Ampron Aubade is a very rare analog monophonic 3-octave flip-top style synthesizer which remains a mystery to even many collectors in the synth world... It is mentioned briefly in the A to Z guide to synthesizers book by British synth expert Peter Forrest.
The country and company and year of manufacture of origin are unknown, though Forrest links it to the Japanese company Arai/Aria for possible distribution at the time of manufacture which appears to be the early 70s ...
The face plate(Control Panel) is divided into four sections ...
1. Dynamics which contains Portamento. Wah. Bend. Tremolo.Vibrato and Speed Control
2. Sonority which contains resonance and growl(filter section with various controls)
3. Timbre containing a white noise generator tuning functions and scale etc.
4. Transient ..which is a basic ADSR section.
A fifth section has the master volume and a phone output... in the rear is a single mono output line .. On the left side of the keyboard is a weighted slider that controls modulation. The build quality is exceptional .. wood and metal and it weighs a good 25 pounds and the knobs are all solid well placed .. the keyboard and flip top panel has a similar build quality to the classic Moog Model D... the graphics are clean and rather tasteful though the language is odd.... the circuit boards and internal electronics are all sprayed black, which has led a few people to believe it was done to prevent copying or reverse engineering which leads to the prototype scenario...
The build quality, though, is almost too good for a prototype of an unknown synth .. a few were built because there is the one that was in the New England Synthesizer Museum in the 90s and mine which is in excellent condition overall... Forrest in his book states "This seems to have been a standard 37 note monophonic synthesizer in a semi-flight case with a steeply angled control panel, not honestly very full of controls ..24 knobs and a couple of switches dotted around, and a large gap at either end. This wasteful use of metal seems to imply a very small scale manufacturer. From the sound of the name this would appear to be made in a French-speaking country so what Arai / Aria was doing with it is a little mysterious.
Demos & Media
Review by: E.M. Bodwick