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About the Company
Curtis Electromusic Specialties was founded in 1979 for the purpose of providing the manufacturers
of electronic musical instruments and their accessories with the best possible design solutions. 
Initial projects included the design of custom integrated circuits for Oberheim Electronics and Arp Instruments.  While continuing to consult with such companies, Curtis Electromusic developed a
unique and versatile microprocessor controlled synthesizer using the first of our custom IC’s, the
Lin-Log Synthesizer.

As a natural extension of these projects, Curtis Electromusic Specialties began to expand the line of music synthesizer “chips.”  Much effort was spent developing novel circuit design techniques to not only overcome the deficiencies of presently available IC’s, but to do so with significantly fewer integrated components and hence in a smaller chip size.  The result: a new standard of high performance available to the manufacturers of electronic musical instruments at the lowest possible cost.  The first product, the CEM3310 quickly found its way into designs by Oberheim Electronics and Moog Instruments.

For applications that could not be fulfilled by the CES standard products, the company offered proprietary technology for custom IC design.  Thus, the manufacturer was always assured of receiving custom devices with better performance and lower cost than available from any other source.

Company Postscript

By the time Doug Curtis founded Curtis Electromusic Specialties in 1979, he had designed and built seven electronic music synthesizers for his own use and held patents on integrated circuits designed for the commercial portfolio of semi-custom chip maker Interdesign.  Curtis Electromusic was a business venture based on Doug’s dream of providing electronic devices that made possible the dreams of musicians as they conceived new sounds and combinations of effects.

Doug approached the product development and marketing with a very special interest in the ideas that musicians might wish to express through their compositions.  No doubt that he had specific ideas of his own about what products to develop next.  Nonetheless, he went out to his customers in a dialogue that typically started with, “Do you think that the musician would like to be able to …..? ”  His style of wondering and developing his thoughts about products lead to a strong pipeline of product demand in this specialized marketplace.

Curtis Electromusic operated between 1979 and 1988.  In 1988, Doug migrated the company to become OnChip Systems and offer semi-custom chips for a broad range of applications and industries.

Related articles and content

http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/soul-machine/Apr-07/26710

http://www.synthmuseum.com/paia/index.html

http://www.legacy.com/MercuryNews/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=85954939

http://www.sanjoserocks.org/i_doug_curtis.htm


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