A couple of days back, the obscure Motorola Scalatron came to my messed mind. I wanted a more deep knowledge than the usual "Motorola Scalatron Synthesizer" misterious words I often see in the usual sites I visit. So, let's do a little bit Googling...
All Secor had written seems clarify very well the the thing about Scalatron, and adding this Motorola Anual Report from 1975 is enough clear, at least to me.
Conclusions (in order, for an easy understanding):
- Motorola Scalatron was a brand and a division of Motorola Inc.
- From the name and the patents is easy to see that the main objectives was related with automatic tunable instruments and devices for tuning instruments.
- The Motorola Scalatron was a 'Tuner and Pitch Monitor' used to compare two tones acoustically and visually in a split TV screen; for a perfect pitch one must match the reference fixed bars on left half of the monitor with the moving bars on the right half representing the input of the signal for the instrument to be tuned; and this makes me think that possibly the monitor that was in eBay was complete because in the back it have two inputs maked as MIC and REF. As the reference is injected externally, any imaginable scale tunning is possible.
- The Motorola Scalatron was (also) an electronic musical instrument with automatic tunning capability. In the texts referenced here nobody said nothing about synthetic sounds, it seems it was a plain electronic organ and also seems that the sounding engine was not so important as the 'digitally retunable' property was.
- As by George Secor itself recognize, the Motorola Scalatron (musical instrument) existed before he entered the game, is more possible the invention falls on R. Harasek, D. Ryon and F. Maynard (the guys in the patents). Secor did in fact, a "rediscovering" of the Bosanquet keyboard and helped to people in Motorola to develop a second version of the Motorola Scalatron digitally retunable electronic organ with a generalized keyboard. Possibly this was the starting point that help to develop the "Miracle Temperament" and "Decimal" Secor's own keyboards.
- The Motorola Scalatron division seems had a short life (about 1970 to 1975) as R&D; and the products left behind was more demos or prototypes than commercial products. From 1975 merged with other Motorola units to persue the emerging data communications market.