EMS Synthi 100 restored!

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:06 am

A synth doesn't need to be polyphonic to play chords, anything with multiple oscillators can do it.

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by ranzee » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:27 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:A synth doesn't need to be polyphonic to play chords, anything with multiple oscillators can do it.
I am aware of this - and this isn't answering my question ...

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:41 am

ranzee wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:A synth doesn't need to be polyphonic to play chords, anything with multiple oscillators can do it.
I am aware of this - and this isn't answering my question ...
It's modular, if you want polyphony you can patch it up, but it won't work in the normal sense everyone is used to polyphonic synths working.

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by mpa1104 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:14 am

ranzee wrote:What is intriguing about this synth - is that it has 3 x VC3's (and a whole lot more) - watching that really disappointingly short video from the ABC when he played it - I noticed chords!

Can anyone confirm is it really 3 voice true polyphonic?
Most of the sounds heard on that video were based around several oscillators each tuned to a different pitch, but sounding simultaneously. The S.100 has 12 oscillators and if the dual-keyboards are working properly, my understanding is that it's technically possible to have four voice polyphony because each manual is duophonic. The rest is down to how you patch the signal and control paths (the choices of which are incredible when you look at the dopesheets).
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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by ranzee » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:48 am

mpa1104 wrote:
ranzee wrote:What is intriguing about this synth - is that it has 3 x VC3's (and a whole lot more) - watching that really disappointingly short video from the ABC when he played it - I noticed chords!

Can anyone confirm is it really 3 voice true polyphonic?
Most of the sounds heard on that video were based around several oscillators each tuned to a different pitch, but sounding simultaneously. The S.100 has 12 oscillators and if the dual-keyboards are working properly, my understanding is that it's technically possible to have four voice polyphony because each manual is duophonic. The rest is down to how you patch the signal and control paths (the choices of which are incredible when you look at the dopesheets).
That's amazing! I really need to get over to Melbourne and try it out ... if they'd let me :/ The actual design of this really intrigues me - and gives me inspiration for developing a Eurorack Modular system along these lines.

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Is: EMS Synthi 100 polyphonic!

Post by LeslieC » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:33 am

Is the Synthi 100 polyphonic? I present to you with four Answers:
1) With one finger on one note of one keyboard you get 1 CV for pitch, 1CV optional for filters/VCA's etc.
From this single CV you could patch up to 20 VCO's (8 sin/filter VCO's, 6 sin/triangle VCO's and 6 square/ramp VCO's) Note: If more control voltage devices were used to control oscillators in different pitch pattens it would be polyphonic - The polyphony determined by CV's not the keyboard.

2) With one finger etc you can enter your performance DATA into the sequencer which is 3 layers and two voices per layer. Now using the Sequencer you have up 6 parts (polyphonic) that can be patched to the 20 VCO's.

3) Using a sync track to clock the sequencer (eg. back in 1976 using an 8track 1" multitrack) it was possible to build up 42 performance parts and record up to 140 VCO voices on the remaining 7 tracks.
(16trk would give you 90 parts and up to 300 VCO voices but it would take days maybe weeks to enter the DATA)

4) Today we are very lucky to have polyphonic sequencers, MIDI to CV and Audio/CV modules so that you can edit and store your performance DATA so 16 to 20 part (simultaneous) polyphony is very possible on the Synthi 100.

I hope this answers the Synthi 100 polyphony myths and don't be disappointed by the short samples on the news story. I will post more examples in the coming weeks. My ambition for the near future is a grant to produce tutorial style manual with lots of vids & aif's that demonstrates the different techniques and music styles from the 70's era. LeslieC
Last edited by LeslieC on Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:52 am

Unfortunately, polyphony isn't defined by control voltages, it's defined by how many notes you can play when pressing keys. How many notes can be created via programming and non-realtime playing through sequencing is a different matter.
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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:19 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Unfortunately, polyphony isn't defined by control voltages, it's defined by how many notes you can play when pressing keys. How many notes can be created via programming and non-realtime playing through sequencing is a different matter.
What a load of rubbish Marc. So now you're saying that a synth that is polyphonic when played from its keyboard all of a sudden stops being polyphonic when you sequence it? Is this an April fool's joke that you posted too late or something?

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:06 am

I believe the term for access to multiple voices via sequencing is "multitimbrality?"
Am I wrong about that?
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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Alex E » Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:10 am

I think Marc is right stabby. :P
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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:46 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I believe the term for access to multiple voices via sequencing is "multitimbrality?"
Am I wrong about that?
Multitimbral synths are a subset of polyphonic synths, it's not an either/or situation. The DSI Prophet 08 module is polyphonic, it's also multitimbral and it can be played either via midi from keys or from a sequencer. Am I wrong about that? ;)

Anyway, I don't really care to get into a pointless argument about synth terminology on the internet. I guess I was just a bit taken aback that when the guy who restored this synth, which is the whole point of this thread, posts here Marc tries to shoot him down with some pithy half-truth about polyphony. Way to make the guy feel welcome.

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by madtheory » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:17 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I believe the term for access to multiple voices via sequencing is "multitimbrality?"
Am I wrong about that?
Yes you are wrong. Multitimbral is a conflation of two words "multiple timbres". Sequencing is not necessarily a defining factor. For example a synth that allows you to play splits and/ or layers *from the keyboard* is multitimbral. I don't know why you're trying so hard lately to jargonise the use of synthesizers. Your approach seems snobby to me. By all means continue it as an experiment, as research into meaning because that's fun and interesting and educational, but please stop being dogmatic about it. Perhaps you've already stopped, you did ask if you were wrong. I hope that was sincere, not sarcastic.

And yes your point is a bizarre response to a very informative post by a guy who is doing and has done amazing work in synthesis. Please, stop it.

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by LeslieC » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:22 pm

Hi Guys, Thanks for all the comment, my first post was to:
1) Staab, "The renewed interest came from Interactive Composition Students at the VCA"

2) ranzee, True polyphonic? The answer was informative but probably not what you expected!
(keyboard polyphonic, No! - Synthi 100 polyphonic, yes! )
(The answer boasted extraordinary possibilities for the 1970's era)

3) marc, You have provoked a challenge, to do some research before I reply in detail.
However up to the 1970's my view of polyphonic is that of Britannia "polyphony, in music, strictly speaking, any music in which two or more tones sound simultaneously (the term derives from the Greek word for “many sounds”) My Quote "Only when we hear the sounds do we perceive the true Polyphony"
Maybe this is fertile ground for a new topic!

4) madt, Thanks for you kind comments.
The Synthi 100 discussion is about the 1970's, non-western tuning, no tempered pitch, micro-tonal tuning.
In my talk & demo on the 27March I had tuned the lower keyboard to 6ths, also performed Grainger's Free Music-1. Four analogue pitch parts (VCO's) and four dynamic parts (VCA's) Audio /CV dropped directly into the Synthi 100 patchbay. (analogue, a-tonal, polyphonic, no keyboard!) How good is that ?

Its very late for me, I hope this makes sense to all and I trust there will be more (friendly discussion)
LeslieC

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:41 pm

You're welcome Leslie. Fascinating stuff, thanks again. And yes, fertile ground for a new topic :)

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Re: EMS Synthi 100 restored!

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:03 am

LeslieC wrote:Hi Guys, Thanks for all the comment, my first post was to:
1) Staab, "The renewed interest came from Interactive Composition Students at the VCA"

2) ranzee, True polyphonic? The answer was informative but probably not what you expected!
(keyboard polyphonic, No! - Synthi 100 polyphonic, yes! )
(The answer boasted extraordinary possibilities for the 1970's era)

3) marc, You have provoked a challenge, to do some research before I reply in detail.
However up to the 1970's my view of polyphonic is that of Britannia "polyphony, in music, strictly speaking, any music in which two or more tones sound simultaneously (the term derives from the Greek word for “many sounds”) My Quote "Only when we hear the sounds do we perceive the true Polyphony"
Maybe this is fertile ground for a new topic!

4) madt, Thanks for you kind comments.
The Synthi 100 discussion is about the 1970's, non-western tuning, no tempered pitch, micro-tonal tuning.
In my talk & demo on the 27March I had tuned the lower keyboard to 6ths, also performed Grainger's Free Music-1. Four analogue pitch parts (VCO's) and four dynamic parts (VCA's) Audio /CV dropped directly into the Synthi 100 patchbay. (analogue, a-tonal, polyphonic, no keyboard!) How good is that ?

Its very late for me, I hope this makes sense to all and I trust there will be more (friendly discussion)
LeslieC
Thanks for all of the work put into it and the insights here. The article mentions a concert in March but are there longer-term plans for it being put to good use once it's fully functional? Will it mostly be available to Uni of Melbourne students? (Not asking to use it, of course--just curious!)

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