Synth of the Month:
The Syn-ket



The ‘Syn-ket’ (or ‘Synthesiser-Ketoff’) 1963, was designed by Paul Ketoff & John Eaton, Italy. Paul Ketoff was an American- Polish-Italian sound engineer working for RCA based at the Cinecittà film studios in Rome.

Inspired by the work of Harald Bode, Paul Ketoff designed a new, small voltage controlled transistor based synthesiser which he presented to the American composer John Eaton at the American Academy, who quickly recognised the possibilities of using the synthesiser for live performances; that is, performances without any tape recorders – electronic music performances of that period usually relied on recorded sound because ‘synthesisers’ were huge, stationary, multi component, studio based devices and far too big to move to a live performance space.

Sadly the Syn–ket was not conceived as a commercial product, but was widely used on Cinecittà soundtracks for Spaghetti westerns (Ennio Morricone used the Syn-ket on many of his soundtrack scores), Italian horror and science fiction films