Analogue Solutions’ new semi‑modular synth is as flexible as it is fun.
The current fashion is for pick ’n’ mix Eurorack modulars, but I have to be honest I’m more drawn to flexible desktop semi‑modulars like the new Fusebox. Eurorack’s appeal is that you get to design your own dream synth but, honestly, Analogue Solutions’ synth brain Tom Carpenter is going to do a better job than me of curating a collection of modules into a usable (and affordable) instrument. And that’s exactly what he’s done with the Fusebox: a synth toybox that teams a flexible three‑oscillator monosynth architecture with various musical performance and sequencing tools, and extensive MIDI integration and patching potential. And there’s no compromise going this route: this is a true analogue synth, you’ll find no digital control or patch memory here.
The Fusebox is Orange. I think it looks nice. That’s all there is to say about that. In its default upright configuration it’s freestanding, with just a slight backwards tilt. If you prefer it can be rejigged to lie considerably flatter, which would be great if you want it right in front of you on a desktop, or if you’re standing up playing live. Alternatively you can detach the end cheeks and rackmount the synth with optional brackets.
In the spirit of testing everything I had a go at switching to the flat mode. This is done by removing the front panel and flipping it around. I failed (later realising that I probably needed to remove and re‑seat the ribbon cable linking the panel to the I/O and power board to make this work), but it did give me the opportunity to see what was inside, which is a lovely clean single‑board design. Boutique analogue synths might enjoy the mystique...
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