Trax RetroWave Analogue Synthesizer

Trax RetroWave Analogue Synthesizer

Compact Desktop Unit

The Trax RetroWave monosynth was designed for musicians who want the warmth and power of classic analogue synthesizer sound, created by a real analogue instrument, as opposed to a digital system. It is equally at home on stage, or in the amateur or professional studio.

The RetroWave is a true analogue machine, the only digital element being the MIDI to CV converter section.

Hand-Built in the UK

The R-1 is not mass-produced - we opted instead for small production runs, which means we do not need to stock vast amounts of components, etc., and consequently can keep the price low: everybody wins!

User Videos

See the R-1 in action:

Trax RetroWave R1 -- Demo Track by AreggerOrchestra

Trax RetroWave Demo by AreggerOrchestra

A comprehensive review by Attila the Fun

Jam Review : Trax Retrowave R-1 + Korg Volca Beat by Zicplace

Trax RetroWave

Hands-on Control of Your Music

Play soaring lead lines and powerful basslines in real time from a MIDI keyboard, or use your computer DAW and a USB to MIDI converter cable, to achieve stunning, intricate sound patterns.

No MIDI setup to worry about, just plug in, select a channel and play!

Case & Control Layout

The retro-styled steel case has a powder-coated, black and white paint finish. The construction is solid and robust, making the unit ideal for live performance use.

The controls and switches are laid out as ergonomically as possible, with plenty of space around the control knobs, making programming rapid and easy.

We deliberately avoided putting any sockets on the front panel, to keep the unit neat and uncluttered when in use - let's face it, nobody needs a tangle of patch leads getting in the way when trying to set up sounds! Inputs and outputs are all located on the rear panel.


All potentiometers are robust, full-size units, and all switches are good quality toggle type, as opposed to fragile and unreliable slide switches.

VCO - Voltage-Controlled Oscillator

VCO: Voltage-Controlled Oscillator

At the heart of the system is the primary sound source, a true analogue VCO, offering four output waveforms: Square (with variable pulse width), Ramp, Triangle & Sine. 1V/octave, logarithmic response.

Control Voltage Mixer

An FM sources mixer allows summing of the waveform outputs of Low-Frequency Oscillators 1 & 2, the ADSR contour, Sample & Hold (for crazy "random note" effects), and an external input, giving some interesting modulation possibilities.

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)

The PWM Sources mixer sums the manual PWM control, LFO 2 output, ADSR contour and an external source, giving even more scope for special effects.

Also provided are a tuning control, octave switch, MIDI CV selection switch (VCO only/Off/VCO + VCF), and a real-time pitch bend control for greater expression when playing live.

MIDI Channel & Glide

MIDI Channel Switch & Glide Control

Two small but important sections of the synth. MIDI Channel is self-explanatory - choose from 1 of 12 MIDI channels for the R-1 to respond to.

As the R-1 is a Plug and Play machine, it will receive MIDI information as soon as the required MIDI channel has been selected.

The Glide (or portamento) control is used to set the amount of time it takes for one note to "glide" into another. Much used by Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and others in their day!

The R-1 allows glide lengths of 0 to approximately 1 second.

LFO's: Low-Frequency Oscillators

LFO's: Low-Frequency Oscillators

These modules provide square and triangle wave outputs (wave shape is variable), to modulate the frequency and/or pulse width of the VCO squarewave, alter the cutoff frequency of the filter for "wah wah" effects, etc, ADSR repeat, speed of Sample & Hold effect, etc. Each LFO features a LED signal monitor.

VCF: Voltage-Controlled Filter

VCF: Voltage-Controlled Filter

The VCF is a 24dB /octave, 4-pole low-pass type. It is this module that gives the sound the classic synth growls, burbles and wahs we are all familiar with.

The signal mixer sums together the VCO, white noise generator (for surf and wind effects, etc.), two sub-octaves derived from the VCO, and an external signal.

The sub-octaves are one octave and two octaves below the VCO signal, great for fattening up basslines, etc.

The CV mixer combines control voltages from the ADSR (+ and - sweeps), LFO 2, Sample & Hold, MIDI Velocity signal., and external source.


ADSR (Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release) & VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifer)

The ADSR/VCA is the final section in the signal chain. It gives your sound its overall shape, be it a short sharp "stab", a long, drawn out "drone", or anything in between, each time a note is played.

It features a Repeat switch (LFO 1 driven), Range switch, Bypass (or Hold) switch, and a germanium diode overdrive facility, great for creating massive, down-and-dirty distortion effects.

A yellow monitor LED is also provided; this illuminates each time an ADSR cycle is triggered.

The very last control is used to adjust the signal level sent to your amplifier system.

Rear Panel

Rear Panel Jack Sockets

The R-1 has a useful range of input & output sockets (6.35mm jacks) so you can connect external gear such as other synths, older style sequencers, line level sources, etc.

INPUTS: Gate (+2V to 10V), VCO CV (1V/octave), VCO PWM, VCF CV, VCA CV, Audio.

OUTPUTS: MIDI CV, MIDI Gate (+5V), MIDI Velocity, Audio output.


What's in the Box?

The RetroWave is supplied with a universal 24V dc power adapter, with several interchangeable plug tops, meaning you can use it in just about any country in the world.

A 6.35mm standard jack lead is provided for connecting the R-1 to an amp, and there is a comprehensive User Manual featuring tutorials to help get you started in the world of analogue synthesis.

The R-1 is guaranteed for one year from date of purchase.


Instrument type: MIDI-controlled, monophonic analogue synthesizer.

MIDI channels: 12, selected by rotary switch.

VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator): square, ramp, triangle and sine outputs, with PWM control of square wave. Control characteristic: 1V/octave, logarithmic.

VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter): control characteristic 1V/octave, logarithmic. Type: 24dB per octave, state-variable, 4-pole lowpass.

VCA type: linear, with germanium diode overdrive stage.

LFO x 2: square and triangle outputs. Variable wave shape controls, two frequency ranges (LOW and HIGH) providing sub-audio to audio frequency output. Output level 10V p/p each waveform.

Gate input range: 2 - 10V.

Gate output from MIDI: 5V.

Glide control: variable rate from 0 sec. to approx 1 sec.

Velocity output from MIDI: 0 - 10V nominal.

Audio output level: 0 - 3V p/p, variable

Power Supply: Universal plug-in adapter, 24V dc at 1A. Operates on 100-240V ac, and supplied with a selection of mains plug top adapters for worldwide use.

Signal inputs/outputs: via 6.35mm (1/4") jack sockets.

MIDI In: via 5 pin DIN socket. The R-1 responds to CV, Gate and Velocity signals.

Dims: 440 x 230 x 100mm overall

Weight: 2kg approx.

PRE-ORDER HERE for Mid-May Despatch....

(Please note - EU orders may be subject to Import Duty in the buyer's country of residence).

  • UK (Inc. Shipping)
  • £360

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  • EU (Inc. Shipping)
  • £380

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  • Rest of World (Inc. Ship.)
  • £410

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