EMS VCS3/Synthi

Find out how you can control your EMS VCS3 or Synthi with MIDI using Kenton MIDI to CV Converters

The EMS VCS3 and Synthi didn’t have MIDI, but their 8 pin KEYBOARD socket can be used for CV/Gate and filter control, so you can connect your EMS to MIDI using a MIDI to CV converter. Kenton provide a lead that can connect our MIDI to CV converters to the EMS.

MIDI to CV converter
Use this link to see the range of Kenton converters suitable for this model:

Kenton MIDI to CV converters

Use the following settings on the converter for the EMS:

CV – Set the CV select parameter to CV or Volts/Octave – this is the default.
Gate – Set the Gate to 5V gate signal – this is a change from the Kenton default setting.
Aux– Set the Aux 0-10V analogue signal – this is the Kenton default setting.

For connecting the socket upgrade to a Kenton converter, you will need 1 x 3 x 3.5mm mono jack to 8 pin Jones for EMS.

Configuring the EMS VCS3/Synthi
The EMS lead we supply is configured so that CV goes to Input Channel 1, and Aux goes to Input Channel 2. CV should be patched to control the oscillator frequency. Aux would normally be patched to control the filter cutoff frequency.

To get the Synthi playing in tune using a the MIDI to CV converter, adjust hi-level input 1 pot on the EMS until the octaves are correct when played through the converter – at this stage the notes dont need to be correct. Then use the coarse and fine tune settings of the converter to get a C on the MIDI keyboard to play a C on the Synthi.

Note: On some Kenton converters coarse tune is called transpose.

Learn more about MIDI to CV

If you don’t know anything about MIDI to CV converters and would like to know more, read the following page on our website:

What is MIDI to CV?