A Legendary Giant Reborn

Computer Music - 10/10 Rating Computer Music Editor's Choice Award Computer Music - Value Award MusicTech 10/10 Excellence Award MusicRadar 5 Stars
  • Cherry Audio PS-3300 UI - Main
  • Cherry Audio PS-3300 UI - Synth Voice Panel
  • Cherry Audio PS-3300 UI - Semi-Modular with Virtual Jacks and Cables
  • Cherry Audio PS-3300 UI - Mixer Panel with Effects and more
  • Cherry Audio PS-3300 UI - MIDI Learn and Control for DAW Automation

MusicTech Excellence Award - "10 out of 10!"

Computer Music "10 out of 10!" with "Editor's Choice" and "Value" Awards!

PS-3300 is an exactingly faithful virtual analog emulation of the colossal and ultra-rare semi-modular analog polyphonic synthesizer released by KORG in 1977. Cherry Audio has pulled out all the stops to accurately recreate and update this mythical monster synth, from its massive stacked sonic character and signature multiple‑resonator sweeps to the considerable patching capabilities that distinguished the PS-3300 from all other polysynths of the era.

Big in Japan... and everywhere else

Before releasing its renowned line of MS monosynths, Keio Electronic Laboratories (under the KORG brand name) introduced its Polyphonic Series of analog synthesizers. The largest and most expensive was the massive PS-3300, a legendary synthesizer produced between 1977 and 1981. It is widely considered one of the most rare analog synthesizers ever made, with around 50 units produced. With its semi-modular design, flexible architecture, and a propensity for rich, sonically evolving timbres, the PS-3300 is often regarded as the holy grail of polyphonic analog synths.

PS-3300's unique architecture set it apart from the handful of polysynths available at the time. It had three independent "signal generator" panels, each essentially a complete polyphonic synthesizer. Each of these synth panels included 12 independently tunable divide-down oscillator banks as well as independent discrete VCFs, envelope generators, and VCAs for every note. This enabled all 48 keys of the external keyboard to be simultaneously played with independent articulation. Dual LFOs and triple voltage‑controllable resonators for each generator further shaped its signature tone. A dedicated master panel featured a mixer with VCAs for each of the three voice panels, sample & hold, an additional envelope generator, and two control voltage processors. It also delivered extensive modulation possibilities through an astounding 67 front-panel input/output jacks. Taken as a whole, the PS-3300 was so powerful and revolutionary that even Bob Moog was impressed, stating that it was, "the best synthesizer for fat sounds."

The PS-3300's high production cost meant that only the wealthiest musicians could afford it, thus adding to its rarity and mystique. Its broad and bold sound, described as an orchestra of synthesizers, has made it a highly sought-after instrument by professional musicians and collectors alike. Its adoption by groundbreaking artists such as Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Keith Emerson, and Space has further bolstered its popularity over the decades. Korg introduced the PS-3300 at $7,500 in 1977, and it is now so rare and coveted that one sold for nearly $100,000 in 2021!

EMEAPP's original PS-3300 used to model Cherry Audio's PS-3300 virtual instrument
EMEAPP's original PS-3300 used to model Cherry Audio's PS-3300 virtual instrument

Into the Vaults of EMEAPP and Beyond

Cherry Audio collaborated with the Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project (EMEAPP) to meticulously study and reproduce the exemplary PS-3300 in their collection to celebrate the legacy of this preeminent piece of synthesizer history. EMEAPP is the steward of a privately held curation of rare vintage electronic instruments and stage-used gear whose mission is to "share the history, artists, sounds, equipment and technology of electronic and rock music, keeping it relevant and accessible for future generations."

Once again, Cherry Audio has faithfully preserved the soul of a classic instrument while respectfully updating its feature set for modern studio environments. The PS-3300 virtual instrument replicates the functionality, layout, and sonic characteristics of each of the three PSU-3301 signal generator panels, including the six-waveform oscillators; two modulation generators (LFOs); dynamic lowpass filters, envelopes, and amps; its distinguishing triple-peak resonators; independent per-note "temperament" tuning knobs; and patchable jacks (with virtual cables) for signal routing. The voice panels have been expanded with additional faculties including PS- or MS-style filter selection, tempo sync, copy/paste between panels, and temperament tuning presets.

Similarly, the master signal mixer replicates the PSU-3302 sample & hold, a general envelope generator, and jacks for advanced sound-shaping and control. Cherry Audio has elegantly expanded the panel with continuously variable CV control of level, per-channel panning, bend range, and studio-quality integrated effects for chorus, delay, and reverb. With exceptional touches such as a lush interface with the Focus zoom-in feature, unlimited cables per jack, over 360 expertly designed presets, and versatile MIDI mapping, PS-3300 is sure to satisfy both vintage synth enthusiasts and today's music producers.

More about EMEAPP

Cherry Audio has been fortunate to forge a relationship with EMEAPP in Philadelphia, PA. By their own description, EMEAPP is "A privately held world-class curated collection of rare vintage electronic instruments - a learning center, through research projects, creative endeavors, media programming and tours, enlightening many people along the way."

Throughout October, Cherry Audio will be donating 10% of profits from its new PS-3300 synthesizer to EMEAPP, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Customers purchasing through the Cherry Audio online store will also have the option to add a direct donation to EMEAPP at checkout. Read more about their collection, their mission, and how to add your support.

To get users up and running with PS-3300, Cherry Audio and Tim Shoebridge have again teamed up to create introductory tutorial videos walking users through the history and features of this monumental virtual synthesizer.

PS-3300 includes over 360 astounding presets

Producers will find immediate inspiration in PS-3300's extensive preset library, created by talented sound artists led by veteran sound designer James Terris. And don't miss the Resonation Preset Pack (sold separately), featuring an additional 100 additional presets by James Dyson.

James Terris

James Terris

James is Director of Sound Design, responsible for preset programming and curation at Cherry Audio. He is a long-established sound designer and musician based in the San Francisco Bay Area who has worked with Dave Smith Instruments/Sequential, Pioneer DJ, Apple, and Han Zimmer’s Remote Control.

Matia Simovich (INHALT)

Matia Simovich (INHALT)

Matia (INHALT) Simovich has shared his unique sound design skills with various leading musical instrument manufacturers such as Sequential/Dave Smith Instruments, Akai Professional, Elektron, and more. He has collaborated with Peter Baumann (Tangerine Dream), and produced Body of Light’s Billboard charting LP “Time to Kill."

Drew Schlesinger

Drew Schlesinger

Drew Schlesinger began developing third-party sounds for Casio CZ synths in 1986, leading to a career designing presets for over 200 products from 30 companies including Roland, Korg, Kurzweil, Alesis, E-mu, Ensoniq, TC, Lexicon, Eventide, and others. After a 20-year hiatus in the corporate world, he has recently returned to music and sound design.

James Dyson

James Dyson

James is a freelance sound designer and musician based in the UK, and creates third-party preset packs as JD Soundsets. He draws inspiration and influence from Tangerine Dream and 80s film scores, and has designed sounds for Modal and IK Multimedia.

The Sounds of PS-3300

Title of Song

PS-3300 Features

  • Exactingly faithful virtual analog emulation of the semi-modular analog polyphonic synthesizer released by Korg in 1977

  • Three independent "signal generator" panels, each with an oscillator, lowpass filter, three-peak resonators, envelope with velocity, amp, two mod generator LFOs, and per-note tuning:

    • 3X VCOs with six waveforms: triangle, saw, rectangle (square), two preset pulse waves (with different widths), and PWM (variable-width pulse)

    • 3X resonant VCF 12 dB/oct lowpass filters with the option to select between the standard "clean" PS filter or the "crunchier" MS-style filter

    • 3X modulatable "triple resonators": 12 dB/oct bandpass filters to produce vowel and phasing tones

    • 3X discreet ADSR-type envelope modulators with velocity control, and amplitude modulation

    • 3X two syncable "mod generators" (LFOs) with output jacks: one with triangle, saw, ramp, rectangle, pink noise, and white noise, and the other with triangle waveform

    • 3X temperament section with individual tuning knobs for the 12 chromatic notes, and temperament presets for Equal Tempered, Mean Tone System, Hepatonal System, and Just Intonation

    • Copy/paste settings from one signal generator panel to another

  • Polyphonic mode with up to 24 voices of polyphony and three monophonic modes: last, low, and high note priority

  • Semi-modular synthesizer with virtual jack and cable system, featuring unlimited mults per jack and customizable (color, transparency, animation) cables

  • Master signal mixer panel with sample & hold, general envelope generator, and two control voltage (CV) processors

  • Individual channel panning

  • User-selectable bend range and master tune

  • Studio-quality integrated effects: chorus, echo with sync, and three types of reverb (spring, plate, and Galactic)

  • Over 360 professionally designed presets in a dozen categories. These include a bonus Legacy collection of basic presets based on the patch sheets in the original PS-3300 Owner's Manual, a 3100-based Glissando patch, and a 432 Hz Equal Temperament patch, all to get your started in your own sound design adventures.

  • Standalone virtual instrument and plug-in versions

  • Complete MIDI control and DAW automation for all controls, with easy-to-use MIDI Learn and mapping

  • Cherry Audio’s popular Focus zoom-in feature, as well as standard UI zoom and resize via drag

  • Complete documentation available directly online from the instrument or in downloadable PDF format

  • User-adjustable oversampling control

Also available: With its three-synths-in-one architecture, unique resonators, and semi-modular nature, the PS-3300 is truly a behemoth of synthesizers. Sound designer James Dyson's Resonation Preset Pack (sold separately) includes additional presets that go further into the relative dimensions between light and shadow and all the way to the outer limits. The Resonation Preset Pack features an additional 100 presets in 10 categories showcasing PS-3300's awe-inspiring poly tones, otherworldly modulations, ethereal pads, bone-rattling sound effects, earthshaking basses, strings, leads, and more.

PS-3300 is available in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats.

A free 30-day demo is available. This demo will play white noise periodically, but is otherwise unlimited.

macOS Requirements: macOS 10.13 or above. 64-bit required. Native Apple M1 or greater processor support, including Ultra. 3.4 GHz Quad-Core or M1 CPU with 8GB of RAM recommended.

Windows Requirements: Windows 7 or above (including Windows 11), 64-bit required. 3.4 GHz Quad-Core computer with 8GB of RAM recommended.

Hard disk space: 105 MB

NOTE: Internet connection required for product activation