GM Lab Rondo is a new affordable hardware string machine that is heavily inspired by the legendary string synthesizers from the 70s.
UPDATE: Good news the GM Lab Rondo is available now as a DIY project or assembled version in its webshop. The assembled version costs $199/199€ and the DIY version $179/179€. Shipping, import duties, and taxes are included with your order says the developer.
Article November 16th, 2022
Last weekend was the SoundMIT in Turin, Italy. A Synthesizer and pedal fair where GM Lab also was. A developer that many of my iOS readers also know under the name GSi. He developed for example the Electrorchestra app, the GS-201 Mk II effect, and many others.
He creates not only solid iOS apps but hardware products as well. MIDI utilities, but also interesting instruments like synthesizers. At SoundMIT 22, he showcased the Rondo, a new affordable hardware string machine.
GM Lab Rondo
Rondo is a new hardware string machine heavily inspired by the legendary string machines from the 70s. Mainly from the ARP Solina, Logan String Melody, and the SIEL Orchestra.
The French music tech channel Les Sondiers made a video about the Rondo. In the interview, the developer didn’t say much about the built-in technology. However, if you look at GSi’s Facebook page, you read that the hardware engine is identical to the recently released iOS app Electrorchestra. Here the engine only runs on hardware with faders. And yes not analog but a digital emulation.
The Rondo gives you four mixable instruments: bass, cello, viola, and violin. Then, you get a three-stage envelope (attack, breakpoint, release) with which you can shape the volume curve. Of course, it also has built-in switchable vibrato and chorus effects. However, the rates are fixed. There is also a phaser that adds the final string machine character with speed and depth controls and a main section with a brilliance parameter.
Connection side, it has a MIDI input, and a mono audio output. Nice, you can even chain two devices with MIDI to get a stereo result. This can also be seen in the video.
It’s nice to see that a new string machine is coming out. If you can’t wait, check out the GSi Electrorchestra which gives the same engine for your iPad and in multiple instances thanks to AUv3 support.
GM Lab Rondo is available now for $199/199€ in a built version and for $179/179€ in a DIY kit. Shipping, import duties, and taxes are included with your order says the developer.
More information here: GM Lab