VCS 3, Analog Synth from EMS.

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sw80 03/03/2013

EMS VCS 3 : sw80's user review

« Create some weird sounds »

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The VCS 3 is an analog synth that comes in a wooden case. This synth has been around for a very long time and I use to use it a lot when I was looking for older analog sounds to add to my music. There are 3 VCO subtractive synth and FM analog synths in the VCS3. There is only one filter and that is a low pass filter. When you purchase this synth you will have to take into consideration that there is no keyboard that comes with it. You will need to purchase another keyboard controller.


This synth has been a joy to work with and has held up very well for me. I had one from 2002 until 2008 after purchasing one used. They were originally created back in the late 60’s but can still be found around studios and production labs today because of their ability to create very spacey synths and sounds. Some of the sounds end up a little out of tune because of the oscillators (sometimes) get out of tune on their own.


Setting this synth up does not take much effort because it is basically all one unit. I would treat it with care though because if it does break or something happens to it you could have a hard time finding a part to fix it being that it is over 50 years old.


If you are into weird sounds and analog synths, I recommend shopping around to get your hands on one of these synths. I used it with a mini keyboard that only had 29 keys but that was all that I needed at the time. The sounds from this synth are used by many current musicians like The Who and others. I am also able to get some really good sound effects on this synth just by playing around. I have not seen a manual for this synth and I wouldn’t expect to see one being that it is so old.