GEM WS1 Keyboard Workstation Overview

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GEM WS1 Keyboard Workstation Overview

December 7, 2020 | | No Comments


Based on the GEM WS2 Keyboard technology, the smaller GEM WS1 Keyboard, came in two versions, with and without a floppy drive.

The GEM WS1 represented something entirely new in the field of home Keyboards. The substantial difference between the WS instruments and other existing keyboards lies in the fact that the latter are developments and updates of the Home Keyboard concept, with all the limitations tied to a product aimed to satisfy the amateur.

Instead, the GEM WS1 incorporates the best of both worlds, representing an advanced synthesis of the professional functions of a Workstation and the ideal simplicity of use of a Home Keyboard.  For this reason, although it is an extremely easy instrument to use, thanks to its flexibility it provides functions normally reserved for professional instruments.

The GEM WS1 is an easy instrument to play, conceived with great attention paid towards ergonomics. The layout of WS1 enables a great deal of information to be absorbed very easily, as all the manual perations and the visual control have been confined to a limited area on the control panel.

Issues: The WS Series has SRAM for internal storage. This SRAM (Static RAM), uses a rechargeable NiCd backup battery which is prone to leaking and the battery acid when leaking, often corrodes the PCB and components.  Recommend changing the NiCd battery immediately for a separate battery pack, mounted away from the PCBs.

Upgrades: The Operating System (Firmware), is stored in EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory).  Various releases were made and can updated to the latest (at the time).  The EPROM releases can be found in GEM & LEM EPROM Information and all EPROM BIN files can be found in the GEMClub Members Downloads area.

Disks: A large range of GEM and GEMClub members disks can be found in the GEMClub Members Downloads area.

  • 2 Megabytes of PCM samples and waveforms
  • 128 User programmable voices, complete with multi-sampled Grand Piano and Drumkit.
  • 97 GLOBAL PRESETS user programmable
  • 2 Digital Effects Processors preset: 16 Reverberations + 16 (Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Phaser)
  • Dynamic 61 note keyboard (C2 C7)
  • 1 programmable SPLIT, LAYER/DUAL/SPLIT mode (for each GLOBAL), Dynamic Switch: 3 levels
  • High level user interface for Real-Time performances, including Pitch Ball and programmable Function pedals
  • 64 ROM Styles; up to 32 User programmable Styles
  • 5 Drum sets: Rock Dance Jazz Ethnic Human
  • Multi Track Sequencer with professional editing for: Real-Time Songs, Song Styles, Song Patterns
  • Chain Compose function
  • 3.5″ Disk Drive (up to 10 complete dumps of Voices, Globals, Styles, Patterns, Songs, on each disk)
  • Availability of pre-programmed disks in continuous expansion
  • Digital Pre-amplifier with Loudness control
  • Dimensions WS 1 (H x L x D) mm. 125 x 985 x 340
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Dave Williams

Original and sole proprietor of GEMWorks Europe, later renamed to GEMClub - Generalmusic Owners Club.

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