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VCS3 (The Putney)

A work using Putney features: Steina, Distant Activities, 1972
A work using Putney features: Steina, Distant Activities, 1972
Tool Identification

Name of tool: VCS3
Alternate name: The Putney
Inventor/Designer: Peter Zinovieff; Tristram Cary; Dave Cockerell
Marketed by: Electronic Music Studios of America
(Amherst, Massachusetts, United States)
Date of design: 1968
Type of application: audio

Description of the tool

The VCS3, named for "voltage-controlled studio," is best known by the name Putney in the United States. This analog, duophonic synthesizer is equipped with a relatively small connection panel, compared to others of that time. It can control audio signals and their relationships to one another from the device itself. Integrated oscillators produce the repeated fluctuations of voltage that modulate the sounds. Conceived by atonal musical composers, the first version of the device did not have a keyboard. (1)

Vincent Bonin © 2004 FDL

(1) Vail, Mark. Vintage synthesizers : pioneering designers : groundbreaking instruments : collecting tips : mutants of technology, second edition augmented, San Francisco, Miller Freeman Books, 2000, p. 110-111.