The Schmidt Analog Synthesizer – The Expensive Muscle-Car Monster Synth That You’ve Been Waiting For

One thing we’ve heard loud and clear in the comments on this year’s Musikmesse posts is that Synthtopia readers are really wanting to see new analog gear.

iPad music apps can be cool and it’s good to see companies pushing the limits of what’s possible with digital keyboard workstations. But how about some incredible new analog synthesizers?

How about introducing some expensive muscle-car monster synths, already?

We’re serious about this. The Yamaha CS-80, widely considered to be the greatest polyphonic synthesizer of all time, was introduced 34 years ago. That’s a generation!

It’s time for Synthtopia to update its banner with a new keyboard for the ages.

It’s time! We get emails, out of the blue, telling us that that CS-80 in the banner is getting a little long in the tooth.

“Please update that banner!” they say.

But we have yet to see a synth released that can knock the CS-80 out of its position as the King of Synthesizers. And we will update that banner when we do.

Fortunately, one man, Stefan Schmidt, is keeping hope alive, doing what the major synth manufacturers either can’t do or choose not to do.

Schmidt is making a synthesizer for the ages. An expensive muscle-car monster synth.

A ‘Super Synth’.

It’s got 157 knobs. That’s about 153 more knobs than most synthesizers, these days.

It’s got 8 voices, with four oscillators and 7 filters per voice.

The weight is 45 kilos.

The motivation for this crazy thing? To have fun.

It will be so expensive that Schmidt can’t even guess a ballpark price.

It won’t have all the bells and whistles that modern keyboard workstations have.

But when you’re driving a muscle car, do you need to have air-conditioning and a GPS, or do you just want to roll down the windows and listen to that beast of an engine roar?

Check this overview video out – courtesy of the hardworking video gurus at Sonic State – and then let us know what you think of Stefan Schmidt’s new analog synthesizer!

62 thoughts on “The Schmidt Analog Synthesizer – The Expensive Muscle-Car Monster Synth That You’ve Been Waiting For

  1. and the price IS ???????

    I am sure it is WAAAAAYYYY beyond what I could afford…well..unless I hit the lottery…

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  2. It's totally understandable given what we're looking at, but I love that the estimated price is "not sure'.

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  3. Synth looks hard-core, but the demonstration was weak. Not busting on the man, he could be classically trained for all I know. Just think that a synth that fearsome needs somebody to go off on it a tad more. Just sayin……

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  4. I heard rumors on mario maggi, the father of elka synthex, regarding the project of a new poly analog monster, but stuck in the start for the high price needed to build up a prototype and a lack of request of real stuff nowdays!

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  5. Mmm… Nice, but all the LEDs are the SAME colour all the time… Pity, but the deal's off.

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  6. According to another source if he were to put that thing in production it would retail for well over $20,000.00. Twenty Thousand.

    So there you go. Your all analog polysynth that some were chastising Roland for NOT producing. Dave Smith's stuff is not all analog. That's why the P08 doesn't cost as much. All of those components and knobs cost money and add complexity and time to the production. They also add calibration, tuning and service headaches.

    This guy might find twenty buyers worldwide. So, yes, Rhodan Rudess, Trent Reznor, and that Deadmouse kid might own one someday. But for the rest of us, that Jupiter 80 looks better and better.

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  7. I think this is made with no expensive spared by a man who no one knows to proove a point. (it can be done) A production model could sacrifice some stuff to drop the price considerably like maybe only 4 filters per voice instead of 7. ha. Fantastic work!!

    The New Roland board is still shit.

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  8. I'm skeptical about this moving beyond on-off boutique production. But there's room for that and maybe it will help push the high end for analog synths a little higher.

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  9. These LED's look incredible, and the pots divine. 7 filters ought to do it! It's truly lust at first sight.

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    1. Did anybody buy the Andromeda?

      Seems like the Andromeda fit the big analog synth bill but nobody cared because of the price.

      Maybe that scared everybody else off from building polyphonic analog synths again.

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  10. Swoonsome!!
    Its true the demo could have been a bit more dynamic-I kept expecting the guy to sell me some croissants-but it looks and sounds terrific.
    Stuff of my Sci-Fi dreams!!

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  11. OK, let's make this: Schmidt hires the guy who is demoing the Jupiter 80, and Roland hires Schmidt himself to build next Roland's synth…:)

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  12. To a certain extend I tend to agree but just play the video a second time and this time don't pay attention to the talking but to the small sound demo's he gives. You'll notice that during the video he's actually demonstrated quite a large variety of sounds.

    For me that made the demo actually better. I don't really care for what others can squeeze out of a synth; I'm more interested in its specific capabilities which then allows me to decide how much I could do with it.

    I'd honestly prefer these kinds of demo's than listening to some slick sales person who knows how to play the keys but starts stuttering once you asked him about LFO's or envelopes ("ADS what?").

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  13. Jupiter 80 looks as bad as always.

    Kronos looks better and better every day and offers 10 times the stuff for the same price. Jupiter looks like wasted money to me.

    But this beast looks so tits, that I actually stopped to look around, what I could sell. I might never get it, but I'm still SUPER happy, that theres still fun in synthmarket.

    ""A super synthesizer? Ja!"

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  14. 4 analog oscillators and 7 filters per voice. WTF!?!?! The 5 figure price tag actually stats to sound affordable.

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  15. not really… the first couple of batches were buggy, giving it a bad rep. The fact that it was made by Alesis didn't help either…

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  16. MPS, what source? $20,000!


    maybe it's because this guy built it himself, with minimal sourcing compared to the big 3… and the fact that he probably went balls-out with features and did all the R&D himself…

    The fact that the Dave Smith stuff is partly digital is moot… so is Buchla! When people talk "analog", they mean Oscs, Filters, Amps, Summing, and effects. Also the ability to tweak knobs without value stepping (like on a lil phatty or CV/gate)

    Digital envelopes are better! Digital modulation sources are usually more powerful as well… that's why Wiard Envelator, Makenoise Maths, etc. are considered staples of the modular community…

    I bet roland or korg could build a discreet osc, filter, vca, and mixer (with digital ENV and Lfos for complex stuff) for under a $1500 (with a decent profit margin)

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  17. I have an Andromeda and love it. Only paid £750 for it! Woohoo! Is bug free and full of analogue lovelyness!!! 🙂

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  18. Well Mr. Schmidts overheads will most likely be close to none, so instead of insane mark-up's he might come up with a decent price. I truely hope so… 4-5' i am in… 20' i am out…

    F***in awsome that there is mad enough people around to do this!

    Schmidt for president!

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  19. This will be a boutique studio only unit. If they made gear like this, people would still need a STUDIO. I'd book a 2 day session just to play with this synth.

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  20. i'm buying one!! wtf? why hasn't this been produced 10 years ago? this isn't rocket science and it's about time too. a beauty! go mr schmidt! mass produce it please!

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  21. Wowza, what a wonderful synth. wish I had the money, if Dave Smith makes the Ford Focus of synths, this guy is making the Nissan GTR of synths….if you get my drift….

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  22. It sounds incredible, there is just something special about genuine analogue electronics. The rally sad thing is that Bob Moog didnt get to see this synth as I am sure he would have been impressed.

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  23. this guy needs subvention from a bigger fabrikant, or he will not be able to keep this up i guess!

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  24. I remember reading in the Vintage Synthesizer book that was put out by Mark Vail about 15 years ago that the humongous Kinetic Sound Prism synthesizer (only 2 were ever made) was going to be going for $45,000.00 EACH.

    I think $45,000.00 EACH was why they only made 2 of them. Look at a photograph of one of those beasts and you’ll probably figure that one of these monsters will go for pretty close to the same amount of money.

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  25. This is the best looking synth I’ve ever seen. It’s even better looking than the JD-800 and Jupiter 8, and Moog. Well done, this guy rules!

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  26. I want one so bad

    About to drop almost $8 grand on a Jomox Sunsyn (second hand!)

    I would love one of these too.

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  27. does this have DCO’s or VCO’s? and what how much user memory does it have? functions for saving patches?

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  28. I am just as impressed with the man’s devotion to designing and building the instrument as I am the instrument itself. I don’t believe I will ever have either its keys under or its knobs between my fingers, be the design in terms of both layout and sound is just stunningly beautiful. I hope he is blessed with enough sales to have made it as economically worthwhile for him as I’m sure it was personally.

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  29. This particular blog post The Schmidt Analog Synthesizer – The Expensive Muscle-Car Monster Synth That You?ve Been Waiting For ? Synthtopia, has got
    genuinely good advice and I actually learned specifically what I had
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  30. Marvelous wonderfulness. I want zis sin-see-size-ah! Why the feck not use an extreme to make a point? Bloody good point it is too. Save…. invest…. enjoy. I’ve gone from having a huge hardware studio (built up over 20 years) all to myself! And to financial hardship and selling it all sadly including my Minimoog Model D 2x Sh-101s and many other bits….. going to a Mac and using just soft synths. This has worked for about 6 years very happily until I bought a FAT Freebass 383 recently. Oh dear. I was reminded instantly of how enormous a real synth can sound compared to a computer’s interpretation. And so the hunger has reappeared. And as dreadful to my bank balance and family life it may be…. IT MUST BE DONE. BUY REAL SYNTHS….. YOUR WORLD WILL BE COMPLETE.

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