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Elka | Synthex
The Synthex is a very lush sounding classic analog 8 voice synthesizer. Later versions implemented basic MIDI functions. It has 30 knobs, 6 sliders, 80 switches and a joystick. Powerful sounds with 2 oscillators per note, separate envelope generators, chorus and even a sequencer! The use of stable DCO's (digitally controlled analog oscillators) and oscillator cross modulation of Pulse Width and a multimode filter made it unique in its time.
There is a cool joystick that replaces traditional pitch/mod wheels and allows for greater variable real-time control over the two LFOs, oscillator and filter modulation. The 6 sliders beside the joystick assign what (LFO, osc and filter) goes to the joystick. Voices can also be layered or split across the keyboard. Other great features include the onboard digital Ring-Modulator, Chorus effect and Dual or Layer modes available. And also a four-track sequencer rounds out this synths host of features. Two of it's tracks can output MIDI data.
This is just an extremely good analog and unique synth excellent for pads, drones and glistening lead sounds. They're a bit of a pain to service and find parts for, many famous artists such as have used one, and Jean Michel Jarre swears by it. One last Synthex was made just for Stevie Wonder after their production run eventually ended.
In 2015 Jukka Kulmala from Finland bought the old stock from GEM (Which took over Elka). He tried via indigogo to get fundings for recreation of this great synth. The goal was $414,000 with a price around $3200 per unit. It failed.
|Engine Detailed||2 DCO per voice|
|Filter (VCF)||Curtis Chips: 24dB LowPass, 12dB HiPass, 12dB & 6dB BandPass|
|Memory||40 preset/40 user|
|Midi||I-O (later models)|
|Produced:||1981 - 1984|
|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.|