Synthi 100


Dublin Core


Synthi 100



This 1:1 scale photograph was taken of the EMS Synthi 100 in 2017, in its current home at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. This instrument was originally part of the Grainger Electronic Music

Studio. The Synthi 100 used new oscillator and filter components and was more stable than its predecessor, the VCS3 MK1. It was driven by 12 VCOs and featured a built-in oscilloscope, two 60 x 60 patchbays, two joystick controllers, dual five-octave velocity-sensitive keyboard controllers and a three-layer, 10,000 step, 256 dual note digital sequencer. This system was mounted in a free-standing console cabinet.

Tristram Cary assisted in the setup of the Synthi 100 in the Grainger Museum in 1973, with Keith Humble and technician Jim Sosnin. When Humble and Sosnin left the University of Melbourne to go to La Trobe University, technician Les Craythorn began his long association with the instrument. Les can be seen in the video made by ABC Television in 1976, displayed later in this exhibition, recreating Percy Grainger’s Free Music with the Synthi 100. Late in the 1980s the instrument went into storage, as people’s attention turned away from analogue to the convenience of digital machines. Craythorn has been centrally involved in restoring the Synthi 100 since 2014, and the instrument is once again actively used in research and performance.




Digital photographic print