iVCS3 Patch Design

Discchord’s Tim Webb takes a look at the new iVCS3 synthesizer for iPad – a software recreation of the classic EMS VCS3 synthesizer. 

Here’s what Webb has to say about the video:

I started off trying to do a tutorial for this, but that would take hours. It’s so deep, and my efforts just became a mess. So instead I walk you through my favorite patch, and then start a new patch from scratch. The whole time I try to provide some insights and tips as I play around.

If you’ve used the iVCS3, let us know what you think of it!

8 thoughts on “iVCS3 Patch Design

  1. I really wanted to like this softsynth version of this old machine, but the FM sounds (of the various VCOs modulating each other) is completely wrong. As this is one of the keys to the sound of this device, there’s no way to get authentic sounding patches from this. It’s still a lot of fun though!

    1. As FaZe mentions below, the FM bug is a 1.0 error that is already being addressed. The current work around is to keep the frequency of the modulator low, as the bug only crops up in audio range.

  2. I’m a long time reader but this is my first comment:

    Just wanted to say I will be purchasing this. I will never be able to affford a real vcs3 and now I can get a portable virtual one for 15 bucks! One of the most unique sounding synths ever. It’s so easy to create refreshing interesting patches.

  3. “I started off trying to do a tutorial for this, but that would take hours. It’s so deep, and my efforts just became a mess.”??? Come on man, its NOT that complicated. This is a very basic modular synthesizer. 3 VCOs (1 capable of real LFO range), 1 VCF, 1 VCA, 1 EG, a reverb and a joystick. NOT that complicated.

    The pin-matrix patching system is not common, but it is easy to understand: outputs from each device arrayed in rows down the left side, inputs to each device arranged in columns across the top. Connect the output to the input where the lines intersect and …bingo: modular patch. T

    The VCS3/AKS is a wonderful instrument, but it is no more complicated or difficult to understand than the simplest modulars out there. The only thing even potentially confusing is the new stuff that ApeSoft has added …all of which looks great and, at least from the demos, sounds great too.

  4. I bought my first vcs3 on 1974 used. I sold the last one month ago, so 40 years of it. Every day and every night. Well, iI can say that ivcs3 is a great app. Much more complete than the original endeed. Of course the two great diferences on sound are the filter and the tuning. The original LP filter have it own sound impossible to recreate digitally, anyway I can say that my first 255 serial filter was hundred times better than the last owned. The tuning is too much perfect and digital, the original one was absolutely out of tune, was a war against it but the final sound was warm, complex and organic. I sold the last for lot of money, I bought ivcs3 for 14 euros, just a pizza beer and coffee. I dont know if peolple that never had the hardware could enjoy the app, could be hard to walk around knobs and matrix. For me is a joy to use this app. Well done, I suggest to buy it immediately!!! 🙂

  5. The community members over at SynthPatcher has put together a bank of 44 sounds that are completely free for anyone to download, no registration required – just go and help yourself! There are a load of playable patches in there that show that this synth isn’t just a weird BBC Radiophonic Workshop noise generator.

    We had a lot of fun helping each other understand this wonderful synth emulation and everyone agrees that once you get over the initial hurdle of the matrix it is actually very simple synth – personally I think it is amazing!

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