Housed within an unassuming 30,000-square-foot building just outside Philadelphia is a massive collection of historically significant music gear. Under 25-foot ceilings, an extraordinary stockpile of vintage synthesizers sits alongside other keyboards, amplifiers, stompboxes, and recording equipment from years gone by. The climate-controlled building and all its contents belong to the Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project. EMEAPP is a non-profit organization devoted to collecting and preserving outstanding parcels of rock ’n’ roll and electronic music history for future generations.
CAVAGNOLO EXAGONE POLYLESS
In 1982, the year before MIDI became a standard, French accordion maker Cavagnolo dipped its toes into electronic music by introducing the Exagone Polyless (see Fig. 3). In addition to the 42-note keyboard model, an alternative version featured 64 accordion-style buttons. The Polyless combines a single-oscillator monosynth with a single-oscillator paraphonic synth based on top-octave division, rather like the earlier ARP Omni. A handful of hardwired factory presets were supplied for each sound engine. The monophonic engine offers user parameters such as four fixed oscillator waveforms, resonant filtering, portamento, and a pair of 2-stage envelopes. Fewer than 100 were manufactured. A later model, the Exagone XM 64 Polyless, offered greater flexibility, a joystick for pitch bend and filter control, and 100 user-programmable memory locations.