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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
VCS 3 / Synthi AKS inspired synth DIY
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mono-poly wrote:

It's about selling stuff from a company


A "company"? Shocked

Robin Wood lives out of a shack in a field- or that I am told! Laughing

Or maybe that is what this is all about? Feel sorry for the little guy on his own, working out of a shack in the back garden? Yes, okay I have sympathies for that- more than half the main project contributors on this forum do exactly the same, but EMS are prohibitively expensive for the majority of enthusiasts, and the price for one of these things is now getting really out of hand. We're now approaching eight grand (£8000. That's pounds NOT dollars!!!!). Double your money, and you can afford a Buchla Electric Music box, which is completely under digital and analogue control. The only thing digital about a synthi, is the on/off switch! Crying or Very sad Laughing Crying or Very sad Laughing Crying or Very sad Laughing Shocked

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radek tymecki



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

as far as i know derek and robin know each other. robin helped with some things also provided some parts.

if you dont like this project simply ignore this thread
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

radek tymecki wrote:
as far as i know derek and robin know each other. robin helped with some things also provided some parts.

if you dont like this project simply ignore this thread


Laughing

There you go! Very Happy Very Happy

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Radek, I can't find Derek's email address. Can you PM it to me? Ta!
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TekniK



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dr. Robin Radek Derek.

sorry,useless post,i like those names Cool
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mono-poly



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I made my point and aint gonna argue about it.
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fine. And like Radek said, if you don't like this project, just ignore the thread Very Happy
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
Fine. And like Radek said, if you don't like this project, just ignore the thread Very Happy

OK, so far we have it's OK for poor people to steal, and people who see a theft occurring should just look the other way.

If that's your ethics and you are happy to let others treat you the same way, then so be it.

Very Happy

Ian
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andrewF



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:

As for ethics, well. It's one thing to clone something, indeed, to offer boards for defunct designs for other people to build, or even market a particular module/board as a tribute (the Serge VCS comes to mind, or any number of frequency shifters incorporating the word "Bode" in them), but it is a minefield, ethically. Fair use is one thing, but fair use means not selling it for profit.

Anyway, I don't want either a VCS or a clone, so it's not such a big deal for me. I won't get all worked up over it, in any case.


with regards to Ken Stone's Serge VCS, Serge Tcherepnin was asked and gave his approval. Same for the Serge '73 VCF.
hence the "This is a licensed adaptation of the classic Serge DTG/DUSG" on Ken's page.
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parasat



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

post removed
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

andrewF wrote:
EdisonRex wrote:

As for ethics, well. It's one thing to clone something, indeed, to offer boards for defunct designs for other people to build, or even market a particular module/board as a tribute (the Serge VCS comes to mind, or any number of frequency shifters incorporating the word "Bode" in them), but it is a minefield, ethically. Fair use is one thing, but fair use means not selling it for profit.

Anyway, I don't want either a VCS or a clone, so it's not such a big deal for me. I won't get all worked up over it, in any case.


with regards to Ken Stone's Serge VCS, Serge Tcherepnin was asked and gave his approval. Same for the Serge '73 VCF.
hence the "This is a licensed adaptation of the classic Serge DTG/DUSG" on Ken's page.


I think what I meant to say was that the Serge VCS is an example of one done right. But Ken is particularly good at that sort of thing. I even have one of those Keb Stone "Serge VCS" modules.

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mono-poly



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote from the website:

Robin was unwilling the supply me another front panel, I even offered to send the original back first, that would show that I wasn't trying to build a Synthi A clone, but still Robin didn't want to supply one, oh well, better start on making my own, drat, more expense..


That says it all imho.
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andrewF



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
andrewF wrote:
I remember when Buchla clone pcbs came out it was considered appropriate to ask Don if it was okay by him.
It would be good to ask the same of Robin and his partners.


Fine, but that's between Derek and Robin, and hasn't anything to do with this forum. If you think this is wrong, then don't buy the pcb set, and don't get involved, but I don't think it is up to electro-music.com to tell you the difference between right and wrong.


you are correct it is between Robin & Derek, but it is now here on the forum hence open for discussion;
some hmmms from Topps buchla clone thread:

mosc wrote:
Hmmm...

I find it amazing that nobody has so far asked Don Buchla if this is OK with him. I just sent email to his company asking them to take a look.

I request that you don't take any orders or order the boards before he checks in on this. Legal copyright and patent issues are one thing, but common decency and respect are in play too.

Thanks.


and from the same thread

v-un-v wrote:
Steven, you could try contacting Don Buchla and asking him for permission if you wanted? I've done this with others before- out of courtesy Idea
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mono-poly



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:07 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

andrewF wrote:
v-un-v wrote:
andrewF wrote:
I remember when Buchla clone pcbs came out it was considered appropriate to ask Don if it was okay by him.
It would be good to ask the same of Robin and his partners.


Fine, but that's between Derek and Robin, and hasn't anything to do with this forum. If you think this is wrong, then don't buy the pcb set, and don't get involved, but I don't think it is up to electro-music.com to tell you the difference between right and wrong.


you are correct it is between Robin & Derek, but it is now here on the forum hence open for discussion;
some hmmms from Topps buchla clone thread:

mosc wrote:
Hmmm...

I find it amazing that nobody has so far asked Don Buchla if this is OK with him. I just sent email to his company asking them to take a look.

I request that you don't take any orders or order the boards before he checks in on this. Legal copyright and patent issues are one thing, but common decency and respect are in play too.

Thanks.


and from the same thread

v-un-v wrote:
Steven, you could try contacting Don Buchla and asking him for permission if you wanted? I've done this with others before- out of courtesy Idea



thumleft thumright
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've done better than that.

I've just been on the phone to Robin Wood, and he tells me that this clone is not endorsed by EMS, and Robin is (quite understandably) extremely disappointed with Derek.

I thought about this through last night, and I have come to conclusions that it would be, just like Dennis quite rightly points out, inconsistent of me to also endorse Derek's venture. So therefore I am doing a u-turn, and condemning this project thread. I'm not going to lock it, or delete my posts, because i don't believe any longer in censoring what others may or may not have to say.

The price of a new VCS3, according to Robin, is £3200. There is a waiting list, but then an Ondes Martenot (which I also want) is currently selling for £12,000. I'm prepared to save for one of those, and if the only synth I would buy would be a synthi, so be it. Very Happy

There are no plans for a kit.

Anyone who wants to get the sound of the Synthi into their modular set up, should buy the endorsed Analogue Systems modules, the RS500e and the RS510e.

Very Happy

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IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
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TekniK



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
I've done better than that.

I've just been on the phone to Robin Wood, and he tells me that this clone is not endorsed by EMS, and Robin is (quite understandably) extremely disappointed with Derek.



The fact is that disapointments not count,IF like some claims its illegal,then Robin wood & Co. should take action and give this guy a good lesson! (and am behind that note)

But If Robin wood & Co. can not (or not whilling to) take some legal action,then he just have to shut the fuck off (and all the others to btw!)(and am behind that to note)

Its hard,but its like that.
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Mark Space-Ratio



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A ton of years ago (maybe 15yrs) I put my name down on the elusive Synthi list and ordered a copy of the manual, got the manual, but heard nothing since.
I'm getting older, so is everyone else including the original makers and pioneers of composing with the EMS (Tristram Cary RIP) so what's it to be?
Get a copy or wait around more, will not pay the extortionate amount for an original (£100 copy boards!!!!)
Dealing with a stick in the mud in Cornwall it just ain't going to happen.
Derek get it endorsed sell it as a kit and pay a royalty to the original designers (if they care anymore).
I know one of the chaps who used to build them here in Hammersmith, for pocket money, school friend of David C. Maybe I will get him to put it together just for authenticity Very Happy

¬¬¬
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SynthBaron



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robin Wood is not the person who originally designed the EMS synthesizers, he just bought the company. Even though he was a long time employee, on his own website he said he was only involved in sales. So asking permission to use "his" designs is kind of an absurd concept.

And if you think owning a company connotes "ownership" of those designs, then I hope all of you that have condemned this instance of "theft" equally feel that not asking Moog Music, Inc's permission and/or paying voluntary royalties to use the Moog ladder filter is the same kind of offense.
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rjd2



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

if i may, i'd like to just pop in on this really quick, just to mention a practical solution here:

-it was suggested at one point in this thread that derek change the project to be labelled as "inspired by" as opposed to "clone of".

this seems like a cure-all solution: folks can build it if they like, folks can badmouth if they like, it falls into the same category as the myriad of "inspired by" modules, nobody sues/gets sued/has to worry about it(the odds of a suit seem quite slim, DIY synths as profitable business venture seems implausible), and we can all be happy?

it would seem unfortunate that the folks who have wanted one of these for years have this "dream" lost due to an argument over semantics. just a thought.
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adambee7



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i heard that they these are being made again along with a vsti version. I dont care i want one. Always have. The putney is the one i prefer especially with the reverb tank. God I want one. Razz Razz
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abstraktor



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think rjd2's post is by far the most sensible solution. I've posted in an earlier thread about how over-priced i think the ems synths are (either new-if you can get one- or used). If you want to pay that kind of money to get the cachet of a vintage putney or aks then good for you -but its not going to make you suddenly turn into to eno or tristram cary (actually I suspect that most people identifythem with PF or JMJ). If someone is cloning the pcb/design of a 40 year old instrument to empower folks who havent got £3200 to spend, then so what? Maybe a royalty to Zinovieff, Cockerell and Cary's estate would be a nice gesture though.. Surprised

"What the Future Sounded like " is a great short film on the EMS chaps btw.
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emdot_ambient



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Found an interesting related story from a while ago about the Ionic Performer, which was a VCS 3 without the matrix patchbay, a keyboard and FX plus some extra stuff...
http://maltedmedia.com/people/bathory/killer.html

Quote:

...The Putney aka EMS synthi VCS 3 aka (from 71 synthi a & synthi aks models) was released in 1969 , designed in Britain by Tristram Carey , Peter Zinovieff & David Cockerill...

The following from Tristram Cary was posted in response to comments on the list CEC-Conference (April 5, 2005):

I'm not surprised at the Ionic story, though the most likely US outfit to be selling it would have been Musonic, who sold the Hi-Fli effects box as theirs with EMS permission (though EMS made it). When we were getting ready for production on the VCS3 (in 1968 I think), we discussed applying for a patent - but in fact it's very hard to patent a thing like VCS3 which is an original idea but made of ordinary pre-existing components anyone can buy. You can easily patent something like a new kind of transistor, but hard to cover a general principle. We had ideas like spraying the PCBs with black paint, but in the end we thought that someone was going to copy it anyway, so we might as well get out there selling it and let it take its chances. In any case Robin Wood is doing well selling secondhand VCS3s and AKSs, and he got new mods and computer interfaces - I think he gets around 2 grand for them (a bit more than the £110 or so we sold the first ones for). But he or Zinovieff may know more about the Ionic thing than I do.

So it was never even patented.

Trademarks on the synth's name or the company's a no-no, but otherwise it sounds like the designers of the thing expected cloning and even if they might be "disappointed" to the new owners, the illegality of it is questionable at best.
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

FWIW, I invited Robin Wood to come and join our forum, but I got the feeling that Robin didn't care much about internet. Actually you can tell this, because the site is so out of date. It's all a bit of a shame really Sad

But it's stunning to see that Cary reckoning that the Synthi would eventually be copied at some point in the near future anyway, and he says that in 2005!

I wish I had bought that VCS3 I was offered back in the early 1980's for £50. Bloody parents!! Evil or Very Mad Exclamation

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IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
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derekrevell



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Cloned EMS PCB's
Subject description: Morally wrong?
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Yes, point taken, you are right, I don't want to do anything illegal, it was silly of me to even consider offering these PCB's for sale, I have retracted that offer now.

Please contact Robin Wood T/A EMS on +44 1726 883265 for sales enquires of PCB's, good luck.

I will not be offering any of these boards for sale now. I have taken all references to selling anything connected with EMS off of my web site including repairs and service. Please feel free to construct your own on veroboard. I stick to my Phutney only.

Derek Revell

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rjd2



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Cloned EMS PCB's
Subject description: Morally wrong?
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derekrevell wrote:
Yes, point taken, you are right, I don't want to do anything illegal, it was silly of me to even consider offering these PCB's for sale, I have retracted that offer now.

Please contact Robin Wood T/A EMS on +44 1726 883265 for sales enquires of PCB's, good luck.

I will not be offering any of these boards for sale now. I have taken all references to selling anything connected with EMS off of my web site including repairs and service. Please feel free to construct your own on veroboard. I stick to my Phutney only.

Derek Revell


aaaaaaand, this was what i was concerned about in the first place.

(speaking to derek) for the record, as someone who has done a lot of (musically speaking) infringing on others' copyrighted material, i would bet dollars to donuts that
nobody would EVER come after you legally until you started making alot of documented money. frankly speaking, to sue someone on principle takes a large amount of capital investment. it is just plain impractical as a means of "proving a point".

please, correct me if im wrong here, and not to step on any toes, but it seems to me that rescinding this project due to an internet argument over what kind of equates to semantics is a damn shame.

i, for one, was pretty stoked on doing an EMS "inspired" synth. however, i understand why derek's response would be as such. even the hint of involving a legal system, however amazingly unlikely, is not a fun prospect.

is there a happy medium here? derek, maybe you offer a PDF of the layouts and a BOM as files via PM to someone, and we can privately circulate as we see fit, and roll our own? then its blatantly obvious as not to be a commercial venture?

this project getting deaded this early would be a bummer.

there are a myriad of instruments out there that effectively function as "clones", and their marketing comes down to toying with semantics IMO. from amps to synths, they are everywhere.

shit, i dont have the time to be sending out pcb's and such, but if there are concerns about liability, i'd GLADLY host the site as a backend on any of my sites. that's how little im concerned about the liability aspect.

and lastly, mark space-ratio is the kind of person i feel for the most here. it seems that there are a lot of folks out there who would be interested in building an EMS of their own....
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