eBay of the day: Philips cassette player/synth/keytar

This Philips Personal Music Composer PMC100 is pretty awesome: Launched in 1986, it had a nine-channel FM synth with a 100 presets, a membrane keyboard, 8k of ram, a built in cassette recorder, MIDI and buttons for a strap. It's hard to imagine just how fly you'd look bouncing around a stage wearing one of these. It was designed by British PC music pioneer Lyndsay Williams, who claims to have designed the first ever PC soundcard, for an Olivetti in 1987 (this powerpoint presentation tells his her full story). If you fancy a PMC100, this one is currently £45, or there's another one here in Germany...

Erm Lyndsay is a lady, not a dude and also I don't think the PMC100 had midi.
...is there a link to the actual ebay auction? The headline just links to an image.
1. Lyn Williams is a woman, not a man. She most certainly did do these things she claims! :-) I've interviewed her. (hope to have interview text online soon) She's currently with Microsoft Research in Cambridge

2. The PMC100 doesn't have MIDI. I own one. They're fantastic.

3. You probably wouldn't wear one of these onstage -- the application was portable music sketchpad, something we STILL don't really have right -- but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see someone try.

Peter of www.createdigitalmusic.com infamy
man, the description says that it's vintage 1884!
Correct it does not have MIDI, my error. If I remember correctly it used a 6803 processor, which did have a serial port. I think timescales stopped us putting MIDI on it.
Lyndsay Williams
I have two of these: love it or hate it, the PMC100 is a wonderfull little box with surprising sounds; just put one of them on ebay..........
Hi! My name is Bill Hewlett. Interesting to see that people still find my product interesting! I worked for Philips in the Netherlands for may years and I was responsible for this product concept, developing the business and marketing plans and obtaining funding from Philips for this project. It was based on a music cartridge application for MSX home computers (remember them?!) - I was confident that for the same price (99 pound retail) I could develop a complete music composer that would incorporate a cassette recorder for recording data and musical compositions. It was designed by Philips Industrical Design (thanks Gavin!), engineered by Richard Watts Associates (Lindsay was lead engineer) based on a Yamaha FM sound chip, and I had the unit manufactured independently in China. We sold around 50 thousand products worldwide (Spain was a big market) before Philips pulled the plug. Yamaha liked the idea so much they went on to produce a similar (cut-down) product.
If anyone is interested in getting more background on this product then get in touch with me at hewlett@planet.nl (I still have a few units here, plus collateral, manuals, accompaniment tapes, music books, etc.). p.s. Midi was not included on this unit.
Ebay has revolutionised the attitude of millions to buying on line. Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, the vast majority of material online is all about selling. Not surprising because that is where the money is made.

In my own little way I am trying to redress the balance. Please take a look at my ebay buying blog ebay auctions and let me know what you think
Hey! I really like your site!!!! Such a nice and useful blog... really!!
I have received a lot of requests for the PMC100 User Manual in English. I have now scanned a copy and can make it available in pdf format upon request to hewlett@planet.nl
Hi everyone,

I just picked up a PMC 100 today at a second hand store. It was in it's original box, with original data tape and caring belt. Is there someone here who has an English manual. Tries to contact mr. Hewlett, but his email does not work

Post a Comment

<< Home
Music Thing on Twitter
    follow MT on Twitter

    Music Thing Hits:
    Music Thing Heroes:
    Music Thing Friends:
    My music gear for sale
    DIY Modular Synth
    Matrix Synth
    Create Digital Music
    Analog Industries
    Boing Boing Gadgets
    London Video Production
    Wire to the Ear
    Palm Sounds
    Noise Addicts
    Retro Thing
    Analogue Haven
    Music Thing Massive
    About Music Thing:
    Send tips to Music Thing
    About this site
    Music Thing Massive
    RSS Feeds

    Problem with the ads?
    Please let me know