Roland Organ/Strings 09 (RS-09)

Roland RS-09 Image

The RS-09 is an analog string and organ synthesizer (similar to the Saturn-09 which only produced an organ sound). It's old, it's cheap and they're usually worth finding! The string sound and organ sounds are nice, fatty analog sounds. The organ and string sections can be played simultaneously or individually. An ensemble/chorus effect and external sound input are welcome features. But aside from all this, there isn't much else left to this synth. A simple 2-vco architecture with simple and limited editable parameters, no patch memory and a small keyboard.

Roland RS-09 Image

There are three versions of this unit. The one shown above is a V.3. The differences are mainly cosmetic and in the control surface; the V.3 uses touch-switches, the V.1 uses rockers and tends to be more reliable due to that. This instrument can be found for around $100, and they could add a nice flavor to any modern analog-electronic keyboard studio. It has been used by Jimi Tenor, UB40, and The Cure.

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29 Visitor comments
Jack
February 20, 2014 @ 4:58 am
This is a really good example of the RS-09 sound. Super fuzzy analog tone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfcTyEaF02g
w.t. salmela
January 23, 2014 @ 5:14 pm
Much cheaper than the mighty stringer RS-505, and sounds cheaper too. But hey, it still sounds good! I have them both and the 505 is more organic and pleasant in sound. They have quite a different character. Both have a nice stereo chorus with input and it's very handy to insert your phaser BEFORE engaging the ensemble-chorus. That's why you would need both of these;)

I like the looks and convenient size of the RS-09 and it really makes me want to get an SH-09 along with it.
AlexM
December 24, 2013 @ 9:44 am
RS-09 is used extensively by English post-punk band "The Sound" (Adrian Borland) in their live perfomances.
James Ting
October 14, 2013 @ 3:00 pm
I got the RS09 and then SH09, they are made for each other. Feed the RS09 into the SH09 and let the SH09 filter and LFO process the RS09 raw sound, feed it back into the RS09 then you found yourself in a 4D time machine back in 70's.
Derek
May 16, 2013 @ 11:43 pm
Just picked a V1 up for $150 locally with plans to fix it up and sell it (had to replace some switches and give it a good cleaning). After fixing it up and playing around with it, I just can't let it go, even for the $500 price tag it seems to be going for lately. With the Ensemble on, this synth sounds awesome. Add in a Phaser and you've got instant space ambient! You can also use this to start a Goblin cover band or score your own 80's horror film! You can use this to process external audio (Ensemble and Tone only, not Vibrato). Made my Monotron sound pretty buttery!
 
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Rated 4.06 (344 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Duo/Polyphonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs (String or Organ)
  • Effects - Ensemble/Chorus
  • Memory - None
  • Keyboard - 44 keys
  • Control - Gate Out only
  • Date Produced - 1979 - 1980

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