Aries

300

Synthesizer

Statistics
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Main Details
Maker Aries Company
Function
Signal Path Analog Hardware
Date Produced 1978-
Notes Aries modular systems were not cheap, and ranged from about $1,400 for a very basic System I to almost $4,000 for a complete Series IV (in 1978 dollars!). At the same time, they were successful enough to drive Moog out of the kit market, and establish a reputation for well made, if ugly synthesizers.

Synth maker Aries Music produced its 300-series modules from 1975 until 1982. The Massachusetts-based company gave synthesists a choice of purchasing factory-built modules or kits for anyone who didn’t mind handling a soldering iron (at an average savings of 40%).

Most Aries Series 300 modules were manufactured by former ARP employee Paul Rivera and designed by Dennis Colin, who designed the ARP 2600 along with Alan R. Perlman. The Aries had minijacks for making connections rather than the larger and more durable phone jacks used in most modular synths at the time, making Aries systems relatively compact. Patch points were plentiful, giving the systems plenty of flexibility. A total of 28 different modules were available, ranging from a lowpass filter with a variable cutoff slope to a sophisticated analog sequencer.

As a company, Aries Music had a reputation for a rather snooty attitude, suggesting that if you didn’t play a modular synth, you weren’t a real synthesist—an attitude perpetuated by some modular synthesists today.

-Geary Yelton

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