iVCS3 Recreates The EMS VCS3 Synthesizer For iPad


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

The Iconic Sounds Of Synthesis – ‘On The Run’ From ‘Dark Side of the Moon’

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.

Here are a few examples: Continue reading

The New Sound Of Music – A View Of Electronic Music From 1979

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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.

Continue reading

Vintage Putney VCS 3 Synthesizer Demo

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This vintage audio demo (1973) for the Electronic Music Studios Putney VCS 3 features Tony Luisi explaining the features of the analog synth and introducing some great ‘switched on’ era audio demos.

The VCS 3 is a three-oscillator portable matrix synthesizer, originally designed in 1969.

New Vocoder App Turns Your Voice Into A Cylon’s

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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)
  • Engine and eye sound effects
  • Sound equalizer (iPhone/iPod 5-bands, iPad 9-bands)
  • Sampler: record, play and share your own Cylon voice
  • Elegant, intuitive interface, with video demo/instructions
  • Works on all devices with iOS4.2 and higher (iPod Touch 2G users need an external microphone)

This isn’t designed to be a full-featured vocoder (and MIDI support is missing in action). But as music toy apps go, Cylon voice looks like fun for anybody of a certain age.

“By your commmand!”

It’s $1.99 in the App Store.