There was a lot of great new technology released in 1982 – the CD player, Commodore 64, Atari 5200 – but there was also, it turns out, the Sony Chordmachine.
This bizarre hybrid of boombox and groovebox, available only in Japan, has been picked out of the darkness by YouTuber Techmoan, who has taken a deep dive into its features and interior features.
With a clamshell design, the top section is set aside for a pair of speakers. The lower part of this strange device has a cassette recorder and radio on the left side, but it’s over to the right that things start to get strangely interesting.
This is because Chordmachine also has a preset rhythm player and 12 pads that can be used to play notes and chords. Your performances can be recorded on tape, and you can also connect a microphone and guitar.
As Techmoan says, the end result feels neither one nor the other, and we’m not surprised that Chordmachine did not achieve Walkman levels of popularity. But with old-fashioned technology in high gear, there may still be time for a revival …