Behringer has shared a preview of their upcoming unofficial copy of the classic Electronic Music Studios VCS 3 from 1969.

Behringer originally announced plans to build a version of the Synthi VCS 3 in 2017. Last year, the company shared a sneak preview of the VCS 3. The images shared today are of the final pre-production model, which will go to beta users for testing. They tagged their images as #hardvaporware, but say that they are ‘getting close’.

“This synth took a particularly long time, as the mechanical construction of the matrix, plus the recreation of analog circuitry was very complex and needed several iterations,” they note. “Our UK analog expert John Price, spent over two years to meticulously recreate the sound of the original unit, while also adding many additional functions as you can see from the front panel.”

The original VCS3 was one of the first all-in-one portable synth designs, and has been used notably used by artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Jean-Michel Jarre. It’s a three VCO semi-modular synth with an iconic design, featuring a joystick controller and patch matrix.

The original EMS Synthi VCS3 is still in production, but availability is limited and used prices are now in the 5 digits.

Features (Preliminary):

  • Analog synthesizer with triple VCO design
  • Reproduction of original “VCS3” circuitry
  • Analog signal path with VCO, VCF and VCA
  • VCOs featuring multi-turn knobs for precise frequency control
  • Variable oscillator shapes with variable pulse widths
  • 24 dB low pass filter with resonance
  • 16 x 16 pin patch bay serves as signal routing matrix by inserting pins into holes
  • Ring modulator adds insane spice and edge to your sounds
  • Dedicated and fully analog triangle/square wave LFO
  • Noise generator dramatically expands waveform generation
  • Two-axis joystick serves as performance controller
  • 42 controls give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
  • External audio inputs for processing external sound sources
  • MIDI implementation with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection
  • 3-Year Warranty Program