MATRIXSYNTH: The MCS 70 - Memory Controlled Synthesizer From Elka's Mario Maggi

Monday, December 25, 2017

The MCS 70 - Memory Controlled Synthesizer From Elka's Mario Maggi

via Francesco Mulassano

"Ultra rare italian synthesizers, made by Mario Maggi (the man who invented the Elka Synthex). This unit belongs to Patrizio Fariselli from Area!"

Apparently only three were made. It is monophonic.

The following are some details via from the MCS 70 brochure:


Memorizes all parameters of all user-defined control panel settings

Groups of up to 64 memorized settings available at any one time

Instantaneous change time from one memorized sound to any other

Non-volatile integrated circuit memory modules, no tape, nothing mechanical

No loss of user's memorized sounds, even unplugged or with module removed, until user himself memorizes a new sound.

It's called Integrated Memory Control. The result is the first completely programmable electronic music synthesizer. The programs are the user's own sounds set up with the front panel parameter controls.

The MCS 70 Memory Controlled Synthesizer represents a new concept in total integration of analog and digital operating systems allowing complete digital memorization of all parameters of the signal generating and processing modules.

Operating in the Panel mode, the audio result is determined directly by the variable panel controls. In the Memory mode the audio is determined by the previously defined and memorized panel settings.

A sound is memorized simply by pushing a button which cuases a digital code corresponding to the parameter control positions to be stored at the selected address (one of 64) of the memory modules.

Any sound may be instantaneously (5 milliseconds) recalled, even years later, after memorization, by pushing the corresponding memory address button.

Two memory modules each with a capacity of 32 programmable settings, are inserted in the rear of the instrument. Removing the module or unplugging the instrument has no effect on the contents of the memory. No setting is ever lost until the user decides to change the program at a given address. There is virtually no limit to the number of times the same address may be re-programmed.

Each module can be quickly removed and substituted by another containing 32 entirely different programs. Several sets of programs can be used, for example, during a concert. Each song can have its own characteristic sounds. There is no set-up time delay, and the performer can even change sound instantly in mid-phrase.

There can be optional interfacing with a floppy disk for expanded memory capactiy, or with any digital control source such as a mini-computer for digital control of complex sound structures.

Interfacing with other synthesizer systems can be effected by means of the rear panel standard connections.

Patch settings are controlled by selectors, switches and pots. No external patch chords interfere with the clearly laid out front panel controls, allowing easy and rapid operation of the instrument.

The 4 four octave keyboard has no mechanical contacts and enfrared emitter/photo-transistor couple is used for each key permitting greater velocity and sensitivity while eliminating such problems as bouncing and false contacts due to dust or rusting.

-excerpted from the MCS-70 bochure
-courtesy of Mario Maggi and
submitted by Luciano Nogueira Marmontel of Pouso Alegre, MG, Brazil"

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