WeLcOmE tO LeGoWeLT.OrG ---> Thanks to all the freaks for the supercool party in London it was awesome! I will be back in London 2 march in Fabric with Peggy Gou and more ********* Issue 7 of the Shadow Wolf ASCII Cyberzine is out, check it out below. I got a Yamaha PSS480 during the holidays check out the little blurp, hot pix and sounds below! ******* Also if you didnt check it out yet there is a new SAMPLE PACK, this time with 385 16 bit WAV samples from the Kawai K4 free for you to use in your productions or whatever ******* This week I will travel to the SMEM Swiss synthesizer museum in Fribourg to make their kickstarter reward LP using a selection of their instrument collection and on Friday I will play a live gig at at the MoutinNoir ******** Due to popular demand I will do another performance of my live soundtrack for Werner Herzog's 1979 NOSFERATU this time at the EYE film museum in Amsterdam Friday 15th of February info how to get tickets etc. will be here on monday!!!!!!!! ******* Ok thats it for today laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *********

Elka EK 22

Cheap and obscure the ELKA EK22 was released in 1986 as one of the last synthesizer models from the ELKA synthesizer factory – and for that also one of the last Italian analogs – ending a great legacy that included the mighty Elka Synthex. 

What we have here is the usual 6 voice analog 2 oscillator synth with some exotic modulation routings and some fancy multi stage envelope generators. Not quite an Oberheim Matrix 6 in its synth modulation capabilities but coming close – and on some fronts even superior. A broad range of sounds is possible and its all there; haunting strings, eerie pads, deep monophonic portamento moog basses and leads, fine harps, metallic stuff, low-end brass etc. All with a very good character, tight and compact…a good punch but also enough warmth..Actually this synth sounds pretty darn excellent! I am pretty sure its got faster envelopes then a Matrix 6 and also sounds less gritty/grainy/plasticy.  Programming is done with a typical 80ies numerical interface – sluggish like on the Oberheim matrix 6. 

Probably not many were made but due to the fact that its analog power is hidden behind a poor blocky akward interface design it hasn’t fetched crazy prices on the synth market yet.

Programming is not the only thing that is sluggish on an EK22, it can’t cope with MIDI very well when it is playing. Try changing some parameters when it is being sequenced by MIDI and it will slow down, missing notes and say take it easy please! There is a knob on the ELKA that sais MIDI on/off and that might not be a luxury.

At times the programming interface is quite cryptic (as is the manual, some things are never fully explained) and feels a bit shabby, not entirely finished and too “technological”, i.e. there has been no regard to any friendly interaction design, but after a while you get the idea and it ain’t too complicated.

Some more interesting pro’s: Exotic analog sounds, Juicy vintage sounding portamento, creamy chorus, extremely good aftertouch response on the keyboard (plays like butter!!!), weird but awesome wireframe TRON 3D graphics on the casing, bi-trimbal, you can play 2 different sounds at once.
Bad sides: Sluggish slow brain…errr…there is probably one chip doing everything.

Some mp3 snippets I made from the Elka (recorded withouth any effects):

Haunting Brass & Strings Sloppy slow attack bass sequence reminding us of an other Italian synthesizer called the BIT, with some strings/pads layered behind it

Haunting brass

Panoramic analog strings The sizzling wonderfull built in chorus poors a broad sauce over everything, almost an Elka Synthex!

Panoramic Strings

Moogish solos leadbass The lower part of the keyboard is sequenced with a baseline while I play a moogish lead over it with the other side.

Moog solos leadbass

Synced Krimi soundtrack sounds Harsh synced late 80s tatort schimanski atmosphere!

Krimi soundtrack

Experimental sound effects flow into dark pads and synth noodling Some random stuff going through some presets. distorts a little now and then because the recording went into the red.

Experimental Sound FX

Portemento PWM synth Nasty PWM modulated sounds

Portamento PWM

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