DK Synergy Preservasion Pages


Here is a brief overview of the Synergy

The Synergy is a fully digital keyboard-oriented sound synthesizer that incorporates many innovative features. The precision provided by the controlling computer and 32 completely digital oscillators allows the creation of extremely natural imbres in addition to standard synthesizer sounds. Individual strings with the "scratch" of the bow, plucked harps, and struck xylophones of unparalleled realism are available to the synthesist. A 74-key velocity sensitive keyboard is used to control both the amplitude and timbre of the sound. A pair of "sensitivity" controls - one for amplitude and one for timbre allow the dynamics of the keyboard to be continuously varied. The synthesist can therefore adjust the touch of the keyboard as desired. The timbre controls allow variations in the timbre - such as the "depth" of a leslie, speed of an echo, or brightness of the sound - to be determined by how hard the keys are struck, independent of the amplitude sensitivity.

A unique feature of the Synergy is the capability of playing up to four different timbres from the keyboard at the same time. Sophisticated progqram logic provides several modes for conveniently controlling the assignment of timbres to the keys. In Unison, a note for each active timbre is started when a key is struck. In Rolling, each new key "rolls" to the next timbre in the selected sequence, round robin style. First Available facilitates voice, leading by selecting a timbre based on the number of keys currently down. Floating Split splits the keyboard into two ranges, but rather than having a fixed split pooint, moves the position of the split so that each timbre "tracks" the movement of one hand up and down the keyboard. Split allows the synthesist to select a fixed keyboard split point with a timbre on each side of the that point. Several hybrid modes are also available. In addition to the 24 pre proarammed timbres included with the instrument, a "cartridge" slot - much like that found on home video games - allows additional sets of 24 timbres to be available at the touch of a button. As new timbres are developed. they can be played by inserting new cartridges into the slot. Storage for up to 8 complete setting of the instrument ("programs") is included. This allows the synthesist to prepare desired settings of timbres. etc. in advance and store them for immediate recall during a performance. The Synergy includes a fully digital built in four track event recorder,that allows the preparation of back ground accompaniment or simple recordings. Each track is polyphonic and polytimbral, and can be set to play through or loop continuously. The format is designed for easy overdubbing, and up to 1860 notes can be recorded. Because the sound is resynthesized on playback rather than just recorded various parameters can be changed dynamically, such as timbre balance, vibrato, transposition, speed (without altering pitch), and even the substitution of a fixed metronomic rhythm for the original rhythm.The Synergy has stereo outputs. Each timbre can be individually assigned to either the left, center, or right channels, or be set to "alternate" between the left and right channel when keys are struck. "Intelligent" polyphonic portamento can be set on each timbre, that gives the player the ability to control the sliding of many notes simultaneously. Notes can slide in any order, and in any direction, even "crossing' each other as they glide Three types of portamentc are available: smooth slide smooth slide withoul retriggering of the envelopes and semltone slide (glissando). In addition to the timbre and amplitude sensitivity controls described above, a variety of parameters can be adjusted individually for each timbre. The depth. rate and initial delay of vibrato or random pitch fluctuations; speed and type of portamento; transposition; stereo channel assignment. and monophonic/polyphonic state. Other features include a programmable pitchbend, which allows the player to set the maximum range of the control, and a "modulation" stick that introduces
vibrato under fingertip control. The instrument includes a sustain pedal and a sustenato pedal, which functions like the center pedal on a piano. Normally eight notes are playable simultaneously though this varies accordlng to the number of oscillators required for each note of the active timbres (there are 32 oscillators and most timbres requlre four oscillators). Up to sixteen notes are possible with 2 oscillator timbres. The state-of-the-art computer technoloqy incorporated into the Synergy provides a quality of sound and degree of flexibility not available with analog synthesizers.

There where two versions of the keyboard, the Synergy and the Synergy II+. The original Synergy had no midi or computer interface and used 2732 eproms. The Synergy II+ had midi and a serial interface that could be hooked up to a computer and used the 2764 eproms

Here is a CD .iso file with everything I have on the Synergy along with the MSDos and Kaypro files Synergy CD

I have burned some of the voice files to eproms, and tried them in my Synergy and they worked fine. The files can only be burned to the 2764 eproms, so they can only be used (internally) in the Synergy II (the original Synergy used 2 - 2732 eproms). I also have copies of the 3.xx fimware for the Synergy II+. Incidentally, the only difference between the Synergy and Synergy II+ is that the Synergy II+ has a daughterboard that plugs into where the original processor and eproms where, so if you have an original Synergy and can find a trashed Synergy II+ GRAB IT!! and upgrade yours.

One of the projects I was working on was a multiple eprom board. I built a 3 eprom board to test out my theory (see pic), and it worked well enough to warrant continuing on with the project. Next I designed and built a 10 eprom version using a 4017 and relays for selection,

My next project was to build a 12 eprom board that would use a Pic microcontroller for cartridge selection, it would also have an LCD display to let you know which cartridge was selected, selection would be made with a 3x4 keypad, the only drawback is the cartridge names are hard coded into the software, so if you change an eprom, you have to edit the code to change the name. I also found a cartridge that uses the single 2764 eprom, and cloned it.

I am still trying to figure out how to split the files, and program them into 2-2732 eproms, I also have some 28C64 eeproms on order to try out.

Update: I tried the 28C64 eeproms, and they work fine, it makes it a bit easier for just preveiwing cartridges because you don't need a UV eraser, you just plug them back in and re-program them, just be sure your programmer supports them.

I just recently acquired a Kaypro II computer, so the next project is to get it operational, and see if I can create my own voices for the Synergy. After a lot of hair pulling, the Kaypro is up and running, to see what needed to be done click HERE

To get the Synergy and Kaypro to talk to each other, you need to connect them with a 25 pin male to 25 pin male Null Modem cable (pins 2&3 need to be reversed on one end), the next step is to set them both to the same baud rate, the Synergy has a jumper on the serial expansion board to set the baud rate, it is usually factory set to 19,200 Baud, I set mine to 9600 baud to be compatible with my MSDos machine.

Before you run the SYNHCS program, you need to set the baud rate on the Kaypro, to do this you use the Config command, select Baud and use the arrow down key to set it at the baud rate you want, the Kaypro will ask if you want to save these settings to drive B:, put your SYNHCS disk in drive B: then press Y, now the baud rate will be set every time you boot with this disk (You did make your SYNHCS disk bootable, didn't you?)


Synergy Repair Page