About Us


West Sussex 2011

Who are we?  AMSynths is an innovative synthesizer manufacturing company, owned and design led by Rob Keeble.  I am an electronics engineer (trained at University of Essex), electronic musician and retired IT professional. My company is based in the beautiful countryside of West Sussex in the UK.

Our Mission  AMSynths design and deliver high quality analog synthesizer modules which sound fantastic, are flexible and packed with features. Our modules have an Atheistic Design that inspires the musician to create music from electronic hardware, using design cues from the past and future. Our mission is “more analog than analog”, we hope you enjoy our products!

 

Background  I built my first analog synthesizer in 1975 – a Practical Electronics Minisonic 2. It had the tuning capability of an EMS VCS3, so it was not going to compete with a Mini Moog or even an SH-3, and its inability to play music notes meant it was constrained to providing sound FX thanks to its diode ladder filter. I sold it in 1979 before emigrating to the USA. I have been intrigued and involved in analog synthesizers ever since. I studied Electronics Engineering & Computing at the University of Essex in 1976 but chose an IT career in the UK, including systems programming and leading Java software development teams.

By the mid 1980’s I was collecting and playing analog synths, thanks to the low prices. However as fantastic as they sounded they were let down by the worn out pots and keyboards. In the 1990’s I was able to afford secondhand Emulator samplers, such as the EII and EIII. This led to setting up the Emulator Archive web site in 1999 and meeting up with Dave Rossum and Scott Wedge the founders of E-mu Systems in 2002. My collection of synths and sampler was sold off in 2002 when I hit hard times.

 

Workshop in 2011

Inspiration  Whilst at Scotts Valley I met up with Dana Massie, Ed Rudnick and Riley Smith, some of the team behind the development of the Emulator II. Riley gave me some schematics of the E-mu Systems Modular and I started a project to build a clone in 2002, dusting off my electronic engineering skills for the first time in 25 years. This first modular system was completed in 2005.

Over the next few years I designed over 50 different modules for my own studio in FracRac format and sold over 100 PCB’s to customers across the world, with an increasing demand for completed modules. Modules ranged from VCO, LFO, to VCA and ADSR but by far the largest number were VCF modules, as I have a soft spot for them!

Bananalogue LPFA

In 2006 Bananalogue in the USA manufactured a set of Analog Metropolis branded 4075 PCB’s, and built and sold a number of completed FracRac modules under license. The module was called the LPFA and it is a replica of the ARP 4075 VCF, there is a picture of one on the right.

AMSynths sources the finest components from across the world, with PCB’s and specialist parts manufactured in China, semiconductors from the USA and UK, and amazing full colour machined aluminium panels from Germany.

AM8109 VCF

Foundation of AMSynths  At the end of 2011 I founded AMSynths and started manufacturing and selling EuroRack analog modules. These modules are manufactured in low volume at about 100 a year. Customer demand has been fantastic and production runs sell out very fast with many reserved ahead of launch. In 2017 and 2018 my day job proved very busy and AMSynths was put on the back burner until I retired in 2019 with a lot more time to complete both my own projects and new modules.

Collaboration  AMSynths has a design ethic – high quality. To achieve this goal we seek to collaborate with the best creatives, designers and electronic engineers on the Planet. So if you have inspirational ideas that you can engineer into the analog or digital domains, or you wish to license, distribute or market our products get in touch now!

1006 Module

Behringer Partnership In June 2019 I joined forces with Behringer to design analog synthesizers that will be manufactured in China and sold to customer across the world. I am working on a number of projects which I will let Behringer announce when they are ready. AMSynths is continuing to grow with more Euro Rack modules being manufactured, as well as complete synthesizers like the SH05 and Jupiter One. In 2019 I started to restore vintage music gear, and you will see the repair stories in my Blog. I am also creating videos of my modules and the vintage synths that they emulate.

Copyright AMSynths 2017