GRP A1, new desktop analog Synthesizer unveiled at Roma Modulare

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GRP A1 is a new monophonic Synthesizer that packs an oscillator from the big A2 and A4 synths into a compact, affordable instrument.

The wonderful thing about the Synthesizer market is that you can find instruments for every budget. From affordable ones like Arturia, Behringer… but also small Boutique manufacturers like Black Corp or GRP Synthesizer. The latter are known for their hand-built fat-sounding analog synths.

If you don’t have the budget or the space for one of these big beauties, GRP Synthesizer now also offers an affordable and compact entry.

GRP A1 Synthesizer

GRP A1

The A1 is the smallest GRP Synthesizer product to date.  For a long time, there were only drawings, now, it was shown for the first time at the Roma Modulare at the weekend. It is a new monophonic analog Synthesizer based on the design of its big brothers A2 and A4.

The design is very compact and angular. It reminds me a lot of the popular Doepfer Dark Energy. Technically, both are very similar, but not in terms of sound.

A1 features a single VCO with selectable sawtooth, square, and triangle waveforms with PWM and FM options. There is also a sub-oscillator and noise generator. Then, you get an 18dB ladder lowpass filter with built-in distortion and key tracking.

GRP A1 Synthesizer photo

Modulation side, you get two multi-wave LFOs, each with symmetry control over the sawtooth and triangular. Plus, you get sample & hold with random waveforms on LFO 1. So you can quickly bring movement into sounds or do wild FM.

Then, you get an ADSR envelope for the VCA with a three-stage speed control. The latter also has a drone mode with which you can leave the VCA constantly open and make drone sounds.

On the bottom, A1 has a 12-point patch point for the VCO, LFOs, filter, pulse-width, VCA, envelope, and external input.

GRP A1

Further, you get a MIDI input, MIDI to CV interface as well as a USB-C port for power. The audio signal goes out in the patch bay via the main output or via the headphone socket.

There is currently no sound demo of the A1 Synthesizer. I like such small synth boxes with which you can quickly get results. I’m a big fan of the Dark Energy and I’m curious if the A1 can keep up. The features are very similar, and the workflow is also as brilliantly simple as with the Dieter Doepfer mono synth. It’s not a dark energy but maybe it has Italian energy.

GRP A1 Synthesizer is available now for pre-order for 585€ from retailers like Schneidersladen. Release and shipping date TBA.

More information here: GRP Synthesizer

Hardware Synthesizer News

4 Comments

  1. .. or someone could just buy a Hydrasynth Explorer! I unfortunately really can’t get over how overpriced analogue, and especially modular, are for how little they offer, I wish to let people enjoy what they enjoy but I can’t help but feel like people are being scammed..

    • I dont think so at all, this looks very nice and and the cost seems right. That was the cost for this kind of instrument from about “2000-2010”. It looks beautiful, high quality built and usually grp synths sounds amazing, all the things that the hydra is not. The hydra is mass produced in china and they use distributors (not dealers) so its probable they have much bigger margins compered to grp.

      • As impressive as the Hydra is, it leaves a great deal to be desired sonically. The fact that it is capable of a wide range of sounds, does not mean it is tonally pleasing. And whilst it is built in China and margin are undoubtedly better, I would hardly call the GRP visually beautiful. However subjective that may be, the regurgitation of analogue synths and their capabilities have been overdone…..5 years ago.

        And Hydra synth, whilst more capable in some ways than the synth it is often compared to, the Virus series, it lacks the tonal depth and richness of the Virus.

    • I like the Hydrasynth but can you get deep analog bass with a sub? I don’t think so. With modular you get a different approach to sound design and a granularity you cant get from a regular synth.

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