MATRIXSYNTH: The Roland RS-09 - Forgettable Turkey or Forgotten Gem?

Thursday, December 05, 2019

The Roland RS-09 - Forgettable Turkey or Forgotten Gem?


Published on Dec 5, 2019 Alex Ball

"The Roland Organ/Strings 09 (RS-09) was released in 1978 and then updated in 1980 or 1981.

It's a divide-down, paraphonic poly with sounds grouped into Organ I and II (with octave divider sliders) and Strings 8' and 4'.

There's a basic low-pass filter, an LFO (with delay, rate and depth), stereo ensemble with two speeds, envelope release control (with two modes) and a separate attack control on the strings only.

You can use the audio and gate out to run the RS-09 through another synth's filter with control of the filter envelope and you can also run external audio through the RS-09 to add stereo ensemble to it.

Whilst the Roland RS-505 from the same era now commands a high price (as do other 70s string synths), the RS-09 has remained at the cheap end of the analogue vintage synth market.

I wanted to find out if that was because it's crap or whether it's because it's been overlooked, partly for my own curiosity and partly because I often get asked about suggestions of more affordable vintage synths."

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