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Analogue Solutions Colossus AS200 Slim ‘space-saving’ version

analogue solutions colossus as200 small

Having spiritedly (and successfully) reimagined what an analogue super-synth could contemporarily become with the 2019-premiered, premium 12-VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) original Colossus taking its inspirational design cues from the colossal classic personified by the rarefied Seventies-vintage Synthi 100, bravely built by British trailblazing entity EMS (Electronic Music Studios) as one of the largest (and most expensive) examples ever birthed by anyone anywhere, British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions announces that it is accepting orders for Colossus AS200 Slim - shedding some pounds as a ‘space-saving’ version of its now-named Colossus AS100 Classic predecessor, pitched as being a perfect fit for those with a little less studio space to spare or more restricted access for installation, yet compromising very little to achieve a 53% reduction in its footprint depth to a comparatively slimline 330 mm measurement as well as an associated 33 lb (15 kg) weight loss (and comparative price tag drop) in doing so, but beautifully designed, nonetheless, to elegantly stack on top of a Colossus AS100 Classic to form a dreamlike ‘double-height’ Colossus Double system, the likes of which has to be seen (and heard) to be believed - as of April 26…

As a ‘space-saving’ version of its Colossus AS100 Classic super-synth sibling, the comparatively slimline Colossus AS200 Slim’s so-called ‘VCO Panel’ is identical, including no fewer than 12 VCOs (OSCILLATOR 1 through to OSCILLATOR 12), each boasting high-quality multi-turn vernier dials acting as a very high FREQ (pitch) range control that also allow them to be pressed into service as additional LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators), a four (sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and triangle) WAVEFORM count, PULSE SHAPE (allowing the pulse width of the square wave to be manually changed), and (output) LEVEL controls; associated VOLTAGE CONTROLLED OSCILLATORS jack points include pitch CV (control voltage), SYNC in, and audio OUT for each VCO, while odd-numbered VCOs have SUB (sub- oscillator) outputs and even-numbered VCOs have PW (pulse width) CV inputs. In addition, NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2 each have a pink and white noise-mixing COLOUR control and an associated output LEVEL control, complimented by a RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR with RATE and LEVEL controls alongside a SAMPLE AND HOLD generator with SOURCE and LEVEL controls for further flexibility.

Design differences - albeit, admittedly, of a purely visual functional nature - between the two super-synth siblings’ so-called ‘VCO Panel’ are apparent as Colossus AS200 Slim ships with a two-channel LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) oscilloscope as standard, so it is clearly capable of displaying two waveforms at once, although a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) oscilloscope is available as an option (for an additional £500.00 GBP, excluding VAT). Thereafter, this panel’s two triangle and square wave- featuring LFOs (LFO 1 and LFO 2), four discrete VCAs (VCA 1 through to VCA 4) - used to change the level of audio and CV signals, and four A(D)SR envelope shapers (ENVELOPE 1 through to ENVELOPE 4) are implemented identically.

Implementation of Analogue Solutions’ next-to-no-compromise Colossus AS200 Slim design involved no changes being made to its well-stocked so-called ‘VCF Panel’ central to its colossal sound - where FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4 are a 12dB multimode VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) design while FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 are a 24dB low-pass design, all sitting comfortably with four ADSR envelope generators (ENVELOPE GENERATOR 1 through to ENVELOPE GENERATOR 4) each with three trigger modes, as well as two spring reverbs (REVERBERATION 1 and REVERBERATION 2) with three real mechanical springs each, two RING MODULATORS, and two SLEW LIMITERS - and so-called ‘Sequencer Panel’ - itself featuring four backlit moving-coil SIGNAL METERS together with a 64-step CV/Gate SEQUENCER capable of operating in four different playback modes.

Achieving a 53% reduction in Colossus AS200 Slim’s footprint depth to a comparatively slimline 330 mm to accommodate more restricted access for installation in comparison to the 700 mm depth allowed by the Colossus AS100 Classic - tilting the latter by 45 degrees effectively reduces that dimension diagonally to around 620 mm, however, which may well help with gaining access through unusually narrow doorways - meant making some design changes; at 750 mm in height, Colossus AS200 Slim is a little taller than the 655 mm-high Colossus AS100 Classic, therefore takes some of the features found in the Colossus AS100 Classic’s horizontal console and flips them vertically into one orientation. On the face of it, then, this inevitably involved some small compromises - not least that, though fully independent (as they are not internally wired to anything), Colossus AS200 Slim’s two vertically-mounted broadcast-quality 31 x 15 ANALOGUE PIN MATRIX ROUTING panels are somewhat smaller than those horizontally mounted in the Colossus AS100 Classic, while the latter’s two TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCERS dominating its horizontally-mounted so-called ‘Touch Panel’ have had to be forsaken entirely in favour of a new vertically-mounted ‘Mixer Panel’ incorporating a 10- input stereo mixer, two fixed sub-mixers, and two joystick controllers. As a result, Colossus AS200 Slim actually provides more mixer inputs than Colossus AS100 Classic, which is no bad thing. That said, Colossus AS200 Slim’s four so-called ‘Jack Socket Patch Panels’ providing I/O from all circuits are the same as those implemented in Colossus AS100 Classic - other than now being vertically orientated, of course.

Clearly when it comes to Analogue Solutions’ spirited Colossus concept, there are now choices to be had. Having said that, those lucky enough not to be in a constrained financial position necessitating making a choice between buying a Colossus AS100 Classic or Colossus AS200 Slim could always consider taking the Colossus Double stairway to (analogue) heaven; after all, Colossus AS200 Slim has been beautifully designed to elegantly stack on top of a Colossus AS100 Classic to form a dreamlike ‘double-height’ Colossus Double system, the likes of which has to be seen (and heard) to be believed! Bearing in mind that a Colossus Double system ships as two separate units, at least two people are needed to lift a Colossus AS200 Slim on top of a Colossus AS100 Classic, with a third person highly recommended for moral support! The two super-synths concerned are safely secured together thanks to a selection of (provided) bolts to form one rigid unit. Ultimately, a Colossus Double system is as awe-inspiring to stand and look at as it is to play with.

Whatever way anyone might choose to approach achieving awe-inspiring Colossus Double system status - given that a Colossus AS200 Slim, of course, can be added to a Colossus AS100 Classic at a later date, it is incontrovertibly so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with 100%-analogue voice and modulation circuits that steer well clear of MIDI and USB; it is also art and architecture incarnate, incorporating beautifully engraved wood cabinetry creating exquisite studio furniture in itself. After all, high-quality constructed synthesisers such as these only come around once in a decade - or, possibly, a generation.

Colossus AS200 Slim is available to order directly from Analogue Solutions with delivery direct to the customer, complete with a selection of patch pins, 3.5 mm ‘mini-jack’ patch cables, and a IEC mains cable. Current delivery time is around two to three months after receipt payable to Analogue Solutions with balance and shipping costs required shortly before despatch, though waiting will decrease down to around two weeks once Analogue Solutions has handled initial demand. (Should shipping be required, packing in a large wooden crate - can be completely ‘flat-packed’ for safe storage, should the customer wish to do so, with delivery by truck to most European countries and air freight to the USA.)

www.colossus-synth.com