But better still, Synthi circuits were neither cloned nor copied in making Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners while fortunately fitting through a standard-sized doorway — unlike a Synthi 100, of course; Colossus’ creator prefers to come up with designs of its own musical making. Moreover, Analogue Solutions has chosen to make use of original circuits tried and tested in favourites from its acclaimed analogue synthesiser products, past and present, including Polymath (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/polymath-paraphonic-modular-synth) — a self-contained four-VCO PARAPHONIC ANALOGUE SYNTHESISER with ANALOGUE SEQUENCER and SPRING REVERB; Telemark (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/telemark-patchable-rack-synth) — a semi-modular analogue monosynth, much loved by bona fide synth pop pioneer Philip Oakey of Sheffield-based The Human League, a colossus connoisseur of synthesisers in his own right, thanks to owning one of the largest collections in the UK; and, more recently, Vostok2020 (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/vostok2020) — the latest (fourth) incarnation of Tom Carpenter’s semi-modular masterpiece taking some of the best parts of its iconic Vostok V2 and V3 Deluxe predecessors and bringing them together as an augmented ANALOGUE POWER SYNTH fit for a new decade. All are united by their ALL ANALOGUE VOICE & MODULATION CIRCUITS — as boldly blazoned across the former’s front panel. Analogue as in really analogue. After all, as implied by its apt appellation, Analogue Solutions truly trades on real transistors and op-amps — no CPU (Central Processing Unit) stabilised and quantised circuits, no DCOs (Digitally-Controlled Oscillators), and no digital EGs (Envelope Generators), as are often found on other so-called analogue synthesisers. Since such circuitry is based on designs dating back to the Seventies, all Analogue Solutions synthesisers proudly possess a truly vintage sound — as does, of course, Colossus, albeit taking things to a whole new level, literally so as an analogue heavyweight to be reckoned with.
With 12 VCOs and eight VCFs to its own notable name, Colossus musically matches the aforesaid 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!