The SYNTHI has a great variety of applications and it can be connected to many different kinds of electrical devices. It was designed with the following applications in mind.
As a live performance instrument, connected to power amplifiers, generating its own sounds and modifying sounds from microphones. guitars. etc.
As the main unit of an electronic music studio; one SYNTHI and two tape-recorders provide a flexible small studio, to which other devices can be added without difficulty.
As a teaching aid the SYNTHI can demonstrate most acoustics phenomena very easily. It can be operated without risk by students, and can be used with any convenient indicating or recording device.
The great flexibility of the SYNTHI comes from its basic design- unlike a television set or tape-recorder, in which the components are permanently connected to perform a specific function, the SYNTHI has about a dozen different devices which you connect together according to your particular need. The examples given in this Manual are intended to help you "get the feel" of the SYNTH!, and cover only a tiny fraction of its capabilities.
In order to use the SYNTHI intelligently, it is necessary to understand what the devices do, and how several devices may be connected to work in combination. In this section the general ideas will be explained, and in the sections following these ideas will be applied to examples that you can try on the SYNTHI.
The VCS3 and the SYNTHI A are very similar electrically. most of the differences being in the external design. The DK Keyboard has a similar finish to the VCS3 and the SYNTHI Keyboard is housed in a case matching the SYNTHI A for convenient transportation. The Keyboards are similar in concept but differ slightly in their controls: both are explained in
It is possible to use the SYNTHI by itself, but you will probably want to use it as the basic unit of a more complex system. The SYNTHI is easily connected to almost all microphones, amplifiers, electric musical instruments and tape-recorders, and in addition there are special purpose peripherals made by E.M.S.
Devices in the SYNTHI are of three basic kinds. First there is the source, or generator; this produces a signal without requiring an input, and so we represent it diagrammatically with an arrow coming out of a box.
The SYNTHI has three Oscillators and a Noise Generator as its primary sources — the filter becomes a source when it is made to oscillate. and the Trapezoid output from the Envelope Shaper is also a source. The next kind of device is a treatment or process. This modifies one or more signals that are put into it. and we represent it diagrammati-cally as a box with arrows going into it and an arrow coming out of it:
The Filter, Envelope Shaper. Ring Modulator, Reverberation Unit, and Amplifiers are all treat-ments on the SYNTHI. It is sometimes convenient to think of the Input Amplifiers as a "source" to the SYNTHI, but strictly they are treatments of the signal provided by a microphone, tape-recorders, etc. The third kind of device is an output device, and is the ultimate destination of the signal.
Many device can be connected, such as power amplifiers, tape-recorders, other synthesizers, light-shows, etc All of these devices can be controlled by the knobs on the front of the SYNTHI. It is also possible to operate the controls electrically, and it is this fact which makes the SYNTHI so flexible. The devices themselves can turn the knobs, as it were.
The SYNTHI does not distinguish Signal Voltages and Control Voltages, but a is important that you do. Typically Control Voltages are of lower frequency than Signal Voltages. It is not possible to hear sounds of frequencies lower than about 25Hz (Hz means ''oscillations per second") but a Control Voltage might be at a frequency of 8Hz (for a vibrato effect). or 1 oscillation per minute (for a slow fade). or 0Hz (i.e. constant) for a pitch determined from the keyboard. Sounds are made by connecting the devices together. In order to listen to an oscillator. we connect it to an amplifier and a loudspeaker.
Although this is a very simple circuit (it requires only one pin on the patchboard of the SYNTHI) it is already capable of providing any audible pitch at a wide range of intensities —using manual control. since the Control Inputs are not connected yet.
Waveforms: Pulse Variable, Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle, White Noise
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Glide / Portamento, Input, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Ring Modulation, Sequencer, Sync Hard
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay
Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, Oscillator, Sequencer
LFO Parameters: Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Voltage Controlled Reverberation
Case Details: plastic attache case
Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Switches, Joy Stick, Modulation - Audio Input, Modulation Pin Matrix, Sequencer
Display Type: LED, VU Meter
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 3
Inputs: 1/4" mono Low/High ins
CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT
Year Released: 1971
Conrad Schnitzler, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Gong, Tim Blake, King Crimson, Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Jean Michel Jarre
Designer: David Cockerell.
Industrial Design: Gerry Rogers.
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References & Sources