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Japan Is Not Vs. USA

Japan Is Not Vs. USA

There can be lots of reasons listed here telling you why Korg, Yamaha and Roland will not quit the market until it’s clear that music sells and the sun rises in Japan. It doesn’t matter that Yamaha has its motorcycles because Korg and Roland won’t get lost in business, they’ll succeed in whatever they’ll do. That’s for sure.

Japan vs USAAnd it’s not only about the incontestable fact that the Japanese manufacturers have always ensured quality and provided technical progress all over the world – it is about their moxie (sagely copied) and stealth (natively ingrained). They have always been cooperating and they know how to do it right. They presume – in the most humble manner – that the team should welcome the best ones and that the best ones must definitely team up. They say it humbly because they talk about the team – there’s really no need to pronounce “…of the best ones” out loud. It seemed that Japan didn’t care about competition at all when it was acquiring the rights to designs and developments which belonged to enthusiastic and clever though a little bit bewildered Americans. Japan acted wisely once again (again and again…) while putting to good use every single thing it borrowed. Yes, actually, borrowed: because later all the technologies were tactically and politely given back.

The founder of Roland advised Yamaha’s president to allow Dave Smith, who was consulting Korg at that time, to release his new instrument for the first time since many years “branded” with his own (his and John Bowen’s) company name Sequential the rights to which were finally returned by the Japanese mega corporation to Dave who hasn’t seen his progeny for ages while it was kept someplace safe. In 2015 Prophet-5 was legitimately christened Sequential Prophet-6. The end of the Sequential epoch fell on evil days – AKAI MPC samplers hit the heyday. MPC samplers appeared thanks to Roger Linn who was a very good friend of Dave’s and surely got inspired by the last Sequential release of Studio 440. All this proves one more time that there’s so much in common between the top synth makers and assures that Prophet, Jupiter, Wavestation and Synclavier make the big friendship between Japan and America so evident (yes, a big fat moneyed friendship which happens between the enemies who’re too clever to make war). Let’s also mention the great American instrument maker called Hammond and its owner called Suzuki. Another Japanese corporation breaks in.

Talking about mergers and collaboration we cannot omit Australian Fairlight. This brand which released unique products with quite peculiar technics was immensely popular in the 1980s. Although Teisco didn’t become friends with USA but joined Kawai, Fairlight wasn’t going to relate itself with the USA and had no intention to become a tame and obedient Japanese family member. That’s why we still know Fairlight as… Fairlight, though the company was sacrificed to its own founder and the instruments turned into… Peter Vogel Instruments. The bipolar world washed all the self-dependent companies overboard, and who knows, what Fairlight would produce today if it was more amenable.

Links: bog Japanese trio: Yamaha, Roland, Korg. Great American pioneers of synth making: Dave Smith Instruments/ Sequential, Moog, Oberheim. The list could be continued… You’re free to comment and we’re free to react.

Published: 19:12 10.08.2016
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