New Elka Synthex?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Blue Orion Synthwave
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:59 pm

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Blue Orion Synthwave » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:59 pm

sneakthief wrote:Look, no midi (or at least perhaps it's an option)
The Computer Interface on back will output MIDI (just notes only I believe) according to the tech specs:

http://bringelkaback.com/download/elka- ... -specs.pdf

There will be an optional MIDI Interface as well.

User avatar
sneakthief
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:43 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by sneakthief » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:33 am

"COMPUTER INTERFACE
MIDI output, serial chaining with other equipment"

The lack of a standard midi input pretty much counts as "no midi" in my books :P

Anyhow, that wasn't the point of my post: it was rather to point out that they're using the original parts... there's very little other rationale for not mounting proper midi ports in favour of a "computer interface" that was never really implemented.
sneak-thief: raw electrofunk!
http://sneak-thief.com

User avatar
StepLogik
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:16 am
Gear: Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Vorpal Sword, Chain Mail +3, Ring of Invisibility, Staff of the Magi, Boots of Speed
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by StepLogik » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:27 pm

If they are indeed using original parts, I wonder if they have tested them? What are the defect rates? That seems like an awfully risky approach. I have no interest in paying $3k for a synth made up of components that have been sitting in a warehouse for 30 years.

grenert
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by grenert » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:25 pm

It's a little pointless to talk about their specifications when they don't even have a prototype yet.
Whether they reach their goal or not, there is no guarantee they can 1) make the synth and 2) get it to backers.
Good luck to those who are invested, but I will be happy to wait to buy later if they can pull this off.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Bitexion » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:45 pm

Remember that this isn't a preorder. They're not able to make a single synth yet. They need to meet their crowdfunding goal first. Which is no guarantee at all.

coastalscrub
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by coastalscrub » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:37 pm

Bitexion wrote:Remember that this isn't a preorder. They're not able to make a single synth yet. They need to meet their crowdfunding goal first. Which is no guarantee at all.
The indiegogo page says they'll get the money whether they meet their goal or not. My impression from the site is that the "new" Synthex will be mostly assembled from NOS parts. Their various tiers are:

25 synths at the early bird price
100 synths at the higher price
100 distributor packs of 3

That adds up to 425 synths and may well get close to running their stock of NOS parts out. Are there more than 425 people in the world that would spend $3500 on a synth? 425 Synthexes may well satisfy the market for now.

If the goal is not met, do you think the guy who bought all these parts ISN'T going to go ahead and have them made? What else is he going to do with many warehouses full of parts?

What are the chances that any serious plans to manufacture brand new replica Synthexes out of new parts are in the works if he can't sell more than 31 NOS Synthexes in a month for less than half of what original vintage ones go for?

Don't get me wrong - I think this is a very cool idea. The price is right, the product is great. I just don't see this as a new product or the relaunching of an old brand so much as a NOS situation...

voxcoder
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 10:11 am

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by voxcoder » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:06 pm

:agree:
The indiegogo page says they'll get the money whether they meet their goal or not. My impression from the site is that the "new" Synthex will be mostly assembled from NOS parts.
Very likely they will.
25 synths at the early bird price
100 synths at the higher price
100 distributor packs of 3

That adds up to 425 synths and may well get close to running their stock of NOS parts out. Are there more than 425 people in the world that would spend $3500 on a synth? 425 Synthexes may well satisfy the market for now.
The goal is to reach 125 Synthex pre-orders to build 125 numbered copies.
If the goal is not met, do you think the guy who bought all these parts ISN'T going to go ahead and have them made? What else is he going to do with many warehouses full of parts?
The thing is that Generalmusic, along with GEM, ELKA and LEM is coming back and, as they announced:
"will bring to market some legendary re-issue models and brand new technology."
Which means new products will see the light in the next future.
If the goal is not met, do you think the guy who bought all these parts ISN'T going to go ahead and have them made? What else is he going to do with many warehouses full of parts?

What are the chances that any serious plans to manufacture brand new replica Synthexes out of new parts are in the works if he can't sell more than 31 NOS Synthexes in a month for less than half of what original vintage ones go for?
Well, I don't know. So supporting this campaign seems the only thing musicians truly fond of this machine could do, even joining in for those who can afford it. I think it's worth trying to help them to fulfill its goal.
I think this is a very cool idea. The price is right, the product is great. I just don't see this as a new product or the relaunching of an old brand so much as a NOS situation...
Yeah, the price is right.
Even more the 3 - pack of Synthexes. Someone? :giveheart:

User avatar
Walter Ego
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:17 pm
Gear: Various noisemakers hidden around my home and classroom. And a great quantity of caffeine.
Band: 12"VS
Location: Near Boston

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Walter Ego » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:41 pm

coastalscrub wrote:What are the chances that any serious plans to manufacture brand new replica Synthexes out of new parts are in the works if he can't sell more than 31 NOS Synthexes in a month for less than half of what original vintage ones go for?
I thought it said in the video that the components inside would be new but still faithful to the original design.
Walter Ego
seamonkey wrote:I nominate this for STUPIDEST THREAD ever in the history of the internez. ;)

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Bitexion » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:46 pm

I hope my local store will get one so that I can see it and play on it. I'll go straight for the laserharp preset, as that's THE one sound it's most known for, and the most difficult timbre to recreate on other synths due to it using some peculiar features of the Synthex, like osc1->osc2 pwm modulation. And the chorus of course.

I've copied down the exact knob settings from the Synthex in a txt file, and I've still not got the exact right timbre on any other synths I've recreated it on. It's got much more going on than just Hard Sync.

User avatar
desmond
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:32 pm
Contact:

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by desmond » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:12 pm

Bitexion wrote:I've copied down the exact knob settings from the Synthex in a txt file, and I've still not got the exact right timbre on any other synths I've recreated it on. It's got much more going on than just Hard Sync.
Have you tried the Xils Synthex software emulation, out of interest?

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Bitexion » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:21 pm

No, didn't know of it. Looks interesting but I'd have no idea if the sound is "right" since I've never had a Synthex to play on. Just know it from countless JM Jarre shows and albums. Of course he used it for much more than one sound, both HP filter LFO sweeps, all the strings on Rendez-vous and more.

I will download the demo and check out some presets. And try to dial in the Laserharp patch from my notes.
Weirdly there aren't any laserharp presets in the Xils demo sound library. After translating the settings to the Syn'X I got in the right ballpark but ran into HORRIBLE filter aliasing on the higher notes and the chorus effect just sounds mushy.

Here's the settings copied from an actual Synthex

Synthex front panel (which you likely need a picture of). Dials from 0
to 10 unless otherwise stated.

LFO - Triangle Waveform routed to PW2. Depth 3. Frequency 3. Delay 0.

Tuning - OSC2 Sync On.

OSC 1 - 8' Octave. Transpose 0. Pulse Waveform. Pulse Width -1 (of -5
to +5). Volume 7.

OSC 2 - 2' Octave. Transpose 7 (of 0 to 12). Waveform OSC1 PWM + Ring
Mod. Pulse Width -1. Volume 7.

Glide - OSC2 Glide. Speed 10. Amount 2.

Filter - Low Pass. Resonance 0. Frequency 5. Keyboard 10. Envelope 5.

Chorus setting - 1 (Lowest of three).

Filter Envelope - Attack 0. Decay 2. Sustain 2. Release 0.

Amp Envelope - Attack 0. Decay 5. Sustain 5. Release 3.

Release envelope ON."

User avatar
mpa1104
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:33 am
Gear: Finally, enough gear that exceeds the 150 character allowance. WooHoo - I qualify as an obsessed gear-head!
Location: SOMEONE GET ME OUT OF HERE!!

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by mpa1104 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:03 am

Sometime last year I copied those settings from the other thread you posted them in Bit, and then took it to my V-Synth. I thought it would be the best contender since it has a ton of flexible mod routings within each oscillator before you go to osc sync. There were a lot of values I had to approximate, but the basic Synthex settings combined with a fair bit of listening to the opening of Rendezvous III (where the sound is very well exposed) I think I managed to get a decent copy of it. I'll try to grab a few moments of audio so others ears can pick it apart.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It doesn't matter if you don't like my personality, I have several more.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:28 am

You can get in the right area with just simple swept hardsync, but it still won't be RIGHT when you're as OCD as me.
There are certain specialties that the Synthex oscillator has that makes this sound very difficult to replicate on other synths.

The PWM "waveform" is one. It's actually a timbre created by modulating the other oscillator's PWM with the first oscillator's frequency. Can be set up in a mod matrix, but who knows the
amount to get the right timbre..Then there's the ringmod output. These two together create a pretty harsh hard sync waveform, not the usual dual saw/dual pulse sound that is then ran through the filter with a "click" envelope set up to get the accent in the beginning. The Glide function is basically an AD envelope modulating the pitch of the synced oscillator.

Then there's the issue of the values being on a 0-10 scale instead of milliseconds and frequencies, so you have to kind of guess and feel out what amounts you're supposed to use on PWM LFO speeds, "glide" speed, envelope settings and filter cutoff (which is usually in Hz and milliseconds on newer synths not 1-10)

The aforementioned Xils Syn'X VST is actually pretty accurate when I transferred all the settings more or less correctly,
but has terrible filter aliasing on higher notes, which are used on RV3. It's very good on the lower scales though. Even the chorus can be used with a bit of tinkering.

The use of this sound in both Rendezvous II and III have defined my views of what a "synth sound" should be since I was a little kid listening to the Houston vs Lyon concert on a worn-out tape over and over.

Hair would stand up on my arms when the wall of sound and opera choir was replaced by silence and crowd noise as the laserharp is unfolded on THAT part on RV pt 2. I still get that feeling when I hear it. "The Eagle has landed".
Sure the LH was only a glorified MIDI controller, but man did it make an impact visually.

Last edited by Bitexion on Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mpa1104
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:33 am
Gear: Finally, enough gear that exceeds the 150 character allowance. WooHoo - I qualify as an obsessed gear-head!
Location: SOMEONE GET ME OUT OF HERE!!

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by mpa1104 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:17 pm

Bitexion wrote:The use of this sound in both Rendezvous II and III have defined my views of what a "synth sound" should be since I was a little kid listening to the Houston vs Lyon concert on a worn-out tape over and over.
Sounds as though we had the same 'relationship' with that album :) Personally, my feeling was that all of side 1 of Rendezvous defined what synths should do and I still think it's among Jarre's best work. Knowing how much the Synthex contributed to that - and especially having also since had the chance to noodle around on one - made me appreciate it all the more.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It doesn't matter if you don't like my personality, I have several more.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: New Elka Synthex?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:41 pm

Yeah, I also loved the way he combined white noise splashes with "sparklies" to create splash cymbal-like sounds. It's a great album. They tried to create an entire orchestra with only synthesizers (and a bunch of choir singers) and I think it worked pretty well.

Post Reply