Stefan Stenzel, co-founder/CTO of Waldorf Music, and Pea Hicks, self-styled custodian of all things Optigan, have announced iOptigan, an adaptation of the Optigan for iOS.

iOptigan iPad

The Optigan is an early-70s vintage chord organ with a unique system of sound reproduction using optical discs.

These LP-sized film discs were optically encoded with 57 concentric tracks, which contained loops of musical combos playing chord patterns in different styles. Each disc contained a specific style of music (Bossa Nova, Big Band etc) which the user could control by pressing the chord buttons. Changing the discs was as simple as putting a new record on your turntable. Think of it as the 1971 version of GarageBand.

Despite this novel technology, the scratchy sound of the Optigan left a lot to be desired.

The iOptigan we present here truthfully recreates that lo-fi sound.

25 of the original 40 discs are included, the remaining 15 can be purchased individually or all together in the Complete Pak.

iOptigan features

  • Disc loading rigth-side-up or upside-down.
  • Spring Reverb (virtual).
  • Optical Metronome.
  • Audio Demo for each Disc.
  • MIDI in/out.
  • MIDI chord detection.
  • MIDI File Import.
  • Sequencer with Record and Playback.
  • Sharing for songs as Audio and MIDI File.
  • iTunes File Sharing.
  • Inter-App Audio.
  • Smart background audio.
  • Help overlay.
  • Headphone optimised stereo (optional).
  • Radio Mode for Chord Buttons or Keyboard.
  • Comfortable speed control in semitones or BPM.

iOptigan for iOS is available for $4.99 USD.

More information: iOptigan

iOptigan iPad keys