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Analogue Systems Spawn - a mysterious beast...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Analogue Systems Spawn - a mysterious beast...
Orb
Hi all.

I thought I'd start a thread on the AS Spawn, just because there isn't a lot of information online about it, and most of what there is is guesswork. I have one, I'm quite intrigued by it and I'm keen to know more about it! It's extremely useful, especially in a Eurorack setup, because the individual parts of it (VCO, VCF, ADSR, VCLFO and especially the excellent MIDI converter) can all be accessed by their own patch points. The filter I find a little bland, but it's certainly a capable synth and I use it a lot.

So... what I know about it is mainly from the SOS review:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr03/articles/analaoguespawn.asp

...and from the manual:
http://www.analoguesystems.co.uk/pdf/spawn.pdf

A few online stores listed the Spawn even until quite recently, but nobody actually said they had one in stock. The new price seems to have risen from £495 when it was introduced up to £700+ a few years later. But nobody seems to know how many were actually made or sold. When I look inside mine I see what looks like a hand-etched PCB, which would indicate small batches. Also the serial number is just "B1", written in felt pen. Doesn't sound like a large-scale production run to me!

So... who else has one? If you do, what's the serial number? Does anyone know definitively how many there are? And does anyone know any more of the story, beyond what's in that SOS article?
schmuck
Hey Orb

I got two of them! I bought one years ago to dabble a bit in modular synthesis and added another one to do a true stereo voice. This plan got a bit on a backburner due to other things so they did not get too much use tbh. I liked them for the clear sound including their way of internal overload (again, kind of clear sounding to me).

Recently I have started an euro setup and of course blew the dust off them. As you say the have a great set of features and are very helpful together with other modules. All their single components have a great quality and function range (for example the env that can loop). I always liked their general tone, but was pleasantly surprised how good especially the oscillators sound in isolation. Fantastic precise bass that cuts through. I am using them almost in every patch now in one way or another, I think they are great synths and have their own sound.
Orb
Hei Schmuck. Good to hear from you.

Stereo?! Hmmm, that's a fine idea... (Rob's bank manager awakes with a panicked expression).

You're right, precise is the word. I often find myself using the Spawn as a nice clean-but-weighty bass, with another oscillator (or several) layered on top.

What are the serial numbers on yours?
Orb
(If you don't want to give out serials in public, btw, no worries - I'd still be interested to know how many digits it is, and whether it's properly printed/etched or just written in felt tip like mine!)
schmuck
no secret I just hadn't managed to climb behind my rack ;-)

Done tonight, and its also hand-written, B25 and B30 (surprised they are so closed I bought them years apart...). So...30 units at least! thumbs up
Orb
Cool! The mystery begins to unfold...

Any other Spawn owners/users want to chime in? I know Multi Grooves has one...
a100user
Now my memory may be a bit flaky but I seem to recall that some or all of the Spawn was designed/co-designed by Andy Pledger of http://www.syntheticmusicsystems.co.uk/. He produced the MARS and Planet Expander (which I have).

The manual shows they have a very similar feature set and I would be interested if they sound similar.
Orb
I think you're right. And the reviews at the time said it had some DNA in common with the MARS. And yes, it'd be interesting to compare them...
a100user


If you want I'd be happy to recreate one of your Spawn patchs and post the audio.
Multi Grooves
Orb wrote:
Cool! The mystery begins to unfold...

Any other Spawn owners/users want to chime in? I know Multi Grooves has one...



Sorry, just seen this. After wondering through Kent's MOOG32 thread the Spawn got a quick mention so I thought I'd see what else muffs knew of the spawn.


Hai boys...

Love the base layered bass lines from this. The manual isn't amazing in terms of understanding how t use it stand alone VS intergrating other modules into it but it is a fun piece by itself.

I think the very faded serial no is 39.
Multi Grooves
Multi Grooves wrote:
Orb wrote:
Cool! The mystery begins to unfold...

Any other Spawn owners/users want to chime in? I know Multi Grooves has one...



Sorry, just seen this. After wondering through Kent's MOOG32 thread the Spawn got a quick mention so I thought I'd see what else muffs knew of the spawn.


Hai boys...

Love the base layered bass tones from this. The manual isn't amazing in terms of understanding how t use it stand alone VS intergrating other modules into it but it is a fun piece by itself.

I think the very faded serial no is 39.
modularfreak
I also have a SPAWN serial number: B 48

I asked Bob Williams (the owner of Analogue Systems) about the SPWAN a couple of years ago and this is what he wrote:
"Spawn is a hybrid development of our digital designer Leslie (Newell) and Andy Pledger of SMS who was mentored by our designer Steve Gay in the past. The unit will have its own flavour and not sound like the Integrator. There were either 101 or 51 Spawns if my memory serves me well."
Orb
Excellent new information - thanks chaps!

All the serials mentioned so far are <51. It'll be interesting to see if anyone has one above 51, which would suggest the higher figure is correct.

I'm trying to get a wavering pitch problem fixed on mine, but neither the company email nor Steve Gay are replying at the moment. I'd guess things are a little up in the air over there at the mo, hopefully it'll be business as usual again soon.
dubstephead
a100user wrote:


If you want I'd be happy to recreate one of your Spawn patchs and post the audio.


Yes please!
Multi Grooves
There was a MARS for sale recently on ebay circa Oct/Nov 2016...
It's a bit of a beast.
a100user
dubstephead wrote:
a100user wrote:


If you want I'd be happy to recreate one of your Spawn patchs and post the audio.


Yes please!


Offer is still open if a Spawn user wants to detail a patch I'll be happy set up the MARS to see how similar or not they are.
Orb
Mine is still sick, in fact the pitch problem has got worse. It's been away for repairs but still no joy. I'll get it sorted but in the meantime I can't record a patch without the pitch wavering all over the place.

Anyone else want to step up...?
morphic
Andy still has one and a mars and planet 7 It's peanut butter jelly time!
morphic
Andy's Spawn w00t
steffie268
I found one of these at a reasonable (???) price...

I asked the seller for the serial number but he's out of town and will get back to me in a few days.

It does kind of suck that there's nothing on YT featuring this synth...

It supposedly sounds kind of like an SH-101, so I assume some decent acidic sounds are in there?

Question for Spawn owners: would you still buy one today? Any known issues I should look out for?

best regards
steffie268
Update...

There are some very serious indications that the seller is a scammer...

He got back to me and said the serial number is "1313" which according to this thread cannot be true... Can I consider this as proof that this is 100% sure to be a scam?
morphic
Only 51 were made and Andy still has 1 and the prototype . Not sure how AS numbered them but Andy said get a photo of the back from the seller . If he can't send photo seems like a scam
depth20
Maybe the B looks like 13? So B13?
morphic
depth20 wrote:
Maybe the B looks like 13? So B13?


good shout photo would help though
WiffSnuggler
looks cool
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