October 26, 2012 by tonetribune
There is nothing quite like walking in your local used music shop (in this case the wonderful Knight Music in Scarborough) and finding a near mint condition vintage Roland synth. Especially one that is inexpensive, analog and polyphonic.
The Roland RS-09 is a string/organ machine that has a beautiful stereo output and that built-in, smokey modulation they call “ensemble” that seems to be equal parts chorus, flange, phase and vibrato. Play a chord and you with be rewarded with a percolating massage of sound that is akin to the purr of a big electric cat. I can’t help but be reminded of the excellent early Juno 6 that pretty much pioneered polyphony although this model might have predated the Juno series. The Cure utilized this simple but amazing machine on 17 Seconds, Faith and Pornography. This synth also gives you instant Blade Runner with a little delay.
Here comes the hidden fun factor. There is an external audio in jack in the back, so naturally, I whacked a guitar in there and what do I get? The most tantalizing, rich modulation known to man!! Think Andy Summers I can’t help but to speculate that the early Roland CE-1 units might be based on this sound or even the same circuit. Forget about any mod pedal you have ever heard for guitar. Nothing touches this. Why stop there? I add a Malekko Assmaster, Boss TR-2 Tremolo (the best trem pedal ever) and a Strymon El Capistan.
Listen to my link below and bath in a stereo sonic brew too tasty for me and you.