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Synclavier II Area
guides and information
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Technical Information Index
MegaMusic Sound Library
Sound Libraries for sale
New libs from TDTC
What machine should I buy? |
quick guide to help you choose
Important Notice to buyers |
to spot a genuine 9600 Synclavier
From Michael Whelan
long term owner of the Synclavier
04 : Hard Drives:
50 pin SCSI Hard Drives with full SCSI command
set (as required by the Synclavier system) are no longer manufactured. We can
provide a 64 pin replacement 'Data Recording Standard' device with Synclavier
compatible firmware installed. This just requires the addition of a 50 pin conversion
kit to replace most existing Synclavier drives. If you have removable drives this
will require us supplying a special replacement removable cannister. This only
applies to drives fitting to the Synclavier or Direct-to-Disk SCSI busses, Mac
SCSI busses can use any SCSI drive.
03: Poly RAM:
NEW PRICE REDUCTION IN MegaRAM. Call us now for new low low prices for MegaRAM.
Each MegaRAM card gives up to 10
minutes of dedicated sample time. Buy now while the price and the dollar
rate are low. Call now or e-mail
us for latest price. Especially useful if you are contemplating purchasing the
new Synclavier MegaMusic library.
03: Poly RAM:
As users will already know, we use Military spec. RAM for sampling for many reasons.
This does make the cards seem expensive when compared to the Mac and PC world.
However it does give us greater reliability and capabilities not found in standard
RAM. Due to the threat of war (at the time of writing) military RAM prices have
surprisingly fallen significantly. Contact us now for an up to date quote, you
may be surprised that at last you can go for that extra memory you longed for.
02: Optical Drives:
The 'Synclavier Special' M.O. drives from
Sony are now available. With 5.2Gb storage capacity, four times the speed of the
older M.O. drives, massive RAM caches, verification while writing, and auto cleaning
laser and lens these drives are the next generation device for your libraries.
They read all previous formats BUT do not write to platters below 2.6Gb in capacity.
Also available are special
metal enclosures with front mounting power switch (essential in our
eyes) and an ultra quiet high power cooling fan. These drives are alreasy seeing
active service to user's delights.
02: Optical Drives:
From June 1st, the T5 and T6 Magneto Optical devices
were discontinued. The manufacturer has decided to pull out of the
M.O. market. We are currently in discussions with Sony to supply an M.O. drive
specifically for the Synclavier system which can read all previous platter formats.
02: DAT backup drives:
The DDS backup drives we used have been discontinued. The new
higher capacity replacement DDS model is compatible with the older
model but is higher priced. Prices vary day to day with foreign currency exchange
variations, call if you need an up to date price.
01: Optical Drives:
From June 1st, Magneto Optical devices went
up in price a whopping £220. Users with the PCI upgrade can now choose the
new T6 Optical Device which offers storage of 5.2Gb per platter. (You will need
a SCSI interface in your Mac). The drive can read all previous platter formats.
01: Optical Devices:
There has been discovered a limit in the maximum optical
storage device. This equates to between 8.5 and 9Gb. So if you have
a 30Gb hard drive and you format it as a Synclavier Optical Device you will find
it ignores the remaining disk space.(but takes the full 30Gb time to format)
01: Hard Drives:
IMPORTANT: Seagate Technology have stopped
manufacturing 50 pin hard drives suitable for use in the Synclavier
audio system. This is a problem for all users of removable hard drive canisters.
SES has purchased the last of the devices available. But they are going fast!!!
There are not many left and there will be no more after these are sold. These
devices have special firmware to run in all applications with the Synclavier audio
system with no modifications required. They even come pre-formatted to the Synclavier
audio system specification. These drives are built to a much higher specification
than standard SCSI drives and contain the full SCSI command set and parity recognition
firmware. These drives are particularly suitable for users who never power down
their systems as the mtbf is extremely high (although we do recommend 'sleeping'
April 01: Back Up Drives: We are currently running
tests on reliability and speed of using a single M.O
drive to back up projects in place of the existing DATA DAT drives
in the Direct-to-Disk system. We will keep you updated on our results.
01: Back Up Drives: Wang DAT drives have not been manufactured for many
years, and the HP equivalent was phased out last year. At SES we have a DDS
DAT back-up solution using the latest technology DAT back-up drives.
Faster and more reliable. We can help you make the latest technology compatible
with your old archived projects.
01: Optical Drives:
M.O. drives are recommended to all users who are still using the old
style 'big blue' optical drives as these drives can no longer be supported.
We can transfer your sound lib data to the new format.
back to top
Button Panel Summary Document.
Written by Synclavier owner Fabian Draeger, entitled 'SPEED-O-MANUAL' this is
a quick reference to the functions (including
hidden ones) of the VPK keyboard buttons.
Fabian explains that he wrote this for personal use after getting bored with repeatedly
referring to the mauals. It is in acrobat reader format and is 3 pages, worth
downloading and printing out. Download
keys on my VP Keyboard make a "brushing"
sound or notes are "sticking". What happened?
1. The flags at the back of the 'whammers' are rubbing against the sensors
or the back plane. The fix for this is NOT to trim the flags but to adjust the
support that the keys are fixed to so that the flags are central to the sensors
and not touching the back plane.
2. If only one is touching it either has
a broken pivot and is therefore at an angle (call SES for a replacement) or was
previously replaced and always rubbed, this is normally a flag glued slightly
too far back (very rare but I have seen it) in this case, peel the flag off the
whammer and re-adhere correctly.
3. Sticking keys can also be cured by adjusting
the whammer mount and the A-Frame. A knock to the keyboard in transport can shift
the whole whammer mount left or right normally causing the left or right key to
stick. If a key has distorted due to humidity, the whole keyboard has probably
suffered as it is a wooden construction, we can only adjust as best we can in
red buttons on my keyboard (both VPK and ORK
Caused by foreign substance
(most popular being soft fizzy drinks or beer) or by years of sweat from hard
toil. These buttons are military spec. so last for a long time. Do not panic,
remove the metal front plate and use sparing amounts of switch cleaner. Exercise
button, wipe off surplus and replace metal fascia. Better still, call SES to clean
all 152 buttons.
knob drifts or prefers the right to the left.
Not a sexual deviancy, but a simple problem that occurs with age. The potentiometer
has to be centrally aligned and it's value is read by the computer at start up.
If the pot is not centre there is more value on one side of the 'central' than
the other. If you notice fast increments and slow decrements then call SES to
have your knob calibrated. If your knob drifts - to test press the SPEED button
and it should not drift from its present setting ever (default is 1) without you
turning the knob - it is either very off-centred and needs aligning or it is worn
and needs replacing.
keys on my ORK (old
style) keyboard are 'bouncing'
or missing notes.
This is caused by the wire contact at the rear of the key
on the original keyboard either corroding, or the grease applied hardening. Either
way, we can dismantle the keyboard and resurface the contacts and regrease them
ready for another 20 years of faithful operation.
to be added soon.....
back to top
Latest News for what's available and what is coming in
Software Releases. Click here
for documentation and downloads
06 . Cameron
Jones has released the OS/X Release Synclavier software. This
is available for download direct from Cameron at www.synclavier.com.
04. Cameron Jones is currently
writing the OS/X Release Synclavier software .The current PCI software (Release
5.2 see below) will NOT work with OS/X as the PCI card is not initialised at start
03. Cameron Jones is currently
with Apple studying OS/X for future releases of software porting.The Release 5.1
PCI software will NOT work with OS/X as the PCI card is not initialised at start
TOP SOFTWARE TIP
the new release (5.0 and above) software you no longer need to call your timbre
patch .newdata files by this single name.
This means you can organise your patches by NAME!
(can you believe we never thought of that before now???)
how: Open Interchange 2.5 and 'make a new subcat' (command-m). Size
it to be big enough to contain all your patch files - estimate about 500k per
.newdata file. Now copy (by dragging) any .newdata files you have on your drive
into this folder ready to rename it. With the RTP running and the 'A Page' showing
in the background (you may like to resize the RTP to Mid size), every .newdata
you double click on in Interchange 2.5 will immediately appear in the A-Page.
Now you can see what is contained in the .newdata file think of a unique name
for it and select 'rename' (command-r) and type in a new descriptive name for
it. You now have all your timbre patches in one subcat with descriptive names
and you can rapidly click on each one and they are active in the A-Page ready
I keep this subcat open on it's own in interchange 2.5 alongside
my RTP window for instant access
Demas has released Release
5.2 software. Much more robust (coping with Mac O/S and PCI conflicts
better) and now including the amazing PowerPants software package. Convert
any sound file to any sample rate/format/word length, includes multichannel surround
sound formats, batch processing, DVD sound tracks, and lots more. Voted by independant
experts the best performing algorythms available.
02: Demas has done a complete
rewrite of Release
5.0. Now there
is a Release
5.1 available which is the most robust release of software for some
years. All the niggling bugs have been removed and the software runs for days
with no hang-ups or crashes. We have tested this release against most major software
packages running concurrently and have no problems to report. E-mail
us if you would like more info on this release.
to be added soon.....
back to top
Synclavier system has by far proved itself to be the most
reliable digital audio system available EVER. In Europe we still have
almost every system working regularly, some systems work for 24 hours a day, 7
days a week and have been for the last 10 to 15 years with almost no service call
outs. No other system can claim this record.
most important reliability factor is common sense. These systems are built using
high quality parts, military spec. parts
where available, and all parts are over rated and not stretched to the top of
To Keep Your System Trouble Free
Operate the machine in a clean stable environment.
Dust is a killer. In 10 years those fans can vacuum a room clean of everything.
Clean air and a regular de-dusting stop overheating. Stable
temperatures - Hot rooms will reduce the life
span of heat sensitive components, especially power supplies, drives
Power supplies. Have them regularly checked and adjusted
by SES. They will drift slightly through use and can put a strain on components
if they get low or high. It takes very little time to do, but can save a lot of
money and down time.
Mains supply and connections. These machines have a high current demand. A good
clean mains power source and most importantly, good quality mains cables and connections.
NUMBER ONE problem with towers are loose mains leads
leading to overheating, corrosion and random system crashes. Someone moves a tower
to get to something and the cable gets pulled a little. A loose connection generates
heat and arcing. This leads to corrosion of contacts which in turn leads to more
heat. Result - poor conduction and random system crashes. Easily prevented but
equally as easy to overlook or forget. We can replace connectors with special
heat resistant connectors and high quality cable.
to be added soon......
back to top
Tips and FAQ's
to questions asked and tips from SES and other users, key words are bold,
new tips are red to speed your perusal.
out our new software tips above for more useful tips and
can save a lot of settings by clicking on the WRITE button near the top of the
Q page. Two useful settings I use it for is FINAL DECAY and the EVENTS window
on the Q page. Dial in a small amount of final decay - 30ms - 100ms. Click WRITE
on the Q page. Every soundfile you load (NOT a timbre from the A page this has
separate settings) will have this final decay. Why? To stop files ending in an
abrupt click when auditioning them or playing them.
EVENTS: In the events
window of the Q page. Select SET DISPLAY OPTIONS and set them how you would normally
set your page. Now click on WRITE. The EVENTS page will now always open with this
Export MIDI files with the PPC upgrade.
the MIDInet program in the Synclavier PPC folder, under FILE select IMPORT.
to a MIDI file on your Mac drive. Open this file and wait while the conversion
To hear the sequence you will need to SMT-SKT some timbres or
soundfiles into each track.
you can select VIEW ALL ACTIVE TRACKS.
This will give you track names, a clue
to which instrument was on each track.
go to the Q page and select the EVENTS option. Each track you view will have the
you edit a track's Timbre while it is active in a sequence (by linking it to the
keyboard timbre in "SKT blinking" mode - SKT+Track button) this edit will
be saved with the sequence even if the edit was not confirmed (by pressing SKT
again). Should you accidentally forget to confirm the edit, or if it has exited
the edit mode preventing you confirming the edits (happened to me before), just
save the sequence and recall it. - Fabian.
try this! Reverse loop a sample, then mark an end point. The damn
sample will loop (not reverse) from wherever you mark an end. 17 years
later, I find it out! Damn box still amazes me! Cheers,
If working on a film / video which needs to have loops of ambs lasting more
than the 4 minutes the Synclav allows, set the speed to a real low value,
and loops will play for days! - From Bill Turchinetz.
tip for constructing Drum loops. Take a pre-recorded drum loop and record
it to track 1. Add an Independant Loop to track 1 so the drum pattern plays constantly.
On the L page using the waveform for guidance, move the cursor to the start of
a drum hit, e.g. a cymbal, and change the MARK START to this point by
typing A J. Now press record and listening to the looping track record
a short note into track 2. Now you will have added just a cymbal from the first
loop. Now move the MARK START point to the Bass Drum and record this to track
3. Now the Bass Drum will be added. You can carry on to your hearts content using
as many tracks/start points as you like. NB: This information is NOT stored when
the sequence is saved. Record the result to a new sample or to disk before you
delete the sequence. Thanks to Paul Hardcastle for this tip.
OUR NEW BEST EVER TOP TIP
entering note data while creating a patch on the 'I Page', instead of typing
in the note name such as C#3 try this;
Press the C#3 key on the VPK keyboard. Just type 'xx' into the note area on the
I Page (such as start note, end note, or transpose note) you wish to edit and
the last note you played on the VPK keyboard will magically appear!
only works on later software versions.
the I Page, after you delete a sound file name the other files close up on the
list. To force a gap again so you have ordered patch info displayed just do this
- click on the soundfile you want moved down one place and type '-' (minus sign)
a new blank patch entry gap will magically appear. You can force as
many gaps as you like.
OLD best ever TOP TIP EVER: On
the O Page, after you delete a project the others close up on the list. To force
a gap again so you have ordered projects displayed just do this - click on the
project you want moved down one and type '-' (minus sign) a new blank project
gap will magically appear. You can do this to any project at any time and
force as many gaps as you like.
to this day the PostPro wins blind listening tests, therefore we always suggest
never mastering through the digital outputs. Always record the analogue
outputs (preferably through an analogue desk input) and master the main mix to
44.1kHz ready for CD without the need of sample conversion and we still recommend
the use of analogue processing of the final mix. Shoot us down in flames but we
have found in listening tests that Post-Pro through analogue final route to master
digital recorder gives best results (as far as the human ear is concerned anyway).
NOTE: For best results use a 'D5' revision
card in voice position 8 and 16 (snowflake bug upgrade) to lower the noise floor.
asked question; Why does the Synclavier sound so damn good? Answer. One reason
is that the Synclavier and the Post-Pro both use Digitally Controlled Analogue
Volume Envelope Control. This means that when we output a low sound it is still
at full 16 bit resolution. It is ALWAYS at 16 bit resolution even when
the volume is zero! This is another reason why we recommend never mastering
from the Digital ouputs of the Post Pro. Read this article
for more information
trackball/mouse do not work in diagnostics, if you try to use them you will
go into any diagnostic program at random. In the latest release of Software (5.x)
the mouse DOES work on the I page at long last. Hopefully soon it will only be
necessary to hit the keyboard note rather than type in the name of each note in
a patch. Update: Now you can. SEE TOP TIP ABOVE!
and Sequence Save and Recall Tips
writing a timbre to the A-Page, make sure the operation is confirmed in
the keyboard window.
the buttons are not pressed and held in the correct order this operation can fail
and the timbre will be lost for ever if you load a new sound. If unsure do it
is the correct order to store a timbre in Bank 1 Entry 7:
Press BANK and release
Press 1 and release it - 1 will stay lit.
While holding WRITE down,
press ENTRY followed by 7.
You can use an empty sequence track as temporary storage for timbres as you work.
Just press RECORD and your changes will be kept in the first available sequence
track for later recall. (Lost if you recall a new sequence).
I save timbres any other way than the keyboard buttons? - Sadly the answer
writing a keyboard 'bucket' sequence, make sure the operation is confirmed
in the keyboard window. If the buttons are not pressed and held in the correct
order this operation can fail and the sequence will be lost for ever if you load
a new sequence. If unsure do it again.
sequences regularly as you work on them and save many versions so you can
go back through the work process. e.g. myseq1, myseq2 etc. Use the S Page for
editing and you have the UNDO button in case the result is not what you
expected. In fact this undo stays valid even when the machine is powered
down. At any time you can go back to the last S Page edit by clicking on the S
Page Undo button.
can write protect your sequence to prevent accidental erasure or overwrite.
In the Motion Control Panel on the Q Page there is a 'P' box on the right side.
Clicking this write protects your sequence. Clicking again removes protection.
TIP: Also using the Motion Control
Panel you can name, rename, recall, save and unsave any sequence. Don't forget
to use the 2 line Caption window below the sequence name. We strongly recommend
putting the date and time here if nothing else, months later this can be
a great help to finding the latest edited version.
TIP: Did you know you can 'tree
climb' from the Motion Control Panel? In the box where the sequence name appears,
type in a subcat name eg. W0:MYSEQ: (add the : at the end) then click the up and
down arrows and every seqence in that subcat will be stepped through alphabetically
ready to be recalled.
the VPK button panel, you can clear active or lit buttons by pressing the
transposing on older versions of software, remember to cancel the transpose
function by pressing the button again. If you forget, your whole sequence or just
soloed parts of it will be transformed with every key you press. REMEMBER: If
you transpose using the keyboard button, it will not be obvious later on or if
printing or sending MIDI information. Best to use the TRANSPOSE option on the
S PAGE. - Update
The tranpsose button automatically cancels after a single
keyboard note press in Release 5.1 and upwards.
two different soundfiles share the same name in different subcatalogs and/or
on Optical, the system will load the first one it finds. Always use unique names.
Avoid obvious ones like 'BELL' or 'HORN'. Use the Caption facility on the L or
the R page to give a good description of the sound.
<control-C> from the I page or the L page to go direct to the B Page to
select a new sound file. Selecting the sound file will automatically take
you back to your previous page with settings unchanged.
you have a 64 or 96 voice system, you can only record into Poly Bin 1.
quickly deselect a blinking track and select a new one to record on, press
both tracks together.
sample edit time is accurate to 6 decimal places, the first 3 are milliseconds
the second are microseconds - e.g. 1.571 840
paste more than one copy of the edit buffer into a sound file type <.editbuf,n>
n = number of times to paste.
keyboard loop is not part of the sound file information, it is stored in the timbre
so is only saved in a timbre or in a sequence track.
loop tip!!! Set up the desired length of a loop (Harmonic 1+ knob adjust)
then hold HARMONIC 2 and press START. The computer will search for
the nearest perfect loop point. This can then be fine tuned if desired for effect
by the silver knob. If you are not happy with this loop try this.... hold
HARMONIC 1 then press CONTINUE. This will adjust the loop length
to try to improve the results. (Alternative permanent looping options are available
on the L Page).
using chorus, use whole numbers or perfect divisions for musical effect.
1 = unity, 2 = one octave above (x 2), 0.5 = one octave below, 1.5 = perfect fifth
are the Keyboard Envelope buttons for?
They control the volume of the
keys across the keyboard: From two points that you select, the volume of each
note is gradually softer the further away you play from it, in between these points
the volume is normal.
--Press and hold LEFT KEYBOARD ENVELOPE while you play
a note. Everything to the left of this note will be decreased in volume in a slope.
--Press and hold RIGHT KEYBOARD ENVELOPE while you play a note. Everything to
the right of this note will be decreased in volume in a slope.
are the Dynamic Envelope buttons for?
They select which timbre should
sound dependant upon the dynamic controller level for each note. Typically you
would assign velocity to volume and have a note playing in one timbre only when
hit softly/played quietly, and a note played from another timbre if pressed harder/played
louder. Useful for expressive playing, e.g. overblowing a trumpet when played
really loud or distorting a guitar. For assigning to velocity follow below, although
any other RTE controller can be used.
Try this example
and experiment settings for taste. You must have at least 2 active partial timbres
for this to work.
1. Assign velocity to partial volume AND Dynamic
Envelope. (Press and hold VELOCITY, press PARTIAL VOLUME then press DYNAMIC ENVELOPE
2. Press the PARTIAL SELECT TIMBRE 1.
3. Press DYNAMIC ENVELOPE
LOW and dial in the number 0 (0 for least velocity 8 for maximum)
DYNAMIC ENVELOPE HIGH and dial in 5
5. Press PARTIAL SELECT TIMBRE 2.
6. Repeat steps #3 and #4 above, dialling in 5 for LOW and 8 for HIGH.
when a key is hit softly timbre 1 sounds, when harder timbre 2 sounds. Overlaps
are allowed and encouraged, all 4 timbres can be set up for maximum expression.
do I make the velocity suit my heavy/light handed playing?
If you want
to reach maximum volume with a light touch but give a large range of volume values,
set VELOCITY SENSITIVITY to it's highest and VELOCITY RESPONSE to a medium value
(experiment for your weight of play). If you are a hammer hand, then set SENSITIVITY
to a mid-range setting and RESPONSE to minimum. - This only works if velocity
has been assigned to partial volume.
AND NOTE ROBBING TIPS
down POLYPHONY MODE and press STOP repeatedly while the sequence plays to see
how many voices are being used at any time.
POLYPHONY MODE to restrict the number of voices a track can use at any
one time. - SKT the track to the keyboard, press POLYPHONY MODE, dial in the maximum
number of voices you require for this track (1 being monophonic). SMT the timbre
back into the sequence track.
Update Feb 04: In MONOPHONIC mode there are two settings that
toggle each time the POLYPHONY MODE button is pressed. AUTOPHRASE ON and
OFF. IF set to OFF each time a key is pressed the first note is cancelled and
the second plays from it's start. When AUTOPHRASE is ON the second note played
cuts off the first but starts play from mid sample (or FM sound) at the point
where the previous note was at, not at it's start point. Try it if this doesn't
can I check if any voices are being 'robbed' (not sounding)?
the S Page and under settings turn 'voice check' ON. If a voice is ever not played
because you have run out of voices, a message will flash up on the keyboard
saying; 0V on track 8 for example.
sequence/keyboard timbre uses only one voice per note but is note robbing
even though I have not used 32 notes at any one time. Why?
Chorus uses additional voices, but by far the most common reason for running out
of voices during sequence playing is a track using long decay times. The logic
behind Synclavier voice assignment is as follows;
LOGIC: Find any available voice that
is free, if none are available, find a voice in the same sequence track that is
in final decay and steal it's voice. If none are available then do not play the
voice. This means a track with long decay can be affecting another track and you
may spend ages looking for the fault on the track that does not play to no avail.
(see restricting number of voices per track above)
do I force sounds to use a particular poly bin after I have created my
sequence but find it is note robbing?
Go to the H page, reassign poly bins
to any tracks used in the sequence, save the sequence. Now recall the sequence
and the sounds will be loaded into the newly selected bins. If this fails, erase
the sequence (after saving it), erase Poly Memory and then recall the sequence.
have a long atmosphere on a track with mod wheel assigned to volume. When I start
my sequence from a point half way through the atmosphere the sound does not
play, if I start from the beginning of the sound it does play. Why?
sequence 'looks back' a certain amount of events to get RTE information,
if there are too many RTE events then the note will not be reached so is not triggered.
To fix this press SEQUENCE NAME and dial in a new bigger 'look back' number. This
is a hidden function of the SEQUENCE NAME button. Try this first if ever a sequence
does not seem to be playing when you know there is an event there.
- I just
did a Cut and Paste edit on my sequence and now no sounds play on one track
even though I can see the events. Why?
When you cut the track you also cut
the RTE information. If an RTE is assigned to this track (such as mod wheel or
pedal to volume) it is not being given an RTE start value and is therefore not
sounding, insert an RTE event and enter a value to check if this is the problem.
at SES recommend disconnecting the FM from the multichannel outputs and using
the stereo FM outputs only. This removes the FM background noise from the
MCO's and allows the use of the panel filters. The FM sounds sweeter from the
FM stereo outputs anyway and doesn't knock the top off the desk meters. Update
Feb 04 - Note: We have found on some systems that the stereo routing
is incorrect using the FM outputs. The right channel routes to both left and right
output connectors. We are looking into the fix for this problem. Update
June 05 - We have found the problem. Call us if you need us to implement
use balanced line connections to the FM output - this eliminates FM background
do I access Harmonic control buttons 25-36?
are often asked this question and can happily supply the answer here. You can
only access 25 - 36 from the analysis software module in resynthesis.
you know that the harmonic control buttons also control phase as
well as volume of each coefficient?
Hold down one or more HARMONIC CONTROL
buttons while you turn the knob to change the phase from 0 to 63. (0 =0, 63 =
is my HARMONIC ADJUST button for?
Used by the FM system to adjust sideband
frequencies. Simply put: Positive numbers gradually increase sidebands above middle
C while decreasing those below, negative numbers do the opposite. Why? One example
is to increase the brilliance of low notes without producing harshness in the
are the Filter and Keyboard Outputs on the back of the keyboard for?
These can be used to connect the keyboard to outboard filter units, oscillators,
envelope generators, etc.
the knob values accurately from your Mac keyboard (useful if your knob
is playing up or not within reach).
Alt + to
increase value by one
Alt Ctrl + to increase by 10
Alt Shift + to increase by 100
Alt Ctrl Shift + to increase by 1000
Replace the '+' with '-' to decrease the values that appear in your keyboard window.
the SPEED button toggles the speed between 1.000 and 0.960. When the speed
is set to 0.960 the click rate is expressed in frames-per-beat instead of the
normal beats-per-minute or milliseconds. The difference between 1 and .960 equates
to 25 frames to 24 frames conversion.
all 32 keyboard sequence tracks are recorded on, if you hit record with a new
timbre on your keyboard the machine refuses to record, why?
Go to the
H page and assign a new bank of tracks to one row of your keyboard buttons. The
system will only record if an empty track is available on a keyboard TRACK SELECT
you inadvertently activate either tempo or meter mapping, you can erase
them for the entire sequence by pressing and holding CLICK RATE and SPEED then
pressing ERASE twice.
the sequence contains an independent loop, the END LOOP button is lit only
if the TRACK SELECT button for the track containing the loop is pressed. If the
sequence has an overall loop the END LOOP button is always lit.
Editing: A little known function but can be useful. Turn on external beat
sync mode by pressing EXT SYNC MODE twice (make sure nothing is connected to Ext
Clock Input on the tower). Now turn step editing on and off by pressing TRANSPOSE
+ START or STOP. When step editing is on and you press START the sequence waits
for a trigger from the C3 key. Every time you hit C3 the sequence proceeds one
step to the next tempo set using the speed control. If this sounds complicated
- just try it and you will see what happens.
you mess up your pedal, mod wheel, breath or ribbon controller while recording
but the notes are good, use OVERWRITE to change just the controller and
leave the notes intact: Press OVERWRITE + RTE (e.g. Mod wheel). Set the controller
to the correct value for the start of the sequence, solo the correct track and
press RECORD and now adjust the controller while you hear the sequence playing.
To stop the Overwrite function press CLEAR + OVERWRITE.
can I change the pitch of everything to match a track or orchestra, for example
to concert pitch?
Use OVERALL TUNING to affect the notes on all tracks
and on the keyboard in real time, the default tuning is 440Hz. Change to 442Hz
for concert pitch. The new tuning remains active until you change it or turn the
system off. See also Special
tuning capabilities of the Synclavier
do I create a SPLIT Keyboard?
Press the SPLIT button once and recall
a timbre. All notes to the right of B2 play this timbre.
Press the SPLIT button
twice and recall a timbre. All notes to the left of C3 play this timbre. (See
playing with a SPLIT keyboard only the right hand timbre is recorded in
the sequence, if you want to record the split, create a new timbre with 2 PARTIAL
TIMBRES, one on the right, one on the left.
erase all notes on a track but to leave the timbre intact after an erase,
solo a track, press and hold STOP and press ERASE twice.
TIP: On the S Page, many new hidden parameters can be
selected by clicking on a selection in the top window and rolling the track ball
while holding down the mouse/trackball button. Many very useful functions are
hidden here and it is amazing how many people are unaware of this.
the S Page why do some of the motion control buttons have double lines
These are destructive, such as record and erase.
TIP: In Editview when using a BPM setting other than 120 the
drawing of the notes and cues will be inaccurate, scrubbing to a time line is
very confusing. To solve this, set BPM to 120 and change the SPEED to match the
old BPM setting. Use this formula: SPEED = BPM/120. So for a BPM of 90, SPEED=90/120,
so set the SPEED to 0.75 (90/120) and Editview will show all events and cues correctly
and the sequence will play at 90BPM.
numbers anywhere in the RTP by pointing to the number (or part of the number)
you want to increment, holding down the COMMAND (the key with an apple on it)
and CLICKing the mouse/trackball button. To decrement the number use ALT + CLICK.
BOUNCE button works as a 'move' command by default. Hitting BOUNCE, TRACK
1, TRACK 2 moves the data from track 1 to track 2 and leaves track 1 empty. To
truly bounce track 1 to track 2 and leave track 1 data untouched the button sequence
is; BOUNCE, TRACK 1, TRACK 1, TRACK 2.
the ORK keyboard there was no Justify button, so the BOUNCE button was
used by hitting it twice. This button double use was faithfully transferred to
the VPK keyboard and to this day BOUNCE doubles up as the JUSTIFY button even
though you have a dedicated button sitting there eager to be chosen.
TIP: Change Multi-Channel track routing fast from the keyboard.
Hold down TRACK VOLUME and TRACK ROUTING together. Now select a TRACK button.
Whatever number track you select will become the left hand MCO output, the right
hand output will automatically be incremented by one. i.e. TRACK 1 = MCO 1 left,
2 right. TRACK 2 = MCO 2 left, 3 right, TRACK 3 = MCO 3 left, 4 right, etc.
is not possible to unwrap loops if a live click is used.
Mapping will NOT work if you have a MIDInet unit attached (even if you have
the standard MIDI unit).
not use MIDI sync when recording or playing back on the DTD.
do I stop my Synclavier keyboard sending out spurious Pedal information to other
MIDI devices as I have no Pedal connected?.
You can filter out the Pedal
or any other RTE information being sent by holding the MIDI key and pressing the
RTE to filter. Press again to resume the sending of information.
I have my Synclavier connected my Synth keyboard goes to zero volume for some
reason. How do I stop this?
See the MIDI note above. Filter out the Volume
Pedal (PEDAL 1) information.
the KEYBOARD SECTION above for a useful keyboard
button panel reference document to print out.
more added soon....
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Software for the latest software release information)
Synclavier wins more advertising awards.:
The Synclavier is still used in a bulk of TV and radio advertising and has won
awards for operators for the past 20 years and still does every year. We applaud
those steadfast operators for their sterling dedication.
huge Synclavier upgrades.:
Two users in the field of music production have upgraded their 9600 systems to
full 96 voice capacity. This enables them to utilise the massive MegaMusic
sound library to maxiumum effect.
UK Government embraces Synclavier:
The UK government has been using the power of Synclavier for multi-lingual instructional
recordings. The system they used is now fluent in 13 languages!
If you go to see the Batman film due for release in 2005, listen out for the awesome
sound design capabilities of the Synclavier. A custom built Synclavier was specially
ordered for the film production to use it's versatility and it's capability to
invent huge sound effects and backgrounds.
We have a number of first time owners in 2005 which we welcome to the Synclavier
Owners Club, including the UK supergroup Coldplay, who bought a system to use
on their newly released album.
Andersson upgrades all systems:
Composer/Musician/Rock Star and ex member of ABBA, Benny Andersson, has upgraded
his Summer House system and his main studio system in Stockholm to over 1 hour
sample memory per system. Ensuring he got the maximum flexibility from his 112
stereo voice systems.
Two more new first time Synclavier owners:
Joining the family of Synclavier owners we are pleased to welcome two new owners
in Europe. Major system upgrades for users in Germany, Sweden and England. New
system goes into action at Oceanic Studios in London. Benny Andersson upgrades
to the largest amount of sample RAM of any user worldwide with a staggering 3
hours of dedicated military spec. sample RAM. New custom built 'road system' Synclavier
gets delivered suitable for touring. 9600 system is installed in 'home' studio
in England. Synclavier system installed in music studios in London. A busy start
to 2004. The new MEGAsound library continues to be very popular and demand outstrips
supply. Please contact us if you need one soon to ensure your order is received
when you need it.
Townshend takes delivery of a custom build 9600:
Composer/Musician/Rock Star and member of The Who, Pete Townshend, had
his 'road' 3200 upgraded to a full spec 9600, custom designed and built by Steve
Hills at SES. The system includes 32 stereo FM voices, 32 panning Poly voices
and 16 MCO outputs. To see how it was done see Custom
9600 for pictures and the story behind a machine we are extrememly proud and
Andersson upgrades 3rd System:
Composer/Musician/Rock Star and ex member of ABBA, Benny Andersson, has upgraded
his Summer House system to be fully compatible with his main studio system in
Stockholm. This enables him to carry on work while relaxing in his summer retreat
on the sea front with no limitations. The system is a 'portable' 96 voice Synclavier,
plus a full spec Direct-to-Disk system with removable storage and a custom built
Mahogany VPK keyboard.
New Sound Libraries: New
Synclavier Sound Libraries from The Digital Toy Cupboard
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YEARS ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL!!!*** To
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Synclavier this year we are building a full
specification Synclavier II. Using parts we have in stock this will be an 'as
new' machine with every extra we can throw at it. It will also look special (pictures
will be released when we have finished building it). We chose this model Synclavier
as it is the 'Classic" Synclavier from the early 80's and is in so much demand
these days we have a waiting list for used ones. Nothing else sounds so warm and
human as the Synclavier FM, and of course you can sample your own sounds and resynthesise
them on a Sync II.
will come with our complete FM sound libraries pre installed and a large selection
of samples sounds ready to play or resynthesise!
This wonderful example of Synclavier history has been sold to an undisclosed happy
buyer. Scroll down for more Synclaviers For Sale
sell new and refurbished Synclavier systems with full warranty. Please E-mail
for details and prices, these systems are still in strong demand so details change
weekly, see below for some late details.
Machine to chose?
Synclavier II was the original FM only system,
with the option of a mono sampling unit. (Only one 50kHz mono voice could sound
at a time). The later PSMT systems had FM and 100Khz Poly Sampling Voices (all
sample voices could sound at once up to a maximum of 192 DAC's).
early Synclavier II synthesis system (FM voices) is currently in high demand.
We have a waiting list for these machines.
We do however have the later Synclavier PSMT with sample voices and the FM voices.
This comes with the late model 'VPK' keyboard and later software. The early FM
systems came with the original smaller 'ORK' keyboard which restricts the upgrading
to later software and hardware. (You lose a lot of features such as MIDI and sound
later model Synclavier PSMT, does normally
include stereo FM voices (as opposed to the early mono FM voices), and is fully
capable of FM resynthesis just as the early machines were. Later machines also
come with MIDI interfaces, SCSI hard drives and Mac interfaces. These machines
are incredibly powerful and sound like nothing else (100khz sample voices) and
come complete with a large collection of samples from the world famous Synclavier
9600 Tapless Studio is the ultimate studio
package and includes every option to make your production complete.
the Synclavier' for more details.
SYNCLAVIER 9600 IMPORTANT
have found many incidents where machines are falsely
advertised privately for sale as '9600' or '9600 spec' machines because
they have 32 sample voices, 32Mb Poly memory and 32 stereo FM voices. The only
9600 machines we ever built would have '9600' written on them in huge
white letters. These machines shared very few components with the earlier
'PSMT' machines and were of a much later build standard. They NEVER had a memory
expansion bin or mono sampling. To spot a genuine 9600 - voices were DDV D3 or
D4 or D5, memory was minimum 16mb per card and they could be expanded up to 512mb
per bin (1mb and 4mb cards were never used in 9600). All power supplies were changed
and were front mounted behind a door. No door means not
9600. Multichannel components were all changed to higher spec, FM bin
was also different, VPK keyboard had the later 'TRIPP' version option. The STM
(100khz sample input unit) was later enhanced revision, the keyboard interface
was the later M64K and had the option to run up to 100 feet cable length. The
SCSI interface was 50 way in all cases (not the earlier 36 way). All 9600's had
a huge steel plate in the base to stop them tipping over and were designed to
be easily converted to 240 Volts. All 9600's passed worldwide safety standards
introduced after the PSMT was first produced.
Finally, if the machine does
not have the capabilty to mount inside the tower the full 96 sample voices (3
Poly bins) then the machine is an earlier model. If you are unsure you
can ask us.
for sale - Currently in stock we have;
up for help choosing which model is right for you)
Sale - Full Height PSMT:
PSMT with the original PSV sample voices, - the original 'classic' Synclavier
Full service history, Model D processor, reconditioned and with full warranty.
us today quoting 'PSMT'
Sale - Synclavier II. Fully rebuilt to SES spec.
rebuilt by SES, with the latest specification and upgrades possible with the original
keyboard. Full warranty.
e-mail us today quoting
'Sync II SES spec.'
See a similar Synclavier
II being rebuilt in our workshop here.
Sale - Synclavier II. Upgraded Spec. Original
overhauled. Upgraded spec and with original green display terminal. Excellent
example of this true classic.
e-mail us today quoting
'Sync II original'
See a Synclavier II being
rebuilt in our workshop here.
Sale - PSMT: - Reduced
size Synclavier PSMT. Reduced in size but not in power.
This system boasts
the latest PCI processor and the Synclavier MegaMusic® sound library.
version VPK keyboard. 240 Volts conversion. Rebuilt by us.
For full details
and pricing, e-mail us today quoting
For Sale - The Ultimate 9600 package:
Top of the range - full 9600 specification Tapeless Recording Studio System.
This is the Rolls Royce of all systems and can record an unbelievable 6 days of
audio onto the hard disk system, perform a complete album - rock or orchestral
- from its built in sound libraries, its unique 200 track sequencer and it's 128
MIDI device control capability, or do an entire sound track to a movie locked
to picture. All these systems are built to the highest quality using military
spec components wherever possible - hence these machines being so reliable and
still going strong.
Sale - Custom Built 9600 in compact travel system units:
Full spec 9600 system, in easy to transport road cases.
Custom built by us.- .
FOR SALE !!!!!!! This unit was so popular
we are building another.
Email us for details.
forget to tell us which machine you are interested in)
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