Year of manufacture1969
Production period26(1969 – 94)
Oscillators3(2 VCO + 1 Sub)
Waveforms4+2(Sine, Saw, Triangle, Variable Pulse + PWM + Noise)
Modulation1(VCO 3 = 1 LFO)
Filters11 Low-pass -12/-18dB/octave
Features4(Ringmodulation, Spring Reverb, Joystick, Semi-Modular)
The british built EMS VCS-3 was originally made in 1969 by Electronic Music Studios. It is a monophonic, modular type synthesizer, housed in a small, distinctive, angled wooden case. It features three oscillators and a matrix-based patch bay grid, in which the synth components are laid out, and signal routing is accomplished by placing small pins into the corresponding slots. The VCS-3 is best used for true analog sounds and generating bubbly or eerie Sci-Fi sound effects, as in the “Dr. Who”-series. The most prominent users were artists and bands like Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno or Jean-Michel Jarre. It can be best heard on the 1973 Pink Floyd Song “On the Run”, which was made almost entirely using several instances of the VCS-3.