52 thoughts on “This Is What A $20,000 Synth Sounds – The Schmidt Analog Synthesizer

    1. I already watched this video elsewhere so when I saw the title of this post I thought great a genuine audio demo, lets see what this baby can do. Yeah he plays a few presets after 5 minutes but nothing that screams $20,000 synth and some of the presets he chooses sound out and out cheesetastic.

      1. honestly, polyphony aside, those were the shittiest demos ive ever heard. thats like trying to sell a lamborgini by driving it around a parking lot.

        the sounds were just a standard ol analog sound. i mean, can this thing even modulate? it sounded so boring 😛

      2. I program my Korg M3 lots and to be honest it makes sounds so close to these that I cant imagine why I would drop 20k on this. I wanted to like this but you know what …. the emperor has no cloths.

        1. The Korg M3 will never sound organic like a real analogue synth. It may be good for the money but it still has a cold digital twang to it.
          The Schmidt is hand built, 100% organic and has function keys for all its parameters. Granted the price tag is high but I have a feeling it can blow just about every virtual analogue synth away!

          1. I have a couple analog synths here and the Korg M3 is run through an old Sony analog mixer …. it sounds almost as warm as my Juno 106. You can program some drift into it and to be honest I don’t believe anyone would be able to tell if its analog or digital that they are hearing in the final mix.

            1. Good attitude! True analog gear has a stripe of character you can only get with the real thing, but with the mass of options today, the argument seems a bit pale. I can generate incredibly raw, hefty analog sounds with well-effected plug-ins alone. You can also buy astounding hardware, meaning you have the option of true Moog grit via MoogerFoogers or a small Doepfer. Either way, you can have that added warmth & beef if the need compels you. The Schmidt has an impressive sound, but great analog clout doesn’t necessarily have to cost $20k.

  1. Thank god for the audio demos ‘coz this video may even be worse than the keyboard mag one. Wtf is up with poorly produced videos at these shows? It’s really not difficult to take a tripod, plan a couple of close ups, and get a presenter who isn’t an idiot to lead a short interview. I know it’s not hard because I’ve done it myself. Fancy cgi indents mean nothing with a poorly made video.

    Demos were good but not 20k good.

    1. believe it or not, tripods usually require a permit. went to film school. not fun to deal with when you have a week to complete an assignment.

  2. The sounds he plays are very conventional and rather cheesy but I’m sure that with some twiddling you can get something interesting out of it. As for the price, I’d take a copy of Diva and the rest in cash anytime.

  3. I heard this in person, and it is a beast. Awesome huge sound. It is a bit of overkill, but I’m sure it’s worth $20K. Although for that money I’d probably lean more towards a less-conventional Buchla.

  4. Yes, another poor demo of this synthesizer. I was there at the show and played it and it sounds fantastic really big fat warm. There was a bass patch with velocity maped to filter, that was fantastic. Lots of great pads and filter sweep type sounds. The problem is with the guy demonstrating it, He may be a friend of Schmidt and I think that he owns one himself but really by profession he is a psychologist. You can tell by his playing style that he is a Hammond organ jazz type of guy playing in some German oom pa pa band. In Europe they call this music Schlager! You will have to search around the net to find some good audio demos if there are any I don’t know, But don’t count on this guy Thomas to deliver A demo that this crowd would appreciate.

    1. You have the story, my understanding is that Stephan Schmidt, the creator is not crowd friendly, or rather had anxiety issues thus tries to avoid these sorts of events. Moreover, during development, he suffered a catastrophic stroke I believe. And it delayed development some 10 years. Thus to consider that he was tackling this back in early 2000’s is that impressive.

      You want a better demo click here at the 2011 Messe where he did the demos himself.


  5. $20,000 would probably get me at least ten of my most wanted vintage analog synths from the 70s/80s – or a single Roland System 700 Modular if I could find one for sale. I think if I had that sort of money in my pocket, I’d go for the vintage gear or the 700, rather than this. It looks awesome though – this is one of those synths that you include on the list when you are fantasizing about what you do with $50m from a big lottery win.

  6. Just skipped through to where he actually plays it. How disappointing – not the instrument – his approach to demo’ing the instrument. He has a $20,000 synth, with what looks to be a full knob per function across an beautiful expansive panel – and he plays presets!!!!!!! I want to see sound shaping with filters, envelopes, oscillators, effects – everything a true synthesist uses to create NEW sounds – not cheesy presets. Waste of time!

    1. it’s nice to hear how it sounds but I would like to hear the modulation. I think he said 7 filters : ) mama

      no cv is also a bummer.

  7. I think it’s fair to say that this is serious overkill . It is one thing to have a panel full of knobs and sliders but this seems over the top. It is like the Waldorf wave on steroids.
    Its is decadent and really does offer more than needed in music making synthesis. Every hobbyist group as its extremists, from anglers ,trainspotters,football fans,kit car makers,superbikes,bodybuilders etc
    Well this is the synthesist hobbyist top dog.
    Moogs gold edition voyager comes in at number two in the absurd synths chart, but this earns the place of number one I think.
    Great work , but wow decadent and beyond 99.9 percent of any working musicians budget and needs.

    1. Comparing this with a cello is an honest observation. Learning to draw out a cello’s expressive depths is comparable to the time required to get a full grasp on a Schmidt’s huge timbral range. When someone woodsheds like that for the proverbial 10,000 hours-plus, the end musical results usually trump any technical debate. Utterly different instruments, with the same ultimate demand that they be played with passion in order to be seen as valid.

  8. So it’s a modern-day CS-80?

    I find it funny how some people in these comments are dissing it’s price tag, but are forgetting that once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

  9. Amazing sound! I’m sure there’s some amazing patches to be had. I would buy in a heartbeat if I was filthy rich. For $20,000 I’d sure as hell want CV control on this beast!

  10. Yes, its a beautiful beast and even with the iffy sound demo, I can hear the analog goodness on several patches. Now can anyone name a single current artist who would or even COULD really put this on the map? I like the purple panel lights, but that doesn’t give it a defining voice.

  11. Blimey. Five minutes of bland beaking-off, then stereotypical presets which comprise the bullet-points of any polysynth’s resume since the term ‘JP8’ made its way into common parlance, plus a few half interesting sounds. But TWENTY GRAND?!?! This is quite literally the sound of my skirt not being blown up. For that much coin—and with the wind in a favorable direction—you might get TWO real CS80s – or sixty seven MicroBrutes! Guys, PLEASE, I beg you… make me say “wow!”. This thing has synth power up the wazoo… so let’s HEAR IT!!!!!

    1. I’m no analogue fetishist yet comparing this to even a 100 Microbrutes or 5 CS80s is an bloody insult to Stephan!

      Build quality aside, and it is indeed first rate, the fact that you can recall every setting and parameter, the auto tuning and digital ‘control’ over analogue circuitry places this synth well above your alternatives.

      Bear in mind that the high production cost is the result of using class A components and the extremely limited production volume.

  12. I wonder if it will be easily repairable in its old age. I have old Rolands that are a PIA to get parts for and they had huge production runs.

  13. I got one, I got one 🙂 It’s a very very nice instrument with a handful of very unique features.
    Though my reason for spending that much money (though I got a slightly discounted “pre-model”) is mostly the immediate huge interface. The sound is wonderful, but sound alone would not have justified the expense for me.

  14. As long as it is not presented by anyone associated with Dream Theater we should be happy.
    Nice Keyboard, but 4oscillators and ring mod is total overkill. I ll wait for it’s tiny little brother The MicroScmidt

  15. Gee, from description of the signal flow, the Mooog/ SEM dual filter and the lack of mid range, I have to ask: Since when did an Alesis Andromeda cost 20K ?

  16. “In 2013, Schmidt’s first prototype was delivered to Hollywood-based composer celebrity Hans Zimmer.”

    source : http://www.schmidt-synthesizer.com/en/

    Hans Zimmer can proof the real specificities of this beast in one of his post-2013 movies.
    I’m looking foreward.

    But to be honest : It’s only for the budget of the great musicians like other filmcomposers as Vangelis or electronic musicians as J.M. Jarre etc.

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