EMW WCS-1: a Brazilian Hybrid Mono-Synth That Sounds Great

Electronic Music Works – EMW for short – is a young (est. 2011) Brazilian synth manufacturer whose stuff I’m starting to find really interesting. Their growing range of exotic standalone synths, eurorack modules, MIDI-accessories and novel patch programmers seem to be gaining popularity among electronic musicians, and it’s easy to see why: these products aren’t just different and eye-catching (check out the somewhat quirky looks of the synth on display here), but some of the sounds coming out of them are also really, really nice. I’ve always been a real sucker for good digital/analog hybrid synths, and the first unit to really catch my attention was the EMW WCS-1, whose digital oscillators and analog filters seem to be a match made in Heaven. There’s some juicy tones in the demos below, so waste no time in checking them out. And take note of this: the cost of this unit is a very modest $249. We’re talking a lot of synth for the money here, in other words.

What you get here is a MIDI-controlled synth module with a DSP-oscillator (which is also available in eurorack format) going into a signal path consisting of all discrete analog components (including what sounds like a very nice 18 db low pass / band pass filter), and while the WCS-1 is definitely a fairly simple synth it does allow for some interesting tones you won’t find everywhere else. The Wave Composition Oscillator (WCO) going into the dual input VCF can generate a larger variety of wave shapes than what one might guess by just looking at the front panel.

The WCS-1 doesn’t offer a ton in the MIDI-control department, being limited to On/Off and pitch bend messages, but considering the cost of this synth and how good it sound I’m personally going to be quite forgiving of that.

The Electronic Music Works Wave Composition Synthesizer is an inexpensive, exciting  little synth module whose sound I really enjoy, so I’m quite sure I’ll be ordering one of these for myself sometime this winter. I’ve also got my eye on a few of EMW’s eurorack modules – if they sound as nice as this little guy my humble modular system could soon be wearing a lot of black…

(And hey, I’ll have to admit this: the idea of owning a Brazilian synth or two certainly appeals to me, as I’m a HUGE fan of the country. My last visit was earlier this year and can’t get enough Brazil-stuff. What a place.)


Learn more about the WCS-1, Electronic Music Works and their interesting range of synths and gear at their home online.