Elka Synthex Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer

The instrument

Elka brought out the Synthex, which today is considered one of the best analogue synthesizers, after a delay of several years and at the worst possible time. In 1983, Yamaha's digital DX 7 came onto the market and the midi era dawned. The Synthex was considered technically obsolete. Production was discontinued after a short time. Musicians such as Keith Emerson, Neil Carter (Gary Moore Band), Stevie Wonder (Characters Album ) and Jean Michel Jarre nevertheless used the analogue instrument live and in the studio.


The Synthex is an analog 8 voice synthesizer. Later versions implemented basic MIDI functions. It has 30 knobs, 6 sliders, 80 switches and a joystick. Sounds with 2 oscillators per note, separate envelope generators, chorus and even a sequencer. The use of stable DCO's (digitally controlled analog oscillators) and oscillator cross modulation of Pulse Width and a multimode filter made it unique in its time. There is a joystick that replaces traditional pitch/mod wheels and allows for greater variable real-time control over the two LFOs, oscillator and filter modulation. The 6 sliders beside the joystick assign what (LFO, osc and filter) goes to the joystick. Voices can also be layered or split across the keyboard. Other great features include the onboard digital Ring-Modulator, Chorus effect and Dual or Layer modes available. And also a four-track sequencer rounds out this synths host of features. Two of its tracks can output MIDI data. (Source: synth-db)