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A discussion on timbre should include that classic portable synth, the EMS 'Putney'. This was timbre deconstructed and condensed into a 16 x 16 diode pin matrix. They still make them.

I had the pleasure of fiddling with a new clone version built into a flight case recently. The only thing missing was the internal spring reverb (Well, I didn't find it anyway). The old VCS3 spring could be induced to do interesting things with a bit of phsyical resonance.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 09:03:20 AM EST
back in the 70's someone gave my school a briefcase version, that was fun.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 12:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now available in a free version.

(You'll need a VST host to use it.)

The VCS3 had a bigger cousin:

which was sold to universities and TV companies. The BBC had one. It did most of the sound effects for Blake's Seven.

Those panels at the front are the patch matrix, which has thousands of holes.

You'd have no trouble at all getting a modern laptop to copy all of the features of a Synthi 100. You could do it in Reaktor without even blinking - or near offer, because the envelopes on the VCS3/Synthi 100 are a little eccentric by modern standards.

Once upon a time I met the designer of the VCS3 - he said it had been built using some very minimal circuits 'because it was cheap.'

In the late 60s and early 70s, EMS, which was the home of the VCS3, had the the most advanced computer music studio on the planet.

You could do everything they're talking about there on a laptop too. But it would take a little longer, and most people don't seem to bother.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 02:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the VCS3 clone I played with (from Analogue Solutions)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 at 02:16:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Synths--I never did work out how to get sounds out of them.  There was an ARP (?) at school; I couldn't get it to make a sound--envelopes, waves, I can't remember if there were attacks and decays, so.  Hmmm.  VCS3.  Is this it?

Any clips you can offer us?--I'd never heard of it before, but yeah--synthesised timbres make up an ever-expanding field.  I remember this one from way back--(song starts at 00:11)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 01:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Synths, not new? Let's go back to the Franco-German grand masters:

Jean-Michel Jarre: Aero (08:04)

Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express (04:01) (Yea, I had to take this one...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 01:48:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Edgar Varese 'Epsilon in Malaysian Pale' contains a nice mystical train pass. Possibly one of the more obscure inclusions of the mythology of the railroad in music.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 01:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was basically created with a Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ, with some ARP 2500 stuff in parts (as I recall, though in the link below someone claims not). I have the original 15 minute demo (before the vocals were written).

Pete played around a lot with his VCS3, and he lent it to me to get to know also. But I don't recall it getting used much in released recordings - more as a kicker-off of ideas. The rest of the band were a little suspicious of what the technology might do for their roles. And they were right to be wary. There were enormous synching probems later live on stage which threatened the life of Mr Who sound, Bob 'Plum' Pridden

You can see photos, by my oldest chum Chris Morphet, of Pete's Tickenham 'home' studios featuring the VCS3 here. I spent many happy hours in that studio.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 01:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Have several VCS3s

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 20th, 2008 at 02:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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