EMS / Oramics to Electronica

London’s Science Museum has a small exhibition called
“Oramics to Electronica” and EMS in the form of Robin Wood, Peter Zinovieff and Alan Sutcliffe have supplied a few exhibits for one of the display cases. (click on pic to enlarge!)

• Prototype Synthi E from c. 1974,

• The early keyboard for the Synthi A c. 1971
(fewer than 30 units were built according to Robin Wood)

• A dual ring modulator unit that belonged to Tristram Cary
c. 1969

via Yevaud.

EMS Vocoder – Promo 1970’s

EMS Vocoder – Promotional Tape Recording from the 1970’s (german language)
EMS Vocoder 5000/2000

Click on picture to view the video!


The front panel comes in matt aluminium.
No prestopatch socket anymore.
Different smaller joystick.
No PSU 110-240V switch anymore.

via Yevaud.

David Cockerell (EMS) 2008


David Cockerell designed one of the earliest synthesizers produced in the United Kingdom. The Synthi was introduced in the late 1960s by EMS Ltd. The unit, which came in a case with a KS keyboard, used patch cords to root reverb and ring modes. David also included two oscillators both with shape and level controllers as well as a frequency control. The design marked the beginning of many contributions to the industry over the years including his work on guitar effects pedals for Mike Matthews in the 1980s.


UPDATE FEB 2011 : Production unit case built

Case measures 273 x 167 x 35 mm made from satin black abs. Choice of knob colour schemes (eg blue cap verniers) will be available.

Two VCO’s each built around the high spec Exar XR-2206 waveform generator IC. Each VCO features Sine and Triangle waves and ‘wave-folding’ (voltage controlled) that adds higher harmonics/distortion to each waveform for amazingly rich and varied timbres ..even unfiltered! Each VCO’s frequency is controllable via CV from either the Keyboard (which is also available to the matrix via Input Ch1) or the Sequencer CV (also available via matrix row 16) of the KS or ‘free running’, selectable via a 3-way toggle switch. Frequency range of the VCO’s is very wide, from LFO to high frequency audio.

orders/inquiries at DIGITANA ELECTRONICS

EMS Videosizer / The Putney

“This video was created by using an EMS Videosizer which is fed with musical information in order to produce and treat color, shape, lightness and contrast of the visual information.Pete Namlook is a purist. He never wanted to release a video with grinning musicians fuzzing around with their instruments or 3D animation which has not the timeless quality. More Important is the direct connection to the music.Visuals not as an explanation of the sound but more an enhancement and intensification of the overall musical experience. Operator at the machine was Ludwig Rehberg except Video 1 (Pete Namlook)”



Expand and preserve your beloved Synthi

“Many Synthi users dare not make mods because they’re afraid to depreciate their valuable instrument.

Is understandable, but is a pity because the mods wonderfully expand the Synthi and open doors to fantastic new sonic worlds. Here’s an idea I think is worth to be shared. I’m surprised no one else had it before.I did a few mods on my Synthis A MKI and AKS using push-pull pots instead of switches to avoid drilling holes in the panel. LEDs in the spare anti-rotation holes left by the original pots (push-pull ones are smaller) show that the mod is active when the knob is pulled. This makes the mods fully reversible and preserves the Synthi’s original appearance.”

Bob Ehle w/ EMS Synthi AKS

Bob Ehle plays his 1960s composition, “Split Metamorphosis,” on the Synthi AKS Synthesizer.

Bob Ehle plays his composition, “Hangar 84,” in his electronic music studio at the University of Northern Colorado. The clarinet is processed through a ring modulator in the Synthi AKS synthesizer visible in the background. Additional sound processing is done with an Echotron. The resulting waves may be seen on the oscilloscope on the left. Hangar 84 is where the remains of the Roswell incident are stored. Click here to watch the video!

Latest Cornwall News

28th October 2010

Preparations to re-establish production of the original Synthi A and VCS3 Mk2 have been proceeding through the summer and we are now expecting the first completed units to be ready in January 2011. Currently we are building a large stock of assembled and tested circuit boards. This has taken quite a bit longer than expected, but you can rest assured that we are dedicated to ensuring a successful outcome, as well as the re-introduction of other EMS products to follow in due course. A new website will also be unveiled in 2010.

Once we start shipping the Synthis it should be posssible to give you an approximiate delivery date, and we will certainly contact you to advise you as the time draws near.

Best wishes – Robin Wood

via a synthi forum member.