On first inspection you’re fooled into thinking this is a regular sort of desktop and Eurorack compatible synthesizer. Nope, this thing is huge! All those patch points – they are 1/4″ jacks. None of your piddling 3.5mm Eurorack cables here. Asterion is a full-on modular analogue synthesizer with no internal connections that you need to see with someone’s hands on it in order to appreciate the scale. Like this:
The layout gives the impression that it’s a single instrument when in fact each column of knobs is its own module with two columns of patch sockets beneath it. Nothing is normalised so if you want to generate a sound you’re going to have to patch it.
Going from left to right you have three voltage controlled oscillators. They have pulse and sawtooth waveforms and a pulse width control. In the patch bay each oscillator has 2 CV input a PWM input and outputs for the waveforms. Next there are 2 LFOs in a single column with square, triangle and saw waveforms. After two 4-channel mixers you have a pair of filters, both with high and low pass inputs, resonance and 2 CV inputs. Then you have three ADSR envelopes followed by a pair of VCAs. Finishing off on the right are three voltage mixers and a pair of attenuators. Also in the patch bay are a Glide module, a Noise generator and six signal splitters.
Asterion stands imposingly in an upright wedge shape like the Analogue Solutions Fusebox, looking like a piece of wartime telephone or signal equipment. The case is made from metal, the knobs are all bakelite and it’s all soldered by hand. It’s a beast. Sounds good too:
Asterion comes out of Peru. We’ve had a few interesting synthesizers coming out of South America recently. Availability and price should be announced soon.
- AtomoSynth Asterion webpage.