After a successful soft-launch at SynthFest 2023 in Sheffield, UK on October 7 (see our video), Analogue Solutions has announcd availability of Ample to a wider audience. They describe it as a desktop-friendly ANALOGUE 3 VCO PATCH PIN SYNTHESISER beautifully blending the best elements of several of its past and present products to form a truly analogue modular system. They say that it is skilfully presented in a spacious (550mm x 262mm x 83mm) steel and aluminium case that also embraces ergonomic features such as VESA mount compliance, should desktop space be at a premium. Here's more details in the company's own words...
Ample adheres to Analogue Solutions' tried-and-tested no-compromise construction formula, featuring a full rugged steel and aluminium case -- no plastic mouldings here; high-quality metal potentiometers with smooth action, fully sealed against dust intrusion; high-quality knobs with spun aluminium caps; high-quality double-sided circuit boards; high-quality 16-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Convertor) for stable MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to CV (Control Voltage) conversion; stable analogue oscillators; gold-plated touch plates; plus true retro analogue voice and modulation circuits to give an authentic retro sound. Since Analogue Solutions' innovative instruments are applauded for proudly possessing a truly vintage sound -- synthesisers featuring fully-analogue audio paths with analogue LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) and EGs (Envelope Generators), in other words, Ample is in good company as an ANALOGUE 3 VCO PATCH PIN SYNTHESISER.
But by beautifully blending the best elements of several past and present products -- namely, the sound elements of Fusebox fabricated originally as an aptly-named, three-VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) true analogue monophonic synthesiser that favourably fuses the company's characterful vintage sound with an advanced choice of modulation and melodic possibilities in a beautifully-built box; the jack points introduced in the long-discontinued line of Concussor modular synth drum modules (themselves dating back to the time when Analogue Solutions was the third company to start producing Eurorack format-compatible modules, magical as that might sound in today's ever-expanding era of thousands of Eurorack modules being produced by hundreds -- if not thousands -- of developers, both bigger and smaller); the patch pin matrix introduced in the long-lasting Vostok semi-modular synthesiser series (that knowingly nodded and winked at its Russian 'roots' from a visual standpoint); the lo-fi echo featured in Dr Strangelove as a small and affordable desktop signal processor (that ushered in Analogue Solutions' so-called synthBlocks series); and last, but by no means least, the sequencer and CV touch plates introduced in Generator as a highly-versatile multi-channel analogue step sequencer -- to form a truly analogue modular system skilfully presented as a precision-engineered electronic musical instrument is what really makes Ample stand out amongst Analogue Solutions' present-day products.
Put it this way: while Ample shares all of those features from some of Analogue Solutions' 'greatest hits', it still has a sound of its own thanks to the circuits on offer: OSCILLATING is handled by three analogue VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators), each providing a wealth of features and modulation choices, with the VCO3/LFO 1 legend visually highlighting that the third oscillator can easily be utilised as an LFO (with saw, square, and triangle wave modulation signals), while LFO2/SYNC has a triangle wave output to total two LFOs; the LP VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) section is anchored around a four-pole 24dB-per-octave low-pass filter; the VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier) can be set to THRU so it is always 'open' (allowing Ample to be used as an effect processor); the two envelope generators -- EG 1 and EG 2 -- each offer full control over ATTACK, DECAY, SUSTAIN, and RELEASE; extensive modulation routing choices allow for a wide range of resultant sounds extending into percussion and 'modular' territory, further extended by patching with the jack sockets and pin matrix; MIDI is intentionally kept simple so users can concentrate on creating new sounds and making music, with all- important control over filter cutoff available via MIDI Velocity; patchable CV control sockets allow the synth in question to effectively be rewired to make new sounds, as well as easily patched together with external Eurorack and other modular systems; the PATTERNATOR is a vintage-style 16-step sequencer; the six touch plates each output a set voltage, so can be used to pitch notes or as modulation signals -- either way, they are truly inspirational in action; the pin matrix represents a neat (and flexible) way to patch the synth; and the ECHO section provides easy access to adding a little lo-fi echo or delay.
Audio applications abound when working with Ample as a synthesiser -- excelling at analogue sound effects, as well as fat basses, screaming leads, and all manner of other crazy sounds associated with analogue synthesis; an effect processor -- perfect for feeding external sounds through the onboard analogue filter and ECHO sections via external audio inputs; a drum synthesiser -- suited to producing electronic percussion, including cymbal, hi-hat, kick, and snare sounds; and as a modular synthesiser -- partially pre-patched, but with such a wide range of modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full-blown modular system, and capable of producing the same types of sounds but dispensing with telephone exchange-like cabling confusion in favour of making space-saving connections with removable coloured pins, yet still providing a flexible selection of patch sockets so it can quickly be re-patched into itself or to/from external Eurorack and other modular systems.
It is also worth noting in conclusion that while Ample can be used with an external MIDI keyboard or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), or an external CV keyboard or analogue sequencer, it is equally at home being worked with on its own using its internal step sequencer or pitch played via its six-touch plate 'keyboard'. Whatever way anyone chooses to work with Ample, it could conceivably be argued that it is the best desktop synth of all -- Analogue Solutions-wise or otherwise!
Pricing and Availability:
Limited quantities of Ample are already available to purchase directly from Analogue Solutions for £1,999.00 GBP (excluding tax/VAT) while stock will soon be arriving at selected dealers.
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