Elka Synthex 2 Synthesizer First Look

elka-synthex-2

Information has leaked out, via sequencer.de, on a new synth design, the Elka Synthex 2, from the creator of the original Synthex.

The Synthex 2 is designed by Mario Maggi, creator of the original Synthex. It is intended as a modern Synthex update and is not related to the recently announced Elka Synthex reissue. No details on availability and pricing have been announced, but here are the preliminary specifications.

Specifications:

  • 16-voice polyphony // 8-voice upgradable version may also be produced

Versions

  • with 61 notes keyboard
    Physical dimension more compact than in the previous version.
    Less weight. No fan (means compared to the Synthex!)
  • keyboardless tabletop version (same control panel)
    1 Rack Unit expander without controls, w. PC dedicated editing software
    -> box desktop expander without controls, w. PC dedicated editing software (hmm I assume PC means Mac as well)

Keyboard

  • High-quality 61 note keybed FATAR TP-8,
    weighted, with key velocity, channel aftertouch

Joystick

  • Professional joystick, precision mechanism w. robust 5mm metal shaft.

LCD Display

  • 800 x 480 pixel,  4.3” color display for the editing of additional parameters not available on the front panel; patch program/editing & sequences program/editing.

Instrument’s Architecture

  • whole, double, split mode (duotimbral)
  • Unison Mode with variable voice quantity

Oscillators

  • 2 oscillators per voice, a lot of available waveforms
  • extended cross modulation

Filter

  • Multi mode filter, with Cutoff, Resonance and a new control for filter behavior, multiple modes (more than the orig. Synthex)

Waveshapers

  • 2  Waveshapers  // Post/Pre-Filter Waveshaper, div.  shaping curves.

Chorus

  • “bigger” chorus circuit from Synthex MkI -> mod rate / amount on each separate delay line.

Envelope Generators

  • 8 separate EGs per voice, 8 segment multistage type
  • rates/time ctrl by Vel / AT (each)
  • EGs can be used for LFO out shaping.

Wide range LFOs

  • 8 LFOs per voice, Each LFO output can be shaped with EGs

Sequencer

  • Very close to the original version but  with polyphony
  • easier programming/editing
  • 4 polyphonic tracks
  • Step by step or real time recording mode
  • Sync in/out, MIDI Sync

Arpeggiator

  • Independent Arpeggiators for Lower and Upper parts
  • Arpeggiators works together with internal Sequencer.

Rear

  • 18V DC IN  for external PSU
  • USB-B connection for a PC editor
  • RJ45 for external expansion box (CV/Trigger/Gate)
  • MIDI In, Out.
  • Sync In / Out  (5V)
  • 2X CV In –  freely routable.
  • Expression Pedal 2x
  • Audio Out : 4x (stereo for each split)

44 thoughts on “Elka Synthex 2 Synthesizer First Look

  1. Am I blind- I sure don’t spot the “Professional joystick, precision mechanism w. robust 5mm metal shaft.” Or ANY joystick…

    1. Two version are planned, a keyboard version and a desktop version.

      Mod controls are normally left off synth modules, like the one shown, since you’d expect to have them on your keyboard MIDI controller.

    2. I agree. The Prophet VS rack module managed to make room for a joystick. Likewise the Technics SX-WSA1R, the Yamaha TG33, and the Kawai K1r. Anyone who has played Pentaminoes can see better layouts for that control panel.

  2. It’s very interesting in the referenced sequencer.de forum post that Maggi says he owns both the Synthex trademark and the firmware code to the original instrument, both which he had licensed to Elka. No doubt this comes as a huge surprise to the purchasers of the Elka assets.

  3. There’s not much known yet but I think having read that it will be an all digital machine. Very curious to see how all the Synthex stuff is going to turn out. This one doesn’t exist yet, nor does the Finnish remake, and the latter probably won’t get to their funding goal on indiegogo it seems.

  4. That’s real cool and all, but can y’all start listing prices (even speculative) so I can abandon my expectations and sigh in wistful longing now instead months from now when its released? Seriously though, synthtopia, you gotta know a good chunk of your readers just immediately scroll to the bottom of these and look for the $$$

  5. Sweet! Another all digital synth. We need more of those. Is Maggi an idiot or what? People don’t want an all digital version of the Synthex. They want a Synthex. I’ve never seen anyone say “Man, I wish they’d remake the Synthex but remove the DCO’s and analog filters and make it all digital.” So lame! Duh!

    1. How do you know what people want? Speak for yourself. I personally don’t care about the core technology of a synthesizer as long as it sounds good and has a unique character. Companies should stop mentioning the words “analog” and “digital”.

      1. I also enjoy digital synths, particularly digital synths that do things that analogs cannot. Many waveshapes, wavetables, FM, PD, additive, anything else that would be prohibitive with analog circuitry. However there are other things that analog does better, at least with our current technology. Aliasing free (not bandlimited) Oscillators seems to be difficult. It requires running at a very high sample to avoid aliasing, which can tax a DSP/CPU. And I would say that analog filters and especially analog overdrive and distortion tend to sound much better in the Analog world because of the complex non linearitys and harmonics produced. Cytomic’s the Drop comes close due to extensive circuit modelling but he doesn’t seem to be marketing the tech to anyone else.

        Also, I think it is difficult for a purely digital synth to compete in a market where VST’s have become truly amazing. Xfer Serum for example, can do so much and sound good doing it. I would see no reason to own a hardware digital synth over the current offerings in VST and a good controller.

        A hybrid solution would be ideal. I would love something like Serums Oscillators through analog filters and analog VCA. That would be amazing.

      2. the only reason it helps to have digital or analog words up front on a synth is it’s a great way to see if it is aiming for the sounds you may be after. You can enjoy your U-he and Sylenth and Max or Reason all day but I still have never heard one give me the sound i want, and by golly it’s the old vco sound. The reason there’s outcry and criticism is because that whole part of the market continues to be ignored. Almost ALL the analog polys on the ENTIRE market for decades have had pretty major implementation problems (tho the new Sequential is looking like a suitable entrant, finally).

      1. He mocked this up to try and halt the Synthex reissue. That’s about it. Where’s he been all this time? Why didn’t he put this out in the 90’s when it would have actually been interesting? He suddenly drops this a few months after the announcement of the Synthex reissue? Is anyone actually falling for this?

        1. you are conflating a lot of things here and your comments are 100% speculation. all of them.

          just to respond to your first nonsense with some perspective:
          if dave spears made a dedicated knobby oddyssey desktop box i would buy it far more likely than the korg reissue. gforce synth sounds fantastic and i dont even use vst´s.

          as for falling for this, no idea what your are talking about.
          i just feel disgusted when a “person” that uses words like “lame” and “duh” insults someone that actually contributed to music history.
          that, my man, is revolting.

  6. I thin it’s a bit extreme to call Maggi an “idiot” for this. It looks like a forward thinking instrument that may sound amazing. I know I’ve been liking the Pro 2 a lot (digital with analog filters) but wished for polyphony. The Synthex sequencer is one of the most desirable things about this. And if people want the analog Synthex, it’s available for some heavy loot.

  7. It is amusing that the largest sales of synths is at the lower end of the market. So this is another expensive synth. I imagine to keep afloat they would have to make a smaller ‘budget synth’.?

    Would be nice to see a documentary about the small companies taking a synth to the market place.
    Look at Dave Smith,Novation, Arturia etc The money is in mass sales. The idea that those of us who have decades of synth use have rose tinted spectacles and pots of money is comical.

    1. A) They haven’t announced pricing yet.

      B) Boutique companies can’t compete against the biggies in the cheap synth category – because economics.

      C) Whining about price is still the most useless way you could judge a tool.

      D) We want to see more great synths, vs more knock-offs, plastic cases and crap keyboards. Is it any wonder why people like vintage keyboards?

      1. Whining about price is still the most useless way you could judge a tool.

        Hey Jert, who’s whining? Price is a consideration as regards its place in a working studio. Mr money bags are you ? What synths do you own?

        1. “so this is another expensive synth”.
          said by you.
          just two points:
          1. you have no idea what this synth costs so your broader argument is completely bereft of meaning.
          2. if it really is more costly than the competing products, the synth is a professional tool and as such a complete writeoff. infact i know people that are always on the look out for investments before the year end just for the purpose of lowering their taxes. shelling out 2-3k would sometimes mean one could save considerably more.

          i mostly refrain from commenting on here but with this loads of bollocks it is getting absurd.

          putting out any product, synths in particular, takes so much passion, knowledge, courage and dedication to pull of. it has to be so heartbreaking for any creator to come in here and see the bullshit comments, from discarding the product because it does not have x or y feature, or complaining about price when it is not even known. all that before hearing one single sound. it boggles the mind.

  8. VA? Hmmmm?

    I could see myself getting one of these provided that they reduce the price via lower build quality and slap some mini-keys on there.

  9. I would love to smear samples all over its signal path.

    In fact, that would be nice way to differentiate it from the actual analog Synthex.

    Bi-timbral isn’t that hot feature, especially as the analog Synthex is twice that.

  10. At now this is only an announcement,only words!!It seems very strange to me that after few time from the finnic Synthex crowfunding,this Synthex 2 notice come out!! It seems more a boycott attempt!

  11. ” Keyboard

    High-quality 61 note keybed FATAR TP-8,
    weighted, with key velocity, channel aftertouch
    Joystick

    Professional joystick, precision mechanism w. robust 5mm metal shaft. ”

    where?? ^^

    1. so your comment, apart from being casually racist has no point does it?
      i am sure you are used to that. spewing junk of no relevance eh?

  12. Haha…..

    So ‘ leaked information ‘ includes detailed specs, a render photo, future expansion possibilities as well as other ‘secret information’.

    Oldest trick in the book. I think using ‘leaked information’ was a good marketing strategy in the mid nineties. Its getting a bit old.

    None the less this is exciting, I just hope its not analog modelling.

      1. we have come full circle apparently. since analogue is in vogue, digital gets discarded right out the gate. a bit like analogs fell out of fashion with the birth of digital technology.
        digital was the magic word back then. it was a marketing prefix. and its happening again but in reverse. and some say universe is not cyclical.

        i would suggest you judge an instrument by your ears before you lament on its design.

        i think this is an interesting situation:
        apparently market will be blessed with both an analog recreation and digital interpretation of a classic synth. this is an ideal scenario to actually for once properly compare both technologies.

        but please dont let me hold back your dissapointment. its a tragedy, i know.

  13. Make a notice of this: There are not many enough of us to make ANY company at all a biggie in this industry. By any standard they’re all pretty small.

  14. Looks like some clarifications are needed on this thread:

    1) PROFESSIONAL synthesizers can be expensive, like any other professional machine designed and built to satisfy a professional users needs. full stop. Said that, the “cost” can be declared as “high” only when considered after knowing everything about a certain synth, and comparing it to other alternatives.

    2) This article reported by Synthopia is incomplete, please read the original and full article by Enrico Cosimi here: http://www.audiocentralmagazine.com/il-synthex-2-di-mario-maggi/

    3) Nowhere is written that the presented image is a definitive one… and mind yourself that this project has been in the works for so many years you can’t imagine.

    4) Analog or Digital ? Is it really the technology that counts ? I don’t think so. I think that the IMPLEMENTATION actually makes a big difference. There are wonderful digital synths and horribile digital synths, and same can be said for analog ones. The problem is that so many people judge them subjectively without knowing what’s inside them and how it works.

    5) The new Synthex and its announcement are not an attempt to boycott the Finnish replica. Please read also Enrico Cosimi’s post here:

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/977943-could-synthex-see-return-etusivu-soundion-oy-finland-14.html#post11017918

    My personal opinions is simple as that: Mario invented everything about the Synthex (including name and logo). After 35 years, if you reading this, it means he did something unbelievable and unprecedented using the technology that was available at the time.

    Is this happening again… now ?

    😉

  15. So after 35 years he is presenting us this digital sequel.
    With all due respect, can I ask what he built in the meantime? and when he stopped designing analog synths?

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