Hans Zimmer collabs with AJHSynth on super synth reviving the sounds of BBC Maida Vale’s RadioPhonic workshop from the ‘60s and ‘70s

“Hans Zimmer has dedicated his life to creating music and soundscapes using synthesisers together with orchestral sounds… No one has a better understanding of what sounds pleasing and how to use it best.”

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Hans Zimmer performing live

Credit: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

Hans Zimmer and AJHSynth have joined forces to build a mighty super synth called the RadioPhonic. The unit revives the classic sounds of the BBC Maida Vale RadioPhonic workshop from the 1960s and ’70s.

The synth is made up of four rows of modules, of which there are 40 in total, and weighs 18kg. Looks wise, it’s heavily inspired by the EMS VC3 –  the very first synthesiser owned by Zimmer and one of the earliest synths used by the BBC – featuring an American Walnut and Cherry wood case, similar to the VCS3 “Putney” case design.

When it comes to sound however, the range of modules included “takes the sonic possibilities way beyond that of the larger EMS Synthi 100 ‘Delaware’ system”, also widely used at the Radiophonic Workshop, according to AJHSynth.

In August of 2023, Zimmer became co-owner of Maida Vale alongside Love Actually and Cats producers, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. It was reported that Zimmer purchased the studios for £10.5 million.

The RadioPhonic System was specially commissioned to take pride of place in the new Radiophonic workshop which he will be recreating soon, back at its original site in Maida Vale.

“Hans Zimmer has dedicated his life to creating music and soundscapes using synthesisers together with orchestral sounds. He is without doubt the world’s greatest film soundtrack composer… No one has a better understanding of what sounds pleasing and how to use it best,” says the brand.

“He also has one of the largest collections of synthesisers in the world, as anyone who has seen pictures of his huge studio will testify – modular synthesisers cover the walls instead of wallpaper! So when Hans says that a particular synth sounds more engaging and fuller than others then he is speaking from a position of experience and authority.”

It later adds, “It is a great honour that Hans has chosen to work exclusively with AJHSynth to create a one of a kind analogue modular synthesiser. It has been designed from the ground up as an uncompromised analogue modular system, a sonic creation tool without equal.”

The RadioPhonic was first unveiled at this year’s Superbooth event. You can take a closer look in the video below:

A limited number of exact recreations of the RadioPhonic synth are to be produced, and each will be individually numbered. Those who would like to be added to the waiting list should contact AJHSynth.

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