SHATTERFORD, UK: having shed some pounds off its ‘against-all-odds-created’ Colossus AS100 Classic super-synth (that took its inspirational design cues from the colossal classic personified by the rarefied Seventies-vintage Synthi 100, bravely built by British trailblazing entity EMS as one of the largest and most expensive examples ever birthed by anyone anywhere) to create Colossus AS200 Slim as a comparatively slimline version pitched as being a perfect fit for those with a little less studio space to spare or more restricted access for installation, British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Colossus AS250 Quartz as a range of add-on expanders — effectively ‘splitting’ Colossus AS200 Slim into ‘quarters’ to enhance existing Colossus systems or other modular synthesisers while also allowing for piecemeal purchase benefitting those wishing to build a complete Colossus system over time to spread the cost — as of May 2…
As a range of add-on synth expanders, each Colossus AS250 Quartz ‘quarter’ has a specific set of general features and is named accordingly: AS250-VCO — comprising a bank of 12 voltage-controlled oscillators (OSCILLATOR 1 through to OSCILLATOR 12), plus two noise generators (NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2), RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR, SAMPLE AND HOLD, and a 31 x 15 ANALOGUE PIN MATRIX ROUTING panel; AS250-Scope — comprising four discrete voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCA 1 through to VCA 4), four envelopes (ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4), two low frequency oscillators (LFO 1 and LFO 2), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) OSCILLOSCOPE as standard or CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) OSCILLOSCOPE optionally available, and TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCER; AS250-VCF — comprising eight voltage-controlled filters (with FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4 each of a SEM-type 12dB multimode design and FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 each of a Moog-type 24dB low-pass design) with an associated VCA each, four envelopes (ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4), two spring reverbs (REVERBERATIONS 1 and REVERBERATIONS 2) with three real mechanical springs each, two RING MODULATORS, two SLEW LIMITERS, and a 31 x 15 ANALOGUE PIN MATRIX ROUTING panel; and AS250-Seq — comprising a 64-step analogue SEQUENCER (capable of operating in four different playback modes), four backlit moving-coil SIGNAL METERS, two JOYSTICKS, two MULTIPLES, MAIN MIXER, and two SUB MIXERS.
Modular by nature, it goes without saying, though, that each expander in the Colossus AS250 Quartz range features extensive patching capabilities with almost all parameters connectable via dedicated 3.5mm jack sockets, which when used in combination with those 31 x 15 ANALOGUE PIN MATRIX ROUTING panels — patch using (included) 3.5mm mono mini-jack leads to/from the synth circuits themselves to any matrix channels to be used, then patch using (included) red (10 kΩ) and black (0 Ω) pins accordingly — allow signals to be easily split and sent to multiple destinations with minimal cabling. “It is impossible to test every combination of patch,” proclaims Analogue Solutions Founder Tom Carpenter, before adding: “Some patches might produce unusual but still interesting results, or you could get something not mixing or buffering in quite the way you expect — just remember this is a living analogue synth, not a giant software controller that has clinical ‘perfection’.”
Put it this way: all voice and modulation circuits involved in Colossus construction are 100% analogue; in fact, Analogue Solutions steered purposefully away from digital technology to the extent of avoiding any MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) connections — those in need can, after all, always turn to third-party MIDI-to-CV boxes or Eurorack modules — though there are, of course, digital elements to the sequencer control involved in the aforesaid AS250-Seq expander that are unavoidable. As a brief aside, it is worth noting here that classic analogue sequencers like ARP’s advanced-for- its-time Model 1601 (launched in 1976) deployed digital logic chips while the colossal EMS Synthi 100 — itself inspiring Analogue Solutions’ Colossus concept from the get-go — even featured a digital sequencer that was truly ahead of its time.
Each expander in the Colossus AS250 Quartz range is — in keeping with that Colossus concept — large scale… think large knobs controlling metal shaft potentiometers, multi-turn vernier-VCOs, and panel-dominating pin matrixes constructed from eye-wateringly expensive Swiss-made broadcast-quality signal routers. Reality has it that the Colossus concept is a no-expense-spared super-synth. Indeed, it is fair to say that high-quality-constructed synthesisers such as the ‘complete’ Colossus AS100 Classic or Colossus AS200 Slim — also art and architecture incarnate, incorporating beautifully engraved wood cabinetry creating exquisite studio furniture in itself — only come around once in a decade, or, possibly, a generation. It is, of course, also fair to say that this comes at a cost. Thanks to the timely introduction of Colossus AS250 Quartz — effectively ‘splitting’ Colossus AS200 Slim into ‘quarters’ to create a range of add-on expanders enhancing existing Colossus systems or other modular synthesisers, piecemeal purchase benefitting those wishing to build a complete Colossus system over time to spread the cost is now an option.
Limited quantities of the Colossus AS250 Quartz expander range are available to order — priced (excluding VAT and delivery) at £6,900.00 GBP (AS250-VCO); £5,500.00 GBP (AS250-Scope); £6,900.00 GBP (AS250-VCF); and £5,500.00 GBP (AS250-Seq) — directly from Analogue Solutions’ dedicated webpage here: https://www.analoguesolutions.com/colossus-quartz
Watch Analogue Solutions’ short, informative introductory video for Colossus AS250 Quartz video here: https://youtu.be/M9PlnzjzGjo