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Generalmusic (established in 1987 as an Italian musical instrument manufacturing company), launched in 1990, the GEM WS2 initially proved to create some very mixed feelings with musicians (and music shops), due to the innovative (even futuristic), features, along with 128 programmable and excellent voices, including the multi-sampled Grand Piano (with 3 dynamic levels). These features, which included an 80 digit LED display, quick access preset sound buttons, numeric keypad, alpha dial and pitch ball, also came complete with programmable settings, programmable styles (rhythms), multi-track sequencer, programmable splits, layers and dynamic levels and Globals (memories), which were found to be both futuristic for enthusiasts but equally confusing for many others.
The ability to easily mix and layer sounds, whilst quickly being able to turn these on and off during live playing, was a great feature. The ability to load (via floppy disk), new programmable styles (rhythms), voice edits, Globals (memories), sequences (songs) and complete instrument setups (All), was so innovative for the time. The ability to create and load new sequences, chains and styles. The ability to have complete MIDI flexibility and configuration (predating the General MIDI standard), with channels being assignable and real-time MIDI messages allowing change of almost all aspects of the instrument setup. GEM certainly made a statement against the other Worldwide musical instrument manufacturers.
The ‘Seed’. In the UK, Fausto Fabi, Bluebridge Music, had a momentous vision in the potential of the GEM WS but could equally see some technological hurdles in the WS innovative features. The talented Chris Anthony joined the company and promoted the instrument to UK music shops and dealers.
Don Turner found a newly arrived WS2 hidden away in Roland Fridays showroom, bought it and together with Dave Williams, set out to learn more about this brilliant instrument. With the ever growing interest in the GEM WS2 and the user learning curves, GEMWorks (GEM Workstation User Group), was created in early 1991, with the first magazine being published in July 1991. The ever-growing interest in the GEM products, GEMClub magazines, disk support and user workshops grew exponentially and so did the WS sales Worldwide. During the range expansion of GEM musical instruments, the name GEMWorks subsequently transitioned to GEMClub.
GEMClub, established in 1990, evolved from the original GemWorks and GEM Owners Club. It continues to be solely maintained by Dave Williams.
The Club was originally setup to support the original GEM WS Workstation and soon developed to provide Worldwide product specialist help on subsequent GEM models including the WS, S, S Turbo, WX, CD, WK and Equinox, leading up to later models such as the Genesys, Real Piano’s and Pro series.
A massive repository has evolved over time, culminating in a massive disk, file library and technical repository which expanded by Generalmusic and Users/Owners, since 1990, to the current day.
The Website has evolved too over time but technologies change on route. This current website has been setup to host the massive array of GEM and LEM archive documents, disks and useful information . This currently stands at about 10Gb of data, and growing!
Due to the technical requirements of the website, it is hosted on a commercial rack server and whilst based on Word Press, it uses a number of professional plugins in order to facilitate the array of data. Thus the infrastructure of hardware and software has ongoing running costs which we hope will be covered by memberships and kind donations.
Should you wish to become a full member, or kindly donate, the below secure links will open Paypal.
All proceeds go directly to support our website, repository and online services into the future.