Dennis Philip Colin

Born: Champagne-Urbana, IL on 22 December 1942

Passed away: Gilmanton Iron Works, NH on 21 November 2015

Aged: 72 years

Funeral Date: 18 December 2015

Service Details

A memorial service will be held at 2p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18 at the MIT Chapel - Building W15, at 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Funeral Company

M.I.T. Memorial Chapel

The Story

COLIN, Dennis Philip of Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H. died November 21, 2015. He was 72. Born in Champagne-Urbana, Ill. on December 22, 1942, he was the son of Doris (Shapiro) and Robert Ingersoll Colin, of Brooklyn, New York. Husband of Leah Bresnahan of Dorchester (August 1969), Elaine De Angelis of Beverly (January 1975), and Rita Santin of Beverly (July 1997). Father of Jennifer Lynn Colin and Melissa Ann Colin. Dennis was preceded in death by his third wife Rita, on September 10, 2014.

Dennis received the B.S.E.E. degree from Lowell Technological Institute, Lowell, Mass., in 1967, ranking fourth in a class of 305. After graduation he joined the Raytheon's Missile Systems Division, Bedford, Mass., where he designed circuits for radar systems. In 1969, Dennis joined Tonus, Inc., Newton Highlands, Mass., later to become ARP Instruments, as Director of Advanced Research and Development Engineering, where he held patents for a Full wave, self-detecting differential logarithmic rf amplifier (pat.4716316), and for a Touch sensitive polyphonic musical instrument (pat.4044642). He is responsible for most of the circuit design of the ARP synthesizers. Other inventions include voltage controlled filters, oscillators, amplifiers, phase delay converters, frequency shifters, low-cost spectrum analysis systems, and other electronic music functions. In 1975, Dennis would design the Aries 300 Synthesizer for the Aries Music Company, in Salem, Mass. A pair of ARP2600 synthesizers is available to students and faculty in the Sound Synthesis Lab at the Berklee College of Music, and his inventions have notably influenced MIT Associate Physics Professor Joseph Paradiso PhD, and many other electronic musicians in the MIT community.

In his spare time, Dennis would write for numerous audio engineering publications, and enjoyed building and flying radio controlled airplanes with Winnipesaukee Radio Controllers in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. He built various home audio equipment, including dodecahedron speakers, fuzz-boxes, tube amplifiers, the Hyperphase guitar pedal, and the Musichrome color wheel, as well as Tesla coils and other electronic equipment. He also enjoyed writing poetry, painting, and drawing.

Little did he realize at the time what a far-reaching impact he would have in the distant future on so many people. He really was an extraordinary man. A loving husband, a dedicated father, and a brilliant engineer, Dennis leaves his legacy through the way he lived every day of his last 72 years; a modest soul, an optimistic outlook, a generous and loving man who will be missed by all who were touched by his life.

A memorial service will be held at 2p.m. Dec. 18 at the MIT Chapel - Building W15, at 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. In lieu of flowers, donations to assist with Dennis' final expenses can be made to the Dennis P. Colin Memorial Fund at Eastern Bank, 17 Storey Ave., Newburyport, MA 01950.
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Beautiful words

Jennifer Colin shared a photo.


Dad signing Dave's ARP manual

Jennifer Colin shared a photo.


Filming of Bright Sparks documentary, Dad, Jen, & Dave Spiers 11/11/2014

Jennifer Colin shared a photo.


"...Destiny's a dancer Changes if you chance her Questions make the Answer In this age-old rhyme; Life beats astounding Echoes pounding Staccato rhythm sounding As the drum keeps time ... Fly through the sky light Low and highlight Death brings on twilight With the setting sun; Yet Spirit is a Rover Four-leaf clover Just when you think it's over It has but ... Begun!" ~ JL Colin Excerpt from "The Adventure" 2007 I love you, Dad. May the Force be with you ... You ARE the Force !!

Jennifer Colin


A huge of the Aries synthesizer system, owned many many modules over the years. Thanks Dennis!

Scott Paul