The rarest manufactured instrument – the extinct and impossible to find Birotron playing worn out mixed tapes of string section, brass, violas, choir, and flutes across the keyboard.
The Birotron (pronounced By-ro-tron) is a tape replay keyboard conceived by Dave Biro of Yalesville, Connecticut, USA, and funded by Rick Wakeman of the progressive-rock group Yes, and Campbell Soup Company-Pepperidge Farm Foods in the mid-late 1970s. A Mellotron-like instrument in the prototype stage, and intended for mass production – it was featured on a hit single and used on several albums and tours. It appeared in advertisements and received press in several newspapers as the next ‘latest and greatest’ keyboard instrument. It also received over 1000 advance orders from many prominent musicians worldwide including members of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Despite this success, it is now generally considered the world’s rarest keyboard instrument in the genres of pop/rock music. It also retains the highest selling price for any Mellotron related keyboard, and since its inception, has been one of the most difficult to find, seldom seen, and least recorded instruments in the entire world.
“The musician is Chris Dale who very kindly let me do the video.
So what did this instrument sound like with a decent set of unworn tapes???? That is a mystery…..Sadly we may never know.”
Casio’s Mike Martin answers questions and takes a tour of the Privia Pro PX-5S. Recorded on 6/19/2013 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/casiomusicgear
Background video description:
Four years ago somebody suggested that I should do “Milkway Promenade” by Milkways.
Well, better late than never!
Anyways – not milkways – I play it on a small collection of small Yamaha keyboards. Most of them works with FM synthesis except the PSS-12 that uses Advanced Wave Memory.
Background video description:
Most of my small keyboards are from Casio. But I do have a Collection of small Yamaha keyboards too. Here I use some of them to play the Classic Kraftwerk song “Computer Love”.
You might notice that on the PC-100 keyboard the notes doesn’t seem to match the keys I am playing. The reason is that I had to use the transpose knob to be able to get the notes as high as I wanted them. So on this particular keyboard I am playing in another key than on the others.
Background video description:
A few people have asked for more DW-8000 videos, so here you go. It’s just a quick, live improvisation with a nice DW-8000 resonant pad with slow LFO detuning, the standard DX bass, and a LinnDrum pattern.
Roland keyboard specialist Ed Diaz demonstrates the Roland V-Combo VR-09 Performance Keyboard at Kraft Music.
About the keyboard in Roland’s own words:
Travel-ready, affordable, and outfitted with top-level Roland sounds, the V-Combo VR-09 is the ideal all-in-one solution for performing keyboard players. Dedicated piano, organ, and synth sound engines—organized in three intuitive blocks on the front panel—provide all the essential tones you need, right under your fingertips. The powerful real-time controls give you maximum expression on stage, with nine sliders for tone shaping and a large array of knobs and buttons for tweaking the seven simultaneous effects and various parameters. Other great features include an onboard looper, a drum section stocked with a library of rhythms for practice and jamming, and more. With its versatile sound selection, inspiring operation, and smart user interface, the V-Combo VR-09 is a dream come true for gigging musicians.
- Professional keyboard with instant-access operation for performing musicians
- Light and mobile; battery or AC power
- Pro-quality acoustic and electric pianos, including grand piano with 88-note stereo multi-sampling
- SuperNATURAL-powered Virtual Tone Wheel organ with nine harmonic bars, plus newly developed transistor-type ‘60s organ tone
- Wide range of synth tones, from vintage classics to modern essentials
- Seven simultaneous effects with dedicated real-time controls
- Looper and built-in rhythm patterns; WAV/MP3/SMF song playback via optional USB memory
- Free VR-09 Editor app available for iPad
Back in August 2007, Keyboard got a look at Page McConnell’s onstage rig. See and hear his array of vintage and analog gear.
Page McConnell is an American multi-instrumentalist most noted for his work as a songwriter and keyboardist with the American rock band Phish. In addition to being a member of Phish since 1985, McConnell has had several other musical liaisons during his career, including a trio named Vida Blue. He released his first solo album, featuring original compositions, in 2007.
We go hands-on with the digital Mellotron re-creation that the keyboard world is abuzz about. Boutique one-trick pony? Maybe, but it does that one trick so exceptionally well that it’s getting attention from the likes of Rami Jaffee (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters).
It is a 24 bit digital uncompressed audio playback unit with ca 100 Mellotron and Chamberlin sounds built in. Extra cartridges will be available with 100 sounds each. It has a custom built full Mellotron style wood keyboard with depth sensitivity and polyphonic aftertouch out via MIDI. The front panel user inteface has 2 TFT-displays of high quality and are capable of showing pictures of the actual instruments. The dimensions of the cabinet are 34″x19.5″5.25″ (86x50x13.5cm) (WxDxH).
Here is some more info about the M4000D:
- Mellotron style wooden keyboard with depth sensitivity and polyphonic aftertouch via MIDI out.
- 100 original Mellotron and Chamberlin lead sounds included, with IMMEDIATE access.
- The sounds are taken from the original first-generation tape library giving the same sound quality as the original Mellotrons made in the 60s and 70s.
- It has our very advanced and in-house developed streaming technology for uncompressed 24 bit audio reproduction.
- The software and audio engine has taken 3 years to develop, but our concept of the digital Mellotron has been in development since the mid 90s. We bought parts of the original inventory from a company called ‘Mellotron Digital’.
- Furniture quality cabinet with hinged lid.
- Expansion slot gives you 100 extra sounds on special compact flash cards, all from the original archives. There will be ca 8 expansion cards released with a large variety of sounds.
- Two high-quality TFT displays and a backlit laser cut front panel.
- Our very advanced and in-house developed streaming technology for uncompressed 24 bit audio reproduction.
- Three gold plated balanced XLR outputs, all other connectors are gold plated for maximum reliablilty.
- Dimensions: 859x501x135 mm, weight 17.5 kg.
Mike Martin from Casio demonstrates the Privia Pro PX-5S stage piano at Kraft Music.
|Keyboard||88-key, Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II|
|Maximum Polyphony||256 Notes|
|Number of Tones||370 Preset / 350 User
Keyboard Instrument (including Electric Piano) – 60 Preset, 50 User
Hex Layer – 50 Preset, 150 User
|Stage Settings||100 User Stage Settings / 4 zone configurations|
|Controllers||4 knobs, 6 sliders, Pitch & Modwheel, 2 Pedal Inputs|
|Arpeggiator||4 simultaneous programmable 16 step Arpeggiators|
|Phrase Sequencer||8 Tracks, up to 1,000 phrases|
|Storage||USB / File & Audio Recording|
|System Effects||Reverb, Chorus, Delay, String & Damper Resonance|
|Insert Effects||4 simultaneous / Equalizer, Compressor, Limiter, Enhancer, Early Reflection, Phaser, Chorus, Flanger, Tremolo, Auto Pan, Rotary, Drive Rotary, LFO Wah, Auto Wah, Distortion (w/ Amp Simulator), Pitch Shifter, Multi Chorus, Ring Mod, Delay, Piano effect|
|Master Effects||4 Band EQ & Compressor|
|MIDI||Independent USB & MIDI I/O|
|Audio Terminals||1/4″ L&R Input & Output, 1/8″ Audio Input|
|Dimension||52.05 x 11.26 x 5.31 (inch)|
|Weight||24.47 lbs (W/O Battery)|
Switched On is now carrying the Super Synthesis “Super37″ powered Eurorack modular case and keyboard. Simply plug in a custom array of Euro modules and build your super synth. The keyboard feels excellent to play and is velocity sensitive, it’s very portable, and it has midi out. The onboard midi sends out polyphonic data as well!
It includes one module that allows for switching octaves, velocity out, trig,gate, and of course volt per ocatve out. The modules single LED bulb also indicates the amount of velocity being sent from the keyboard by how luminous it is. And last but not least it can slew voltage from the keyboard to create glide effects.
It features 104HP of high quality Tip Top Audio Z-rail space, includes a Tip Top Audio powersupply, and has a well crafted aluminum chassis with stained wood sides.
They are made by Super Synthesis in our hometown of Austin, TX and we are pleased to be carrying them.
Read more about the Super37 and purchase HERE.