The Aviator Goes Global Again

January 27, 2013 in Exclusively Analogue, The Aviator

We did it in the 1990’s with the Aviator travelling as far afield as the USA and Japan and we’ve now done it again thanks to orders from the USA, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. A big thank you to all those that have placed orders and reserved build slots in the past few weeks, you should now have received confirmation of the process and timelines for your Aviator.

For those still interested, there are now only 5 left to order. If you’d like a piece of the action before the Aviator takes the last flight please get in touch to avoid disappointment.

Aviator Sound Tests

January 19, 2013 in Exclusively Analogue, The Aviator

Following on from yesterdays post about the first Aviator to be built in 16 years we’ve now uploaded a few sound files from the testing that was undertaken before it was shipped. These 3 sound files demonstrate the filter options available on the Aviator.

The above sound file is based on the intro beat from the Swedish House Mafia track “Greyhound”. It uses the Exclusively Analogue Aviator synthesizer with the 24 dB Low Pass filter before switching to a 12 dB Multimode filter and demonstrating Low Pass through to High Pass.

Based on the track “Greece 2000” and starts with a 24 dB Low Pass filter before switching to a 12dB Multimode filter.

This sound file has The Aviator synthesizer doing the lead synth solo that Keith Emerson did in Lucky Man. It starts with a 24 dB Low Pass filter before adding a VCF2 in Multi-Mode as an additional output to change the sound.

First Aviator In 16 Years Takes Flight

January 18, 2013 in The Aviator

As we showed you in the previous post, work has started on the first Aviator to be built in 16 years and we are today pleased to announce it is finished and being prepared for shipping. It will be heading over to France for a gentleman that previously owned 2 of the “Original” Aviators all the way back in the 1990’s and from speaking to him, it seems he regretted ever selling them. This one has the “Custom built for…” text in the top left of the front panel and has the alternate black design as you can see from the photo below.

For the sound test we captured a short video of the filters in action.

With so much time passing since we last built an Aviator the original design notes needed a good dusting but it was great to get to grips with it and certainly brought back some memories. Now that we’ve finished this one there’s another two orders waiting in the wings so expect some more soundbytes and videos in the coming weeks.

The Aviator: Black Is The Next Trend

December 31, 2012 in Exclusively Analogue, The Aviator

With the festive season nearly finished and everyone looking forward to 2013 we’ve managed to spend some time building another Aviator system. This is the first one to be built since 1996 and features the alternate black front panel with the eMu modular style knobs. The photo below was taken during a test build to fit all the parts together and to organise the internal wiring.

This Aviator will be headed to France once completed and will feature the “Custom Built for ……” inscription laser etched on to the top left corner. If we get some time (and permission) we will attempt to try and get more photos of the completed system with the laser etching finished and visible.

Exclusively Analogue - Aviator Black Front Panel

We are sure you’ll agree the black front panel looks quite stylish.

Anyway, the final comment for 2012 is for us to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Last Of The Few: The Aviator

November 18, 2012 in Exclusively Analogue, The Aviator

Summer is over and my day job, flying an airliner, has eased off for the Winter giving me some time at last to write this blog and work on my projects!

Exclusively Analogue has always specialised in making limited quantity custom built synthesizers and “The Aviator” was a perfect example of this. In total only 35 were actually produced back in the1990s so a rare beast and apparently much sought after. I recently had one of the earliest examples back for refurbishment and I have included some photographs of this unit so you can see a bit of what’s inside.

The first picture shows how the very early front panel looked followed by a picture of what sits behind the front panel.

 

Quite complex and it took a lot of building especially when you add the 4 VCO boards, 24dB Low Pass Filter Board, and Power Supply. Later “Aviators” had a slightly redesigned front panel and a ‘special’ rear panel as shown below.

I have a very limited stock of the required parts (CEM VCO and EG ICs are the difficult ones) left and after one particular person almost begged me to build him another Aviator I have decided to make “The Last of The Few”!! (Anyone with an interest in Aviation history will remember that Winston Churchill used the term “The Few” to describe the brave RAF Fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain. My “Aviators” are not at all brave but they are British and exclusive!)

The first of these will have a Black front panel and include a “Custom Built for ***********” text in the top left hand corner. An example of the panel artwork is below. I intend using the Solid Aluminium knobs from the Emu Modular system with this panel and once it’s built up I will post some pictures for you.

I plan to use up my stock and build a further 3 “Custom Built” Black Aviators and perhaps another 5 Original Silver and Blue ones if I can get the extra CEM ICs that I will need. These will definitely be the “Last of the Few” and if nothing else, could prove to be a sound investment considering how other old analogue synthesizers have risen in price. If you would like to be an owner of one of “The Last of The Few” Aviators then get in touch. It will be on a first come first served basis.

It is unlikely that I will ever make a Mark 2 “Aviator” simply because they are very time consuming to make. I am considering producing a scaled down 2VCO “Mini Aviator” version using more readily available components and a less complex design. It will still have a unique and Magical sound, mainly due to the Filters, be in a 19” Rack format and still have some jack sockets for ‘patchability’ just like it’s big brother. These won’t be available until Summer 2013 at the earliest.

Paying Tribute, Chance Meetings And A Salute To Longevity

May 21, 2012 in Exclusively Analogue

I was sad to hear of the death of Donna Summer recently. I still think that her “I Feel Love” song, with the powerful and instantly recognisable Gorgio Moroder synth bass sequence, will remain one of the icons of the synth era. As a tribute to her I am in the process of recreating that iconic sound on the Pioneer ‘Tribute’ system and I will endeavour to put the results on here later.

It’s also a very small, and strange, world we live in and at the weekend I had one of those experiences that demonstrated how fate has a way of conspiring to make things happen. I attended a dinner in Oxford on Saturday and ended up sitting next to someone who it turned out was connected with the music industry. After lengthy conversations I discovered that both her and her brother knew various people that I did and that her company, Timespace, had lots of clients who might be interested in the uniqueness of the Exclusively Analogue products. Time will tell whether anything comes of this but I was taken aback at how this chance meeting at a totally non musically connected dinner happened!

It is perhaps worth re-iterating that Exclusively Analogue has always focused on producing unique and exclusive products in limited numbers. As an example I have just been asked to custom build two ‘Aviators’ which will be very unique. To demonstrate this uniqueness both will have “Custom Built for _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _” on the front panel.

On the subject of Aviators, a studio in Sweden has sent their Aviator, number 9, back to me for an overhaul. It has been in constant use for almost 18 years and had a minor fault with the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on one of the VCOs plus a couple of pots that were showing signs of wear. The PWM fault was traced to a faulty 45 pence diode! It was pleasing to note that everything else had remained fully functional. It’s always rewarding to see that my attention to quality in the past has paid off and that ethos will continue in the newer products like the Pioneer modular.