New England Digital Synclavier II

This is a demo of the New England Digital Synclavier II, by synthesist Richard Atkinson.

The Synclavier was an early digital synthesizer, sampler and workstation. The original Synclavier was released in the late 70’s, while the Synclavier II was released in 1980.


  • 64 voice polyphony
  • FM synthesis, additive synthesis, resynthesis
  • 16 track audio recording
  • 76 keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • 32MB RAM (expandable to 768MB)
  • Sampling at up to 100kHZ

Specifications for the Synclavier II vary from machine to machine, because they were custom built.

The Synclavier was an influential element on many 80’s recordings, including recordings by Trevor Horn, Michael Jackson, Pat Metheny, Jack Nitzsche, Frank Zappa and Alan Silvestri.


2 thoughts on “New England Digital Synclavier II

  1. Thank you for this video and the other one. As budding teenage synthesists, we knew the Synclavier was cool, but it only 'belonged' to those with a lot of money. This demo finally takes a lot of the mystery out of it. The only question remains; when is someone going to make a virtual copy of it?

  2. Some of the things I like about the Synclavier are its high sampling rate, nice keyboard, and FM sounds. Also I like the idea of using sequences as instruments in themselves which could be triggered and modulated during live performance.

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