EML SynKey

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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:02 pm

cornutt wrote:A while back, one of the EML co-founders was selling his personal Synkey on Ebay. I bid aggressively on that, thinking it might go for $500 given its particular history. Imagine my surprise when the bidding went over $1500 -- IIRC it wound up going for $1800.


When there were a couple up on eBay in about 2003 or so, they went for something in the $300-$400 range. Most people didn't want them due to the fact that they are divide-down. (they probably would have wanted them less, knowing the actual structure of the polyphony!)

Yes, if that is the going rate for a Synkey:
A. Something is wrong with the world.
B. I don't think I'll be buying one.

Y'see, that's how much I paid for my MINIMOOG.

I could see maybe $700 in a crazed frenzy of bidding, but my LORD... the things you could get which are more powerful (if less rare) for $1800!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know... no one wants to hear anyone bitch about prices. :wink:
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:07 pm

CZ Rider wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:That's cool! That modulation (sample-and-hold with waveform input instead of noise) is a really cool effect. It sounds like the sample and hold on the Roland SH-3a. That effect over the divide-down chords is REALLY cool!

Com'on AG! I can think of another synth that does chords with a very similar S&H with ramp waveform. Although I never did thank the guy that did the videos on that synth. Can't remember the model, a PS something or other? :wink:


Ha ha, point taken... but I meant that it was cool that the effect could be had without patching!
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Are there?

Postby TX81ZJH » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:16 am

Are there any demonstration videos or sound clips of the SynKey anywhere?
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Re: Are there?

Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:14 am

TX81ZJH wrote:Are there any demonstration videos or sound clips of the SynKey anywhere?


If BOOgie will lend me his, I will make some! :wink:
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Postby Micke » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:51 pm

The following quotes from Mark Vail's Vintage synthesizers explain why the board in the Synkey says Syntaur:

"The Synkey concept resulted from a patent I received for a guitar synthesizer," Milliard recalls.
"Originally, the product's name was to be the Syntaur. Its electronic were designed to be versatile, so that you could drive it from a keyboard or a guitar controller."

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Postby B00gie » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:39 pm

Micke wrote:The following quotes from Mark Vail's Vintage synthesizers explain why the board in the Synkey says Syntaur:

"The Synkey concept resulted from a patent I received for a guitar synthesizer," Milliard recalls.
"Originally, the product's name was to be the Syntaur. Its electronic were designed to be versatile, so that you could drive it from a keyboard or a guitar controller."

Micke


err.. You mean Syntar, right?
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Postby Micke » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:22 pm

Syntar, yes :)
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Postby B00gie » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:56 am

So if i understand it correctly, Mattson's Syntar doesnt have to do anything with EML Synthar? (in terms of electronics/design)
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Re: EML SynKey

Postby mmm » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:17 pm

Otto just now turned me on to this forum. Sorry...I don't get out much.

I need to set the story straight between me, the Syntar and EML. Some of these guesses are really off track.

I own almost every model of EML gear except the 500 and the Synkey.

I was an independent factory sales rep for EML in 1977-1978. Basically, If I made a sale, I'd get a commission. I was in Idaho. They weren't. :)

I came up with the concept of the Syntar in 1978. I tried to get EML to build it then, tried to get other companies to build it. I didn't have much luck and due to influences from Norlin deciding to manufacture the Liberation, I decided to do it myself.

I found funding and hired EML to design the Syntar electronics for me to my specifications while I jumped into the middle of designing the whole "strap it on" concept . It made sense, They already made synths and had the knowlege to do it. I didn't have the time to design the electronics.

Dale Blake had told me that they already had the copyrights on the name "Syntar" and "Guitsyn" for some guitar synths they were trying to build. I bought the Syntar name from EML.

Any products they produced prior to that for their own lineup have nothing to do with my Syntar. All of my boards have both EML-(month and year made) and PMS-(board number) etched into the circuit boards. All of my Syntar circuits were exclusive to me and not part of any other product.

Somebody, somewhere commented that I contracted EML to make the circuit modules for my prototype...
Wrong. Well, only in the sense that they made them anyway and I ordered what I needed. But I didn't hire them to design circuit modules. They already had those. I just bought some.

Hope that sets the time-line and sequence of events back in order :)

George Mattson
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Re: EML SynKey

Postby minime123 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:14 am

hi george, nice seeing you here.
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Re: EML SynKey

Postby minime123 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:18 am

i posted some detailed pics of the synkey we got from vince clarke (depeche mode, yaz and currently erasure). it's in this folder along with lots of other items we recently put on the market, if anyone wants to check them out:

http://tonetweakers.com/images/TEMP/

we'll eventually be auctioning the synkey, along with some other items from vince and a few other well known electronic musicians. (i hoped to do this in january but have been too busy)
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Re: EML SynKey

Postby cornutt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:24 pm

Thank you for the info, George. You have answered some questions that EML collectors have long debated. BTW, I think that was me who made the incorrect statement about contracting with EML for the prototype -- I think I got that from an old, old thread on Synth-DIY.
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Re: EML SynKey

Postby Cosmosis » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:31 pm

I really miss my Synkey. I thought I would find another someday, but to no avail...

I have a tune up on the Romannis page that was created with the Synkey only.

The song is the first one on the player: "Dark Matter Voyage".

Have a listen if you like:
www.myspace.com/romannismotte
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