One way to break into the world of modular synthesizers are stand-alone synths called semi-modular. These, usually analog, boxes like the classic Arp 2600 and Oberheim SEM, come pre-patched. That means that they’re ready to go, usually by just plugging a MIDI controller keyboard or sequencer into them. The semi-modular part comes in with their patch panels. These series of jacks allow for connections and patches with other semi-modulars and formats like Eurorack modular. This works on a concept called, control voltage that was developed by Dr. Bob Moog in the mid-1960s. Vintage King carries some excellent semi-modular synthesizers. Here are a few of our favorites.
Tom Oberheim SEM Pro
A reissue of one of the original semi-modular, the SEM is partly responsible for starting the synthesizer craze that began in the late 1960s. With completely analog topology, this box has beautiful full sounding oscillators with a satisfyingly robust 24db low pass filter. The synced oscillator sounds from this unit are unrivaled.
Studio Electronics Boomstar SE80 Analog Synthesizer
Studio Electronics started out by doing rack conversions of classic synths like the Minimoog and Prophet 5. Their latest offering, the Boomstar semi-modular series offer extensive patching capabilities with filters inspired by classic synths like the Yamaha CS-80, Arp-2600, Roland TB-303, and Oberheim SEM.
Pittsburgh Modular SV-1 Blackbox
The Blackbox is a massive-sounding, fully-fledged synthesizer voice, the PGH SV-1, which contains every element of a beginning modular synth setup. It includes two oscillators, an LFO, ADSR, multimode filter, mixer, VCA and a MIDI to CV converter. This well-qualified package can set you on your way to your new "euro-crack" addiction. A great gateway drug!
Moog Music Mother-32
One of Moog Music’s latest editions to the synth world, this semi-modular has huge sounding oscillators with the revered Moog transistor ladder filter. Features like a built sequencer and mini-keyboard, tons of patch-points, and a compact design make the Mother 32 one of our new favorites here at VK.
-Josh, resident Vintage King synthgeek