Synthesizer Database

. about british synthesisers.. more british synthesisers can be found here: EDP and OSC(ar)

EMS - modular synthesiser 1970's
"electronic music studio"
EMS synthi A VCS3
analogue trigger EMS: gate pulse in/outs 4V GROUND to positive.

EMS EMS Synth overview / überblick..

E is for educational, it has no matrix but patch cords, it's filter is multimode and all modes can be used at the same time.. is has a sensor keyboard and a ribbon controller to slide through the notes.. also built into a suitcase like the Synthi A / AKS

EMS Synthi E
click the EMS Synthi E to enlarge..
Poly Synthi well, there arre 50 made, it's large but I do not have a picture..
(well at least no picture that I can use on the net..)
EMS Sequencer

a digital sequencer "EMS universal sequencer"
which is quite like the one in the KS keyboard on the AKS Synthi A Versions (the suitcase version..)

EMS universal sequencer
AKS / Synthi A (right, with KS)
VCS3 (left, with Keyboard)

the blue KS keyboard is a metal touch sensor kind of keyboard. you can slide on it like on the EDP wasp ;) it has a sequencer with 256-note digital memory.

EMS synthesiser
"The Putney" -EMS VCS3
EMS VCS-3.. click here for a larger image
ein grösseres Foto? hier

btw: EMS stands for electronic music studio.

EMS Filters are made of Diodes instead of Transistors (remember: it was 1972) by David Cockerell,
this David was one of the bosses in the EMS history, the first one was Peter Zinovieff. Till 72 he was EMS and thats where he met hugget. Cockerell went to E-Harmonix and Ircam for a short time later.

later Chris Huggett doing the EDP synth, akai's sampler line and the oscar.

tim orr , who did the power tran synths (transcendent 2000) was EMS till 77.

there are also:

the Hifly, some sort of "pink floyd"-guitar synth (with a strange look).. and the synthi E, tht has BPF and HPF also, but most of it is reduced and only patchable by special patchcords. E stands for educational, bit it had that filter option and those patchcords were easier to use when dealing with external modules, so this may be a good synth module for modular freaks! (rare and yellow).

the EMS Polysynthi was a flop. only 50 were made and it had some sort of switch matrix for easy routings, but nothing special on that machine. aaah, yes.. it was red!

the "putney" is just because of the town that the EMS was produced in (part of London). this synth is quite the opposite of a minimoog - philosophically. so it works great with a minimoog side by side. "the klinik" used this synth quite often. brian eno and david voorhaus and jarre of course are also well known users. (jarre had 6 of it in a "rack")

MIDI/CV control by other synths: thats not easy (WARNING: no guarantee or something for those who do it!) you can do it at rehberg! because of that 0.32V/Oct. (standard is 1V/Oct):

1) you can use one of 2 CV ins, so you can patch ,what you want to control by CV

2) the CV for OSCs is different.. so you need a converter:

follow this :
or this

this is the first "modulation matrix"
irgendwie wie "schiffeversenken" ;-)

its "LFO"=OSC3 ranges to 500Hz!! the OSCs 1 and to range to audio speed of course.. the OSCs frequency is tuned by only one knob.. (more like a frequency generator in a laboratory). build in reverb spring! (modable!) the filters are very british 18dB/Oct. (like the tb303, haha).

the different colors are for different use! the EMS has a simplified Envelope Generator (2x) called trapezoid (thats the "shape"). you can mod something by just putting in one of those "resistor-pins". you can still order an EMS at Ludwig Rehberg in Ditzingen, germany. the sound is very "clinical"-cold (and thats meant as a good thing!) FM FX at audiospeed. and typical "british"-filtersound (like chris Huggetts inventions OSCar, EDP wasp)

no one has ever done this, but the "user port" on the AKS can be used to patch the synth, so you may use a computer to do so! there have been modifications to the EMS VCS 3 and AKS.
there are also very rare versions with keyboard or external keyboard of the VCS-3 around. the aks has a keyboard that fits also into the aks briefcase cover.

this is a synth that you should not use with a "keyboard".. its sooooo useless! :)
the sound is very special.. a newer system that comes close is the macbeth m3x from scotland. (uk: distributed by analogue solutions, the company that sells and makes the vostok, that also has a matrix like the EMS but has wavetables and a korg MS20 filter instead of the british-style EMS filters.)

note: older models have different tracking of OSC1&2 and OSC 3:while the first oscs use 0.32V/Oct Osc 3 used 0.26V/Oct only! be aware when buying one! so the CV control by other synth is very difficult, so you need the info on the left (MIDI)

the ENV: its only one and a bit strange: has just Attack and Decay and a hold after attack phase and a so called off (thats a retrigger after a certain time or not at all.. so imagine an lfo triggering the ENV.)

ps: did you know, that the colors of thosed pins have different meanings?
EMS VCS3 Matrix
click the matrix to see source and destinations..

on, you find very interesting variations of the very innovative EMS ppl:
EMS interconnect.
yes, with this you might be able to use both synthi a and connect all of the parts to anything you want using that "user port"..
important: you can still buy at the URL on the left or here:
at rehberg you get midi kits and mod to have all waveforms on all OSCs! also a nice list of the current ems products (images included)

modifications (sync for the OSCs): here

pins: white: 2,7k at 5% tolerance
red only 2% tolerance

the synthi 100 uses 10kohm! so they are NOT the same!

THE "PROGRAMING PORT" . "die dicke Leiste beim Steckfeld", das sind die Steckfeldpunktduplikate ...
Die 8-fach Buchse aber ...
VCS3 The Putney
User Manual
KEYBOARD Jones Socket
This is intended for use with EMS devices. and these are supplied with a plug to fit this socket. Do not attempt to use this facility unless the suitability of the proposed equipment has been thoroughly checked.
Socket Connections:
1. Low Level DC Input
2. – 9 V, 50 mA, Stabilised Supply
3. Ground
4. + 12 V, 50 mA, Stabilised Supply
5. Attack. A pulse of + 4 V here will trigger the envelope shaper
6. Low Level DC Input 2
7. Spare
8. Spare
WARNING: Great care must be taken not to short circuit supply rails to themselves or to Ground (Pins 2, 3 and 4). Damage to the VCS3 will almost certainly result unless the fault is only momentary.
SCOPE Jack Socket
This socket is connected to Row A, and therefore sees any output connected to the Meter. In conjunction with the Control Output sockets, there are three possible ways of gaining access to the Matrix Board.
Although this socket is marked SCOPE (for Oscilloscope), it can be used for a variety of purposes, including feeding back a signal into the studio via one of the Input Amplifiers (see Section V) .
General Notes on Connecting External Equipment
1) Always make sure that the specification of the device agrees with the figures given in the foregoing pages before connecting it.
2) Watch out for "earth loops" - see Section VI
3) Don't forget that all jacks are 2-way (body and tip) except the Headphones jack, which is 3-way (body, ring and tip) .
4) Make sure that any extra jack plugs you buy are a proper fit - tight but not too tight - and that the live connection (tip) is firm I y gripped by the socket spring. Forcing in the wrong jack plug may damage the socket.
5) Always use screened leads, and pre-tin both the jack plug lugs and the lead and screen, so that the final joint can be made in the minimum time. Tao much heat will cause the insulation to melt back and possibly short circuit the lead.
6) Use whatever form of cable grip is provided on the jack plug, so that mechanical strain does not fall on the inner lead or soldered joints.
synthesiser vs. synthesizer - well it is the british against the more common way of saying "synthesizing machine for audio signals" ;) .. THE EMS is indeed a synthesiserEMS synthi A

and now:

the EMS AVS is the software emulation of the EMS synthi A, well even EMS / rehberg say "it is not the original" but since there was some approach before rehberg may have found a nice agreement (well done!! thanks!!) and sell the VST PC-only plugIn for 350€ now under the name of EMS AVS
rehberg EMS AVS vst
click to enlarge..

something similar but for no money you can get "synth in a case - SIAC" as a reaktor ensemble, okok it is not a real EMS, but ..

some audio:


these are 2 EMS VCS3, one modded...
EMS AKS, one modded
Pic from the Parallel Worlds studio, Greece": on pic to enlarge..

I should not talk about the Synthi 100, that had 12 OSCs like the VCS3 had, 8 filters and a very biiig matrix.. matthias becker (wrote for keyboards mag/germany and did the synthesizer von gestern (vintage synthesizers) books & CDs). He had to break in some walls to get it into his living-room ;) it had quite similar idea of patching and specs.. but think BIG here. the EMS is the one on which Dr.Who was played and recorded.

the sequencer control, btw: a filterbank is in there, too..
Synthi 100 sequencer
the 60x60 matrix of the EMS Synthi 100
Synthi 100 matrix

Synthi 100
EMS synthi 100
thx for all synthi100 pics to theo / bluesynths
- click to enlarge..
Synthi 100 VCOs
synthi 100 VCOs..

Synthi 100 filters
3 ringmods, reverb (spring) and 8 filters..
Computer Synthi 1977

it had 4KB RAM (!!) and was basically a computer interface for the Synthi 100
the EMS Vocoder
with possibility to rearrange the bands and
-of course- pin matrix.
ems vocoder
DIY clones? there are 2 I know of, there was also one 6 OSCed EMS-like synth on Ebay..

beside Jürgen Haibles clone there is this one

the FX EMS
Pink Floyd used this one..

the EMS HiFli , look very.. hmm..

its a pitch (octave) shifter
Phase Filter
and Fuzz (Distortion)

controls: 2 Pedals (can't see it? I did not take a photo, but they are underneath somewhere..)

EMS Hi-Fli
click to enlarge EMS hifli (HiFly?)
Special Converters and Modules by EMS

something like a D-Beam called

• Distance to Voltage Converter


Octave Filter Bank (8 Filtres)

Pitch to Voltage Converter

Random Voltage Generator

Converters and Filtres by EMS
click to enlarge EMS

Spectre, the Video Synthesiser by EMS

it also has the Matrix Pins to generate Video pictures, - it's completely GENERATED.. remember Stanley Kubriks 2001? possibly made with one? Disco 78 (germany, with ilja richter, perhaps some FX by ems in here?)..

all matrix pics can be enlarge (click on them..) -->

EMS Spectre Video Synthesizer
EMS Spectre Video Synthesizer

more british synthesisers can be found here: EDP and OSC(ar)