EMSAR 2013

Includes an evening concert celebrating the 80th birthday of electronic music pioneer Dr Peter Zinovieff.

Date: Saturday 11 May 2013
Venue: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Professor Monty Adkins (University of Huddersfield), Dr Till Bovermann (Media Lab Helsinki), Professor Simon Emmerson (De Montfort University), Dr Mick Grierson (Goldsmiths), Professor Peter Manning (Durham University), Dr James Mooney (University of Leeds) and Dr Peter Zinovieff.

The symposium concludes with an evening concert celebrating the 80th birthday of electronic music pioneer Dr Peter Zinovieff, co-founder in the late 1960s of Electronic Music Studios, London, and collaborator with such composers as Harrison Birtwistle and Hans Werne Henze. Now enjoying a blossoming of compositional activity, this concert will include examples of Zinovieff’s early work, as well as his most recent work in computer music. read more…

Edward Williams EMS VCS3

Life on Earth : Music from the 1979 BBC TV series

The pieces were crafted scene-by-scene to synchronise with and complement the imagery on screen. The sounds were processed through an early British synthesiser, the EMS VCS 3, to create an evocative sound which Attenborough compared to chamber music.

“I started using the filters and voltage control of the VCS 3 on conventionally created classical sounds by the orchestra. It made possible all sorts of marvellous explorations of new sounds which could then be made into music.”
— Edward Williams, speaking in 2009

The score was never intended to be released commercially, but Williams had 100 copies pressed as gifts for the musicians involved. One of these LPs found its way into the hands of Jonny Trunk, owner of independent label Trunk Records, who negotiated the licence from the BBC. The soundtrack was finally released on 2 November 2009…read more

Hi res. pic of E. Williams VCS3 …here!

Buy at Amazon
Listen on bbc

Oboe (BoS) p 8

From the book of sounds by David Steven. Click on pic to enlarge!

a. Follow normal two-osc. tuning procedure. Osc. 1 is an octave above osc. 2.

b. Start with output channel 2 level set at 0 (output channel 2 not monitored).

c. Play middle C and advance output Channel 2 level until note breaks up (feedback). Back control off slightly.

d. Play slow glissando from bottom to top of the keyboard tp check that all notes play normally. If any break up or are octave-doubled (i.e. note and its octave), retard the output channel 2 level while holding that note until the note is stable.

This feedback technique adds a considerable number of timbral possibilities to the Synthi A. Experiment with this patch by altering osc. levels and waveform shapes, and filter frequency controls, (filt/osc. 2 output filter). Also increase output channel 2 level by varying amounts and see what happens.

Ludwig Rehberg EMS (Interview)

Er ist der Grandseigneur der deutschen Synthesizer: Ludwig Rehberg programmierte Klänge für Pink Floyd, kümmerte sich um das Sounddesign vom Film „Das Boot“, ist eng mit Martin Gore befreundet und beliefert heute noch Jean-Michel Jarre mit seinen Instrumenten. Er ist der Mann hinter EMS Rehberg, einer kleinen Firma im schwäbischen Ditzingen, die sich um Vertrieb, Wartung und zum Teil auch Entwicklung der ursprünglich britischen Instrumente von EMS kümmert.

Ludwig Rehberg holt mich mit seinem Cayenne („den fahre ich nur, weil ich für Porsche den Klang der Motorengeräusche untersuche“) am Bahnhof in Ditzingen ab. Wir fahren in sein Testlabor, oder sollte man besser sagen: Verkaufsraum? Wie auch immer. Auf ungefähr 12 Quadratmetern im Haus seiner Eltern stehen zwei Synthi 100, EMS Vocoder, eine Filterbank sowie der bekannte Synthi AKS. An der Wand zahlreiche Fotos großer Künstler, daneben eine schwarze Platine („Das war der Prototyp des ersten digitalen Sequencers“). Zusammen basteln wir am Synthi AKS rum, er zeigt mir einige seiner Lieblingsklänge, wir sprechen über dies und das und schließlich auch über seine Geschichte mit EMS […].Ludwig Rehberg (EMS) interview (german language)

Google translation

Dr Zinovieff’s original Synthi A (on VEMIA)

A great chance to own a piece of history, and a wonderful example of a classic instrument. This is Dr Peter Zinovieff’s own Synthi A, serial number 4016, which has been beautifully restored by Robin Wood at EMS in the last two months and is in perfect working order. Work done included replacing all three vernier knobs, servicing the joystick to make it a joy to use, and replacing eight pins with new ones – as well as getting it all up to Robin’s exacting specs. Four badly-done mods were removed. The case was also provided by Robin. The earliest Synthis often didn’t have cases, so Robin has spared one of his last few to make this instrument complete. It has a couple of repairs to the edge, visible if you look very closely at botom left and top right; and seems to have a small gap in the top left corner. But the metalwork and general condition is exceptional – see the photo. The main differences from the machine as designed are that the two main audio oscillators (VCO1 and VCO2) have had the stabilisation mod, and the input gain on channel one has been converted to a ten-turn pot – all very useful. Cosmetically it is very nice indeed, as evidenced by the photos. It will come with Dr. Zinovieff’s full written provenance (he believes this is the actual Synthi used in the ‘Every Picnic Needs a Synthi’ advert), and his signature on the instrument wherever you choose. In the composite photo is a picture of Robin Wood and Dr Zinovieff after the servicing was completed in September.


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.


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

via Yevaud.

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.

The Putney Dust

Pete Namlook and Ludwig Rehberg (E.M.S.) excerpt from “The Putney Dust”, Fax +49-69/450464 Records, PK 08/76