Electronic Music Studios

Electronic Music Studios

Electronic Music Studios

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Electronic Music Studios (London) Ltd. (usually abbreviated to EMS) is a synthesizer company formed in 1969 by Dr. Peter Zinovieff, Tristram Cary and David Cockerell.

The partners had wide experience in both electronics and music. Cockerell, who was EMS' main equipment designer in its early years, was a gifted electronics engineer and computer programmer. In the mid-1960s Zinovieff (who originally qualified as a geologist) had formed the pioneering electronic music group Unit Delta Plus with Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Cary was a noted composer and a pioneer in electronic music—he was one of the first people in the UK to work in the musique concrete field and built one of the country's first electronic music studios; he also worked widely in film and TV, composing scores for numerous Ealing Studios and Hammer Films productions, and is he well-known for his work on the BBC's Doctor Who, notably on the classic serial The Daleks.


The company's first commercial synthesiser, the VCS 3, designed by David Cockerell, was produced in 1969. It was developed in the basement of Zinovieff's house and was nicknamed "The Putney" after the London suburb where he was living at the time.

EMS' original aim was to create a versatile monophonic synthesiser that would retail for just £100. While this proved unattainable in practice, the company nevertheless succeeded in manufacturing the VCS3...
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