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New England Digital | Synclavier


The Synclavier is something like the Rolls Royce of vintage synthesizer heritage. The only competition in its time came from the Australian made Fairlight CMI. The Synclavier was a wildly expensive vintage digital sampling synthesizer reserved for the most successful musicians, commercial studios, and sound designers. Designed during the '70's, they can still be found and prized by various sound designers, composers, and musicians. Although there have been three models, they are most often referred to as just a Synclavier.

First released in 1977 it proved to be highly influential among both electronic music composers and music producers, due to its versatility, its cutting-edge technology and distinctive sounds.

The early Synclavier Digital Synthesizer used FM synthesis, and was sold mostly to universities. Some such systems had only a computer and synthesis modules, but no keyboard.

BrandNew England Digital
Engine TypeDigital
Engine Detailed4-op FM Synthesis 8-bit mono Later models stereo
Sampler16 bit, 100kHz stereo variable sampling rate
Envelope (VCA)4 Delay, Attack, Decay, Decay 2, Sustain Level, Release
Key typeN/A
Produced:1977 - 1978
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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