It all started in 1969 when Felix Visser, a composer specialized in film scores, bought his Synthi-A plus “Cricklewood Dynamic Keyboard”. After a few days a technical problem silenced Synthi-A. Fortunately EMS (Electronic Music Studios of London) had included all circuit diagrams, so the problem could quickly be fixed. A great compliment, incidentally, goes to Peter Zinovieff’s innovative company and their products being accompanied by excellent documentation: particularly clarifying the concept of analog synthesis, voltage control and matrix patching in one swell foop.

After many a recording session, struggling with drifting oscillators, Felix started sketching up his ideas about a synth and founded Synton in 1973. Syrinx’s features: two-voice-split-keyboard, state variable filters and unconditionally stable VCO’s… Halas, Syrinx never left the drawing board and ended up in a drawer, its dummy in the dumpster. The under-capitalised start-up, veered off to 19” special effects outboard gear such as phasers, filters, noise limiters and sound mixing consoles, vocoders and custom designed synth modules. 1978 enter Bert Vermeulen, tech genius – out there in a good way.

The Almost Perfect Machine…
Syrinx 716, 1973 Photo © Toon Fey

Since the scrapped Syrinx it took almost a decade before Curtis chips landed on Earth. This fueled a new Syrinx design provided with a formant filter as planned for the Moog/Crumar Spirit, after many in-depth conversations with Bob Moog. Bob started distributing Synton products in his Big Briar time. Syrinx, released in 1982, dwindled down in 1983. Too late, too early? Both. (Wrong timing: Enter DX7 FM synthesis…)