Synthecs

This is an attempt to imitate an analog synthesizer

(483 Votes)
ZooTooK
1.1 (Updated 15 years ago)
133.4kB
November 21, 2003
Reaktor 5 or lower

DESCRIPTION

This is an attempt to imitate the polyphonic synthesizer Synthex from the Italian company Elka. It is similar to the Prophet 5 and Oberheim’s OB-Xa but has got some unique features making it worthwhile to remake, I believe. Due to several factors it never sold very well so it is not a very well known synth today. Even if you never hear of it I’m sure you’ve heard the sound it makes – the Elka Synthex is the synthesizer behind Jean-Michel Jarre’s famous laser harp from his Rendez-vous album!

When I build the Syntecs I used the ensemble Super Prophet by C. Heusser as a starting point and added velocity controllers from Uwe G. Hoenig’s Nanowave. In addition to the original design I’v put velocity control the filter, amplitude and the glide. From the original I left out the sequencer and turned the mono/stereo switch into a knob. Apart from that I’v tried to be as true to the design of the Synthex as I could. Also in an effort to be as true as possible is the small amount of random controlling the oscillator pitch (also from Super Prophet). This gives the ensemble a slight "phat" sound especially in combination with the chorus. But as I have never seen or used the real thing I have no idea how close the Synthecs sounds to the original. If you have any suggestions on how to make this imitation more close to the real thing, please tell me.

Read more about the Synthex here:

www.hollowsun.com/donations/synthex
www.sospubs.co.uk/sos/dec99/articles/elka.htm
www.oldschool-sound.com/index.php?rub=3 (user manual)
www.vintagesynth.org/elka/elkasyn.shtml
www.sonicstate.com/synth/synthex.cfm
www.analogue.org/mr/synthex

Ensemble made on PC, Windows XP.


I would like to highlight the following features:
- The pulse width can be modulated by the audio signal in addition to the more common LFO modulation.
- The ring modulation is "digital" meaning it concists of a XOR function instead of the "analog" multiplication.
- The glide function is nice to use in combination with sync.
- The LFO controlled by the "joystick" has a variable speed set by the "initial" and "delta" controllers. Changing the LFO speed with the joystick (the mod wheel in my case)can give some sounds some extra "life".

------ IMPORTANT -------

When you try the snapshots, remember to change the snapshots of the LOWER (bottom) instrument. This will also control the UPPER instrument. Think of the UPPER as the slave of the LOWER instrument, only to be used when you want to have a layered or split sound.

This ensemble doesn't use the Analog Legacy technology.

COMMENTS  (51)

FG
1 year ago
Thank you for this job. I was looking for this sound (heard in "Rendez-vous", JM Jarre)
Leonardo Fiorani
2 years ago
Hi. i really need help!! I can't find the INIT patch...i need it to create laser harp sound...where is it???
Leonardo Hofstadter
2 years ago
12 years have passed... Still my preferred synth in Reaktor... Thanks a lot, ZooTooK!
Renaud Schweitzer
7 years ago
Great sound ! Thanks a lot :)
Neil Baxter
8 years ago
I like this a lot. It's great for leads.
Andy Pink
9 years ago
Totally inspiring Thanks
francois elie
9 years ago
huge thanks for sharing all your gems with us ...amzing gui and wonderful sound !
Molec
9 years ago
nice
Phillip Orlando Daniels
10 years ago
This has a 'personality'! Fantastic work!
Gogu Iulian
10 years ago
Excellent job. Thanks
Richard Bull
10 years ago
fantastic presets. Real character...thanks :)
ZooTooK
11 years ago
I'm on PC my self so i can't test. When you try the snapshots, remember to change the snapshots of the LOWER (bottom) instrument. This will also control the UPPER instrument. Think of the UPPER as the slave of the LOWER instrument, only to be used when you want to have a layered or split sound.
Andrew Capon
11 years ago
Jo Oheim (2003-11-23 16:54:23): I'm having the same sweepy sound covering each and every preset. Can't seem to get rid of it... I'm on a Mac (OS 9.2.2, G4 500 DP, MotU 828) - anybody else exp. this? Yep I get it as well on a MacPro, probably some Mac issue!
Stephen Gallagher
11 years ago
This is what I have been waiting for. Probably the best sounding vintage soft synth I have ever used/heard. THANKYOU!!!!!!!!!
Eric Ahrens
11 years ago
Absolutely nice and CPU friendly as well. You could be a little less generous with the screen space.
ari takahashi
12 years ago
It made me remember that I used to have a real Synthex, back in the early 80's... It was so big and heavy, it was a real pain to move around... Back to the present: this emulation sounds fantastic! I miss the white rectangular buttons with the red led inside (the real thing had plenty of these)... but visual nostalgies apart, this ensemble is truly remarkable. The sound is PHAT!
ZooTooK
12 years ago
Adam & Paul, on the lead solo/melody on R-V 3 I hear the attack envelope modulated by velocity. This is not achievable by the Synthex.... The video shows some sounds from R-V 2 I believe. The album cover refere to Synthex on R'V 2 but not on R-V 3... The octave intro on R-V 3 is covering 5 octaves so it's likely on the harp, but played on Synthex keyboard...
Brother Rafen
12 years ago
To answer your question: Yes. Jean Michel Jarre SWORE by his ELKA Synthex, and it WAS the synth responsible for the famous "Laser Harp" sound. You can even see some proof here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qMQWrabgrp8 As for the Synthecs, i would say Mr. Took did an excellent job in emulating this Synthesizer. You see, the ELKA Synthex was sort of a hybrid between Analog and Digital. Like the Juno, the Synthex used Digitally Controlled Oscillators (DCOs) to produce its sound. Thus, you need not worry about any involuntary pitch drifting with the real thing, but even so; it still sounds phatter than any other synth in my opinion. Everybody Clap for ZooTook!!!
ZooTooK
12 years ago
Paul First, which JMJ album/song are you refering to? On Rendez-Vous 3, I think the main melody is not sent though a phaser. In addition I don't think it's the Syntecs making that sound either... Send me a PM in the forum....
Paul Reilly
12 years ago
Really enjoying this synth, thanks for the hard work put into it. :) One enevitable question though, what is the closest you can get to the JMJ laser harp sound, does he use a phaser over his Synthex? Ciao
ZooTooK
12 years ago
Paolo, could you describe the differencies? If you like, give me PM in the Reaktor Forum.
Paolo Tramannoni
12 years ago
Synthecs is simply the most stunning recreation of an analog synth. Presets are fantastic to start from, revealing an uncommon programming skill and musical taste. The only problem is that trying to recreate the same patches on a true Elka Synthex A does not produce the same results. These instruments also seem to sound different. But who cares, when you get such a great sounding, modern-with-a'vintage-flavour, new instrument? Paolo
Christopher Soulos
13 years ago
Sorry, can't see what all the fuss is about...
Steve Ruark
13 years ago
Wonderful sound.
Harold Suiter
13 years ago
I can't even believe this. Take warning, I'm not a rich, esoteric vintage synth user but THIS IS THE BEST SOUNDING SYNTH IVE EVER HEARD!!!! anywhere!!
Christian Steinmüller
13 years ago
great stuff! big thanks
Nick Percival
13 years ago
Another winner...Thanks for sharing your work
michael huckaby
13 years ago
oh yeah ! just got into this one, and find it really useful with lots of analog sounds.
Jamie Maloney
14 years ago
What the hell is going on with this website? Sorry about that, apparently, if you reload the page, it keeps reposting the comment!
Jamie Maloney
14 years ago
This is gorgeous! Always love it when someone comes out with a synth that is lean and lush..... this certainly fills the bill!
photonal
14 years ago
great synth + sounds, thanks!
Ashley Marians
14 years ago
another synth from my teenage wish-list.
Sinisa Jagarinec
14 years ago
nice synth. i like the analoguesque charakter, even if it lacks a little of bass for me.
Jens Becker
14 years ago
Very good and fat sounding synth. Sounds analog-retro, I voted a 9 . Only one wish: it would be better for fast editing if no scrolling would be needed (minimize screen button with all elements in the smaller screen then), that would be much more inspiring.
Charles Capsis IV
15 years ago
although the panel is a bit spread out, this synth is great for a very thick sound.
Joe Dufresne
15 years ago
This is the type of instrument I've been trying to build with Reaktor for a long time. The dual layer ensemble allows for some unbelievable 2-patch textures. Great stuff! Well Done! Easily in my Top 5 Reaktor instruments. Big fat analog dreams! Thank you for sharing!
Jesse Cooper
16 years ago
I'm blown away by the sound-to-cpu ratio with this synth. Just amazing, considering there are many synths that eat 3 times as much and sound cheaper. My only reservation is the panel size. It's way too big for my screen. I guess I'll have to make a smaller version...
DAVID FLOWER
16 years ago
Excellent quality synth, great preset sounds
Rob Martin
16 years ago
Wow - great sound! Thanks -- nice work.
Matt Kenny
16 years ago
This has got a lovely sound - really great pads with an vintage feel throughout
Christian Enders
16 years ago
FANTASTIC !! My first downloaded Synth from REA LIB. Really Great!!
健司 川元
16 years ago
Thank you! from Japan
Colin-Patrick Charles
17 years ago
Although I dig Reaktor for the thousands of knobs and buttons it lets us put in our instruments, I still love most these simpler synths. Synthecs is right up there on my list next to Andy Robins' ARP Odyssey Mk III. Sweet
Caesar Garcia
17 years ago
Outsatnding Synth and Interface. Keep up the good work!
Jason Jochems
17 years ago
Very very good inspiring instrument. I voted a 9. I would have put a ten but the panel is huge. That would be my only complaint. Sound is great.
Jo Oheim
17 years ago
Thanks for the hint, Eric! Should've read the whole description... Nice one, ZooTooK - thanks!
patrick keller
17 years ago
One of the best, if not *the* best sounding vintage polysynth emulator for Reaktor that I've yet to come across (and I've downloaded my fair share of these in the past year). Very playable and musical, with a great set of snapshots to get you started. An essential download for those looking to add a few more vintage analogue flavors to their pluggin arsenal. Thanks ZooTook!
Eric Wistrand
17 years ago
The BOTTOM instrument is the master for snap changes,Jo. A nice sounding synth here,ZooTook.Thanks!
Jo Oheim
17 years ago
I'm having the same sweepy sound covering each and every preset. Can't seem to get rid of it... I'm on a Mac (OS 9.2.2, G4 500 DP, MotU 828) - anybody else exp. this?
Artur Nowak
17 years ago
The more I play with it, the more I like it. Some of the sounds are really classics, vintage style. Well done!
pierre-andre soulier
17 years ago
Great!!!
now