Analog 4-Voice Polyphonic Synthesizer with 37 Full-Size Keys, 4 VCOs, Classic Ladder Filter, LFO, BBD Stereo Chorus, Distortion, 32-Step Sequencer, and Arpeggiator
- Analog synthesizer with quadruple VCO design allows for insanely fat music creation
- 4-Voice polyphonic/paraphonic design with mono, unison, and polyphonic mode
- 37 semi-weighted full-size keys featuring velocity functionality
- Authentic reproduction of original D Type circuitry with matched transistors and JFETs
- Ultra-high precision 0.1% Thin Film resistors and Polyphenyline Sulphide capacitors
- Pure analog signal path based on authentic VCO, VCF, and VCA designs
- 5 variable oscillator shapes with variable pulse widths for ultimate sounds
- Classic 24 dB ladder filter with resonance for legendary sound performance
- Amazing stereo chorus based on authentic circuitry
- Distortion circuitry adds insane spice and edge to your sounds
- Easy-to-use voltage controlled 32-step sequencer with 64 sequence locations
- Arpeggiator with wide patterns for great sound effects
- Switchable low/high pass filter mode for enhanced sound creation
- Dedicated and fully analog triangle/square wave LFO
- Noise generator dramatically expands waveform generation
- 84 controls give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
- External audio input for processing external sound sources
- Stereo outputs featuring servo-balanced output stages for highest signal integrity
- Comprehensive MIDI implementation with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection
- Designed and engineered in the U.K.
A Brief History of Analog Synthesis
The modern synthesizer’s evolution began in 1919 when a Russian physicist named Lev Termen (also known as Léon Theremin) invented one of the first electronic musical instruments – the Theremin. It was a simple oscillator that was played by moving the performer’s hand in the vicinity of the instrument’s antenna.
In the late 1930s, French musician Georges Jenny invented what he called the Ondioline, a monophonic electronic keyboard capable of generating a wide range of sounds. The keyboard even allowed the player to produce natural-sounding vibrato by depressing a key and using side-to-side finger movements. You can hear the Ondioline on Del Shannon’s “Runaway”.
Designed by famous piano manufacturer Story & Clark in association with RCA, the Storytone piano debuted at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Hailed as the world’s first electric piano, the Storytone is prized by musicians and collectors alike for its realistic piano sound – only 500 or so were ever built.
Finding a high level of acceptance in the 1960s, Harry Chamberlin’s Mellotron was an electro-mechanical keyboard that generated sounds by playing back pre-recorded tape loops. Although tempermental and prone to pitch and mechanical issues, the Mellotron was used extensively by many U.K. artists. Classic tracks from the Moody Blues “Days of Future Passed”, the Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and the Rolling Stones “She’s a Rainbow” are prime examples. Attribute author: By Buzz Andersen from San Francisco, California, United States Mellotron | NAMM 2007
Manufactured by ARP Instruments, Inc., the Arp 2600 was one of the most successful synthesizers to come out of the 1970s. They were ideal for players new to the synth world and allowed patches to be changed via switches or 1/8" audio cables. The list of recordings and artists that used the venerable Arp 2600 reads like a veritable Who's Who of rock, pop, and jazz, and includes The Who, David Bowie, John Lennon, Depeche Mode, Edgar Winter, Frank Zappa, and Herbie Hancock – to name just a few.
Designed to replace the large, modular synths being used in pop music at the time, Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog developed the Minimoog in 1971. The monophonic instrument became the first truly all-in-one, portable analog synthesizer. Thanks to its 3 oscillators and 24 dB/octave filter, the Minimoog produces an extremely rich and powerful bass sound and is still in high demand today.
In 1976, Yamaha released their CS-80 8-voice polyphonic synthesizer, which provided velocity-sensitive keys and aftertouch that worked on individual voices. The analog instrument featured a ribbon controller, which allowed the user to perform polyphonic pitch bends and smooth glissandos. Composer Vangelis used the CS-80 extensively in the Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire soundtracks. The CS-80 also provided the bass line heard in the BBC 1980 series Doctor Who theme song.
Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
Sequential Circuits introduced the Prophet 5, which was the first analog 5-voice polyphonic synthesizers to provide onboard memory storage of all patch settings for instant recall. The great-sounding Prophet 5 revolutionized the synthesizer world and, in spite of its rather expensive price tag, became one of the most successful synths of all time.
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