The GS Music E7 May Have A Boring Name, But Has ‘Bags Of Charisma’

In his latest video, synthesist Matt Johnson (Jamiroquai) takes an in-depth look at the GS Music E7 polyphonic synthesizer.

Johnson says that, while the E7 may have a boring name, it has ‘bags of charisma’.

As always with Johnson’s videos, this video leaves you with the impression that Johnson could play anything and make it sound awesome. But the E7 also offers a unique take on the classic analog subtractive synth.

GS Music says that the E7 is the first analog polyphonic synthesizer ever made in Argentina. The e7 is a 7-voice, 4-part multitimbral synthesizer that features a completely analog signal path, built-in effects, MPE support and more.

Has anyone ever made a 7-voice synth before this? Let a comment if you know of any precedent for this!

Pricing and Availability

The GS Music E7 is available now for $1,600 USD.

47 thoughts on “The GS Music E7 May Have A Boring Name, But Has ‘Bags Of Charisma’

  1. I remember seeing this synth and liking it (probably here). At that time, I tried to find out how to acquire one. At the time, you could only purchase it directly from GS Music or one of their Argentine suppliers. I made an attempt and never got to make the deal work. Unfortunately, it seems like that still is the case. I still can’t find an American or European distributor who handles the synth. Every demo of this synth makes me more sure that I want one, especially at $1.7-1.8k. I’d certainly choose this over the Oberheim OB-X8, especially at less than half the price.

  2. its silly its 7 voices, because 7 is one more than 6
    what you actually want is at least 8 voices
    so you can play c-maj a-minor without voice stealing, cough … ๐Ÿ˜‰
    bags of charisma dont help when the voices get cut off

      1. It’s ignorant to suggest that 7 voices is better than 6, but you really need 8. It all depends on what you’re playing and how you play it.

        It’s also ignorant to suggest that you need more than four notes of polyphony to play C major, followed by A minor. That’s two three-note chords, where only one voice is moving. So you can do that with four voices, with no voice stealing. Or, if you add the root in the left hand, you can do it with five voices, with no voice stealing.

        More polyphony means more options, but more options aren’t always what you need or want. For example, the Korg Minilogue XD is way more popular than the Prologue, even though the XD only has four-voice polyphony.

        Good players adapt their playing to their keyboard’s strengths and make the most of what they’ve got.

        1. a chord is 4 notes, a tritone is 3 notes.
          turn up the amp release a little and puff here is the voice stealing.
          what a great design /s

          1. Whatโ€ฆ A tritone is a 6 semitone interval. A chord is three or more notes. Three notes is a triad. No one says, โ€œplay me a C major chordโ€ฆ No, not a triad, a chord!โ€

            1. we can debate all day long if you consider 2,3 or 4 notes a chord. that doesn’t make much sense.

              voice stealing is about number of played notes vs. envelope times vs. number of voices ๐Ÿ˜‰
              the faster you play the more voices are needed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              ppl refuse to understand this, instead they try to teach me music theory. lol, just another day on synthopia

  3. I agree that 4 parts would work better with 8 voices. Seven is a curious choice but I don’t see a lot of folks complaining about the polyphony of a Juno 60/106, Polysix, or Memorymoog. Or an OB-6/Prophet 6, etc. I mean… 7 seems odd but it’s better than a lot of its competition.

    1. 5-voice polyphony is odd, by that standard. It hasn’t kept people from buying the Prophet-5 or the Take 5, though.

      I would be interested, though, in knowing more about why they chose to do something a little different with the E7. If they’d gone with 6 voices or 8 voices, literally nobody would be talking about the polyphony.

      1. folks, wake up, its not 1985 anymore, there is no need to do things that way anymore.
        can’t play 2 chords without voices dying,
        seriously what kind of wannabe polyphonic instrument is this supposed to be?
        you need 8 voices to do the minimum. everybody knows.

        ppl just like to find all kind of excuses for the shortcoming of voices because they payed to much ****ing money for the synth they have
        and it can’t even do the simplest things. cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. everybody took their analog ish and traded it for more digital polyphony in the 80s.
            and now its 2023, and people dont understand why 7 voices are not enough to be halfway flexible with what you can do with it. &_&

        1. When you think about it, most people have two hands with five fingers each. While that is a simple fact of human anatomy, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of those people have muscular acuity in four or less of those “fingers”, and for most people, only three. So, independently of how you view chord structure, most people can accurately play only about six different keys at a time with any kind of dexterity. Given this, anything more than 6-note polyphony is overkill for most people. On the other hand, voice stealing is an issue if chords (of any number of keys) are sustained. However, that sort of problem isn’t really resolved by 16- or even 24-note polyphony. Just watching the polyphony counter on my synths that have them often shows the voice count well above 50, even when what I am playing is not too chord-rhythm based (I seem to have a penchant for the sustain pedal ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Even though this seems to be pretty much universally true for me, I don’t really notice voice stealing occurring when I play the Iridium using two hands (i.e. 16-note polyphony). Clearly, the algorithms currently being used to accommodate for polyphony overload work pretty well.

          1. “. Given this, anything more than 6-note polyphony is overkill for most people. ”

            wrong assumption.
            this is a synthesizer, it has envelopes,
            its not an organ were the sound is gone when you stop pressing the note ๐Ÿ˜‰

            1. This is the key point — with a release envelope, you need polyphony to play chords or even to play fast. I think this is why a lot of people say analog synths need lots of reverb. You can make do with a short release envelope and tons of reverb instead.

                  1. how hard can it be to play c,e,g,c, and then a,c,e,a with a little envelope without crap?
                    musically its the most basic thing you can imagine. ๐Ÿ˜‰
                    back to the drawing board, this is shit.

                    1. gee, if you can’t see that this is a very simple abstraction for polyphonic stuff played with 2 hands, I can’t help it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            2. Whether some people appreciate it, or not, I’m not an idiot! If you just took the time to read the next sentence [“On the other hand, voice stealing is an issue if chords (of any number of keys) are sustained] and the qualifiers that followed it, you would understand that I know what synths and envelopes are, but I also know that 16 voices of absolute polyphony doesn’t do much to address the voice stealing issue. So, it is almost senseless to argue that 16 voices is somehow better than seven or eight when it comes to voice stealing. As has been said somewhere in this discussion, people made due with the five polyphonic voices of the Prophet 5, just fine. A musician, if they dare to call themselves that, can make due with the limitations imposed by their instrument. I can remember well when I first played a Mellotron. That a single key could only sustain a note for about eight seconds seemed like a severe limitation of the instrument to me. I got over that pretty quickly. So too, will a competent musician adjust to any polyphony limitation. Personally, I would rather have a synth that is capable of simultaneously producing five, six, or seven notes of exquisitely pleasing sounds than a synth that can simultaneously produce 256 notes of rubbish.

              1. I can go a long way with 8 or 16 voices, if im not trying to play Rachmaninow.
                7 wont do.
                I had a sequential 6 voices thing, because I couldn’t afford a Jupiter 8. I still hate it for its 6 voices, it can’t keep up with what im trying to play and im not doing to crazy … things

  4. If you’re ready to drop $1600 on an analog synth, you already know how up to 4 parts could be assigned to do a huge amount of musical work. You can clearly play it two-fisted if you like, but its not the first place you’d go for serious polyphony. Subjectively, I’d say this is one you’d put on a tier above a workstation or a flagship like the upgraded Quantum. Now imagine it next to a Take 5 or Minilogue. You’d have major options. Also a major credit card tab, but hey, that’s GAS for you.

    1. how many mono analog synths do you need?
      how many capable poly synths do you need?
      how many shitty polysynths do you need?

  5. I too find polyphony and voice count very frustrating and would, realistically, prefer 32 to be a minimum for some of the music I make where I want a long release. As mentioned, I too use reverb to compensate. It is a pity no manufacturer has come up with a novel hybrid solution utilising digital sampling of the analogue notes played and looping a portion to create the release. Seven does seem an unusual number, 8 would have made more sense. On the plus side the options on the LFOs for monophonic/polyphonic etc. address a serious shortcoming in Sequential synths. 3 LFOs is excellent too. 4 parts is fantastic. I do hope the company creates a polychaining facility or voice card expansions or slave units. Polyphony aside, this synth sounds seriously good, IMHO much better than any Sequential poly – and I have four so know what Iโ€™m listening to. And the controls look a good size and well spaced. Iโ€™ll be buying one.

    1. You could do this with most “real” sampling synths, since they were made available. For example, in 1992 you could do this easily with a K2000S. Additionally, Sample Robot allows you to do it in about five mouse clicks.

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