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VCS3 Mark 1
A VCS3 on the cover of Pete Kember's album Forever Alien
VCS3 Synthi
EMS Synthi 100

The VCS3 is an analogue synthesizer which Delia used at Unit Delta Plus and eventually also at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

It wasn’t until 1965 that the Workshop bought its first synthesiser from Electronic Musical Instruments (London) Limited, more commonly known as EMS. This was the VCS3, an unassuming little machine consisting of a box with two sloping panels and a plug-in keyboard. Another version, the Synthi A or Suitcase, was similar to the VCS3, but as its name implies, it was built into a suitcase, making it very convenient for Radiophonic talks and demonstrations.

Although compact, the VCS3 contained three voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), a ring modulator, a voltage-controlled filter (VCF) that could be made to oscillate, an envelope shaper, reverberation from an an inbuilt spring, a white noise generator and a joystick controller. External devices were accommodated by two controllable audio inputs and outputs, with filters. In addition, a 16 by 16 pin-actuated matrix provided for connections between all of the audio and voltage-control elements.[1]

Delia used at least two models:

Pieces using VCS3 sounds


Her sheets of VCS3 settings are in the Category:VCS3 dope sheet


  • DD153 contains some of Delia's VCS3 improvisations



  1. Voltage Control, 1965-1975: EMS VCS3 on
  2. Personal communication, 16th March 2012.