German distributor of several key electronic musical instrument brands, including Mellotron (Sweden), Moog (USA), Vintage Vibe (USA), and MIDI Solutions (Canada) — is proud to announce that it is taking orders on a second self-financed (and final) 25-unit build run of the exclusive (and expensive) Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer, surely one of the most ambitious analogue synthesizer projects ever undertaken…
The no-expense-spared Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer was, without doubt, a showstopper when namesake hardware and software designer Stefan Schmidt’s hand-crafted first prototype unit debuted at Musikmesse 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany. Within a year it was being shipped Stateside for its first proper public airing at The NAMM Show 2012 in Anaheim, California. Indeed, it is somewhat fitting that following a repeat performance at The NAMM Show 2013 that same super-synth prototype made its way over to Santa Monica for an audience with none other than Hollywood hotshot Hans Zimmer, one of the most successful, influential, and prolific film composers of all time with a sumptuous synthesizer-filled studio setup second to none! It’s still there… the rest, as they say, is history.
History has it, then, that the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer is quite possibly the most expensive analogue eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer the world has yet seen and heard. Hardly surprising given the investment involved in its drawn-out development, both in terms of funding and man hours. Hardly the stuff of commercial viability in an accepted age of market value-driven optimisation, often resulting in compromised products. Put it this way, though: this is the synthesizer that Stefan Schmidt always dreamed of, created against all odds without any compromises whatsoever (with more than a little help from friends Axel Hartmann — co-founder and owner of renowned industrial designers designbox, whose distinctive design talents took the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer prototype to another level entirely, thanks to some serious funding from e:m:c President Stefan Hund).
But bolstered by those tradeshow successes, supported by his partners at e:m:c, Stefan Schmidt set about putting his dream synthesizer into (build-to- order) production. A limited run of 25 units was admirably announced. Anyone arguing about its ‘second-tier’ five-figure price point probably couldn’t afford one. But bear in mind that those that could were buying into a thoroughbred analogue eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer with a fully- analogue signal path (with precise digital control) that’s truly a sound designer’s dream machine.
More meaningfully, a quick glance at its complex four-oscillator structure should be more than enough to convince even the most skilled synthesist that the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer is capable of creating complex timbres that go way beyond the capabilities of conventional analogue synthesizers. Speaking of which, Oscillator 4 is worthy of special mention. Thanks to its chain of five ring modulators fed by six pulse-waves, each with different pulse-widths, it can create colder, wavetable-like sounds — despite being fully analogue. These truly unique features are hitherto unheard of in any analogue synthesizer, let alone an analogue polysynth! Subtractive synthesis clearly knows no bounds here, helping to make the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer a shining example of no-expense-spared synthesizer design, deploying discrete sound generation circuitry throughout — no integrated oscillator/filter circuits on a single chip, for instance — in keeping with the highest possible production standards, while each and every parameter is directly accessible via dedicated controls on a seriously spacious front panel to die for.
Fortunately, for Stefan Schmidt and his supportive e:m:c production partners, all 25 units subsequently sold; Hans Zimmer would not be the only seriously satisfied Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer owner, after all. And that could so easily have been the happy ending to this success story, with the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer surely going down in the annals of history as one of the bravest moves in electronic musical instrument design as a bold statement that flies in the face of the fast-paced and superficial age we unfortunately find ourselves living in today.
Today, though, with 25 instruments already hand-crafted in Germany and duly delivered to seriously satisfied owners around the world, e:m:c is proud to announce that it will be building a final batch of 25 more. Maintains Stefan Schmidt: “I feel really honoured that musicians around the world love the Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer, which started simply as a small-scale bass synthesizer project before I took the chance on building the synthesizer of my dreams. That e:m:c has decided to build another 25 units of this exclusive — and expensive — instrument makes me proud!”
The Schmidt Eightvoice Polyphonic Synthesizer will be being demoed and displayed on BS176 at SUPERBOOTH16, March 31-April 2 in Berlin, Germany, and Hall 9, Level 1, Booth 31 at Musikmesse 2016, April 7-10 in Frankfurt, Germany. Go catch a classic and rare instrument in action… before it’s snapped up by another seriously satisfied customer!