A rare synth housed at Goldsmiths University, London. Combining two Putney VCS3's to form the VCS4 mega-synth....

The story

This unique prototype synthesiser combines two VCS3 synthesisers alongside a base station. The VCS3 was built by Peter Zinovieff’s Electronic Music Studios EMS- and this particular model at Goldsmith’s University was manufactured in the period of 1969-1970. Notable adopters included The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Delia Derbyshire, Brian Eno, and Pink Floyd. The synth was recorded as part of my masters project to preserve rare sounds and make very expensive instruments accessible to the masses. Sampling this instrument also allows for more possibilities, and by using my new UI switch, you now have access to in-build sequencers and portamento effects.

With thanks to Goldsmiths University, the EMS Studio at Goldsmiths, and Dr Marcus Leadley for his help.


Reviews for EMS VCS4

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Sooo professional library!

    Very much amazed with the quality of the library!! It has such a detailed GUI, not just ADSR but it even has a sequencer where you can build the pattern. If you want a punchy synth you can just create very easily.

    Asuka Amane16 October 2021
  • EMS VCS4 is Instant Vibe

    Go to the ARP setting.. but not for the arp.. The tone is so rich. Hidden and present within the mix in the best way. I have a Juno-6 but it is in need of repair and have not found a sample replacement until now. Thank you Angus!

    Heath West16 March 2022
  • Lewisham Way Turns Gold

    I always think of Goldsmiths in the Autumn. I've actually heard this wonderful machine in real life a friend was studying music, while I was mostly playing football. A beautiful piece of work to make this accessible. Truly inspiring.

    Dan13 October 2021
  • Bite and warmth

    It's big and encompassing. The tone is even, and I really love it when using the arpeggiator; try holding the sustain pedal over it - some yummy saturated yet controlled distortion that doesn't lose control of itself. The closest reminder, for feel and playability, is of my old JUNO 60, which I was a fool to part with. My only snag is the UI, with a few of the knobs having the odd quirk, but that's minor. Like it a lot. Thank you!

    Steve Day13 October 2021
  • Simply but impressive

    Simple synth but sufficient. Very nice rich sound, impressive. Thank you for sharing this beautie.

    Racek13 October 2021
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