fact it's very hard to patent a thing like VCS3 which
is an
original idea but made of ordinary pre-existing components anyone can
buy.
You can easily patent something like a new kind of transistor, but hard
to
cover a general principle. We had ideas like spraying the PCBs with
black
paint, but in the end we thought that someone was going to copy it
anyway,
so we might as well get out there selling it and let it take its
chances.
In any case Robin Wood is doing well selling secondhand VCS3s and AKSs,
and
he got new mods and computer interfaces - I think he gets around 2
grand for
them (a bit more than the 110 or so we sold the first ones for). But
he or
Zinovieff may know more about the Ionic thing than I do.

And this from Robin Wood:

Somewhere in my collection of EMS material I have a lurid photo of the
Ionic
Performer you mention. I remember attending a NAMM show in Chicago in
the early
seventies where Ionic Industries had a small booth and were exhibiting
the
Performer. You are correct that it was a repackaged VCS3 with an
integral
keyboard. Instead of the pin matrix it had rows of rectangular
push-button
switches - like an early ryhthm box. What really struck me about it was
the
publicity leaflet which brazenly announced 'No skill required' in its
operation,
before expanding further on this theme. It still had the familiar
vernier dials
for tuning the oscillators. I spoke to Steve Mayer on the stand but no
Alfred.
Dealings with Ionic were soon curtailed and from about 1972 the US side
of the
business was handled by Dr. Everett Hafner and his company EMSA from
Amherst,
Mass.

Best wishes

Lawrence

Lawrence Casserley - lawrence@lcasserley.co.uk
Lawrence Electronic Operations - www.lcasserley.co.uk
Colourscape Music Festivals - www.colourscape.org.uk



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