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Suzuki’s Omnichord to be reissued for company’s 70th anniversary

Back by popular demand, the easy-to-use instrument will be returning “around the fall of 2023”

  • Henry Cooper
  • 28 April 2023
Suzuki’s Omnichord to be reissued for company’s 70th anniversary

Suzuki has announced that to mark their 70th anniversary, they will rerelease the beloved Omnichord.

“We have been receiving requests to resurrect the Omnichord for a long time,” says the Japanese company, who adds that they’re scheduling the release “around the fall of 2023”.

Across its almost two-decade lifespan, the Omnichord saw many different iterations and it is unclear whether Suzuki will remanufacture previous models or create a brand-new machine. The original Omnichord itself can cost you around USD600 and can go as high as USD1500.

The Omnichord is considered simple to play, with many users being able to start making music on it upon first use. It consists of various buttons to control the rhythm and tempos and even more buttons to control the chords — majors, minors and minor 7ths (with options for major 7ths and diminished chords by pressing multiple buttons).

The touch-sensitive, silver metal strum plate represents each note in the chord and depending on where you touch it, different notes can be played. The older models also came with a memory function that allowed the user to record chords — a groundbreaking innovation at the time.

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Though many may not be familiar with what the Omnichord looks like, it’s highly likely most of us have heard its sound. The instrument has been used in music across seemingly every genre, with many world-famous artists using it in their music.

Recently, a clip of Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn went viral when he confessed to Zane Lowe that the iconic beat for one of their hit ‘Clint Eastwood’ was simply one of the Omnichord’s auto-accompaniment presets.

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David Bowie famously used it during a live cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘America’ for the Concert For New York City in 2001. Iconic synth-pop group, The Human League, used the machine so much that they employed an "omnichord podium" in their live stage setups. It has also been favoured by artists such as Yoko Ono, Devo, Brian Eno, Joni Mitchell, Talking Heads and Cindy Lauper.

Regarding the official specs, price and release date, Suzuki has said more information will be added to its site.

See a demo of the Omnichord below.

Henry Cooper is an Editorial Intern at Mixmag Asia. Follow him on Instagram.

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