Cherry Audio Elka-X

USD $39.00 (UK/EU orders incur VAT)

Cherry Audio Elka-X Synthesizer is based upon the legendary Synthex, a rare Italian analog synthesizer designed by Mario Maggi and manufactured by ELKA in the early eighties.

SKU: 1316-1037 Categories: , ,

Description

Summary

Elka-X replicates the extraordinary character of the original synth without compromising sound or functionality, thoughtfully expanding its feature set and delivering the authentic Synthex experience at a price anyone can afford.

The Synthex included a combination of uncommon and forward-looking features that stood out from other contemporary synthesizers, including highly stable digitally-controlled analog oscillators and a flexible four-pole multimode filter. Unlike most other popular synths utilizing CEM3320 filter chips in a lowpass-only configuration, the Synthex filter featured a 24 dB/oct lowpass mode, 6 and 12 dB/oct bandpass modes, and a 12 dB/oct highpass mode. Along with a powerful onboard analog chorus effect, this gave the Synthex a distinct and powerful tonality. It was multitimbral, with the ability to play two separate patches simultaneously, in either split or layer mode. It even included an innovative four-track sequencer with real-time recording and transposition.

As ELKA’s primary market was home organs, they never gained a strong foothold in the professional synthesizer market. Sadly, the whirlwind of excitement generated by the 1983 release of Yamaha’s DX digital synthesizers relegated this superb instrument to the sidelines, never to achieve the success it deserved.

By the mid-80s, ELKA made the last Synthex for Stevie Wonder, who used it for the distinctive bass tone on his single “Skeletons” from the 1987 album Characters. Other notable users of the Synthex included Geoff Downes of the supergroup Asia, Keith Emerson, Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Peter Howell of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Jean-Michel Jarre, who used it extensively on Rendezvous and for his famed “laser harp” sound.

Key Features

  • Two part multitimbral operation: two different patches simultaneously playable, in either a keyboard split or stacked layer mode, with user-specified split point and discrete controls for layer volume and panning
  • 16 polyphonic voices which can be layered or split across the keyboard
  • Panel Control for selecting layers, with a utility function for exchanging settings between the Lower and Upper sound layers, or even between presets
  • Two DCO oscillators with triangle, sawtooth, square, and variable pulse waveforms and independent tuning
  • Modes for polyphonic, single voice, and unison monophonic with unison detune
  • PWM Cross Modulation and Ring Modulation for both oscillators
  • White or Pink Noise Generator
  • CEM3320-style multimode filter with 12 or 24 dB/oct lowpass, 6 or 12 dB/oct bandpass, or 12 dB/oct highpass
  • Two tempo-syncable LFOs
  • Two independent modulation sections: a fixed LFO 1 section, and performance-oriented LFO 2 section, intended for use with pitch and mod wheel controllers
  • LFO 1 has triangle, sawtooth, ramp, bipolar square, unipolar square, and random waveforms; LFO 2 triangle waveform only
  • ADSR Filter and Amplifier envelope generators with Velocity control
  • Multi Trigger for the ADSR Filter and Amplifier envelope generators (in monophonic modes)
  • Chord Memory and Oscillator 2 sync
  • Tempo Sync buttons for LFO 1 and 2, Sequencer rate, Arpeggio rate, and Echo rate for easy sync to DAW project tempo
  • Step Sequencer consisting of four individual monophonic sequences, each with a user-definable length of up to 128 steps, assignable to either layer, and stored with the preset
  • Step Sequencer utility operation for copying, swapping, and moving sequencer data between tracks, or from one presets to another
  • Glide (pitch envelope) and Portamento (standard glide), independently enabled for each oscillator
  • Arpeggiator with tempo sync, independently assignable to both layers
  • Studio-quality chorus, echo delay, and reverb effects, including our acclaimed “Galactic” reverb algorithm
  • Cherry Audio’s popular Focus zoom-in feature, as well as standard UI zoom and resize with drag
  • Over 600 presets created by a talented and diverse group of sound design veterans
  • Complete MIDI control and DAW automation for all controls, with easy-to-use MIDI learn
  • Preset and Global level MIDI mapping
  • Highly optimized coding for optimal performance with ultra-low CPU load
  • User-adjustable oversampling control

System Requirements

Elka-Xis available in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats.

MAC MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • macOS 10.9 or above (including macOS 12), 64-bit required
  • Native Apple M1 processor support
  • Quad-core computer with 8GB of RAM recommended

PC MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Windows 7 or above (including Windows 11), 64-bit required
  • Quad-core computer with 8GB of RAM recommended

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