Last Updated on September 21, 2017 by Andrew Culture
Synthesizers aren’t cheap. This is hardly news, we know. If you’re reading this website there’s a very good chance that you’ve spent a fair amount of your hard-earned cash on Synthesizers. Perhaps you’ve spent that cash when you didn’t really have enough money to justify it. We don’t judge; we’ve all been there.
Sometimes very cost-effective Synthesizers disrupt the market and put synth ownership within reach of even the most modest budget. I’m thinking of brands like Arturia and Bastl. We love simple synths because they get us sonically from point A to point B with the minimum of distractions.
But we also love complex synths. Synthesizers that have infinite possibilities. Complex devices that are full of sonic promise, like the MatrixBrute. For those of us who like to get really involved there is the holy grail of modular synths. If you have a generous amount of gear buying power then you can probably treat yourself to the ultimate no expense spared mega-synth, the Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer.
But why only ‘probably’? Because the Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer is made in small batches. If you can afford the €19,900 price tag then you need to get your order in quick, only 25 are being built. If you insist on all your synths being black, and hey, we dig that, then you’ll need to dig a bit deeper and shell out €20,900.
Why are people so excited about this uber-expensive beast? Let’s have a look at the specification:
Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer – specification
- Eight-voice polyphonic, true analog synthesizer with digital control and preset memories
- Discrete sound generation circuitry (no integrated oscillator / filter circuits on one single chip)
- Separate audio outputs for each voice, plus summing outputs and headphone out
- 1,028 single sound presets
- 256 multi sound presets
- 61 keys, semi-weighted, with velocity and aftertouch
- Sophisticated glide/portamento capabilities
- Several realtime modifiers fully programmable per preset (modwheel, stick controller, keyboard-aftertouch, four foot switches, four expression pedals)
- Complete MIDI implementation, MIDI via USB port and DIN sockets
- All sound programming functions with dedicated front panel controls and switches
precise information on parameter names and current values via large LC-display
- Multi-color LEDs
- Control panel with adjustable angle
- Internal universal power supply
- Flightcase included
Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer – in their own words
Rather than trying and explain ourselves why the Eightvoice is built in such small batches we’ll defer to the Schmidt-Synthesizer Product Manager Axel Fischer,
“Last year we assumed that the second batch would also be the last. The Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer’s sound engine electronics are mainly of ‘old school’ stock, with through-hole mounting technology, and pricing for those components have been rising steadily for years. Yet since the second batch of 25 units — ultimately, we ordered some extra components, so there were actually 27 — sold out within 14 months, those component prices are acceptable. So since the Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer still enjoys serious support, we’re happy to announce that additional units of this wonderful instrument will be available in 2018. At the moment, we’re still finishing fulfilling orders for the second batch, but orders for the third batch can be placed as of now.”
What does the Schmidt Eightvoice Analog Synthesizer actually sound like?