What’s Better Than Playing A New GRP A4 Analog Synthesizer?

Do you know what’s better than playing the Grp Synthesizer A4 – a new monster analog synth?

Playing eight of them, at the same time, in unison! Check this out:

In the video above, Paolo Groppioni plays eight Grp A4 Analog Synthesizers, in unison, putting 24 VCOs under the same MIDI master keyboard control.

The A4 is a new analog synth from Italian manufacturer GRP.

Below, the step sequencers of the eight Grp A4 Analog Synthesizers are under MIDI Sync from an external unit. Different sequences, different step durations, different sounds.

Finally, the eight Grp A4 Analog Synthesizers ‘play’ some switched on Bach (Straight MIDI playback, no dynamics adjust, etc.)

Grp A4 in details

  • Voltage Controlled Oscillator 1, 2, 3
    • Wide audio range (64’-2’) w. Tune & Fine; six analog waveforms (sine, triangle, triangle & saw, saw, saw & variable pulse summed, variable pulse); manual pw & pwm (from VCLFO1, EG1, S&H, Aft); FM 1 Amt (lin/exp –from VCLFO1, LFO2, VCO1, 2, 3, Noise, S&H, EG1, EG2, Aft, ModW, KeyVel, EnvFoll) w. phase rev; FM 2 Amt (only exp – from VCLFO1, Env Foll); sub oscillator (on VCO 1, 2) -1/-2 oct; hard sync (VCO 1 master); kybd on/off (w. user’s selectable octave offset from MIDI Interface).
  • Ring Modulator
    • Ring Mod Sources: VCO 2 & VCO 3/Ext Input (user’s selectable).
  • Noise Generator
    • White & Pink Noise selectable.
  • External Input
    • Input gain from line to mic level; freely adjustable Gate Threshold (Gate to EG 1-2); enclosed envelope follower (goes into mod buss).
  • Audio Mixer
    • Separate level controls for VCO 1, 2, 3, Sub 1, 2, Ext Input, Ring Mod, Noise.
  • Filter Section
    • Dual analog filter section: 24 db/Oct Low Pass Transistor Ladder Filter w. pole selection & 12 dB/Oct State Variable Low, Band, High, Notch Filter.
    • Each filter has a separate Distortion/Level control.
    • Filter section can be configured in LP 24 Only, SV 12Only, Serial (LP into SV), Parallel, Direct Out (LP 24 goes on Left Audio Out, SV 12 goes on Right Audio Out).
    • Low Pass Filter:
      • Slope selection (6, 12, 18, 24 dB); Cutoff Frequency; Resonance; Overload LED; FM1 Amt (from VCLFO1, LFO2, VCO 1, 2, 3 Env Foll, Noise, S&H, EG2, Aft, ModW, KeyVel) w, phase rev.; FM 2 Amt (from VCLFO 1); FM 3 Amt (from Step Sequencer, Kybd Track 0-120%; Key Vel On/Off.
    • State Variable Filter:
      • Mode (12dB HP, 6 dB BP, 12 dB LP, 6 dB Notch); Cutoff Frequency; Resonance; Overload LED; FM1 Amt (from VCLFO1, LFO2, VCO 1, 2, 3 Env Foll, Noise, S&H, EG2, Aft, ModW, KeyVel) w, phase rev.; FM 2 Amt (from VCLFO 1); FM 3 Amt (from Step Sequencer, Kybd Track 0-120%; Key Vel On/Off.
  • Voltage Controlled Amplifier
    • Dedicaded Envelope Generator (see below); Control Selection (dedicated EG2, ON-hold, External CV); VCLFO1 Amt.
  • AutoPan
  • AutoPan Off/Internal Clock/VCLFO1; Pan Frequency Control; LED (red = internal clock; blue = VCLFO1).
  • Stereo Main
    • Master Volume.
  • Envelope Generator 1
    • Multi Stage Loopable Env (Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain Lev, Sustain Time-Only in Loop On, Release); Gate Source Selection (Keyboard, S&H, ExtIn/ Step Seq); independent EG Amt for 24 dB LP Filter and 12 dB State Variable Filter, both w. user’s selectable EG polarity.
    • EG time goes from 1msec to 60 sec.
    • LED: red = EG under Gate sources; blue = EG under Step Sequencer control;
    • Loop Envelope: loop from Attack to Release, w. Sustain Time selectable.
    • Loop Mode Switch:
      • Loop Off: EG as standard AHDSR, no Sustain Time.
      • Gate: EG loops from A to S (w. Sustain Time max 60”) as long as Gate is On.
      • Auto: EG full loop, from A to R; independent from Gate.
  • Envelope Generator 2
    • Same as EG 1, without Hold segment.
  • Voltage Controlled Low Frequency 1
    • Frequency (from very low to 2500 Hz); Waveform (sine, ramp, triangle, saw, square w. variable pulse); FM Amt (exp, w. phase normal/rev); FM Sources (Key, EG1, EG2, LFO2, Seq A, B, A+B, S&H, Aft, ModW, EnvFoll); Sync (Off, Gate, Seq, MIDI – dividing factor selectable from internal MIDI Interface); Shaping LFO out (from: Off, EG1, EG2, Lfo2, SeqA, B, A+B, S&H, Aft, ModW, EnvFoll).
    • LFO act as modulation buss for auxiliary sources: EG1, EG2, S&H, Noise, VCO2, EnvFoll. The aux source can be amplitude modulated with the Shaping Select.
  • Voltage Controlled Low Frequency 2
    • Frequency; Freq Range (Low-Mid-High); Waveform (Triangle, Square); Shaping Select (Off, Aft, ModW).
    • Independent Send Modulations for: VCO 1, 2, 3 freq; PWM 1, 2, 3; VCF 24/12 Cutoff; VCA Level.
  • Sample & Hold
    • Frequency; Frequency Source (Int, VCLFO1); LED (red = Internal, blue = VCLFO1); S&H Source (Pink Noise, White Noise, VCLFO 1, LFO 2, VCO 1, 2, 3); Glide.
    • The S&H Clock can be routed to EG firing; there are three options: Off – no routing; Gate – the S&H clock is ANDed with keyb/ext/manual Gate; Auto – EGs always fired from S&H.
  • Tuning/MIDI
    • Master Tune; Portamento Time; Bend Amount; VCO 1 Portamento On/Off, VCO 1, Bend On/Off; Hold On/Off; A440 On/Off; Retrig On/Off; Manual Gate.
    • MIDI Interface: MIDI Channel Select; Keyboard Off Octave Offset; External CV In Octave Offset; MIDI Clock Divider on LFO Reset.
    • A4 receives: MIDI Note On/Off, Bend, Modulation, Aftertouch, Key Velocity, Expression Pedal, Damper.
  • Step Sequencer
    • User’s configurable Mode Select 8×2 or 16×1.
    • Clock Source: Int, VCLFO1, Ext, MIDI.
    • Clock Divider on all Clock Sources; dividing factor MIDI: 1/1, ¼, 1/4t, 1/8, 1/8t, 1/16; dividing factor TTL: 1/1, /2, /4, /16, /32.
    • Sequencer Mode: FW, BW, FW/BW, PNDL, ALT, RND, TRG.
    • CV Seq Clock: A, Off, B on internal Clock.
    • VCO Seq Enable: VCO 1, 2, 3, Off/A/B/A+B
    • VCF Seq Enable: 24dB Off/A/B/A+B; 12dB Off/A/B/A+B.
    • Step Repeat: Off, x2, x3, x4.
    • Permutations: n,n+1; n, n+1, n; n, n, n+1, n.
    • Loop On/Off.
    • Hold On/Off.
    • Manual Controls: Reset/Step Advance, Run/Stop, Continue
    • Pulse Width (legato/staccato) on Internal & MIDI Clock.
    • Row A & B Parameters: Glide Amt; Range (x2, x4, x8); Quantizer On/Off.
    • Step Parameters: LED; Step Value; Gate On/Off; Step Mode (End, Skip, Normal).
  • Connections
    • Audio: Mono Out; Phones Out; Left/24dB Out; Right/12 dB Out; Audio External In.
    • Filter: CV In 24 dB; CV In 12 dB.
    • Amplifer: CV In VCA.
    • Synth Control: CV In; Gate In.
    • External Modulation Buss: Ext 1/AftT; Ext 2/ModW.
    • Sequencer Connections: Row A/B/A+B CV Out; Row A/B/A+B Gate Out; Run/Stop In; Continue In; Loop On/Off In; Clock Input; Clock Output; CV In Clock Modulation.

The price of the A4 is 3667 euro + VAT.

via AudioCentralMagazine

26 thoughts on “What’s Better Than Playing A New GRP A4 Analog Synthesizer?

  1. If I close my eyes I can’t tell 8 of those were playing at the same time. Maybe if each of them were panned differently to have a wider sound stage? It could be the infamous youtube sound compression too, but hm, err, well.

  2. What’s Better Than Playing A New GRP A4 Analog Synthesizer?

    1) Actually being able to play the new GRP A4 Analog Synthesizer
    2) Soft synths for a fraction of the price
    3) Fucking

    1. I’ve never played a GRP A4 but number 3 is most certainly better. Now is the opportunity for anyone who has had sex on 8 GRB A4s to chime in.

  3. All that muscle and it still sounds like a standard 70s MiniMoog squeal? The specs make it look very potent, but I guess there is a huge chasm between being able to build a capable synth and being able to program it in an interesting fashion. With eight of them going at once, it should be a massive panorama, not the same old prog squeee sound. Why is it that so many manufacturers keep handing us weak demos of electric pianos, string pads and “classic” synth sounds that don’t show off the CREATIVE potential of the new toy? With a modular, that’s almost a sin. I have 20 presets that sound just like this, sigh.

  4. Wow @ the jealousy in Synthtopia.

    Not a fantastic demo(yet at least, but do make another), but its fantastic, that he made it, if even casually. I totally support the idea of wasting 8 x 3667€ into such an outrageous analog setup, if you can, and I love to see them in practise, even if just quickly. Many of us here don’t make even these casual non-planned demos, so thank you.

    You have schooled your wife well. Even if I had money, I wouldn’t have the balls to build that wall…or, wouldn’t have balls after building that kind of wall.

  5. Paolo Groppioni is obviously into ‘prog rock’ and as long as he keeps making these fantastic synths… that’s alright by me 😉

  6. Have you noticed how every time there’s an awesome soft synth post on Synthtopia, the hardware guys say hardware can do it better and when there’s an awesome hardware post, the software guys say a plugin can do it better?

    1. Value for money matters too. It looks well-built and well specced, but ~$4000 is an awful lot of money for a monosynth + step sequencer without any really distinguishing features. It doesn’t output in stereo, doesn’t have pitch-tracking or frequency shifting. For this price you could get a lot of Eurorack modular power, or a used Andromeda. ¯(°_o)/¯

  7. Sounds like squeezing air out of a balloon!
    The fool has more $$’s than sense.

    Probably very few of these devices produced and he’s hoarding them, so looks like not many others will get to own one.

  8. That’s just showing off.

    Clearly, however, the blue ones sound better than the black ones, unless they had their mojo control turned up higher.

  9. First thing I was thinking about was…is he married ?
    Don’t tell me your wife know about this.
    Is she in the basement on a chain or something?
    How do you do it,please explain !!!
    God,I hate my wife!

  10. Am I missing something here? I can make the same sound on my $760 Roland Gaia, though I can’t play it as well as this chap does.

  11. I really can’t understand all this people that say: “i can do this kind of thing with my 500 bucks synth” , ok, but this is not a video of presentation of the features of this synth, they are only testing the unision mod….if you read the specs of this synth you can understand that it can do a lot of thing that your 500 bucks synth can’t…..

  12. To some of the ignorant replies made here – Paolo didn’t buy these 8 synths. He’s the dude who makes them. These were the last 8 units before they were sent – each to his new owner. So no need for all that stupid “does his wife know” or “The fool has more $$’s than sense” and stuff. It’s his job.
    Concerning the cost benefit ratio – i think it’s spot on if you take a look at the specs. Two independant multimode filters, 6 stage loopable envelopes, 3 oscilators and 2 sub osc, analog fm, cross mod, ringmod etc etc. If anything – i would ask where’s the cost benefit ratio in something like the moog voyager XL that costs 5000$
    True – this was a lame demo. If you want better demos – there are plenty. Search for “GRP A4” on youtube and you’ll find them instantly. Also, there’s an extensive review with more than 50 minutes of amazing soundfiles, by Theo Bloderer on “Greatsynthesizers.com”. It is indeed unfortunate that the youtube demo posted above has only the usuall little detuned sawtooth with a bit of portamento, and it sounds to some like something they can do with their Roland Gaia. But trust me – this synth kicks butt. It has a low end that shakes the walls, and is capable of the most complex sounds a monosynth (non modular) can do.

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