New Synth, The Grendel RA-9 Grenadier, Coming Soon

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Rare Waves today shared a sneak preview, below, of the Grendel RA-9 Grenadier synthesizer – a unique semi-modular CV-Gate synthesizer that features a built-in step-sequencer and filter bank.

In the video demo, an 8-bar phrase is traded back and forth between the two of the new Grendel Grenadier synthesizers, to show a variety of tones and filter bank modulations.

The Grendel RA-9 Grenadier

The Grendel RA-9 Grenadier is a 1-oscillator analog monosynth with CV-Gate control. It has a semi-modular design in a tabletop enclosure with 1/4? audio output.

The Grenadier can be played stand-alone by using its keypad with 4 independently tuneable keys, or you can activate its onboard sequencer for rhythm loops and tone sequences. Patch in a 1v/oct MIDI-CV converter (not included) and the Grenadier can play sequences from a MIDI workstation or computer.

The Grenadier’s palette of analog tones comes from its triple bandpass filter bank with syncable modulation. Its voice is designed for electronic basslines and melodic sequences, as well as slow drones, electro percussion loops, bass drums and more.

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The filter bank can also become a tone source by setting it to self-oscillate with warm low frequency overdrive.

The Grenadier’s VCO offers square and triangle waveform. Its pitch can be modulated by the envelope generator for bass drops and other tuned analog percussion effects. The VCO waveform is synced to gate, for better bass output with staccato sequences.

The decay envelope generator offers a wide range of decay times up to 60 seconds. The contour of the envelope can be reversed with the bipolar Envelope Depth knob, putting it solidly in the electro funk zone. The Grenadier’s LFO covers a wide range of 0.05 Hz (that’s once cycle every 20 seconds) up to 60 Hz, and can be reset by gate events for tempo-sync effects.

The patch bay allows semi-modular control and multiplies the creative options when patching to itself, another Grenadier, MIDI-CV converters, and modular systems.** Fourteen patch points are provided including CV and gate in and out, clock in and out, LFO rate CV, and external audio input. It accepts Eurorack-type 1/8” (3.5mm) mono phone plugs.

The Grendel Grenadier has a straightforward knob-per-function layout. Each switch on the front panel has a red status LED. The case is built of laser-cut steel with durable powder coat and silkscreened graphics.

Pricing and release date for the Grendel RA-9 Grenadier are to be announced, but Rare Waves says it is coming ‘spring 2015’.

31 thoughts on “New Synth, The Grendel RA-9 Grenadier, Coming Soon

    1. A lot of the best baseline synths are 1-oscillator designs, because it automatically is going to sound tight.

      This looks pretty wicked to me!

    2. They got me at triple bandpass filters and 60 second decay. It has raw oscillator output too, so it shouldn’t be hard to route that out and sum it with another oscillator, or take it through some waveshaping and bring it back in before the filter. Ultra slow LFOs are always a positive as well.

      This seems to be one of the more unique “fixed” architecture synths to have come out in some time. Progress at last! If I’m reading correctly it doesn’t even have a low-pass. Hurrah! Love how it’s got a triangle as it’s second wave form too. This looks like it’s going to be an interesting modulation haven 🙂

  1. Nice device. I expected it to be deep for something that looks rack mounted. Deep as in physical size. If they want more than $450 for it they are going to be raising some hackles and hearing some grumbles.

    1. I honestly want to see more stuff like this as long as the price is right. You don’t see many synth modules under $500 at all, so it’s a market that desperately needs to be filled. You can get a Waldorf Rocket or a Waldorf Streichfett or a DSI Mopho. That’s literally it unless you buy used.

      What I want to see is more companies like Korg and Roland, that make good cheap synths in crappy packages, just ditch the keybed and give us something to tool around with! God knows we all have a MIDI keyboard around..

  2. Also imagine how many knobs would be saved if other manufacturers would install simple roll bars on their control panels. Something to think about, all you other companies out there. It wouldn’t really add more than a few dollars to the cost. Also it would provide something to hold things on the table with tie wraps or bungie cords, a wise move when you are inches from a thrashing crowd slopping beer all over the place.

  3. Sounds great!! Triple bandpass filters certainly make up for the single oscillator imo; you can get three extra oscillators just by driving up the resonance on the filters.

  4. Oh man, this looks so tasty. Video was quite smart as well, imo. Hope this isn’t more than $500 though, then I won’t be able to buy two! I somehow doubt that, given that this looks like it’s going to be very well built. Love those rack handles! Very excited about this release, haven’t been this moved by a product in a long time.

  5. Sounds very 303 sounding to my ears, should know i’ve owned one for about 20 years & have friends with them as well. Is the filter 18db or 24? Only thing is if your going to do this type of kit the seq needs predictive slide to note input & gate timing with skip or tie control. The sequencer on the 303 was EVERTHING, the sound was kind of secondary in a lot of ways!! I like the design & the sound, in-depth digital control for any thing like this is crucial.

    1. Haha! I really want a Drone Commander. Do you use yours much?
      I really wish it (and this RA-9) were rack mountable though !!!! They’d both look so nice and neat in a rack together.

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