apeSoft has introduced iVCS3 – a software version of the classic EMS VCS3.
The VCS3 was created in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff’s EMS company. The electronics were largely designed by David Cockerell and the machine’s distinctive visual appearance was the work of electronic composer Tristram Cary.
The VCS3 was one of the first portable commercially available synthesizers (portable in the sense that the VCS 3 was housed entirely in a small, wooden case).
The VCS3 was popular among progressive rock bands and was used on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), King Crimson, The Who, Gong, Pink Floyd and many others. Continue reading →
When it comes to iconic sounds of synthesis, few changed the shape of popular electronic music than the sequenced synth on Pink Floyd’s On The Run, from Dark Side Of The Moon.
In this short BBC video, David Gilmour explains how the On The Run sequence was created on the EMS Synthi A. The Synthi A was introduced in 1971, so it was a brand new tool when Pink Floyd was using it. Dark Side Of The Moon was released in 1973 and went on to sell 50 million copies.
Unfortunately for synthesists, the Synthi A is one of the rarest production synths ever made. Fans of the sound have turned to other synthesizers to recreate the classic sequence (E2 G2 A2 G2 D3 C3 D3 E3) - some more successfully than others.
The New Sound of Music is a vintage BBC documentary (1979) that looks at the development of recorded music, from the first barrel organs, pianolas, the phonograph, the magnetic tape recorder on to the concepts of musique concrete and electronic music.
Reader Andre Redert sends word of Cylon Voice – an iOS app that is designed to do one thing – turn your voice into a Cylon’s:
As fans of the 70′s Battlestar Galactica Cylons, we put all our effort into creating the app “Cylon Voice” for iPhone/iPad. It emulates the analog vintage vocoders (EMS) that were used to create Cylon voices, in real-time.
Gold and silver voice, in normal, fat and mini style (total of 6 voices)
Full emulation of analog vintage vocoder (25-bands)
Stereo, real-time and zero delay/latency
Live mode (with headphones) and repeat mode (without)
The Synthi A’s have started shipping. These are photos were kindly sent to me by someone who has been on the waiting list since 1998. He received it a few days ago..
You’ll notice it still retains the Bulgin AC socket and there is no prestopatch socket. I think keeping the Bulgin socket is good idea on a Synthi A(S) as an IEC socket would look out of place to my eyes.. Pity the prestopatch connector wasn’t kept though..
Anyway the buyer also had Robin add a bunch of mods before shipping it :-
Osc sync on Osc 2
Hi/lo frequency range on all 3 oscillators
Osc 3 stabilisation (this is done as standard for Osc 1 & 2)
VC shape on Osc 2 & 3
Switchable filter mode 18/24 dB
Switchable filter unslew
VC filter response
If you’re interested in getting a new Synthi A, make sure you note this buyer’s wait time.
This playlist of videos, via Abstructure, captures The Putney VHS, which was released on FAX +49-69/450464 records in 1995:
Only 500 Copies PAL format and 500 copies in NTSC format were made.
This video was created by using an EMS Videosizer which is fed with musical information in order to produce and treat color, shape, lightness and contrast of the visual information.
Pete Namlook is a purist. He never wanted to release a video with grinning musicians fuzzing around with their instruments or 3D animation which has not the timeless quality. More Important is the direct connection to the music.Visuals not as an explanation of the sound but more an enhancement and intensification of the overall musical experience.
Operator at the machine was Ludwig Rehberg except Video 1 (Pete Namlook).