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Analogue Solutions is a British company specializing in analog synthesizers, sequencers and Eurorack modules. The brand appeared 20 years ago and contributed significantly to modular synthesizer popularization.

Analogue Solutions instruments are hand-made and all the aspects are under Tom Carpenter’s supervision who still tests prototypes himself.

The synthesizers by the brand are famous owing to their fully analog path and analog low pass filters and envelope generators, i.e. control voltage has no central processing (CPU) on its way – you tweak it directly with a knob.

The process of company’s creation was triggered in the 1980s when Tom who just finished school bought Boss DR-110 and a second hand Roland SH-101 and constructed 6 mono synths. Tom changed several jobs in music companies and electronic manufacturers after which he got busy with synth repair. The first modular synthesizers came quickly – it was a nice production method, one of the simplest and cheapest in the world of musical instruments. It explains this modular synth boom we observe today: more than 200 companies are into modules (plus many individual entrepreneurs).

Tom preferred realistic live sound when digital production had already conquered the world which according to his words led to trivial laziness. He chose the way of upgrading and modernization of old synthesizers and drum machines which he used to buy in order to add some connectivity or play with circuitry trying to bring some fresh features. The technical brains, sufficient working experience with electronics and serious inspiration by music of that era made his business flourish.

As many newcomers into the synth making world Carpenter cared that his instruments could sound the way his favorites bands did. Even better. Depeche Mode “Black Celebration” track influenced him making an indelible impression as big as Kraftwerk, and Erasure though. He understood that classic analog hardware couldn’t do anything he would like them to that’s why he dedicated all his efforts to expanding and complicating original mono synths and those features they could offer.

The concept of Analogue Solutions is in the idea to keep that whimsical drift inherent in analog synthesizers which appears due to all the physical process going on and avoid the pressure of perfection in tuning and settings as well as step filtration, i.e. reject total digital scanning.

Funny that such module names as Red Square, Vostok and Tereshkova came to Tom’s mind without any reason or purpose. The first module was an actual red colored and square shaped unit that’s why was called Red Square and only a bit later Tom decided to put it in Cyrillic. Vostok appeared thanks to the largest lake of Antarctica where NASA conducted experiments.

Analogue Solutions synthesizers among which there are Nyborg, Telemark, Vostok, Polymath, Leipzig as well as Oberkorn sequencers were put to good use by The Horrors, Sound of Science, Deadmau5, Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb, The Human League, Depeche Mode’s producer Ben Hilier and many others.

Paraphonic Polymath operates on 4 VCOs, its multi filter is based on Oberheim SEM, has a polyphony and unison mode and reasonably pre-patched in order not to deprive module of its modular essence – it’s patched only where it’s necessary and sets you free to nullify any value.

Polymath has also such additional functions as detune which flattens VCO2 and sharpens VCO4 and Spring reverb which immediately transforms sound and not necessarily should be the last stage of the signal processing. Polymath can also boast of its circuitry which brings it back to the retro sound of the 1970s.

Monophonic Telemark is good for bass sounds generating and electronic percussion creating. Quite a simple panel layout proves Carpenter’s tendency to provide one knob per function control. Telemark will torture you a bit more with patching than Nyborg 12 which complex sub oscillator is already twisted enough to produce thick voices. Leipzig-S would share many of these specs – it was released a bit later with a velocity sensitive semi-weighted keyboard. The synthesizer has no memory that’s why each generated sound will seem unique. There was a modular synth released called Telemark-K featuring a keyboard and replicating many qualities of other instruments made by Analogue Solutions.