first patch with the VCS3

Ok, the last VCS3 video for now, and not in any way @Sinapsya’s fault, just my self indulgence.

Remember, iVCS3 is on the app store if you can’t afford a real version! It’s a bit more manageable too.

EMS VCS3 with Cricklewood DK 1 keyboard

Yep, even more VCS3 greatness, again following on from @Sinapsya tweetage yesterday.

EMS VCS3 with ARP Sequencer 1601.

Only a short one this time, but some more VCS3 goodness following on from @Sinapsya tweetage yesterday.

VCS3 Putney Sonata #1 by Stomachlining

Given that iVCS3 has been with us for only a short while I thought I’d post some of the videos that @Sinapsya was tweeting yesterday. A good start to the weekend I think.

IVCS3 Lemurized teaser


Video description:

“Testing out the “performance page” of upcoming Lemur template for control, modulation and randomization of iVCS3.”

iVCS3 on the app store:

Lemur on the app store:

iVCS 3 for iPad a Demo and Tour Around This Amazing App

A Tour and Demo of this amazing simulation of the classic synth from EMS, the VCS 3.

iVCS3, the Official EMS VCS3 emulator arrives at long last!

Here it is, we’ve waited a long time for this and all thought it was vapourware, but it isn’t. Here’s all the details …

The VCS3 was created in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff’s EMS company. The electronics were largely designed by David Cockerell and the machine’s distinctive visual appearance was the work of electronic composer Tristram Cary. The VCS3 was more or less the first portable commercially available synthesizer—portable in the sense that the VCS 3 was housed entirely in a small, wooden case.

The VCS3 was quite popular among progressive rock bands and was used on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), King Crimson, The Who, Gong, and Pink Floyd, among many others. Well-known examples of its use are on The Who track “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (as an external sound processor, in this case with Pete Townshend running the signal of a Lowrey Organ through the VCS3’s filter and low frequency oscillators) on Who’s Next. Pink Floyd’s “On the Run” (from The Dark Side of the Moon) made use of its oscillators, filter and noise generator, as well as the sequencer. Their song Welcome to the Machine also used the VCS3. The bassy throb at the beginning of the recording formed the foundation of the song, with the other parts being recorded in response. The VCS3 was also a staple at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, and was a regular (and most frightening) sound generator for the Dr Who TV series. Many fo the monsters and atmoshere;s created for the show came directly from the VCS3.


The VCS3 has three oscillators (in reality, the first 2 oscillators are normal oscillators and the 3rd an LFO or Low Frequency Oscillator), a noise generator, two input amplifiers, a ring modulator, a 18dB/octave (pre-1974) or 24dB/octave (after 1974) voltage controlled low pass filter (VCF), a trapezoid envelope generator, joy-stick controller, voltage controlled spring reverb unit and 2 stereo output amplifiers. Unlike most modular synthesizer systems which use cables to link components together, the VCS3 uses a distinctive patch board matrix into which pins are inserted in order to connect its components together.
Keyboards controller

DK1 keyboard controller

Although the VCS3 is often used for generating sound effects due to lack of built-in keyboard, there were external keyboard controllers for melodic play. The DK1 in 1969 was an early velocity sensitive monophonic keyboard for VCS3 with an extra VCO and VCA. Later it was extended for duophonic play, as DK2, in 1972. Also in 1972, Synthi AKS was released, and its digital sequencer with a touch-sensitive flat keyboard, KS sequencer, and its mechanical keyboard version, DKS, were also released.

iVCS3 is priced at $14.99.

Get your next iPad on the Apple Store.

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