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RSF | Kobol
The RSF Kobol was the French synth company's first compact keyboard synthesizer, certainly inspired by the Minimoog. It is a much more compact instrument than the Modular Model 11 series of synthesizers they had been making thus far. It is a monophonic analog synthesizer with traditional controls, knobs, switches and two oscillators for a good solid analog synth sound. Initally released as a keyboard in 1978, a 3-unit rack-mount system was later released in 1979.
Although it is mostly a traditional analog synth with stable oscillators and lots of knobs that allow you to control the ADS envelope, the filter section and the nice LFO, it did offer some unique features for its time. Most notably, the oscillator waveforms can be continuously swept across for a very cool morph from square to saw to pulse, etc. This, as well as note on/off and other parameters can be controlled via CV/gate. External sounds can be processed through the Kobol filter and envelope sections too.
It offers 44 keys, a 16 step sequencer, and 16 memory locations for user sounds. Its a 2 VCO instrument with a 24db voltage controlled filter and a single LFO with triangle and square waves. It offers generous assortment of knobs for editing or tweaking the sound. The Kobol is a very versatile instrument. Offering many sought after features of other analog synthesizers of it's time. less than 200 of the Kobol were made and its closest relative may likely be the Crumar Spirit.
The Kobol looked and sounded great, and was quickly snapped up by the big names in synthesizers of the time. But being a small French company, RSF were never able to truly mass produce these on the same sort of scale that Moog, Arp, Roland or Korg could. Less than 200 Kobol keyboards were made, around 800 Kobol Racks, 200 Expander 2's, 200 Programmer's and only a handful of the KM8's. This makes them quite rare and quite pricey too!
RSF Polykobol II (1983) polysynth. A total disaster production and highly unreliable, this doomed machine sents the RSF company out of business.
|LFO||1 LFO, triangle, square waveforms, rate knob|
|Engine Detailed||2 VCO's; triangle, square, saw, pulse; variable sweep|
|Filter (VCF)||1VCF 24db low pass|
|Envelope (VCA)||2 ADS envelopes|
|Key type||Mini keys|
|CV-gate||CV/Gate 1 volt / octave|
|Produced:||1978 - 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.|