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By apeSoft

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Official EMS VCS3 emulator

The VCS3 was created in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff's EMS company. The electronics were largely designed by David Cockerell and the machine's distinctive visual appearance was the work of electronic composer Tristram Cary. The VCS3 was more or less the first portable commercially available synthesizer—portable in the sense that the VCS 3 was housed entirely in a small, wooden case.
The VCS3 was quite popular among progressive rock bands and was used on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), King Crimson, The Who, Gong, and Pink Floyd, among many others. Well-known examples of its use are on The Who track "Won't Get Fooled Again" (as an external sound processor, in this case with Pete Townshend running the signal of a Lowrey Organ through the VCS3's filter and low frequency oscillators) on Who's Next. Pink Floyd's "On the Run" (from The Dark Side of the Moon) made use of its oscillators, filter and noise generator, as well as the sequencer. Their song Welcome to the Machine also used the VCS3. The bassy throb at the beginning of the recording formed the foundation of the song, with the other parts being recorded in response. The VCS3 was also a staple at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, and was a regular (and most frightening) sound generator for the Dr Who TV series. Many fo the monsters and atmoshere;s created for the show came directly from the VCS3.


The VCS3 has three oscillators (in reality, the first 2 oscillators are normal oscillators and the 3rd an LFO or Low Frequency Oscillator), a noise generator, two input amplifiers, a ring modulator, a 18dB/octave (pre-1974) or 24dB/octave (after 1974) voltage controlled low pass filter (VCF), a trapezoid envelope generator, joy-stick controller, voltage controlled spring reverb unit and 2 stereo output amplifiers. Unlike most modular synthesizer systems which use cables to link components together, the VCS3 uses a distinctive patch board matrix into which pins are inserted in order to connect its components together.
Keyboards controller

DK1 keyboard controller

Although the VCS3 is often used for generating sound effects due to lack of built-in keyboard, there were external keyboard controllers for melodic play. The DK1 in 1969 was an early velocity sensitive monophonic keyboard for VCS3 with an extra VCO and VCA. Later it was extended for duophonic play, as DK2, in 1972. Also in 1972, Synthi AKS was released, and its digital sequencer with a touch-sensitive flat keyboard, KS sequencer, and its mechanical keyboard version, DKS, were also released.


What's New in Version 1.6.4

+ Ableton Link SDK update
+ Link/Audiobus Stability improved
+ MIDI assignations image bug fixed
+ MIDI Toggles bugs fixed
+ Inter-App Audio play MIDI Fixed
+ New setting for Switches follow the Natural Touch VS Toggle
+ Improved the Built-in Presets (Thanks to lala)

iPad Screenshots

iPad Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 2
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iPad Screenshot 5

Customer Reviews

Still incredible!

Still my main go to synth app for original sound creation. With iVCS3 and Moog Music's Model 15 Modular Synth, the world is at my fingertips!

The developer is very responsive and willing to do whatever he can to resolve my crashing on startup that started two updates back. I ended up deleting iVCS3, backed up my iPad Air 1G and then did a hard reset removing everything (manually sync'd my photos off too) from my iPad. Then I restored the backup and reloaded iVCS3 from the App Store and it's finally working again (it's playing in the background while I write this)! :-) I couldn't be happier! :-)

Won't Get Fooled Again

I purchased this app a few weeks ago along with a set of presets. Long story short. I'm noodling with this thing and discover that one of the presets is a dead ringer for the synth. solo right out of the who song in the title above. I defy anyone to to load this preset and not start adding Keith Moon's drum fill while you mess with the joystick. Killer. I'm also digging the old school look of this thing.

...And Now For Something Completely Different

No problem with the update here (Air 2).

Many make the claim that their synth app is different from the rest, but in this case, it is most assuredly true! This thing is raunchy! I mean that in a good way... It feels and sounds like a vintage hardware synth and makes no apology for the kind of chaos that entails. If you want wild, "out there" sounds, this is the synth app for you.

View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Category: Music
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.6.4
  • Size: 44.9 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

Customer Ratings

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