Synthenoxe Part 1.0 – an Elka Synthex impression

March 14, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Wavebox2011 has shared this nice JM Jarre inspired video:

Just a quick impression of the Synthex synthesizer in the project studio. The fun-title “Synthenoxe” is a reminiscence of J.M. Jarre’s early studio recordings like Oxygene and Equinoxe. His magnificent sound has inspired my noodling in this video, too.

All the sounds (except for the drums) have been recorded with the Synthex; including the ocean waves and animals in the intro. :-)

While experimenting around with the Synthex, I started recording some audio tracks to the DAW. And I ended up with well over 50 tracks and this demo-video. :-) This synthesizer is such an inspiring machine!

About the synthesizer:

The Synthex is clearly underrated! Maybe because it is not coming from one of the large synth plants in Japan or the U.S.A., but rather surprisingly from an organ manufacturer, the italian company Elka.
Despite this “lack of heritage” the Synthex has an amazing sound and deserves to be named alongside other classic power-synths such as the Jupiter-8 or the Prophet 5.

Sure, Jean-Michel Jarre based his famous laser harp sound on the Synthex – but it’s by far not limited to that cliché.

I looked for an easy way to sync up the Synthex’s internal sequencer to MIDI Clock. The most straightforward way was to hook up a Korg Electribe (ER-1 mkII) to MIDI and have a percussive instrument do the audio triggering of the Synthex. Simple, quite robust and even “programmable” to a certain degree.

Some Synthexes have no MIDI-interface (like the one in the video). But they all have one of the most intuitive sequencers I’ve come across in a classic synth: 4 independant monophonic sequences, easily and quickly recordable in step- or real-time-mode, syncable to an audio trigger.
And if you’re a preset freak, you can even store your sequences along with your sounds as data beeping to a tape-recorder (or another recording device), thanks to the tape-interface. Old school high-tech. :-)

[ to the youngsters: “tapes”, often used in the form of “cassettes”, is an ancient technology for audio recording, quite popular before digital recording and youtube existed. yes, there was such a time, way way back, right after the dinos and the stone age. believe me, i was there. not with the dinos, but in the tape age. :-) ]

keep on sounding!

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