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Cheetah MS-800




Cheetah MS800

info Country: UK
Weight: n/a
Dimensions: n/a
audio demo trend price : 199€
manual comments

Cheetah MS-800 Synth Module
Digital Wave synthesizer


A buget module from the nineties from English society Cheetah, most known for their rack MS-6 a kind of Oberheim Matrix 1000 clone.

Digital Wave synthesizer
Digital Wave synthesizer

info MODULE half rack module. The main panel is pretty poor featuring a cryptic segment display and 10 buttons for whole edit.

Rear panel terminal connectors:
- main signal out (mono + stereo)
- Midi interface.

ac Power supply non-standard external PSU: be sure to get the right one.



edit VOICE based on a Synertek SY6502 the unit manages up to 15 voices but it is possible to increase the polyphony chaining various Ms800 modules. A basic sound patch is composed by up to 14 PCM* voice in layer or TONES (each PCM uses 1 voice from the polyphony) and each tone has some editable parameters:

drum pad - analog out assign (L/R 1/2)
- pitch detune amount
- pitch transpose (+/49 cents)
- velocity curve response (0-4 presets)
- volume gain (0-99 scaled).

* only slots 51-54 can have 14 tones while 61-70 up to 5 tones finally 81-99 only 2... complicated uh?

edit WAVEFORMS internal ROM system is based on a SGS IC (cannot read out, this is pretty messy!) which reads data out of an EPROM 27256 features 21 companded waveforms at 8 bits resolution - pretty dirty and aliased.

drum pad

editMost of wavetable contains basic waves (e.g. sinewave, triangle) noises and harmonics.


cheetah ms800

Upper - What the hell is that?? SGS chip wrapped in tape?


ENVELOPE no EG generator but a simple attenuation parameter: a kind of attack and a release.

cheetah ms800


edit WAVESEQUENCE special wave cycling mode for textured sequences a bit like Korg Wavestation or Commodore 64 wavetabl.
The MS-800 wavesequence creates some harsh digital sequences but it badly lacks a filter structure- old fashioned way. As mentionend into the manual, some parameters are not "yet" implemented (for future expansion). Here's roughly the typical MS800 wavesquence edit structure, be aware that the interface offers quite no clue about your programming steps, so get paper and pencil and get note(!) :

wavesenque STEP 1- waveform numer
STEP 2- volume step amount
STEP 3- step time duration (m.seconds)
STEP 4- crossfade time (smoothes wavefrom transition for clicks, like Wavestation)
STEP 5- go to [next wave] xor [LOOP] or [END].


tip MIDI unit is multitimbral and manages some basic Midi parameters including: velocity, pitch bend, program change and exclusive systems. Sadly no computer editors.

functions 2

Sounds can be saved only by exclusives system using internal MIDI sysex DUMP utility.

transmission - 50 ROM patches
- 49 RAM patches
- 50 ROM tones
- 50 RAM tones

edit FUN FACT MS-800 ... another APHEX TWIN JOKE?
in 2016, the famous English musician RICHARD D JAMES released the CHEETAH EP with a notable reference to this cheap and buggy module. Probably another joke, like he previously did for the album SYRO (2014) - claiming to make use the expander ORLA DS24/12 which is another unspiring and hard to program module, mostly (and still) used as a doorstop.

drum pad

edit Maybe now collectors will rush to acquire this module: willing or not the MS800 is now a cult machine at least, for now.




ms800 cheetah rackmount ms800 cheetah rackmount
Some advertising from this era reported an initial production of full 19" rackmount unit meme  



Company: Cheetah
Model: MS-800
Class: Synth Module
Dates: 199X
Synthesis: PCM rompler
N. samples: 21 PCM
Resolution: 8 bits
Polyphony: 15 voices
Filter: none
LFO: none
Envelope: 1 EG
Memory: 49 slots

CPU: Synertek SY6502



demo standard demo found on the web

demohave some Ms800






Cheetah MS800 FOR SALE
Weird sound Generator FOR SALE







bang for the buck

bang for the buck
LO-Fi sound nervous edit


REVIEW : "Like Evolution EVS-1, the MS800 makes low fidelity digital industrial noises. No editor, no libraries, nothing... for early digital geeks masochists ... or Aphex twin fans."

manual manual
-wave sequence - edit / display
- interface
-aphex twin iconic -edit



"Thank you for choosing the Cheetah MS800 digital wave synthesizer module. The Ms800 uses digital sound generation techniques combined with wave sequencing technology to bring you sound with a movement and depth, rarely found in synthesizers history" Manual (lol)

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