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Dodds, Philip

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(1951?-2007) Engineer for ARP Instruments. Dodds began as an electronics tech with the company in 1970 (while still in college), and over the years rose through the ranks to eventually become ARP's chief engineer. Dodds' contributions to the ARP product line included design work for the Mark III Odyssey, the Omni string synthesizer, and eventually the Chroma.

While employed with ARP, Dodds was often sent out to work with customers in the field. During the filming of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dodds went to the set to install and mind the 2500 that ARP had loaned to the production. Director Steven Speilberg was impressed enough that he asked Dodds to appear on camera, and Dodds wound up with a speaking part during the crucial UFO landing scene.

When ARP fell into receivership in 1981, Dodds was appointed by the bankruptcy trustee to oversee the disposition of the company's assets. At the time, ARP had been working on the design for the Chroma, but it was not yet ready for production. Dodds arranged for the sale of the design rights and prototypes to the musical instruments division of CBS. At CBS's insistence, Dodds rounded up the laid-off ARP design engineers and got them under contract to go to work for CBS. The Chroma was eventually released, under the Rhodes brand name, in 1983.

Dodds left CBS in 1985, and after a short period working for Kurzweil, he left the music industry. He went into the computer-based training field, concentrating on military applications of the technology, and spent the last years of his career working with various research organizations associated with the U.S. Department of Defense.

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