The OSCar Monosynth


The Oxford Synthesiser Company (OSC) OSCar is a vintage mono-synthesizer, first released in 1983.

It features two digitally controlled oscillators and twin 12dB filters, which can be configured as lowpass, highpass and bandpass filters. It also featured some early digital capabilities, like patch memory and a basic sequencer.

An unusual feature of the Oscar was it’s additive synthesis capabilities. New waveforms could be created by changing the amplitudes of up to 24 harmonics, achieved by inputting values on the actual keyboard. This considerably widened the Oscar’s sound palette.

According to EM’s Julian Colbeck, “The Oscar’s strength is its ability to deliver idiosyncratic lead, bass, and obbligato sounds with tremendous power and flexibility. You can create custom waveshapes, set up and externally clock sequences and arpeggio patterns, and store your tweaks into its programmable memory. Although the Oscar is lumped in with the Minimoog and friends as one of the great classic analogs, only its filters are truly analog; everything else about the Oscar is digital.”

The OSCar was $1,000 new; now they sell for $2,000 and up.


  • Two digitally controlled oscillators (DCOs)
  • Twin 12dB/oct analog filters, which can be configured as a 24dB/oct filter, lowpass, bandpass or highpass filters.
  • Two ADSR Envelopes
  • 12 user, 24 preset patch memory. Later MIDI-equipped models offered 36 programmable patches.
  • Custom Waveforms: 24 waves.
  • 24 sequence memory


One thought on “The OSCar Monosynth

  1. Keyboard Magazine did a feature on this back when the OSCar came out. I was shopping around for some new gear and read the review but at the time it wasn’t available in my area. It was a unique creature for sure. Thanks for the post!

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