The SynKey is a classic programmable polyphonic synthesizer with plenty of unique features. Its sounds are thick and analog. It has thirteen oscillators! That is, one for the primary tone and twelve more for higher semi-tones, each of which are easily accessed by a simple on/off button. You can turn on or off any of the oscillators you wish, and no tuning is necessary! The oscillators only generate square waves and though the synth itself is monophonic, the SynKey is still one fat sounding synth. Its new 'Second touch' is like Aftertouch which gives you filter sweeps, vibrato and pitch bends by pressing harder on the key.
The SynKey employed a truly unique form of program memory for supposedly better on-stage use and hassle-free programming. Sounds that you create are stored on plastic punch-cards. One sound or patch can be stored per card and this includes most of its editable parameters. The SynKey originally shipped with 25 blank cards and 25 pre-punched cards, which were some EML factory sounds. So loading and storage of programs was fast and easy. But without the cards... well, then you'll just have to revert back to writing down your patch settings. There were two models made, the programmable one pictured top (SynKey 2001), and a non-programmable version pictured just above (SynkKey 1500). It has been used by Herbie Hancock.
Lookup EML SynKey Prices
The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.
Related forum topics
Are you looking to buy or sell a EML SynKey? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.
- The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
- Demos & Media
- Polyphony - Monophonic
- Oscillators - 13 oscillators (square waves only)
- Memory - Punch-Cards (Originally came with 25 blank cards and 25 pre-punched factory sound cards)
- Keyboard - 44 keys (with second touch feature)
- Effects - None
- Control - CV/Gate
- Date Produced - 1976-84
- Shop for Keyboards, MIDI & Gear
- Resources & Credits
Images and info from Kevin Lightner's Synthfool and Master Design.
Errors or Corrections? Send them here.