Tape-Replay Keyboards …
Harry Chamberlin saw the potential of magnetic tape and manufactured the first tape-replay keyboard.
Streetly Electronics Mellotron
With a name that's synonymous with prog rock, this British-built tape-replay instrument is still being manufactured.
Dave Biro and Rick Wakeman's collaboration used tape loops in order to sustain sounds over 8 seconds.
… vs. Optical Disc
With a name that connotes “optical organ,” this instrument offered quirky rhythm tracks in a variety of musical styles, played by real musicians.
The extremely rare follow-up to the Optigan included improvements in the disc drive and playback audio quality.
This ill-fated optical-disc keyboard was designed for the pro market and meant to go head-to-head with the Mellotron.