Studio Electronics ATC-1

Studio Electronics ATC-1 Image

The Analog Tone Chameleon ATC-1 uses external cartridges for convincing recreation of classic synthesizers and sounds. In fact, the ATC-1 is analog, through and through! It's highly and easily editable, but a bit ugly. It has two LFO's and three envelopes. The filters, however, are on external inter-changeable cartridges. The ATC-1 usually ships with the Minimoog filter cartridge. It sounds pretty convincing too. There are also filters of the Roland TB-303, ARP 2600 and Oberheim SEM each of which cost about $150. With all that analog circuitry they all sound incredible.

There are three envelopes to control VCF, resonance, VCA, OSC2 freq, OSC2 level, pulse width, LFO depth, rate and amount. And there are two great LFOs that will modulate the pitch, VCF freq, resonance, OSC1, OSC2, pulse width, noise and main volume.

Programming the ATC-1 is also vintage in its design and layout. There is one data knob to which you must assign a parameter for editing. An annoying method that reminds many of the old Moog Source or Alpha Juno synths. This limitation in the 'hands-on' approach to sound editing is OK for studio work, but makes live performance use difficult. The ATC-1 is well equipped with MIDI and CV / Gate ports. There is also an external audio input to the VCF (filter). In all the ATC-1 is a state of the art synthesizer with a simple goal, emulating the classics while offering current specs for MIDI, memory and extensive edit-ability in an expandable, compact and intuitive machine. It is used by Fatboy Slim.

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13 Visitor comments
December 9, 2010 @ 8:11 am
Actualy, there is! From

Here is a link to it:

I haven't tried it becuse I dont have this synth.. YET!
but it looks nice.
November 4, 2010 @ 10:00 am
i don't get the ugly comments at all, i think it's a really fun synth to look at. the single knob is thankfully a great-feeling one, and the membrane interface is quite easy to get used to. i'm controlling mine with an akai mpk61 now and have most paramaters mapped to knobs and sliders, allowing me to tweak them simultaneously and really opening up the sound exploration possibilities. the sound is warm and full when you want it to be, but with cross-mod and hard-sync you can add plenty of wood and grit to the sound as well. if yours isn't running OS 2.3 already you can get it from SE for $25. phenomenal synth made by a really great company.
KJX Electone Supernova
October 22, 2010 @ 11:37 am
Josh wrote "I still wonder why this synthesizer isn't a Classic?" - - only because of the butt-ugliness and relationship to all things 1980 - - which is totally unfair. But by not being a classic, the price stays down at the point where we smarter people can scoop them up for good prices. Good gear should be cheap.
May 24, 2010 @ 4:27 pm
This is an Excellent Synthesizer. I had this unit with the ARP 2600 Filter. You get lots of Parameters to edit and shape your sounds with. I always liked how it looked similair to a Moog Source. Once in a while the logic would freeze up during editing. But otherwise a Dependable unit. I still wonder why this synthesizer isn't a Classic!??
December 18, 2009 @ 1:57 am
stevenclements , you can use midiquest to edit this synth. Mine doesn't have the latest OS which is why I think it always wants to only edit on patch #509, but once programmed I can save to any other location and go from there. There are actually other computer editors out there for this synth that are free of you look around. It's a pretty nice sounding synth. Not as interesting as a moog model D side by side but really, it's got it's own sound and it's a sound I love and use on all my tracks for basslines and leads. I use my sequencer to automate filter sweeps most of the time so snappy envelope issues need not apply. It's a GREAT sounding machine.
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Rated 4.35 (344 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs: triangle, sawtooth and variable width square; Osc sync; white noise gen.
  • LFO - 2 LFOs. Waveforms: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, noise, random. Sample & Hold
  • Filter - External cartridge VCF: Moog, S.E.M., 303, and 2600. External audio input
  • VCA - 3 ADSRs: one for VCA, one for VCF and third to modulate other parameters
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 512 patches
  • Control - MIDI, CV / GATE
  • Date Produced - 1997
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