Cherry Audio Introduces Elka Synthex-Inspired Elka-X Software Synth

Cherry Audio has introduced their latest software synthesizer, Elka-X, inspired by the rare Elka Synthex., used iconically by synthesist Jean-Michel Jarre.

Elka-X replicates the original hardware synth’s character, and expands on the original’s synthesis capabilities.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Cherry Audio precisely crafted each aspect of the Elka-X synthesizer to sound and behave exactly like a vintage hardware Synthex. Every effort was taken to emulate the prized tone of the original’s DCOs, dynamic filter, and stunning chorus. The innovative sound-sculpting and performance features such as layering and keyboard split have been preserved, and the original’s 128-step sequencer has been greatly improved.

As with its other synthesizer and effects products, Cherry Audio has kept the soul of a classic alive while updating its feature set for modern studio environments.

Elka-X expands the polyphony and filter modes and introduces mono and unison modes that were absent from the original design. The extended functionality of the LFOs and addition of velocity response expands modulation potential, and a new arpeggiator delivers new performance possibilities.

Elka-X adds studio-quality echo and reverb stereo effects, with independent settings for both layers.”

Here’s an in-depth intro, featuring synthesist & developer Tim Shoebridge:

Pricing and Availability:

Elka-X is available now for Windows and Mac (VST/VST3, AU, AAX and standalone) with an intro price of $39 USD until September 18th, 2022 (MSRP $59 USD).

7 thoughts on “Cherry Audio Introduces Elka Synthex-Inspired Elka-X Software Synth

  1. I was anticipating the email from Cherry following their promise of the unveil today. It came a couple hours ago and I haven’t had a chance to load it yet. I’m anxious to play it and do some comparisons with Synthox from UVI and whatever XILS-Lab is calling their Synthex emulation these days. I do remember that when I first heard the XILS-Lab version over a decade ago, I was pretty much blown away with the sound (even though I had never played or heard a live Elka Synthex). Given the the UVI version is actually a sampled Synthex, I guess that one is probably closest to the raw sound of the original. Anyway, it will give me something to do unti Sat when my Volca FM2 gets here.

      1. Of course I’ve heard a Synthex, just like I imagine most people here have heard a Synthex (in recordings made using one by people like JMJ). I’ve just never played one or had one in my hands long enough to evaluate (which I’m pretty sure is also true for most people reading this). My comparisons (which are a bit harder than I originally thought they might be) were to be between the Cherry Audio Synthex and the two other emulations that I have and that are currently available from XILS-Lab and UVI. Also, because the UVI Synthox is based on samples taken from an actual Elka Synthex, I also speculated that it would probably be the closest to an actual Elka Synthex in its sonic properties. The odds are, I’m never going to get to play an actual Elka Synthex (nor, probably, is anybody else reading this). When I was actively writing reviews for a well known music production magazine, I would make comparisons like these all the time because that’s what people needed to hear (if there were competing products in the market). So, if you still don’t think that this makes sense then I don’t know what else to say.

  2. More sonic fun from Cherry Audio. Been programming sounds with it all day.
    Can’t beat the price for what you get, another great release! Thank you.

  3. The original missed the historical mark by appearing around the same time as the DX7, so few were made. I don’t think anything else but a PPG had digital oscillators then. I’ve never played the real thing, but I think CA got its basic sound right, modeling the plug on well-preserved hardware. I’m enjoying its “Italian Prophet-5” tone & the four-part step sequencer is very useful.

      1. No, he said what, I assume, he meant… “I don’t think anything else but a PPG had digital oscillators then.” The oscillators on the PPG were NOT DCOs, nor were they analog in any synth-relevant definition of the word “analog”. You do understand that the thing that made the PPG unique was that it was (most probably) the first commercially available synth to use digital wave sequencing oscillators. That is, the oscillators (8-bit in the 2.2 and 12-bit in the 2.3) were digitally represented waveforms that could have shapes that would be almost impossible to create by an analog oscillator means (without a ridiculous amount of work or a torturous signal path). At any rate, they were not analog oscillators of any kind.

Leave a Reply