New Videos Reveal The Secrets Of Aphex Twin’s ‘Annoying Complicated’ Cheetah MS800

The Cheetah MS800 is synthesizer that’s rare and, at least to some, ‘annoying complicated‘ and ‘mind-numbingly confusing‘.

Nevertheless, Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) made it the centerpiece of his sound for his Cheetah LP and even featured it at the Aphex Twin Summer NAMM Show Booth.

This set of videos, via Paddy C, offer an introduction to the Cheetah MS800 Digital Wave Synthesizer. The first video, above, offers a basic overview of the MS800 – and an introduction to why it’s so impenetrable.

The second video, below, is an audio preview of the module’s capabilities, featuring the 55 wave forms, sequenced together in to one continuous track:

Check it out and let us know what you think. Does the Cheetah MS800 deserve its reputation?

9 thoughts on “New Videos Reveal The Secrets Of Aphex Twin’s ‘Annoying Complicated’ Cheetah MS800

    1. They made quite a few things… a sampler (SX16), a few different drum machines (MD8, MD16 and MD16R) MIDI controllers, a sequencer (MQ8) and a few synths (MS6, MS6mkii, MS800).

      I have an MS6mkii, and I literally cannot find any info on the web about it. The color scheme is a bit different, and it has built-in effects. Besides that, I’m not sure what the differences are between the MS6 and the mkii…

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  1. There’s definitely a weird realm where fringe instruments reside. Many are half-crap to begin with, but you use them while you can because they have a certain something to offer. Sampling the best bits is a given, but it often takes some measured effecting to make them sound decent in the first place, so it involves an interesting bit of injected chaos. The MS800 has “Sample me” written all over it.

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    1. I want an MS800 wavetable for the E352… I’m just not willing to buy one and program it to get there.

      I might just sample them directly out of that video 😛

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  2. I have an ms800 in pristine condition, just had to replace the backup battery though, and made a editor for the ipad with lemur, makes it much easier to edit and randomise.

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