Analogue Solutions 'Colossus': A New Analog Mega-Synth with a Design Ethos truly from the Dawn of Analog Synths
British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutionshas just announced a forthcoming fourth run of Colussus - its supersized synth that trips back to the future of analog, albeit symbolizing so much more than a powerful analog ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators) beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best by taking its design cues from the colossal classic that is the EMS Synthi 100, although no Synthi circuit was cloned or copied in making the destined-to-be-classic Colossusfit for a new generation of high-flying owners.
British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions' 'Colossus' symbolizes so much more than a powerful analog workstation with no fewer than 12 VCOs beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best.
With 12 VCOs and eight VCFs, Colossus musically matches the extensive and expensive Synthi 100, yet comes complete with a whole lot more besides. Indeed, its oscillator panel is well specified in its own right. There, the FREQ (frequency) - pitch - range of OSCILLATOR 1 through to OSCILLATOR 12 is extremely wide, and each can also be used as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator); each features four waveforms, plus pulse width, oscillator sync, and sub oscillator abilities. All are complimented by a SAMPLE AND HOLD generator, RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR, and two pink/white noise generators - namely, NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2.
The equally well-specified filter panel features four multi-mode (hi-, band-, and low-pass) 12dB filters - FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4, the circuit for which was originally based on the filter found in the classic dual-oscillator Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module®) created by legendary American synth designer Tom Oberheim back in 1974, albeit Analogue Solutions skilfully applied some heavy-duty modifications of its own. On top of that, there are also four low-pass 24dB transistor ladder filters - FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 - featuring a 'Moog' style sound. Saying that, all eight VCFs have serial VCAs (Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers), so there are actually eight VCF/VCA combinations in total. That’s not all as this panel also houses two mechanical spring reverbs - REVERBERATIONS 1 and REVERBERATIONS 2, each featuring a triple spring tank; two RING MODULATORS; two voltage SLEW LIMITERS; and four envelopes - ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4 - with ATTACK, DECAY, SUSTAIN, and RELEASE controls, alongside hold repeat and gated repeat trig (trigger) MODE functions.
Furthermore, the so-called 'scope' panel - so named as it includes an oscilloscope - pushes things to an even higher level, specification-wise, since it includes four VCAs - VCA 1 through to VCA 4 - in addition to those found in the filter panel, plus two LFOs - LFO 1 and LFO 2 - in addition to those found in the oscillator panel, as well as four A S D/R envelopes - ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4. So since the aforesaid VCOs can be used as LFOs, Colossus can, in fact, be potentially pressed into playing a total of 14 LFOs. Likewise, since each of the eight VCFs have VCAs hardwired inline, these plus the individual VCAs means that there is actually a total of 12 VCAs available to any adventurous user.
Ultimately, Colossus comes complete with yet more populated panels for setting the controls for the heart of the synth, as it were, with a 'digital intervention' of sorts showing through the touch panel housing two touch keyboards with digital note sequencers - TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCERS, although analog control readily resumes with the two JOYSTICK CONTROLLERS above and six-channel STEREO AUDIO MIXER above them. The sequencer panel is dominated by a SERIAL 1-64 SPLIT 2x 1-32 step SEQUENCER with CLOCK generator, GLIDE, JUMP, RESET, CV OUT, GATE OUT, and other control features. Four large 10V backlit SIGNAL METERS - CHANNEL 1 through to CHANNEL 4 - up the analog ante alongside the SEQUENCER. Then there are two broadcast-quality CV and audio pin matrix panels - inspired in no small part by the British-built EMS VCS3, which made musical history upon its introduction in 1969 by being the first commercially portable synthesiser available anywhere in the world, thanks to its innovative modular matrix-based patchboard dispensing with the telephone exchange-like cabling of other (much larger) modular systems in favor of making space-saving connections with (removable) pins - and last, but by no means least, there are also four minijack patch panels providing I/O from all Colossus' circuits.
Analogue Solutions is already working on some upgrade options, which will be announced later this year and available to buy as add-ons.
* The fourth Colossus run is in production and available to order for purchase - priced at £25,000.00 GBP (excluding tax and delivery) directly from Analogue Solutionshere- with shipment direct to the customer’s door, while wait time is around two to four weeks after Analogue Solutions’ receipt of a £6,500.00 GBP deposit (excluding tax and delivery), payablehere- with balance and shipping costs required shortly before despatch. (Please note that if shipping is required then the crate and packing is estimated at £300.00 GBP, while shipping will range from around £300.00 GBP for Western Europe to around £1,500.00 GBP for the USA.)
Analogue Solutions is a UK based company specialising in true analogue synthesisers, sequencers and modules with over 25 years experience in the industry. Analogue Solution instruments are hand built in England, and designed by Tom Carpenter, who has hands on involvement in all aspects of the company. Analogue Solutions award winning products have been applauded for having a truly vintage sound that is full of character. The synthesisers have a full analogue audio path, and analogue LFOs and EGs. Also no memories means nothing in the synth is being made sterile by CPU control. When you turn a knob you are directly changing the voltage or current in an actual synth circuit. Analogue Solutions were there right at the start of Eurorack, the third company to start producing modules. Analogue Solutions founder, Tom Carpenter, has a genuine passion for analogue synths, drawing on his years of using and owning vintage analogue synths and drum machines, which he uses, along side AS products, in his own music productions.
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