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JMJarvinen
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#1
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
  #1
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RMI Harmonic Synthesizer

I wanted to do a RMI Harmonic Synthesizer topic mainly for two reasons

1) My intentions are to build a new one (hardware)
(found schematics from Send big files the easy way. Files too large for email attachments? No problem! ,
searching individual sound examples from the Harmonic Generators
and preset tones ; which are originally made by the two HGs )

and for reason

2) The unit´s rarity and several inquiries on Allen Organ company
made me interested in this project for possessing my own custom made
unit. I am aware that the RMI HS didn´t sell much (obviously! ; check the only few owners in publicy), only about 3-6 maybe in Europe; unknown
number (to me) sold in the America.
Now, there´s even few members here who have (or claims to have) an
RMI HS. It would be nice to have some prove like pics, sounds and videos of this remarkable early additive synthesizer, so why to keep them
in lurking darkness - so come on guys, let´s get the RMI widely renowed !
(Yeah, JMJ uses one in live on his InDoors tour, for 2-4 clearly notable
sounds; Oxygene 4 chorus, Oxygene 5 tingles & bass seq, Oxygene 6
chorus; doubled with Eminent.. and had 2 proper envelope generators
modded in with extra LFO)

But I demand MORE




#2
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
  #2
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I'll take one!
#3
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
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Please tell me that's not a pin matrix on the top there. Is it the sequencer?
#4
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
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some nice photos here, fwiw.
JMJarvinen
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#5
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
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RMI HS

The device ontop of RMI HS is Geiss Digi-Sequencer, the digital version of
Matrisequencer 250 (which has pin matrices) The Digi-Sequencer has rows
of push-button leds instead.. but this is off-topic

Got all the photos of the RMI HS from that site man..

Guess I´ll try to work out some sounds from the RMI HS schematic/manual
with Lil´Devil (the vst additive-synth demo)

Would love to hear the Actual sounds of the Harmonic Synthesizer thou
#6
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
  #6
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Some pics I snagged from an eBay sale a couple of years ago, I don't remember how much it sold for but I am sure it was quite a bit. I have always been a Jean-Michel Jarre fan.




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JMJarvinen
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#7
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
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RMI HS familiar pics

Got these pics too I think this is different model (maybe newer) RMI
than JMJ has as the harmonic generators don´t have the value markings..
(see JMJ´s HS in the back, seems not to have markings on the sliders)



http://usuarios.lycos.es/audionautas...ystudio90s.jpg for bigger pic. JMJ´s studio in 90s


And the other pics of his RMI shows the markings(Oxygene Live, Marigny)

#8
18th August 2009
Old 18th August 2009
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I had one for a little while. I sold it (to a famous musician actually). I honestly wasn't that impressed with it, given the value that is placed on it I found it not worth it actually. It could do some fun stuff, but in the end I decided I couldn't keep it.
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JMJarvinen
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#9
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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RMI

Heathfinnie you should have sold the RMI to me
It just Can´t be that bad as an instrument; after all few famous artists
use them even today
#10
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
  #10
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I used to like the RMI Keyboard Computer.
#11
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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i had rmi KCII

loved that sound...sold it ...
Attached Thumbnails
RMI Harmonic Synthesizer-rmi.jpg  
JMJarvinen
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#12
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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RMI

what is Wrong with you people... having mega-rare instruments and
selling them out..

I would definitely sell my kidney or other interior organ rather than a RMI
synth

can´t believe the RMIs would be that horrible sounding (or horrible to use)
instruments :P

If I´d have a RMI HS I´d stick with it all my life

well.. got this diy-project of my own while trying to recreate the infamous
RMI Harmonic Synthesizer by its shematics :D
JMJarvinen
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#13
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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rmi

Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator View Post
i had rmi KCII

loved that sound...sold it ...

judging by the photo of RMI KC it shows very clearly that Rocky Mount
Instrument was indeed a subsidiary company under Allen Organ

Those selection tabs are really organ-ic (my Korg ES-50 has quite
similar looking ones btw.. )
#14
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJarvinen View Post
what is Wrong with you people... having mega-rare instruments and
selling them out..
whell there were times when we had to give kids some food and survive hard times...

damn that hard times are back every few years..... but for now thank god i dont have to sell anything

actually RMI sounded nice and I loved it..BUT ..I still have stuff that are working for me better than RMI
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#15
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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JMJarvinen:
I believe the one without the value-markings on the front panel is the oldest version because that's the one shown
in the original promo/publicity material from 1974.

As for the Keyboard Computer, the original KC-1 model from 1974 looks way cooler than the KC-II in my opinion. This is the version
used by Jarre, Roger Powell (who got one of the first units off the production line), Rick Wakeman etc, though the latter two switched
to the KC-II later on.

Some webpages out there claim the KC-II was introduced in 1975 but I don't think that's correct. The demo disc & publicity material for
the KC-II is dated 1977 and I'm pretty sure that's the year of introduction rather than 1975.



EDIT: Roger Powell and Clark Ferguson were apparently involved in the development of the KC-I and Powell helped RMI with
some of the sounds here and there.
#16
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJarvinen View Post
what is Wrong with you people... having mega-rare instruments and
selling them out..

I would definitely sell my kidney or other interior organ rather than a RMI
synth

can´t believe the RMIs would be that horrible sounding (or horrible to use)
instruments :P

If I´d have a RMI HS I´d stick with it all my life

well.. got this diy-project of my own while trying to recreate the infamous
RMI Harmonic Synthesizer by its shematics :D
well, I had the RMI HS before I sold it to Heath. Before me, someone dumped it at 'Bananas at Large' in California where it was found by a friend of mine.

I've owned a lot of rare instruments over the years. If you are a collector, it's a great thing. Serial #1 of 6 of the Syrinx reissue, Synton Fenix's, RSF Kobol keyboard, Expander I, Expander II, PolyKobol keyboard, etc, etc.

The problem is integrating them into your studio, having more gear than you can possibly use in a lifetime, maintaining all that old gear, and so on.

Then there's the tradeoff -- for me, I'd rather sell the Harmonic Synth (for example) and purchase a Lexicon 480L and a Bricasti M7 instead. I get more regular use out of effects units than I do out of any 1 single synth. After sitting in a large room with about 150 synths (mostly rare analog stuff), a dozen+ drum machines, and sequencers and such I realized that it was just too much.

Give me a handful of great synths, a rack or two of effects (mostly vintage), an analog console, and a tape machine, and I'm happy. The sounds you hear on old records/CDs comes from more than a vintage synth, no matter how distinctive the sound.

As to their actual sonic value, virtually every synth I've owned did something unique and had its own sonic signature that couldn't be exactly duplicated by anything else. They were certainly all worth keeping in their own way, but reality forces one to make choices. In the RMI case, it can do some crazy things, and it's definitely a player/programmer synth in that to get the best out of it, you should be making realtime use of that left hand controller panel, but it doesn't sync to anything, there's no MIDI retrofit, there's a very cool filter, but it's only on the left channel, it uses a lot of rare ICs, and it's big and heavy.

I've cut down the number of vintage boards still around here. The only one left to finish and sell is the CS-80. It's basically working, needs calibration, a couple small faults that showed up recently. Anyone wants it as-is for $7900 US let me know.
JMJarvinen
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#17
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
  #17
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rmi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
JMJarvinen:
I believe the one without the value-markings on the front panel is the oldest version because that's the one shown
in the original promo/publicity material from 1974.

As for the Keyboard Computer, the original KC-1 model from 1974 looks way cooler than the KC-II in my opinion. This is the version
used by Jarre, Roger Powell (who got one of the first units off the production line), Rick Wakeman etc, though the latter two switched
to the KC-II later on.

Some webpages out there claim the KC-II was introduced in 1975 but I don't think that's correct. The demo disc & publicity material for
the KC-II is dated 1977 and I'm pretty sure that's the year of introduction rather than 1975.



EDIT: Roger Powell and Clark Ferguson were apparently involved in the development of the KC-I and Powell helped RMI with
some of the sounds here and there.

Ok then.. Jarre has the newer one :D Rather coold pic btw
#18
19th August 2009
Old 19th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I've cut down the number of vintage boards still around here. The only one left to finish and sell is the CS-80. It's basically working, needs calibration, a couple small faults that showed up recently. Anyone wants it as-is for $7900 US let me know.
Ack! Don't tempt me!



(Hey Jukka! )
JMJarvinen
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#19
20th August 2009
Old 20th August 2009
  #19
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RMI

For the next time Anyone is selling the RMI Harmonic Synthesizer
I wanna be informed
(maybe I should put an ad somewhere, in Ebay perhaps )
JMJarvinen
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#20
20th August 2009
Old 20th August 2009
  #20
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RMI HS ollu myynnissä

#21
8th November 2009
Old 8th November 2009
  #21
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RMI HS construction

fuuck Hi JMJarvinen,
First may I introduce myself : I am newly coming on this forum from France (I apologize for my poor english !) in order to talk with any people like you who is intersted in RMI HS construction.

I also had RMI HS schematics from the web but some parts are missing such as switch panel wiring, connections between PCB's and keyboard matrix (maybe you have that ?). After deeply studying them my feeling is the machine is not too much complicated and clearly possible to built (I use to handle soldering iron !). I have understood the global philosophy of that crazy keyboard. Some components are quite obsoletes but some cross references exist. So I am ready to go due to the great challenge ! The first step before to draw PCB's is to consolidate schematics in order to have a reliable block diagram; I am doing that at the moment, but I am quite alone !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJarvinen View Post
I wanted to do a RMI Harmonic Synthesizer topic mainly for two reasons

1) My intentions are to build a new one (hardware)
(found schematics from Send big files the easy way. Files too large for email attachments? No problem! ,
searching individual sound examples from the Harmonic Generators
and preset tones ; which are originally made by the two HGs )

and for reason

2) The unit´s rarity and several inquiries on Allen Organ company
made me interested in this project for possessing my own custom made
unit. I am aware that the RMI HS didn´t sell much (obviously! ; check the only few owners in publicy), only about 3-6 maybe in Europe; unknown
number (to me) sold in the America.
Now, there´s even few members here who have (or claims to have) an
RMI HS. It would be nice to have some prove like pics, sounds and videos of this remarkable early additive synthesizer, so why to keep them
in lurking darkness - so come on guys, let´s get the RMI widely renowed !
(Yeah, JMJ uses one in live on his InDoors tour, for 2-4 clearly notable
sounds; Oxygene 4 chorus, Oxygene 5 tingles & bass seq, Oxygene 6
chorus; doubled with Eminent.. and had 2 proper envelope generators
modded in with extra LFO)

But I demand MORE




#22
9th November 2009
Old 9th November 2009
  #22
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I'll buy one. I've been trying for years to buy one. Always outbid. Keep the retro look. Don't make it sound too pristine.

P


Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJarvinen View Post
I wanted to do a RMI Harmonic Synthesizer topic mainly for two reasons

1) My intentions are to build a new one (hardware)
(found schematics from Send big files the easy way. Files too large for email attachments? No problem! ,
searching individual sound examples from the Harmonic Generators
and preset tones ; which are originally made by the two HGs )

and for reason

2) The unit´s rarity and several inquiries on Allen Organ company
made me interested in this project for possessing my own custom made
unit. I am aware that the RMI HS didn´t sell much (obviously! ; check the only few owners in publicy), only about 3-6 maybe in Europe; unknown
number (to me) sold in the America.
Now, there´s even few members here who have (or claims to have) an
RMI HS. It would be nice to have some prove like pics, sounds and videos of this remarkable early additive synthesizer, so why to keep them
in lurking darkness - so come on guys, let´s get the RMI widely renowed !
(Yeah, JMJ uses one in live on his InDoors tour, for 2-4 clearly notable
sounds; Oxygene 4 chorus, Oxygene 5 tingles & bass seq, Oxygene 6
chorus; doubled with Eminent.. and had 2 proper envelope generators
modded in with extra LFO)

But I demand MORE




#23
9th November 2009
Old 9th November 2009
  #23
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Totally agree, ive gone in the same direction. I had too many synths..

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
The problem is integrating them into your studio, having more gear than you can possibly use in a lifetime, maintaining all that old gear, and so on.

Then there's the tradeoff -- for me, I'd rather sell the Harmonic Synth (for example) and purchase a Lexicon 480L and a Bricasti M7 instead. I get more regular use out of effects units than I do out of any 1 single synth. After sitting in a large room with about 150 synths (mostly rare analog stuff), a dozen+ drum machines, and sequencers and such I realized that it was just too much.

Give me a handful of great synths, a rack or two of effects (mostly vintage), an analog console, and a tape machine, and I'm happy. The sounds you hear on old records/CDs comes from more than a vintage synth, no matter how distinctive the sound.
#24
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
  #24
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RMI COMPUTER KEYBOARD + some PUNCH CARDS on ebay

hey guys.

because of hard crisis here in france, i'm very sad i have to sell my RMI COMUTER KEYBOARD KC-2 :-(
just in cas it could reach a new home at someone that gives a damn about those babies, you can find the auction on ebay ending in a few hours :


Very rare vintage RMI KEYBOARD COMPUTER 2 (KC-2) en vente sur eBay.fr (fin le 20-avr.-11 22:10:00 Paris)

I'm Also selling a collection of about 330 original PUNCH CARDS for the RMI :


RMI KEYBOARD COMPUTER : 331 PUNCH VOICE TONE CARDS RARE | eBay

please do no comment like "you should have keep it", i wish i could ,really...
thanks for reading.
#25
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuBmastah View Post
hey guys.

because of hard crisis here in france, i'm very sad i have to sell my RMI COMUTER KEYBOARD KC-2 :-(
just in cas it could reach a new home at someone that gives a damn about those babies, you can find the auction on ebay ending in a few hours
<drool> I lusted after that one back in the day... Maybe you could sell it to Nord and they could add it to their Sample Library...
#26
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
  #26
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Sparks used the RMI electronic piano heavily on their 2 best albums with their UK band - Kimono My House and the one after that.

Ron Mael's banging precussive chords really drove those songs along plus great guitar work by the late Adrian Fisher.
#27
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
  #27
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Il take nexus over that space waster any day of the week
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#28
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #28
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a fair RMI HS replace..?

Hi guys

as I have noticed hunting down in actually Working condition And
fair-price RMI Harmonic Synthesizer I' d come to following conclusion
regarding the subject :

Too darn impossible to find ; even More impossible to pay :( .....


SO I have found a very decent/fair (imho) synth to replace it
(although it's Not an additive one )
My new Clavia Nord Wave is capable to conjure pretty darn nice
additiv-ish synth sounds from it :D

(still have the schems for the original RMI HS tho )
#29
1st March 2012
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"I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bullshit computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: "With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes". This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis
#30
9th March 2012
Old 9th March 2012
  #30
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anyone know where I can find an RMI Lark or Calliope?
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