Cherry Audio has announced the release of a software synthesizer based upon the Synthex, a rare synth from Italian music instrument manufacturer Elka.

Elka-X replicates the original’s exceptional character and luxury features without compromising sound or functionality. It expands its features to deliver the authentic Synthex experience at a price anyone can afford.

The Synthex included a combination of uncommon and forward-looking features that made it stand out from other contemporary synthesizers, including highly stable digitally-controlled analog oscillators and a flexible four-pole multimode filter. Unlike most other popular synths that utilized CEM3320 filter chips in a lowpass-only configuration, the Synthex filter featured a 24 dB/oct lowpass mode, 6 and 12 dB/oct bandpass modes, and a 12 dB/oct highpass mode. Along with a powerful onboard analog chorus effect, this gave the Synthex a distinct and powerful tonality. It was multitimbral, with the ability to play two different patches simultaneously, in either split or layer mode. It even included an innovative four-track monophonic step-sequencer with real-time recording and transposition.

By the mid-80s, ELKA made the last Synthex for Stevie Wonder, who used it for the distinctive bass tone on his single “Skeletons” from the 1987 album Characters. Other notable users of the Synthex were Geoff Downes of the supergroup Asia, Keith Emerson, Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Peter Howell of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Jean-Michel Jarre, who used it extensively on Rendezvous and for his famed “laser harp” sound.

Available for Windows and Mac (VST/VST3, AU, AAX and standalone), the Elka-X is on sale for the intro price of $39 USD until September 18th, 2022 (MSRP $59 USD).

The offer is available at distributors Plugin Boutique and ADSR Sounds, and from the Cherry Audio store.