Ever since I've been into synthesis, I was fascinated by the odd looks and sounds of EMS instruments.
Some time back I met Constantin through the release of the excellent The Synthi Group VOL.2 compilation. We soon discovered we have lots of things in common music wise, a similar approach to electronic music production, similar tastes in music and the same immoderate passion for EMS instruments.
Constantin is the happy owner of a lovely Synthi A and an AKS. We sometimes play together and each time he brings his machines along to my place, the passion grows stronger. Not only the passion grows stronger, but also the frustration because EMS instruments are so rare and they go at such crazy prices these days.
That frustration made me search for alternatives in the SDIY world, and I found some... But, lacking the necessary competences, time and finances to build an EMS clone, I had to go for another solution.
All of a sudden it all became clear to me, I had all the modules necessary to assemble a hardware emulation at hand, within my Eurorack system. I already had the possibility to patch up my Eurorack system in an EMS like configuration with my FriFri Deluxe patch matrix . I pushed that idea a little further by taking those modules out of that general Eurorack context, to create a self contained, autonomous and independent instrument... this is how the Little Putney was born, my take at a hardware emulation of the EMS VCS3.
Let's start with the cabinet. The design I made was to recall the distinctive VCS3 silhouette, without being an exact replica. So, I'm off to the DIY store to get some wood and stuff to build a cab...
Here we go :
The bottom part :
Results are sonically convincing, even though I'm aware that this synth does not, and never will, sound the same as a genuine EMS synth because the magic of the EMS sound resides in the particular interaction between modules, the quirkyness of their respective responses and the "quality" of the components used for the circuits...for example the "sound" of the VCA's
or the reverb driver circuit !