The Philips PMC 100 Composer Digital Sequencer (PMC stands for Personal Media Composer) was a very short lived portable workstation released in 1986. One of the earliest mini-walkstation, the unit combined a 2-OP FM synthesizer that is said to sound much like the Yamaha Porta series keyboards. The unit features a 2 octave touch keyboard with what is said to be a powerful real-time / step sequencer with 8K RAM for recording. The unit featured a large LCD screen for for composing and entering the note data that could play any one of the 100 on-board FM sounds.
The PMC-100 was based on a music cartridge for MSX home computers that sold for 70 pounds in the UK. The idea was to make it a portable, personal device with built in recording walkman for the young teenager market. The electronic and sofware design came out of the UK, the industrial design was by Philips and they got it manufactured in China.
While the synth was monophonic, there were three additional parts to accompany with bass line, chords and any of 15 different rhythmic patterns. What is very different from most sequencers, is the PMC 100 had a built-in cassette recording for storing and loading the composed song sequences.
It was the first personal recording workstation and was expandable through software supplied on compact cassettes. A full range of devices was developed at the time. Fifty thousand units were produced and sold before production was stopped mainly due to the closure (for other reasons) of the Philips BU that was responsible. Of course the sounds are not high quality but the ability to create multi-track compositions and record them together with your voice at this price level was remarkable for its time.
The real area where it shines, though, is the step sequencer. It's visualized on an LCD screen in full stave notation with rock-steady tempo, adjustable to insane degrees! Notes can be edited in or out of the sequence at will. If this thing had MIDI out it would have become a cult classic.
What's your Philips PMC 100 worth in 2022? Here are some recently sold items with prices.
|Philips Pmc 100…||12/2021||$170|
|Phillips PMC 100 Micro Composer 1987 FM||11/2021||$134|
|Philips PMC100 1980 S Music Composer||10/2021||$77|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||01/2022||-.--|