Rare EMS Synthi KB1 Synth From Over Four Decades Ago Rediscovered



In today’s world of music production, musicians and producers are always on the lookout for the best new tools to use in the studio. While most look forward to see what’s new and exciting to come, it’s nice to be reminded of what has helped shape the history of electronic music as we know it. So when an almost-forgotten analog synthesizer that’s over forty years old resurfaces, it’s bound to turn heads among many musicians.

Digitana Electronics, a developer of one of the best audio interfaces for old-school synthesizers who are based in the UK, got their hands on a one of a kind EMS Synthi KB1 made by Peter Zinovieff’s Electronic Music Studios dating back to 1971. From rumored speculation, the KB1 seems to be a prototype they made to be a portable keyboard version of the company’s famous EMS Synthi A.

According to a recent post made by Digitana’s Facebook page, the one-off synth was put into use by the progressive rock band Yes, but sadly never went into full production. Steve Howe, Yes’ guitarist, used it on some of his ‘Homebrew’ demo recordings, in which some of the songs were later put onto the band’s albums. It’s unclear exactly how many of their songs it was used to help create or if there were other secret projects it was used for.

Digitana Electronics has plans to release more photos of the KB1 as well as audio demos for the rare synth. Whether or not they plan to build replicas or custom interface modules for it is yet to be determined.

As far as looking to the present and beyond, Digitana has collaborated with The 
Future Sound of London for two new synths, the SX-1 and the HALia. More information on this partnership can be found on Digitana’s website.