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Jon Johnson

Topic: 360 Systems Digital Keyboard

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The 360 Systems Digital Keyboard was used in recording studios in Los Angeles and NYC in the mid 80s and can be found in many popular recordings. Besides the Mellotron strings and flutes, the unit has Bosendorfer Grand piano, vibraphone, two different guitars, fretless bass, slap bass, various brass and woodwinds like trumpet, saxophone, bassoon, clarinet and other original stock sounds. It also includes the rare 16 piece string orchestra chip that cost $860 itself. Each sampled sound has its own integrated circuit chip that plugs into ziff sockets on one of the 3 internal PC boards. The keyboard can be split so you can have two sounds on different keys at the same time, one on the left/right with an adjustable threshold. You can also combine two sounds at the same time on all the keys in unison. There is a double effect that makes the unit much more sensitive. The keyboard is polyphonic.

Less than two hundred 360 Systems Keyboards were produced total between 1982 and 1984. It is known as the world's first synthesizer to feature sampled sounds on IC chips. Its' sounds are comparable to that of a Mellotron, Chamberlin or Orchestron but has higher fidelity and the 360 has more parameters and options.

View full synthesizer

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