MATRIXSYNTH: Grp Synthesizer A4 | Kid Gloves

Friday, July 24, 2020

Grp Synthesizer A4 | Kid Gloves

Alex Ball

"The Grp Synthesizer A4 is an Italian analogue synthesizer originally released in 2012.

Combining classic subtractive synthesis with modern desires, it's got pretty tasty spec.

To save the longest video description ever, here's a link to Theo Bloderer's comprehensive breakdown:

In this video I tried to make use of the A4's architecture, whilst keeping things musical. It's very easy with this much power at your fingertips to overcook it and just make either a sonic mess, or a sound that only works in isolation. Hopefully I've struck the balance.

Examples of things I did:
Dual sequence utilising the playback and step repeat modes. I sequenced some chords in one section with oscillator 1 + 2 (tuned a fifth apart) following sequencer A and oscillator 3 following sequencer B.

For the lead sound I also used the sequencer as a modulation source sent to phase synched oscillators and the filters that also had its tempo CV'd from an envelope so that it sped up and down rollercoaster style.

I ran my Juno through the A4 via the external signal in and envelope follower. This allowed me to control the A4 from the Juno, but have the dual A4 filters on it. I also tuned in two of the A4's oscillators to complimentary intervals and they were coming through with the Juno every time it gated the synth.

The main riff was a blend of three oscillators and the ring modulator with a combination of linear and exponential modulation and oscillator sync.

There were also various stereo bass sounds - subby and round, sharp and phat, and driven and heavy. The distortion comes from the synth itself.

I also made some floaty, trippy sounds with the A4 in the middle eight, as well as various FX.

Hopefully this all gives a glimpse into what it can do.

Gear used:
Grp A4 (2012)
Arturia KeyStep Pro (2020)
Arturia MicroFreak (2019)
Roland System 100m (1979)
Roland Juno-6 (1982)
Roland TR-707 (1985)
Korg MS-20 (1978)
Korg KR-55B (1982)
Sequential Drumtraks (1984)
AMS RMX-16 (1981)
AMS DMX 15~80S (1978)
Ibanez RM-80 (early 80s)
Vocals recorded with an AKG C414S

Mixed by Alex Ball
Mastered by Jakob at Sonic Peak Studio"

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