The GRP A4 Synthesizer

Saturday Synth Porn: Here’s a ‘synth portrait’ of the Italian GRP A4 synthesizer, via Richard Schmitt.

Unfortunately, all of the 1st gen GRP A4 synths are sold out. GRP is considering a 2013 run of the A4, though.

Technical Details:

All sounds in this short demotrack, including drums come from the GRP A4. Multitracked in Cubase, some delay, reverb and compression added.


14 thoughts on “The GRP A4 Synthesizer

  1. A lovely instrument and a worthwhile demo in line with what it actually DOES, rather than catering to a trend. My one semi-negative thought is that while it has a rich sound, far less money can achieve that much and sometimes more. Is it mere pride of ownership or will the buyers really hunker down and use it extensively? Is there anything about it that will make it stand out to a field of listeners? The GUI is quite good and I’m sure you’re getting a solid build, but what kind of MUSICAL impact can it make when a pair of Tetras and a reverb can recreate so much of the modular lexicon?
    For 3 large and up, I’d lean more towards something unique, such as a Roland V-Synth GT. You can build some of what it will do in Max or Logic’s Environment, but with nowhere near the immediacy and playability. I like analog, but it would not feel as meaty without wavetables and samples to augment it. So unless its Hans Zimmer, will a GRP get the same fond/fanatical workout as a laptop rig or a Nord piano with a Little Phatty on top? Help me get a better perspective on it. Again, what a beautiful dream synth, my oh my.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    • What are you so upset about? And please, do name an analog mono (not modular) that can do the same stuff as the GRP A4.
      Wavetables? I like them as well..But what’s that got to do with analog mono synths?!*?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      • There are quite a few wavetable modules, sample players, and other digital goodness available for modular systems. So to answer your question: Quite a bit.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • But the grp a4 isn’t a modular synth. You could have asked this about the minimoog voyager XL just as much. I invite you to show me how you can build an equivelant modular system, with quality vco’s and filters (doepfer, for example, isn’t as good imho) for the same price of 3667 €. 3 vco’s, dual filter, looping envelopes, audio rate lfo’s, true sample & hold, the sophisticated sequencer etc. Btw, if anyone has a problem with the grp’s price – i think the question is more justified when you ask it about the voyager XL.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. Tired of all the negativism about the pricing of great modern synths!

    Great guitars and classical instruments cost many times what this does. Electronic musicians should not sell themselves short – we deserve fantastic, beautiful instruments too.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    • To respond: I’m not upset, just pondering the depth of the technology versus the results when its used. Many of the instruments seem more capable than the players and sometimes, my idea of “capable” doesn’t fit the situation at all.
      Yes, we DO deserve classy instruments if we’re going to commit with proper fierceness. I’ve had crap gear and so have you. A better tool brings out more of your best, no matter the style. Price has to be balanced against your passion as well as your bucks.
      No, its not a traditional modular, but like the Voyager XL, any patch bay at all is a meaningful addition, as with the MS-20. Yes, astounding modules like waveshapers can be had at rational prices. Lately, everything but slab synths and half of THEM feature sometimes exotic left-field access points, so that puts the burden of proof back on the player, as always. The GRP has every right to BE a great boutique synth and the makers paid decently.
      I am both somewhat limited and also better focused because I started on piano. Its a positive bias, but still a bias. Despite the blarney, we do NOT multi-task very well. Each added task lessens your efficiency at the previous ones. I always look at a synth like a piano: no matter what, you still have to sit and play them one at a time in some way, even when its a big DAW symphony.
      SO! If I walk into a studio whose walls are lined with synth-overkill, I think “Diminishing returns, via excessive multi-tasking.” If I entered one with a GPR at its center and just a few added pieces arrayed around it, I’d think “This person’s rig says they have serious, clear intent.” Its just my angle on it, but I took it to heart when Wendy Carlos said “Every parameter you CAN control, you MUST control.” Even with a complex item like a synth, you still have to learn to play INTO it, just as a guitarist has to adapt to a particular guitar’s fret-feel. If everyone who bought a GPR used it like Carlos used her Moog, that would honor the intent like crazy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • I got yer Strad right here. After all the years of studying the woods, the shapings, the lacquers and all that, do you know what apparently determines that final ZING unique to those violins? Fungus. Yep, in that area, wood is prone to a fungus that in this case, attacks it in an exacting manner that adds something unique to the tone. IIRC, the sweet spot is knowing when its reached its choice peak and sealing the wood then, halting the process. Its the cherry on the tonal sundae. There’s the line between a luthier and a CAD/CAM whiz, heh heh.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. It took us generations to figure out what masters of he past knew.

    Real craftsmen bring that to the instruments they make!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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