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Do You Remember the "Soundsheet" or "Flexi Discs"?


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Over at Ars Technica they have a pretty good article on the "Soundsheet" or "Flexi Discs" that were somewhat popular from the 1960s through the early 1990s. They were a cheap way to get you music 'out there' and were used for a variety of promotional campaigns (including Nixon's run for the White House). I had completely forgotten about these until I saw the article, but I remember playing them as a kid growing up. Read the full article at https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/04/forgotten-audio-formats-flexi-disc/

 

 

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Yes, I have several from Sing Out! magazine that they were shipping with the magazine with about half a dozen songs from the issue. I even have the one that came along with Mr. Anderson's book Electronic Projects for Musicians, a demo of the Kurzweil 150. and a demo of Yamaha TX802 and TX81Z voices for their G10 MIDI guitar controller. But no "get your music out there" sound sheets.

 

It wasn't but a few years ago that Evatone, the company that made the sound sheets, folded up their tent - just too soon to cash in on the vinyl craze.

 

Fun fact: In the 1950s through the 1960s, in the Soviet Union, due to a shortage of vinyl, pirate records were made by cutting disks with home-made cutters using discarded x-ray film as the medium. The quality was terrible, but it was a way of smuggling music from other countries into the USSR.

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Keyboard magazine used to have their Soundpages in the 80's. I loved them. I remember when I first heard the Korg M1 demo, my jaw was on the floor. I also remember a great one from Patrick Leonard and one from Chick Corea playing Herbie Hancock.

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Oh yeah, I used to get them in old music related periodicals. Many I never played and are still intact in the old mags I still have. Probably the first music mag I bought was as early as 1978 or 79 and then had subscriptions to several through the 80s and 90s. Keyboard Magazine was one. I still have a lot of those with the Soundsheet intact.

Edited by Beck
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Keyboard magazine used to have their Soundpages in the 80's. I loved them. I remember when I first heard the Korg M1 demo' date=' my jaw was on the floor. I also remember a great one from Patrick Leonard and one from Chick Corea playing Herbie Hancock.[/quote']

 

The best one I think was the one with Jim Cox playing Shenandoah - all synths, but you'd swear it was a country band doing it. Really good pedal steel and harmonica emulation... on a Prophet V.

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Fun fact: In the 1950s through the 1960s, in the Soviet Union, due to a shortage of vinyl, pirate records were made by cutting disks with home-made cutters using discarded x-ray film as the medium. The quality was terrible, but it was a way of smuggling music from other countries into the USSR.

 

 

I had never heard about that until just the other day when I saw a TV show that discussed / dramatized it. I thought it was pretty clever! Apparently those X-ray bootlegs are now worth quite a bit to collectors.

 

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I remember the Evatone soundsheets well...they were in several of my books, and I did some for the magazines. People still remember the one from "Home Recording for Musicians" where I said "doubling a vocal line can make a voice seem stronger" and of course, it doubled what I was singing :). Every now and then someone comes up and sings that line to me. I guess the catchiest hook I ever came up with is destined for total obscurity :)

 

Remember how they recommended placing coin on the inside of the disc to keep it from slipping as it played?

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I first heard guitarists like Albert Lee and Paul Gilbert on those sheets in the 80s. I think it was guitar player magazine that included them. We had a hi- fi system in the living room I could play them on, but 99% of my music listening at the time was cassette.

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I remember those...Can't immediately recall any but one sticking out in my memory and that was one that was a demo of the ARP guitar synthesizer. I believe the band demoing it was "Riff Raff".

Edited by AlamoJoe
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