|Generalmusic is an Italian musical instrument manufacturing company focusing on digital and acoustic pianos, synthesizers and arranger workstations. They produce three lines, musical instrument series called GEM ,various studio equipment series called LEM and amplificator products called ELKA.|
Generalmusic's first successful arranger workstation models were their WX series, which offered a large blue LCD display, a user friendly interface and some useful vintage synth samples like Oberheim or Synthex. Although designed as arranger workstations, WX series had some professional synthesizer capabilities like filter and cutoff (resonance) editing with an integrated powerful 16-track sequencer. The company also offered more sophisticated versions of the WX series as S series synthesizers. Generalmusic's S2 was used among many professional musicians including Brian Eno. S2 was similar to Kurzweil K2000 for its specialities; like optional sampling and even layout and patch manipulation.
Next generation Generalmusic arranger keyboards were the WK series. Again, they offered a more sophisticated SK series as a synth-arranger alternative and Equinox as a standalone Kurzweil K2500 clone. Although WK series had a long lived success in the semi-professional market the Equinox synthesizer was severely criticised by professional customers for its buggy operating system and lack of customer support. For instance while it was easy for other synth manufacturer product owners to upgrade and support their instruments over the web, even listening the demonstrations of the Equinox from Generalmusic's web site was impossible during its heydays.
The last generation of Generalmusic synthesizer is the Genesys series offering onboard sampling from an integrated CD-ROM, audio sequencer tracks, and flash ROM. This new workstation does not have the same sounds as previous models, breaking with this tradition from all products in the GEM series before.
With Genesys, GEM gave up their former product segmentation philosophy. It had been a regular strategy for GEM to release one live player's arranger workstation line , one professional arranger workstation line and a top notch synthesizer line in a production term. (i.e. WS, WX and S series accordingly). But with the Genesys era, GEM left this strategy and instead of offering a high-end synthesizer product, they focused completely on one workstation which tries to combine the elements from the aforementioned three model lines. In addition to Genesys the company offers the beginner alternative as GK series and a simplified WK version as WK-1000/2000. Although this seems reasonable, there is one thing to note; GEM's former and present arranger workstations and live workstations have the capability to play oriental/Arabic rhythms, scales and in contrast, their old professional synthesizer models were designed for electronic music in mind. If we take professional music production into consideration, an instrument's capability to play rhythms and oriental scales is usually not accepted as a quality standard; rather, the sound manipulation capabilities are important. Because Genesys was marketed as a ryhtm-boxed arranger workstation with realtively little number of sound presets, it can be said that GEM gave up the professional market in virtue of the semi-professional consumers.
Another common reality for GEM products is their high new values drop to very low when they become second-hand.
Generalmusic also produces digital pianos, the Promega series, which are more popular than their synthesizer products.