MATRIXSYNTH: Prototype 1974 Vintage 1974 RMI KC-1 Keyboard Computer SN 509 with Punch-Out Card Reader

Monday, November 03, 2014

Prototype 1974 Vintage 1974 RMI KC-1 Keyboard Computer SN 509 with Punch-Out Card Reader

via this auction

"Wow! This is the 1974 RMI Rocky Mount Instruments KC-1 Keyboard Computer! It has just arrived fresh from a Colorado Estate! I am still going through this incredibly rare synthesizer! This is the world's first portable digital synthesizer!! Less than 100 were ever made! That is the best guess as to how many were actually ever produced! The Keyboard Computer II, or KCII, followed this original KC1 version. That KCII model was offered from 1975 to 1982..

First users included Jean Michael Jarre and Garth Hudson, Uses the North American Rockwell MOS chip set that came right out of the NASA Space program from the 1960s!

10-voice polyphonic digital wavetable synthesizer with IBM punch card reader. I have about 50 IBM punch cards included in sale

This keyboard Pre-dates all PPG and Prophet digital synthesizers!

Low serial number- all wood enclosure-not the plastic top KC1 version- the selector buttons light up when selected as only the very first versions did!

61 key polyphonic-3 Audio channel output- 3rd channel was for white noise only

$4,495 in 1974"

Related posts: The PPG 1003 "Sonic Carrier" - World's First Programmable Synth? - The First Synth to.... Also see the RMI channel.

Update via 909955847736 in the comments: "This is actually the prototype which was used on the demo record, ads, and promotional tours. It's very possible that only one of these was ever made. It's the only one with a wood body and illuminated switches. The production model Keyboard Computer (KCI) has a molded plastic body with non-lighted push-in/push-out buttons. And it also had a few differences in the voices and functions compared to this instrument. They are both portable versions of the Allen Theater Organ. The later KCII was not directly associated with any specific Allen organ model. None of the KC models qualify as a synthesizer any more than any other electronic organ did in 1974."


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    1. Interesting. Thanks! I updated the post with this.


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