Sounds Of The EMS Synthi AKS

This video, via kovalmoog, captures some iconic sounds of the Electronic Music Studios (EMS) Synthi AKS.

Video Summary:

First, we try to synthesize those descending sweeps heard in the first part of “Oxygéne 2” (Jean-Michel Jarre, 1976), before the main lead part.

After that, we visited the typical sequence of “On The Run” (Pink Floyd, 1973), although from a very free approach, we not intended an exact recreation. Nevertheless, the 8 notes entered in the sequencer are exactly those used in the original theme (exhaustively verified).

The AKS’s line output was processed thru a Strymon Timeline, using various delays with modulations applied on its feedback.

13 thoughts on “Sounds Of The EMS Synthi AKS

  1. Uli are you reading this? MAKE ME ONE THAT I CAN AFFORD!!!!

    I don’t care about owning a Model D or an Oscar. I want this.

    1. then pay for it if you want it.
      i think if they were interested in making a cheap clone of there own products with crappier parts they would have by now.

      1. It’s a $15,000 synthesizer. I simply cannot justify that kind of investment.

        And I don’t even understand your second sentence. The original synthi was not made by Behringer, so they wouldn’t be cloning their own product.

  2. What’s the appeal of this thing, other than the uniqueness of the pin matrix?

    Seems fairly limited – esp for what they go for.

    1. Just listen to every song Portishead ever used it on and if that doesn’t convince you, listen to every song Floyd ever made with it.

      The pin matrix is unique, but not nearly as much as the SOUND. It also does ext. in so you can process other instruments and sounds through it.

  3. I have ears too. The virtual version for the iPad sounds almost exactly the same (the JMJ preset is miles better than the effort in the above video), yet costs a fraction of the price of the hardware version. The Synthi was the synth of my dreams for many years, but I think I was more in love with its looks rather than what it could actually do. So yes, perhaps the GRUMPS are out in force today, but actually I also think they have a good point. And if you want a real mindblowing synth for not a lot more than a synthi, get a Buchla.

    1. Yes the app sounds good enough for me. What’s missing are the controls. That is the difference between a soft synth and an instrument. I would buy a Synthi controller if sombody would make one.

  4. Listen to Eno on the first two Roxy Music albums. It sounded like a synth from the future in 1972 and it still does.

  5. I have the app and it doesn’t sound like hardware to me. No emulation does. I just did another check right now. It still has digital sheen, boring flat precision all over it, it is missing body, soul and depth. It’s like, if you are dreaming you might still believe you are actually awake. But if you are awake, you KNOW IN FACT you are awake (let’s exclude altered states here). Like now. Get the difference? It FEELS different.

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