Synth DB

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Electronic Music Studios (EMS) | Synthi 100


EMS also produced the monsterous Synthi 100 in 1971. It is loosely based around the combination of three VCS3 systems into one massive synthesizer. Although the circuit boards are unique and somewhat different, the filters are still quite similar to those of the VCS3 and A/AKS. The sound of the Synthi 100 was subtly distinct from the VCS3. Both filters and oscillators were much more stable in the Synthi 100. It featured twelve VCOs, two keyboards and a 3-track, 256-step monophonic digital sequencer. EMS really was an early pioneer of digital sequencers in a time when such devices as Moog's analog 10-step sequencer were the more popular norm. The Synth 100 also featured two massive 64 x 64 patch matrices. Approximately 29 Synthi 100 systems were built in the 1970s and early 80s, although EMS still states that you can have one built as a special order. It sold for $25,000 originally, and probably still does today.

Designer Peter Eastty designed a computer as an add-on to the Synthi 100 interfaced to the control matrix board via two separate matrix boards.

It included:

PDP8/M with 4K RAM
Twin digital cassettes
24 Input ADCs
24 Output DACs
16 Slider CV Inputs
Switch button Panel
LED Display

BrandElectronic Music Studios (EMS)
ModelSynthi 100
Engine TypeAnalog
Voices (max)4
LFO4 Triangle
Engine Detailed12 VCO, 4 Sine, Saw, 8 Pulse and Saw
Filter (VCF)4 12dB Slope (2-pole), 18dB Slope, Resonance
Envelope (VCA)VCA: 4 Trapezoid waveshape Envelope generator. 8 AD envelopes
FX2 Spring Reverb
Sequencer3-track, 256-step monophonic digital sequencer
Keys61 x2
Key typeKeys
Produced:1971 - 1982
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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