EMS Synthi waiting list

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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papz
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Post by papz » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:42 pm

Kind of a modern "super KS" could be done for cheap using a microcontroller with all the original features and extra ones such as stepped mode, clock input and output, arpeggiator, extended memory, keyboard transpose, pressure, portamento, even extra oscillators, LFO...
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Post by askthedust » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:14 am

papz wrote:Kind of a modern "super KS" could be done for cheap using a microcontroller with all the original features and extra ones such as stepped mode, clock input and output, arpeggiator, extended memory, keyboard transpose, pressure, portamento, even extra oscillators, LFO...
Just feel the need to point out that what you are describing are exactly the features of a Future Retro 512, which makes a great combo with EMS gear.

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Post by papz » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:41 am

I don't think the FR512 is able to record and play sequences in real time, which is a typical great feature of the KS and other EMS sequencers.
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Post by chriscarter » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:08 am

We bought a Future Retro 512 for our Synthi but was disappointed with the build quality - also the colour scheme is truly horrendous - I mean come on... purple and yellow? ugh! We sent it straight back.

Currently using a Lifeforms KB-1 mounted in a low profile 4MS POD 60 case - via a Digitana Synthi interface. Going to add a small sequencer to the 4ms case soon.

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Post by askthedust » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:23 am

papz wrote:I don't think the FR512 is able to record and play sequences in real time, which is a typical great feature of the KS and other EMS sequencers.
Ah interesting. I’m not familiar enough with the KS probably. It has a step sequencer mode which allows to play and record a sequence on the fly, would you care to elaborate on how the KS sequencer works differently?

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Post by papz » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:35 am

Can the FR512 record and play a sequence respecting the gaps, syncopations, note lengths without quantization ? With the KS, you touch the "record" pad, you play the sequence on the keyboard, you touch the "play" pad and it's replayed instantly exactly as it was played during recording, then you can vary the clock speed.
A friend purchased a FR512 because he thought it would be able to do so but it seems it can't.

Another cool feature of the KS is that the sequencer CV (row 16) and keyboard CV (row 8) are separated, so while the sequence is controlling an oscillator, the keyboard can control another oscillator and a thumbwheel selects whether the envelope is triggered by the sequencer, by the keyboard/off or by an adjustable mix of both. I'm not sure the FR512 does this.

The early KS even have a 3rd CV output for the dynamic (row 9) that outputs a voltage proportional to how hard the KS is hit.
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I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by sanders » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:55 pm

papz wrote:With the KS, you touch the "record" pad, you play the sequence on the keyboard, you touch the "play" pad and it's replayed instantly exactly as it was played during recording, then you can vary the clock speed.
It's so cool Papz, I'd love to get a microcontroller based replacement; there may already be open source code for capacitance keyboard controllers (albeit without the exotic KS abilities). If I had experience w PCB software I'd make a KS sized keyboard to utilize such code. I was recently browsing a website that will print custom designed capacitance switch layouts to work with their chips. So, it's only a matter of time before someone gets around to this I think.

I frequently use a Sputnik eurorack controller already--with the Synthi and otherwise. it works well enough, but it doesn't rest inside the Synthi case.

I definitely looked at the Future Retro controller when it came out-- the feature set is nice, and they're really reasonably priced if you find one second hand. But, it's friggin Purple and Gold. I just can't do that.

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Post by sanders » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:54 pm

sanders wrote: there may already be open source code for capacitance keyboard controllers (albeit without the exotic KS abilities). If I had experience w PCB software I'd make a KS sized keyboard
http://enmoreaudio.com/tiny-diy-single- ... 0755_1.jpg[/img]

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Post by Reality Checkpoint » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:18 am

sanders wrote:
sanders wrote: there may already be open source code for capacitance keyboard controllers (albeit without the exotic KS abilities). If I had experience w PCB software I'd make a KS sized keyboard
http://enmoreaudio.com/tiny-diy-single- ... 0755_1.jpg[/img]
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Post by wanne » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:26 pm

chriscarter wrote:We bought a Future Retro 512 for our Synthi but was disappointed with the build quality - also the colour scheme is truly horrendous - I mean come on... purple and yellow? ugh! We sent it straight back.

Currently using a Lifeforms KB-1 mounted in a low profile 4MS POD 60 case - via a Digitana Synthi interface. Going to add a small sequencer to the 4ms case soon.
strange :-)
my opinion is the opposite about the fr512 and it can do alot imo.

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Post by Portabella » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:44 pm

It seems quite a few people around here have got either their VCS3 or their Synthi A within the last years, as I can tell from the pictures..
However I am curious what these units look inside and if Robin substituted any of the old/rare parts.
So is anyone around here willing to open up their unit and share pictures of its guts? :)

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Post by drewskee » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:21 am

Redacted...
Last edited by drewskee on Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by papz » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:53 pm

I am curious what these units look inside and if Robin substituted any of the old/rare parts.
You wouldn't ask this kind of question if you knew how different the circuits and parts can be between 2 old Synthis. ;)
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I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by Portabella » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:29 am

papz wrote:
I am curious what these units look inside and if Robin substituted any of the old/rare parts.
You wouldn't ask this kind of question if you knew how different the circuits and parts can be between 2 old Synthis. ;)
I am well aware.. some rare parts still might have been substituted.
So what's your point in bashing me here?

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Post by papz » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:16 pm

So you are well aware that various equivalent transistors and diodes and various different types of film, ceramic and electrolytic caps were used/substituted along the years depending on what was available at the time and that the last rare (today) part, the MFC6070, was replaced in the 70s by a better sounding reverb driver circuit based on very common 741 + germanium transistors. There are no longer rare parts in a Synthi since the 70s.
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I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by pelican » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:43 pm

I'm gonna get another one some day. Don't know how, but I will.
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Post by ian-c » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:14 pm

sanders wrote:How could it be this flimsy two-bit spartanite case would requires tens of thousands of dollars of injection molding set up fees. Why cant three plastic pieces be fabricated using some cheaper technology, 3D printing, etc. The handles are still in production, the hinges and latches will have to be reproduced, or replaced.

If someone wants to get me plane tickets, I'll bring my Spartantite to Shenzhen and see if they can't reproduce it in days for hundreds (not thousands). Who wants one?
injection moulding is really expensive for small runs. predominantly because of the cost of the tooling. basically, a heavy duty metal "negative" of the thing to be moulded.

on a positive note, providing the 2 halves are the same shape, small variations can be made using swappable panels in the tooling. so 1 mould would probably do both halves.

i buy injection moulded parts for work, btw. :hihi:

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Post by MindMachine » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:36 pm

Yeah that's funny I never realized the top and bottom were the same.

If someone wants me to give them an official quote we can do it. We mold in the USA so the part would be more than from China. I would purchase a large mold like this in China since it is not aerospace tolerances and whatnot. The clear name plate would also add cost as mentioned.

I love it when work and synthesizers collide (which is never for me).

It would be interesting to see the guts of a recent build compared to say a 1972/73 build.
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Post by mrfang » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:41 pm

MindMachine wrote: It would be interesting to see the guts of a recent build compared to say a 1972/73 build.
They look almost identical.
FS/T: EMS Synthi AKS (1972, without KS), Malekko Manther Growl, Make Noise Echophon, Livewire AFG, PAiA Gnome, Sequential Circuits MultiTrak, Synthrotek ECHO, Bastl Knit Rider, ARC Artificial Neural Network.
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Post by ian-c » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:50 am

MindMachine wrote:Yeah that's funny I never realized the top and bottom were the same.

If someone wants me to give them an official quote we can do it. We mold in the USA so the part would be more than from China. I would purchase a large mold like this in China since it is not aerospace tolerances and whatnot. The clear name plate would also add cost as mentioned.

I love it when work and synthesizers collide (which is never for me).

It would be interesting to see the guts of a recent build compared to say a 1972/73 build.
i'd be interested in a spare for my aks. and i guess i wouldn't be alone.
it's easy to think demand would be super high for this, but things rarely pan out like that.

maybe work out some price breaks for various quantities.

do you want me to contact robin@ems and ask if he'd be interested in buying any??

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Received my Synthi A

Post by moog55 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:45 am

I received my Synthi A from Robin. Here are a couple photos and a short clip of the first patch I made.. :goo:

Image
Image

[video][/video]

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Post by construct09 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:56 am

Congratulations!!

Hope the wait was worth it

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Post by mrfang » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:22 am

Nice. I see you shelled out extra for the prestopatch socket. I almost didn't because of the cost.

Where did you find your Spartanite case?

This could be one of the last units ever made.
FS/T: EMS Synthi AKS (1972, without KS), Malekko Manther Growl, Make Noise Echophon, Livewire AFG, PAiA Gnome, Sequential Circuits MultiTrak, Synthrotek ECHO, Bastl Knit Rider, ARC Artificial Neural Network.
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Post by moog55 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:32 am

construct09 wrote:Congratulations!!

Hope the wait was worth it
Thanks! It was definitely worth the wait. :guinness:

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Post by moog55 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:46 am

mrfang wrote:Nice. I see you shelled out extra for the prestopatch socket. I almost didn't because of the cost.
At some point I would have regretted not getting the prestopatch socket so I'm glad I did. It'll come in handy later..

Where did you find your Spartanite case?
Here on muff's several years ago.

This could be one of the last units ever made.
Without having concrete proof, I'm still pretty comfortable thinking it's the last one. I was originally on the VCS3 list, but found the case and asked Robin if I could have a Synthi instead. He agreed and has made some comments about tacking this order on to the final run of five Synthi A units. His focus now is VCS3 units and eventually the Cricklewood KB units.

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