A collection of instruments that document and capture interesting, characterful
synths that may not
always be the obvious choice when we think of classics.
Instruments that instantly add some special magic, even if they sound a bit clunky & quirky.
A simple monosynth by Korg from 1974, the same era as the Minimoog and the Roland SH2000.
It has semi-fixed parameters, with a selection of toggle switches offering limited editing of these. It has a very fat, zappy sound
and fantastic chunky coloured controls. The filter (Traveler) is particularly interesting, with a LPF and HPF semi linked by interlocking faders.
The EMS Synthi AKS is a legendary instrument with an illustrious history. First manufactured in 1972 by EMS in Putney, south-west London,
The Synthi A was basically a portable version of EMS's famous VCS3 synthesiser, and the KS keyboard (an unplayable 30-note touchplate)
was added to make the Synthi AKS. It cost £420.It was quickly adopted by the likes of Brian Eno and Pink Floyd, and has been used by experimental musicians ever since.
The Synthi has a unique patching system that uses a small patchbay grid. Each of the Synthis components appear as a source and destination on the patchbay,
and by placing a pin into that x-y position, you can route the signal from one component to the other. This was a very effective way to make a powerful modular system very compact.
The second synth ever produced by Roland (after the sh1000), it was designed to sit on top of a home organ to provide additional sounds.
To that end, it is based around presets which are selected by a series of brightly coloured paddle-switches,
and sounds very fat and characterful indeed. Basic filter and LFO controls are present, as well as growl and wow effects, which can be linked to aftertouch to give great performance potential.
Korgs first ever electronic piano, the fuzzy, dreamy tones of the LP10 weren't strictly realistic, but with retro-spectacles
on it has a lot of charm. With Piano, Electric piano and Clav settings and a useful shaping EQ, but no velocity sensitivity.
Little known compared to the RS202 and Arp Omnis etc, but in fact this string synth has one of the most lifelike string sounds you will hear from an analogue synth.
Manufactured in Italy by Sisme, it has 49 keys, 3 string sounds - Cello 16 / Viola 8 / Violin 4; controllable by faders.
Its chorus and tremolo are particularly unique, adding a fabulous shimmer to the sound
The USA precurser to the Jennings Univox, produced in Canada for Hammond by the Northern Electric Company, Ontario between 1940 and 1948.
A monophonic, valve driven keyboard instrument with a separate amplifier cabinet, the sound was derived from a single LC oscillator which had a frequency range of one octave.
The signal from the oscillator was then passed through a series of 5 frequency dividers to create a further two octaves.
On the front of the instrument there were a series of large thumb operated buttons for oscillator range (switch-able +/- 3 octaves: 'soprano', 'contralto', 'tenor', 'bass'), vibrato, attack time, 'deep tone', 'full tone', '1st voice', 2nd voice', 'brilliant' and a switch for selecting woodwind, string sound or mute.
Dating from 1951, and a true oddity. The first electronic venture for Tom Jennings who later went on to create Vox amplifiers AC15, AC30 etc.
The Univox was used by the Beatles during their early Cavern days in Liverpool and can be heard on Telstar by the Tornados.
In about 1951/1952 the Univox took off in a big way due to its competitive price and Tom's country wide marketing program.
The first version was the J6, single keyboard model, later followed by the J10 with two rows of Tone & effect tabs.
All models were supplied with metal screw-on clips, to fasten it under the right hand side of a piano.
Later we designed an adjustable chromed stand that enabled the user to do gigs in other locations with out having to screw on fixing brackets each time.
Most customers in those days were either Pub owners or pianists playing Pub gigs.
This particular Univox has a great pedigree as it was loaned to us by Adrian Utley from Portishead.
Introduced in 1981 and manufactured by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation, It typically features a touch plate,
and buttons for major, minor, and diminished chords. This unit (belonging to Neil Davidge of Massive Attack) is a ‘System Two’,
and it has a great synth tone, which sounds ‘cheap’ in all the right ways.
You can mix two different tones, one straight, and one modulated with a basic LFO.
While not sounding much like a plucked string, it does have a pure character all its own, which won it many fans, such as Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno.
This Omnichord unit loaned by Neil Davidge from Massive Attack.
Dating from 1976, the RS202 is 61 note polyphonic, with Strings I, Strings II and Brass
sound sources, and a split keyboard - any sound could by assigned to either section of the keyboard.
The ensemble chorus effect was a key part of the sonic signature, contributing to its classic, fizzing disco string sound.
The RS202 is an all time classic string machine.
A brilliant 60s transistor organ with a built in spring reverb - replicated in The Attic instrument as convolution reverb. The instrument has a vibrato and 5 switchable stops. There is also an extra ‘voxchord’ setting, which splits the lower half of the keyboard into single-key chords, for left hand accompaniment.
It has a thick, smooth sound that can give just the right atmosphere to certain productions.
Philicordas have recently used on records by Adele and others.
Each Attic instrument shares the same effects console. Utilising the premium Kontakt 5 processors, it is designed to offer a wide range of options, from convolution reverbs featuring authentic impulse responses taken from the Synthi AKS and Philicorda spring reverbs, to compression and cabinet modelling.
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools etc.
No extra purchase necessary.
System Requirements: Windows 7 or Windows 8 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended) Mac OS X 10.8 or higher (latest update), Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)