The Hornet Portable Modular Synthesizer (EMS Synthi VCS 3 Clone)


The Hornet is a portable modular synthesizer, with subtractive / FM analogue synthesis, based on Derek Revell’s Phutney EMS VCS3 Putney clone boards.


  • 3x OCS’s, switchable from hi to lo (OSC). OSC 2 with sync switch and depth pot.
  • 1x VCF (18/24 dB)
  • 1x Envelope Generator with inverter switch.
  • Ghielmetti matrix: 20 x 20 signal distributor with black panel (Sealectro look) and 16 pins.
  • Midi interface.
  • CV / Gate interface: in and outputs.
  • Sample & hold module
  • Digital frequency meter: Range 20-20000Hz.
  • Removable 12V BNC lamp.
  • Symmetrical outputs.
  • XY axis joystick.
  • Noise generator.
  • Spring reverb.
  • Suitcase with metal chassis and removable lid.

The Hornet is built to order, priced at 4999 Euro net. See the Hornet site for details.


32 thoughts on “The Hornet Portable Modular Synthesizer (EMS Synthi VCS 3 Clone)

    1. The black hole that your money disappears into. It looks lovely but this is very very expensive, considering you can get very similar functionality from an Analog Solutions Vostok for a lot less.

  1. That’s one nice piece of cloneage, alright. It also makes me seriously wonder about who really buys these little beauties. At those prices, its probably not ALL about mere ownership, so I wonder how many really put them to good *musical* use. Hardware synths each have their own aroma, but the standard MiniMoog signal path is the most common, so I have to wonder what purpose a $5k mono synth really serves. I was pleased to learn how closely I could emulate vintage things with some careful EQ and touches of distortion or pitch-shifting. I have a couple of workstations and big is often good, but an instrument would have to offer one hell of a lot to justify that price. The build is probably pretty good here, with the more recent and far tougher pin matrices on clones as an example. (Pin crosstalk was an issue with the original generation or three in the 60s-70s, IIRC.) I just think it should be more central to your sound for that investment, which requires a clear compositional head. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy playing it and using it as the world’s most rad night light.

  2. You could build a bitchin modular rig from scratch yourself at that price! Could have 2-3 filters, 4 env gens, ring mod etc! Why? Who would pay for a limited system, so overpriced! These days a cap costs 1c and resistors are thrown away, don’t feed the boutique animal! Support smaller brands and honest manufacturers instead!

    1. Nobody is building anything similar. You could put together a Euro with similar features, but it would cost as much and would be three times the size.

      1. Too right. EMS has been the theme of my modular choices, and I’m closer to 7k than I’d like to admit. This is beautiful integration. Messing with modular really makes one appreciate the economic value in an integrated synth like a pro one, sh101, or a modern one like a sub37. Awesome value there. For this, the value comes in the nice workflow. The cost from the size of the market.

  3. I think rather than lusting after this piece of equipment, I shall simply make a mental note of its color scheme, and hope some other cool thing comes out in those colors.

  4. Looks very cool and I do want, but at the price, which I’m sure is reasonable given the effort, I’d have to find a baroness to marry and have her pawn her tiara in order to afford it!

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