An obscure analogue synthesizer from Cardiff, Wales produced around 1988 till +-1992 The Cheetah MS6 is a 19″ rack 6 voice analog multitrimbal synthesizer module. It uses the same Curtis CEM 3396 synthesizer chip as the ELKA EK22 and Oberheim Matrix 1000 but like each one it has its own character while still having the same analogue “chunkyness”. Typically for a CEM3396 based synth is that it is a bit dim-witted; slowing down or getting sloppy when there is too much going on with MIDI or tweaking.
Specs: 2 DCO’s with Square, Triangle, Sawtooth and Noise waves, a 24dB resonant filter, PWM with its own dedicated LFO, two Envelope generators and some more of the usuall stuff for an analogue polyphonic synth from that era. It is heavily used by artistis such as Cliff Lothar, Eggerton Omolet and Mixmaster Morris (on his first albums)
CHEETAH seemed like a pretty cool and innovative brand…it started out making joysticks for 80s computers like the ZXspectrum and Commodore 64 before venturing into drummachines,synthesizers, masterkeyboards and even a sampler. Sadly it went out of business in 1993. The coolest thing about it all is the logo which is a running cheetah
Programming this thing is pretty clunky and cumbersome, using a numeric pad and LED digits. Also the parameter list is on top of the MS6 so you can’t see it when its tucked away in a 19″ rack. Fortunately there are some editors and you can use a thing like the Behringer BCR2000 or KIWItechnics patch editor to edit it!
Here are some sounddemos from my Cheetah MS6 sequenced with an Arturia Beatstep and just a tad of delay effects courtesy of the SMACKOS COSMO ECHO (coming soon to a computer near you!)