Synthi VCS3 (mk1) Poly
Same spec as for the Synthi AKS poly Midi-CV unit but built into
Afrormosia hardwood case and designed specially for the VCS3 (mk1)
'Putney' + DK1/2 keyboard
controller in mind.
It is based around Marc Bareille’s fantastic multi-channel PiC microcontroller based Midi-CV converter called the ‘MCV876’.
See details of Marc’s unit at his website:-
MCV876 Midi to CV
The MVC876 comes in 3 or 4 channel hardware versions and a clever intelligent ‘midi–learn’ feature (see Marc’s website) .
The Synthi VCS3 (mk1) Poly Midi-CV uses the 3 channel unit.
The units come with the latest firmware programmed into the onboard microcontroller (Pic182320). The units supports both mono and polyphonic play modes. Marc has created a simple windows software interface that allows the Midi-CV (either 3 or 4 channel versions) to be configured in different ways to offer different functionalities, all via midi sysex.
Control voltages CV1-CV3 is relevant for the Poly Mid-CV, CV1-CV4 is available for the 4 channel Quad Midi-CV (see elsewhere).Mono
* CV1-Gate1 assigned to NoteOn/Off messages
* CV2, CV3,CV4** are assignable to controllers, velocity or PitchBend..
* Gates 2,3,4 are assignable to controllers.
* One channel recognition
* CV1/Gate1 and CV2/Gate2 are on channel N - CV1 assignable to MIDI notes
* CV3/Gate3 and CV4**/Gate4 are on channel N+1 - CV4** assignable to MIDI notes
* CV1 to CV4** and Gate1 to 4 are respecxtively on channels N to N+4
* CVs or gates can be assigned to MIDI notes or controllers independantly.
* CV1 +Gate1 and CV2+Gate2 are assigned to NoteOn/Off messages
* CV3 and CV4** are assignable to controllers, velocity or PitchBend..
* CV1 to CV4 and Gate1 to 4 are assigned to NoteOn/Off message
** Quad Midi-CV units only.
The unit has Envelope Shaper (ES) trigger assignable to either DK1/2 trigger or any of the 4 gates (gate1-gate4) via a front panel rotary switch. How many of the 4 gates are available depends on the mode used. Eg in Poly2 mode, only 2 gates are available (gate1 and gate2). In poly4 mode or Controller mode all 4 gates are available to trigger the ES. Gates 5 and gate 6 outputs are via 6.35mm jack sockets and offer Midi start/Stop and Midi clock signals for interfacing/synchronizing with other external midi devices.
There are 3 front panel level pots for CV1-CV3. Also there are 3 toggle switches that can flip the scaling between 0.32V/Oct (standard synthi Oscillator scaling) or 1V/Oct when pots are set to max level (10). The 1V/Oct option is useful if a CV channel is being used as a modulation source rather than give pitch control of a synthi Oscillator.
Lower toggle switches allow independent switching of DK1/2 control
control of each of the 2 independent CV input channels of the VCS3
matrix (Input Ch1and Input Ch2).
A third CV (CV3) is made availabe via a special cable with EMS patchpin on the end, which can be inserted in any column of the matrix. These switches allow many creative new ways of controlling the VCS3(mk1) through a mixture of DK1/2 and/or Midi control.
As an example, one can use the internal oscillator available on the DK1/2 via Input Ch1 to generate notes and at the same time midi generated pitch sequences via CV2 and CV3 controlling Osc1/Osc2 in Poly2 mode and gate controlled either via the DK1/2 or midi gates 1-4. There is also the option to invert CV3 via another toggle switch..again adding to the creative possibilities.
The unit connects to the VCS3(mk1) and DK1/2 by two 8 way cables
male/female Jones plugs on each end. The unit derives a small amount
its power from VCS3 (mk1) (just a few milliamps for the voltage
inverter and transistor buffering of midi gates) with the main power
coming from the use of an external 12v ac/dc adapter.
This is important because the VCS3(mk1) has a rather weak internal
and so whilst it could very likely power the poly midi unit without
problem (it only draws about 100ma max) its a better solution to use
For more details, please download the user guide pdf (link in
the left hand menu).