“We’ve recently been in touch with a regular Hollow Sun customer, James Gardner, originally a Liverpudlian and now resident in New Zealand who shares a common interest of ours in early electronica to the point that he made an excellent series series on it for RadioNZ.
But as we chatted (if email can be classed as ‘chatting’), he revealed that he’d rescued some old valve signal generators from a skip (dumpster for American visitors here) and very kindly offered to sample one of them … the ADVANCE H-1 …

There’s some serious old scool circuitry in there powered by ECC88 valves/tubes and we’ve modelled the GUI on the original but have taken some liberties…

We’ve added a simple vibrato LFO and a simple envelope. There are also poly and mono modes with a glide control for the mono mode. You can switch between the raw valve sine and square waves but you can also enable the tape ‘mode’ and then switch between old cassette and completely knackered reel-to-reel (and the machine is so wrecked, that should be ‘real-to-unreal’ … totally wrecked … but sounds fabulous – all the qualities of valves with genuine tape saturation and excessive wow, flutter and random wobble … which can be made more chaotic with the vibrato LFO).

The FREQUENCY control is rather nicely implemented (though I say so myself) in that as you turn the control, the needle in the scope is ganged to follow it (my thanks to Mario, the resident scriptmeister at HS Towers for achieving that because it was a bit of a bastard to do!). The range is six octaves and totally smooth and it is enormous fun to assign a MIDI controller to FREQUENCY and just play with sweeping the pitch old time stylee – hours of fun to be had!

And then there’s a stereo echo unit and a convolution ‘space’ device with various impulses that include spring, room, hall and plate to round things off.

The result is more Radiophonic than the Radiophonic!! It comes with a handful of presets to get you going but it’s so stupidly simple, it’s best used to just fiddle around and just make a sound for the track your working on … or tweak a preset.

This is a fun unit to play with and modestly priced. It’s been great fun to make.


* 44.1 kHz/24-bit samples
* Advanced Retro Synthesis Engine
* Valve signal generator from the 50s
* Six octaves range
* Unique tuning scope
* Raw, cassette and broken reel-to-reel samples
* Simple envelope shaper
* Mono/poly modes with glide
* Stereo/mono echo section
* Convolution reverb with custom impulses”