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EMS Synthi AKS

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    Description
    The EMS Synthi A, first available in May 1971, and then in March 1972 a version of it with a built-in keyboard and sequencer, the EMS Synthi AKS, a portable modular analog synthesizer made by EMS of England. Most notable for its patch pin matrix, its functions, and internal design are similar to the VCS 3 synthesizer, also made by EMS. EMS is still run by Robin Wood in Cornwall, and in addition to continuing to build and sell new units, the company repairs and refurbishes EMS equipment.

    The Synthi AKS has been used extensively by Brian Eno in his art rock and ambient albums. He particularly made prominent use of its signal-chain editing capability in order to add color to his own voice as well as Robert Fripp and Phil Manzanera's guitar work. His early band, Roxy Music, supposedly requested that he join them after watching him tinker with the Synthi AKS for only a few minutes.

    When launched in 1972, the Synthi AKS retailed for around £450. There was an optional three octave (37 note) DK1 monophonic keyboard available for it, later the DK2 (Dynamic Keyboard 2) was available, this allowed independent control of two Oscillators, thus enabling the player to play two notes together. As with the VCS3, a Synthi AKS was worth considerably more than its original price by the late 1970s.

    The first 30 Synthi AKs featured a black and silver Touch pad, Spin-and-touch random note selector and an unplayable resistive touch sensitive keyboard. This was replaced by the familiar blue capacitive touch sensitive keyboard with integrated sequencer.
    Images
    Architecture
    Type: Analog
    Synthesis: Subtractive
    Oscillators: 3
    Osc Modulation: Glide / Portamento, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Ring Modulation, Sequencer
    Envelope Notes::
    Trapezoid Envelope Generator
    Filters: 1
    Types: Low Pass, Resonance
    Filter Modulation: Envelope, Input, LFO, Sequencer
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 1
    Timbrality: 1
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Mono
    Patches
    Patches RAM: 1
    Editing: CV
    Effects
    2 Voltage Controlled Reverbs
    Sequencer
    32 step monophonic seqeuncer
    Case
    Case: Desktop
    Case Details: Plastic attache case with Touch Pad. Later models were replaced with a 30 key capacitive touch keyboard
    Controls: Knobs, Switches
    Connections
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Headphone
    Audio Output Count: 3
    Inputs: 1/4" mono High/Low ins
    CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT
    Production
    Year Released: 1972
    Used By
    Jean Michel, Pink Floyd, Czesław Niemen, Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, David Vorhaus, Brian Eno
    Design Notes:

    Designer: David Cockerell.
    Manuals & Documents

    Product Links
    Company Product Sites:
    [+] www.emssynthesisers.co.uk
    Pricing
    MSRP List Price: £420 - convert
    Retail Street Price: $550 - convert
    Used Price: $10,000 - $20,000+ - convert
    Shopping
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    YouTube Videos
    References & Sources
    Related Synthesizers
    Synthi A (1971)
    VCS3 (1969)
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