MATRIXSYNTH: Rare Vintage PAiA Synthesizer PROTEUS 1 Analog Monosynth

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Rare Vintage PAiA Synthesizer PROTEUS 1 Analog Monosynth

via this auction

"This PAiA Proteus I synthesizer is among the rarest instruments of its kind. Sold as a kit in the early 80's, only several dozen are said to have ever shipped, and of those, only a handful of working units survive. Having the capabilities of a traditional analog modular synth, and based on the renowned Curtis CEM 33xx chip set (used in the Sequential Circuits Pro-One and other classic synths), it was unique at the time in providing all-digital control and patch storage.

Fully tested and in excellent working order. Has terrific expansion capability and sounds incredible! See pictures for details of this ultra rare gem.

The rear patch panel allows external voltage control of many of the synth's parameters, including VCO1 pitch, transpose, out; VCO2 FM, transpose, out, pulse width, hard/soft sync; VCF cutoff, resonance, out, FX send/receive; preset advance; keyboard CV and gate; LFO and ARSR modulation.

Cosmetically, the unit is in excellent condition.
Dimensions: 22" x 15" x 7"
Weight: 18 lbs.

Parts of Craig Anderton's 1981 Proteus Demo tape can be found on YouTube: [posted here]

Polyphony: Monophonic
Oscillators: 2 VCOs.
Filter: 1 Low-pass, resonant filter
Envelopes: 1 envelope generator
Memory: 16 memory locations
Keyboard: 37 keys
Control: CV-Gate

For additional details, see the manuals:
8750 Proteus I -- Assembly Instructions
8750A Proteus Voice Card
8750 Proteus I -- Calibration and Using Manual

From the 1981 PAiA catalog:

'Proteus I is a quality piece of equipment that offers wide range precision and quiet, pure performance. It is designed around the world recognized Curtis Electromusic Chip Set to realize Oscillators and Filter with 12 octave range, transient generator segments out to 30 seconds long, exceptionally low noise and clean sound. Qualities you need for serious production work.

Its 16 presets make it easy to use on stage or in the studio. You get just the sound you want RIGHT NOW, without a lot of knob twiddling and switch throwing. Easy, natural programming lets you play with the sound and develop just the tone color, texture and feeling that you're after before assigning the setting of every knob and switch to a preset with the push of a single button. Internal memory keep-alive battery keeps presets in place even after months of power-down storage.

The patch bay features the most generous collection of patch over hardwire points that you'll find on any synthesizer and lets you integrate external processing elements into Proteus's signal path. Or interface to a wide variety of analog controllers like sequencers and function generators. Or use optional footswitches to control preset functions. Or respond tomorrow to needs that you can't even imagine today.

Proteus I's parallel, transparent computer port accesses both panel controls and keyboard to set new standards for versatility and ease of use. This interface doesn't put the computer between you and your music. It puts the computer where it belongs, at your side to help when you want it to store or retrieve presets or keyboard sequences and completely out of the way when you don't want it. There's nothing to remove or rewire, or even any switches to throw. To use the computer, just plug it in.

Yet despite its high-tech complexity Proteus I is easy to assemble and service. The 3 book manual set breaks assembly down into small easily digested chunks with simple tests along the way that let you monitor your progress and go from step to step with complete confidence.'"

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