MATRIXSYNTH: Hitachi Lo-D HMS-30 Memory Synthesizer (1978)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hitachi Lo-D HMS-30 Memory Synthesizer (1978)

Published on Jul 21, 2015 Patrick McMaster

"I've been trying to track one of these rare units down since I joined the Hitachi family in September 2013. I finally got an alert that one was available on Yahoo! Auctions Japan. I was the one and only bidder, and for ¥20,000 it was mine! The size and weight made regular shipping uneconomical, so I opted for SeaMail. That was just under two months ago, and now here it is being played for the first time!

It's a two oscillator, fully polyphonic synth independent filter cutoff modulation w/LFO (warble) and amplitude modulation w/LFO (tremolo) per oscillator. It has global pitch modulation with a third independent LFO (vibrato), resonance and cutoff frequency knobs per oscillator, limited envelope control on osc 2...nothing terribly crazy in terms of modulation, but fun and more capable of sound shaping then I expected.

The built in preset-only drum machine sounds as cheesy as you would expect for late 70s analog, but the star of the show in terms of extras is a built in sequencer. Now I only need to figure out how the heck it works...

In this video I'm running it through a Moog Minifooger Drive into a Roland keyboard amp."

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