Hideaway Studio - Synergenesis
The 1970s were to be a magical time when a string of groundbreaking technology was conceived and developed at Bell Labs (BTL), Murray Hill, New Jersey. Many of the developments at Bell Labs have been pivotal and have subsequently played an extremely important part in shaping modern life.
This includes the famous UNIX operating system (the grandfather of Linux and all its derivatives), the C Programming Language, fundamental parts of the technology that form the internet, digital telephony, satellite communications and audio/video compression techniques to name but a few.
During this time a very talented research scientist called Hal Alles was working on means to implement echo-cancellation in digital telephone systems. This led to the development of an advanced high speed digital oscillator system.
On experimenting with the concept it became apparent that it might have some merit as the basis of an advanced music synthesizer using real time digital control techniques. Incredibly, Hal was permitted to setup a side project with funding to explore this notion and after very much toil and expense the Bell Labs Synthesizer or Alles Machine was born. This 300lb behemoth was nicknamed The Blue Monster or Alice for short.
The GDS/Synergy II+ is surprisingly capable of synthesizing all manner of percussive sounds including many of a similar but not identical nature to their analog counterparts from drum machines of yesteryear.
As well as the main body of instruments Synergenesis features over 220 percussive samples capturing a significant proportion of the drum patches featured in the original factory instrument library which dates back to the early 1980s.
They have been presented as two main drum kits and as a series of sets primarily intended to permit the user to preview them and experiment with filtering and dynamics on select sounds. Multiple instruments can then be used in this manner over a number of midi channels if required. More technically minded users can remap the drum sets as they wish in Kontakt.
The drum sounds in this library are also presented in .wav format.
As well as the original 24-bit samples the percussion is also presented in 16 and 8-bit formats (all at 44.1KHz sample rate) in their respective folders for use on a wide range of software based sample players and applications as well as a number of hardware samplers such as the MPC series.
- 952 24-bit Samples*
- 298 Drum Samples in 8, 16 & 24-bit .wav format
- 61 Example Instruments*
- 48 Example Layered Multis*
- User Manual
- Audio Demo
- Approximately 1GB of free hard disk space is required.
Enter The DK Synergy
Following the GDS was the Synergy (DK-1) which relied on the identical 32 high speed oscillator subsystem but coupled to a dedicated Z80 controller thus enabling the instrument to operate stand alone relying on voice cards plugged into the front panel to permit the user to select between or layer up to 4 combinations of 32 patches.
A few years later a clever upgrade was offered to basically return the programming ability of the GDS to the Synergy through the use of an external host computer manipulating a special memory area known as VRAM. This variant was known as the Synergy II+ but was not sold in great numbers thanks in part to the release of the considerably more affordable DX7.
Risen from Near Obscurity – Reviving Synergy #01205
Time has not been kind to the Synergy with many examples having perished years ago. Needless to say that very few have experienced a working Synergy let alone a full II+ system first hand in recent times.
Quite by chance earlier in the year I stumbled across a now very rare 1983 Synergy II+ in a rather burnt out state with a very interesting past. After a few days of intense research I was able return this poor beast to working order and I set about the soon to be arduous task of finding a suitable Kaypro II computer to be coupled to it to run the infamous synHCS host control application.
The task of tracking down a working Kaypro was tricky enough in the UK but the task of running an OS, finding working application software, making a suitable serial cable to connect the two machines, configuring the link and locating the factory patches in the correct format proved to be a major headache.
Sampling the Beast
I decided to capture a broad selection some of the more impressive sounds. This turned out to be a bigger task that I had envisaged and after many tens of hours of run time the beast died in front of my eyes and after several hours of mild panic I determined that the very elderly and rather grizzly switch mode power supply had failed. To my great relief the beast was returned to operation the following day having retrofitted a modern high efficiency equivalent in its place (which was half the size of the original!).
During my time sampling the Synergy a curious feeling crept over me that I have very rarely experienced whilst sat in front of a vintage instrument – that of sheer wonder that a team of engineers had the vision and bravery to develop an instrument so very ahead of its time and so different from those of the day.
In fact, despite the number of wonderful vintage synths I get work on these days, the last time I felt this way was when I was returning the infamous 1938 Novachord #346 to life.
In short, I hope you enjoy playing the sampled instruments as much as I’ve enjoyed making this library…
**The FULL version of Kontakt 5.8.1 is required.**
- macOS 10.14 or higher
- 64 bit
- Intel Core i5 or Apple M1 (native)
- RAM: 4GB (6GB recommended)
- Windows 10 or higher
- 64 bit
- Intel Core i5 or similar CPU
- RAM: 4GB (6GB recommended)
- Mac (64-bit only): Stand-alone, VST, VST3, AU, AAX
- Windows (64-bit): Stand-alone, VST, VST3, AAX