E-mu Audity

E-mu Audity Image

Only one Audity ever came off the assembly line. It is a state of the art computer based analog synthesizer commissioned by ex-Tangerine Dreamer Peter Baumann in 1979. It came at a time when E-mu, like other synth manufacturers of the time, were making a move towards producing an instrument that was more compact and more advanced than the purely analog modular beasts they had been making. Under pressure from synths like Sequential's Prophet-5, E-mu set out to make a very powerful analog synth. The Audity was a 16-voice instrument with a massive amount of programmability and stability thanks to the computer based technology that controlled it.

Unfortunately the instrument was so expensive ($70,000) that nobody wanted to buy one. It was also a bear to program. E-mu wound up shelving it in order to start over with a new concept inspired by the Fairlight. This led to a sophisticated and much cheaper sampler - the Emulator 1. But the Audity had not been forgotten by E-mu. Much of the Audity's multi-timbral design went into the creation of the sample-playback Proteus synthesizers, which in turn paved way for the Audity 2000 sound module!

The one and only living Audity is currently in a synthesizer gallery at the CANTOS Music Foundation in Calgary, Alberta Canada. It was never actually completed, so it has never actually worked. As such, it remains a truly one-of-a-kind show-piece of what could have been - the synthesizer equivalent of a concept-car.

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7 Visitor comments
July 29, 2013 @ 8:38 am
Eugene, you took the words right out of my mouth/keyboard! :-)
July 28, 2013 @ 1:03 pm
How can a synth in a museum, that is incomplete, one of a kind, and has never functioned warrant 86 user ratings?
June 1, 2012 @ 7:58 pm
Now it is 4 years later and I can touch a part of it. Edgar Froese (part of Tangerine Dream) in Germany got a special one pcb version 19" synth with one of the original Audity voice pcb, which I bought. And I can say it is really great. Very strong sound !
If I have some time, I will put a demonstration on Youtube, so everybody can hera that sound.
April 21, 2010 @ 5:21 pm
The Audity is owned by the CANTOS Music Foundation in Canada. Its one of a kind and was purchased from David Kean Several years ago. It never worked nor will it since it was never completed. So yes it just gets drooled on.
Oneki Kai
February 6, 2009 @ 12:07 am
I think it's not utilized because it's broken. I don't remember where I read that though.

I imagine that it sounds like a more stable first-gen Prophet 5 if it uses SSM chips.
VSE Rating

Not rated

User Rating

Rated 2.83 (102 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 SSM Chips with multi-waveforms, Noise Source per voice
  • LFO - Yes
  • Filter - SSM Filter Chips: High-Pass Filter, Low-Pass Filter. Separate resonant Filter also available.
  • Envelopes - Envelopes gens for VCOss, VCFss, and VCA's
  • Memory - Multi Patch Storage
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Date Produced - 1979/80
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Flickr.

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