MATRIXSYNTH: exclusive2019

Showing posts with label exclusive2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exclusive2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Synthetic Soundlabs Pays a Rare Visit to Bell Lab's VODER Speech Synthesizer From 1939

Update: via Doug: "The console I’m playing is a recreation that was commissioned to me by current Bell Labs President Marcus Weldon. I’m seen here playing it prior to a BL event. Photo by Larry Fast. Also in attendance was Wally DeBacker (Gotye). you can see and hear me play it live on the PBS series 'Breakthrough: History of the Smart Phone' episode [might not be available in your area though]. Narrated by Patrick Stewart, and hosted by former editor of Popular Mechanics, Jim Meigs."

via Synthetic Sound Labs, click through for additional pics.

"For the first time in nearly 80 years, the VODER has been found – well at least some of it. Unfortunately, none of the operator consoles are known to have survived the various archive moves over the years.

On December 15, 2015, SSL’s President Doug Slocum was treated to unprecedented access to the AT&T Archives & History Center in Warren New Jersey to view and record the uncovering of two of the original equipment racks used to train VODER operators in preparation for the Bell System’s 1939 Worlds Fair exhibit."

Check out this post for an old black and white video demo of the VODER when working. You can find a handful of additional posts mentioning the VODER here.

This one was spotted and sent in via M Me.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Jurgen Haible - Living Vocoder Custom Build

This one was spotted on Muff's from JanneI and sent in via M Me.

Jurgen Haible started work on the design back in 2009, prototype boards came in 2010, and he unfortunately passed away in 2011. His site is gone, however I was able to find his page on the Living Vocoder at the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine here.

"The Filterbank funktion will have 3 modes:

1) On
The Filterbank will always be mixed with the vocoded sound, acording to how you set the Filterbank sliders.

2) Off
Basic Vocoder function

3) Silence Bridging
The Filterbank function will fade in when there is no speech. So there is always a coloured Excitation signal. While you speak, the colour is set by the speech. When you don't speak, the colour is set by the 20 Filterbank sliders. This allows a seamless blend of ariticulated and non-articulated sound.
You can set the threshold - how many dBs down the speech signal is, before the filterbank is engaged -, and the attack and release time of the filterbank fade in/out, with 3 potentiometers.


I have reduced the expensive, 1% capacitors to two values: 10nF and 47nF.
That way, you can buy them in larger quanities and they won't be that expensive.
You will need about 150 pieces of 47nF 1% and 150 pieces of 10nF 1%.
They are available at , order number 169-326 and 166-6421 (These are bags of 10 pieces.)
You'll need a lot of other capacitors as well, of course, butthese can be 5% tolerance - not so hard to source."

You can find additional details and links to schematics here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Datanomics SYNTHI 100

This one is in via MATRIXSYNTH reader, Daniel Araya of Camp303 who also restored the Belgrade SYNTHI 100 featured here.

"I just restored the University of Cuenca Synthi 100!

This is the last S100 ever made, by the company Datanomics that took over EMS in 1979.

They produced this unit in 1981/82 and it was used at Gabinete de Música Electroacústica de Cuenca (G.M.E.) until it was put in storage for many years.

Now, thanks to professors Sylvia Molina Muro and Julio Sanz Vázquez a new G.M.E. is started and the Synthi 100 is restored to be used at the University.

The Synthi had been stored in a good environment and was in a nice state.

This machine is very different from the other S100's, it is completely redesigned internally by Datanomics and is using CEM chips (Curtis Electromusic Specialities) that made it a lot simpler to service because the reduced number of components.

The sequencer and keyboard are based around Z80 microcontrollers and are greatly improved from the old ones. Some components had not aged well so I changed out every power supply capacitor and replaced some broken IC's and went through all modules and functions.

I managed to fix about 97% of it in two days, a small part of the sequencer and some controls are still left for the next visit.

The new studios are modern and spacious and sports an amazing vintage quadrophonic Genelec 1024B sound system that is also being restored as well as some cool vintage outboard effects and various reel to reel tape recorders.

I also discovered an original ad/article for this synth while researching, check this out.

pic attached (with a classic Akai sampler as a bonus!)

/Daniel Araya"

Monday, December 02, 2019

Rmif Ti-5 Ultra Rare Analog Soviet Synthesizer | Sounds

Published on Dec 2, 2019 Futulyric

"The Soviet synthesizer RMIF TI5 was engineered and produced at Riga Musical Instruments Factory in early 1980.
8-voice analog polyphonic , 16 digitally synced analog oscillators, 8 MOOG-like discrete ladder filters, 1 SAW_UP/SAW_DOWN/TRIANG/SQUARE LFO, 1 noise source, 256 memory presets in four banks (192 ROM, 64 RAM), sequencer and UP/DOWN/UP_AND_DOWN arpeggiator."

A few of these have come up for sale, but I believe this is the first video demo of one.

Update: a few more from Futulyric: [via daden in the commments]


1. Rmif Ti-5 Ultra Rare Analog Soviet Poly Synthesizer
2. FUTULIRIC | Rmif Ti 5 & Rmif Elsita | Psyphony B♭minor
3. Electribe 2 & Rmif Ti-5 | Dark Progressive House
4. Jingle Bells Remix # Electibe 2 & Aelita, Rmif Ti-5, Ritm 2, Maestro
5. Dark House # Alisa 1377, Aelita, Polyvox, Rmif Ti 5

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Voice of the Cylon - Battlestar Galactica, The ARP 2500, and the EMS Vocoder 1000

Published on Nov 20, 2019 supajc

Amazing series sent my way via John L Rice. Playlist and descriptions for each video in the playlist above, directly below. Enjoy. ;)

See here for previous posts featuring Battlestar Galactica.


1. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 1 The Synthesizer [ARP 2500]
Battlestar Galactica fans & synthesizer community, rejoice! For the first time in history the mysterious sound of the Cylon voice is revealed. I tracked down probably the last person alive who knows the entire formula, very private individual still works in visual arts. To him it was just a job he did 40 years ago, to me it's one of the most mesmerizing sounds in musical/sci-fi fx history. 6 parts to this series as of 11-2019.
2. Voice Of The Cylon Pt. 2 the Voice Recording
My contact told me "they brought us the voices" on Nagra III and IV tape machines. Vocoder recorded back to Nagra for film sync. Voice actor Micheal Santiago was hired to do the voice, but didn't, telling youtube user intromix later that "they ended up getting someone cheaper" to do it. One actor did all the voices, for consistency, reading the script in a lifeless, monotone voice as to not shift the frequency spectrum in the vocoder.
3. Voice Of The Cylon Pt. 3 The Vocoder [EMS Vocoder, specifically the Vocoder 1000]
Finally it is known exactly which vocoder was used for the Cylon voice. Universal Studios had rented the EMS and Sennheiser, and when sound designer Peter Berkos was asked about it circa 2008 he mis-remembered due to having the Sennheiser manual still. Youtube user intromix has owned both and tested oscillators, it could not have been the Sennheiser but now we know for sure anyway.
4. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 4 the Phaser & Distortion [Countryman Associates Type 968A Phase Shifter]
The rare, quirky effect box that was used as an impromptu distortion device. My contact told me that they floated the idea of using a guitar amp and/or pedals, but did not even try it once they found this. ** Also, he told me NO Marshall Time modulator was used as it hadn't even been released yet.
5. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 5 Recording Gear
Two main pieces of studio recording gear that were present at Universal Studios in 1978 that had a big impact on the sonic character of the Cylon voice recording. Big thanks to Ken from Electrodyne for all his advice, as well as and
6. Voice Of the Cylon Pt. 6 Audio Demos & Credits
Resurrecting the sound of the Cylon Centurion from the original Battlestar Galactica 1978 using the original equipment. Once the vocoder was recorded, it was further altered/degraded by multiple tape transfers in the video editing process, post-production techniques (EQ and reverb, to "place" the character in a big room, spaceship, etc) My contact said there were just pieces of tape on the gear to place knobs/switches back where they were; and that the synthesizer frequently sounded very different from day to day or after a power outage. In the series there are wildly differing Cylon tones, tiny movements in gain or EQ settings (especially the ringy ARP 2500 filters) radically alter the vocoder due to the ultra-harmonic richness of the tone. So many preamps and transformers involved, it was hard for THEM to make the Cylon voice consistent. Supposedly sound designer Peter Berkos wrote notes on the process, Universal Studios couldn't locate any info at all, it likely all burned down in the great fire of 2008 as well as the golden ARP 2500 oscillator used all throughout Galactica 1980.
Preamp was running a bit hot in this demo, didn't catch until after, so this tone sounds extra crunchy in this example. I sampled my tones with lowpass filter a bit too low, hope to get another chance with the real thing some day.
7. Gold Cylon Voice Vulpa [extra video]
Recreating the lower voice of the Gold Cylon commander. There are so many steps and factors to re-creating the Cylon voice even the original crew could not make it consistent on a day-to-day basis. Out of hundreds of test files this year I'm only really happy with about 5 of them but will keep working to recreate it perfectly.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Teisco String Ensemble SN T-6591

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"Very rare Teisco string synth, poor mans Solina string?. Does appear to work on all sounds but the tuning potentiometer has broken off. Has been unused for many years so needs all the controls cleaning as they crackle. The wooden sides are tatty as shown."

I believe this is the first Teisco String synth featured on the site. Check out the New Old label for additional rare vintage synths featured on the site for the first time.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Novation London Store - World's 1st Synth Manufacturer Retail Store?

via @WeAreNovation

"We just opened the doors of our Novation London pop-up store. Step into our world of music making, featuring fully interactive music production stations and a packed schedule of inspiring events and workshops. Browse the line-up and grab your tickets >>>"

This got me wondering, is this the first brick & morter, retail shop by a synth manufacturer? Pretty cool to see this.

Update: the pop-up shop will only be open through December 22nd, so if you want to check it out, be sure to before then.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Rare Vintage Moog 981 Mixer Module from 1967

This one is in via Thesis Audio Service who had the following to say:

"I came across this very rare module in a 1968 Moog IIIp that we are restoring for a client. It is a model 981 four channel mixer which I can find very little info about. It appears in the classic Wendy Carlos modular picture and in some Max Brand pictures. There is no mention of it in any of my Moog archive literature or service documents. I have included the schematic that I derived from it. It is an AC coupled mixer for audio. All of the IIIp system pictures that you find show a multiple panel in it's location in the system. The IIIp that we have is dated 1968, but this module is dated 1967. It's a bit of a Moog unicorn, possibly built by the master's hands himself."

I believe this is the first Moog Model 981 module to be featured on the site. You can see the Model number designated as 981 in the image below. The serial number is 1002 and the date is NOV 10 1967. R.A. MOOG CO. TRUMANSBURG N.Y. is on the label. You can find a circuit diagram below as well.

Thesis Audio Service also sent in the rare Moog Model 903 White Sound Source posted here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Milton Babbitt Demonstration on Electronic Music

Milton Babbitt-demonstration on electronic music (1966) part I

Published on Apr 19, 2016 Joe

A bit of electronic music history in via @auralhistories. Milton Babbitt on television.

Milton Babbitt-demonstration on electronic music (1966) part II


An Interview with Peter Mauzey on Astronauta Pinguim featuring a picture of Milton Babbitt with the RCA MK II synthesizer in 1958.

RIP Milton Babbitt - You can find some of his electronic music compositions and an NPR interview in that post.

A search on Milton Babbit for additional posts - some media content is no longer available as that, unfortunately, is the nature of the internet.

Meet Colossus - Analogue Solutions Rendition of the Classic EMS SYNTHI 100

You might remember Analogue Solutions EMS SYNTHI 100 for sale from previous posts. It appears they have put it to good use and designed their own version. P.S. I spotted this earlier this morning, but thanks to Soviet Space Child for sending in the link.

via Analogue Solutions:

"Available direct only... Come see Colossus at SynthFest (UK, 5/Oct)

Numbers will be limited - we are currently taking pre-orders, ready to ship in early 2020.

This is truly something special.

Price is £25K. This exclude any tax (most likely you can claim it back through your business). Shipping: Outside of UK it would need to be crated, onto a pallet, then freighted. Shipping and crating likely to be 500-1000GBP. If you aren’t too far from Calais there maybe other options.

Analogue Solutions is excited to introduce Colossus, an exciting new mega-synth with a design ethos truly from the dawn of analogue synths. It is more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ - it is also art, architecture, exquisite studio furniture.

Design inspiration is of course from the 1970’s EMS Synthi 100, however, no circuit from the Synthi has been cloned or copied. We prefer to make our own designs. We have chosen some of our favourite circuits from our own large back catalogue synths such as Polymath, Telemark and Vostok.

Colossus is not a Synthi 100 clone - all circuits are non-EMS, Analogue Solutions’ design.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

1973 Synton Syrinx 716 and a Horse

"The Almost Perfect Machine…
Syrinx 716, 1973 Photo © Toon Fey"

This one was spotted and sent in via M Me. You can find the full post that accompanies this pic on Syntovo here.

Note this is the first post to feature the Syrinx 716.  Reminded me of slimmed down PPG 1002.

See the Synth Horse label for more synths and horses.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dr. John Chowning -Keynote Address | Knobcon 2019

Published on Sep 10, 2019 Under the Big Tree

"I first met Dr. John Chowning, the discoverer of frequency modulation as a powerful algorithm for synthesis, at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford in the early 90's. He was a brilliant, kind gentleman then, and nothing has changed in the subsequent decades. I thought it important to document his address, and subsequent lecture on the history of FM synthesis, for the future. Apologies for the sound quality - there was an enormous air conditioner running full blast behind him. But the substance is what counts, and hearing the words of this giant of the synthesizer realm."

Also see: MMTA SYNTHFEST 2013: Dave Bristow & The History of Yamaha FM Synthesis


Dr. John Chowning - The History of FM Synthesis | Knobcon 2019

Published on Sep 11, 2019 Under the Big Tree

"Dr. John Chowning is a legendary scientist, musician, and composer best known for the discovery of frequency modulation (FM) synthesis for musical applications. He did not invent the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, but he discovered the principles underlying the technology, and worked tirelessly to get it into the hands of a company that would develop it into a product. That product, the DX7, became one of the best selling synthesizers of all time.

Dr. Chowning's lecture at Knobcon 2019 delves into the history of the discovery of FM, as well as detailed information on how it works, ending with the creation of the DX7. This discussion is dense and scholarly, but has charts and animations to help explain the principles of the topic. It is a long lecture, but will bear fruit to the student of electronic music that is willing to delve in.

My apologies for the quality of the camera work - it was hand held for two hours. But I hope that the quality of the content transcends the quality of the recording."


Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

I believe this is the first post to feature the JEN J-880. Another rare previously unknown synth for the site. Be sure to see the New Old label at the bottom of this post for more.

"Here is a very hard to come by JEN J-880 Superstringer string machine .

Basically it's a ARP/Eminent Solina String Ensemble clone.
It features 3 sections with independent volume sliders: Bass / Strings / Brass
It also allows you control over the attack and release part of the string section ("crescendo" and "sustain" sliders).
It further has a switchable vibrato with intensity, speed and delay controls.
And finally you have a "solo" function that turns the typical heavy ensemble BBD effect off. (but it still leaves a light phaser/flanger effect to the soune).

Condition is quite good. Some scuffs but nothing bad, check pictures.
Everything works as it should and it sounds great. Very close to the original Solina.
The only issue is the "viola" knob being a bit temporamental, it sometimes don't want to stay on. But it works. The issue is only mechanical. It's an easy fix i'm sure but I didn't want to open the unit, and to be honnest, the viola switch is almost alwaus on."

Elektronika EM 02 Vintage Soviet Analog Synthesizer

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

Note this is the first post to feature the Elektronika EM-02. No demos on YouTube and it's not listed on If anyone knows more about this instrument, feel free to comment. Update: You can find a video demo of one here. Definitely more organ sounding than synth.

Check out that front panel editor.  Wish there was a close-up and centered shot of it.

Add this one to the New Old label. BTW, that is the label to check out for the odd and rare synths in history. They are synths that have never been featured on the site until then.

Monday, September 09, 2019

The Man Who Re-invented The Synthesizer - 1978 Rick Coupland Synthesizer Brochure & Operational Specs

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"Original 1978 vintage Rick Coupland Synthesizer 11 page Brochure PLUS bonus Operational Specs (Note coffee stain on top corner). The Man Who Re-Invented The Synthesyizer."

Note this is the first post to feature descent legible pics of the brochure.

via this post on synthesizer firsts: "1973 - Coupland Digital Music Synthesizer - First Digital (Triadex beat it?) Update via Peter Grenader: "No time to read through all these posts to see if it's come up yet, but the Coupland was never existed. I met Mark Vail, who's now a friend, by writing him a letter informing him that his story about the Coupland in his Vintage Synthesizers book (GREAT book) which mentioned it's only recorded showing was at the AES show in LA in 1978 was a farce. I was there - at their booth and their suite in the Hilton where the instrument was said to be. I was there on the first day, I was there on the last day. The only thing they had was a small model - about six inches across, sitting on a table. The booth was amazing - this radial orb multiple people could sit in, with a cover that came over each person which played what I remembered was a very impressive demo which swirled around four speakers inside the box. I, and everyone else, were blown away. They kept saying...'it will be here tomorrow, it'll be here tomorrow' I showed up the last day just to see it, figuring by the then it would have didn't. I did see the frst Synthclavier at that show however. Their suite was across the hall from the Coupland folk. That completely kicked the crap out of everything else shown that year."

Also check out this write-up on Retro Synth Ads, and a few other posts here.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Moog - A New Dimension In Sound - Light Up Animated Sign

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"Fantastic animated light-up Moog sign. Measuring 31" by 14", this sign lights up beautifully and the animated pattern bursts with great color.

This sign is all original and in good working condition. The finish on the aluminum top and sides is slightly scratched (as would be expected) the finish on the face of the sign is very good with very minimal scratching that is not noticeable when the sign is on. This is an extremely rare piece of music/advertising memorabilia."

Anyone know when these were made?

Spark - Ritmo RT 15 - 1976 - Brazilian Drum Machine - Analog

Published on Mar 24, 2018 Gargula Tron

This is the first post to feature the Spark - Ritmo RT 15.

There have been a few posts featuring the term Ritmo, including the Ritmo 12 drum machine, and the Siel Ritmo analogue string synth with beatbox.

Giannini GD-1000 - Drum Machine - made in brazil - 1986 - (rare)

Published on Mar 2, 2019 Gargula Tron

This is the first post to feature the Giannini GD-1000. You can find a handful of posts featuring Giannini here.

Hillwood, Multivox, Firstman - Pulser - M51 (1978) Eletronic Piano

Published on Published on Dec 10, 2018 Gargula Tron

"Hillwood, Multivox, Firstman - Pulser - M51 (1978) Eletronic Piano"

I believe this is the first post to feature the M51.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Moog Synthesizer (To Tell the Truth) - Bob Moog on The Dating Game?!

Published on Aug 25, 2019 RodneyGuitarsplat

"Will the Real Robert Moog Please Stand Up !
(I do not have copyright to this, it is for educational purpose only)"

Just kidding on the The Dating Game of course. It just reminded me of it. :) I pick the Minimoog!

Patch n Tweak
Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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