Roland SH-1000

Roland SH-1000 Image

The SH-1000, introduced in 1973, was the first instrument produced by Roland, and probably one of the first compact affordable keyboard synthesizers in all of Japan. It was designed to complement a home organ. Above its keyboard is a wooden sheet music stand. Organ-style colored preset selector tabs are located below the keyboard. All the extra parameter controls are located to the left of the keyboard.

The SH-1000 is a monophonic analog synth with a single oscillator feeding a lowpass filter, an ADSR envelope, and two LFOs. It features 10 Preset sounds, but they are pretty weak. Fortunately you can create your own sounds for some really great mono-synth bass, lead, percussion and FX sounds. Basic square, ramp and pulse-width waveforms are available from the oscillator and the LFOs have sine, square and sample+hold. It has a terrific ‘Growl’ and ‘Wow’ effect for a pretty scary analog sound. It also features white noise, pink noise, portamento, octave transposition and a Random Note Generator. Although there is no user memory, unique sounds can still be quickly recreated or discovered thanks to its simple interface.

It’s a dinosaur! But it’s also a classic piece of Roland history. It has been used by Vangelis, Human League, Blondie, The Band, and Jethro Tull. A little later in 1973 the SH-2000 was released with more Preset sounds (up to 30) but far less flexibility, controls and features. This may have been because the SH-1000 was a little confusing to its target demographic at the time. But today’s synthesists will love the unique sound and nostalgia of Japan’s first compact synthesizer!

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54 Visitor comments
February 16, 2009 @ 6:22 pm
Not ugly buttons, it was designed to sit on top of home organs, they all had those voice tabs. The unit was fantastic for live playing because of the quick voice changes,
January 25, 2009 @ 11:26 am
I just cant belive bad things said about this perfect instrument,if you like to experiment with things want to break the rulers of music, IN ONE WAY TO EXPRESS YOUR ORIGINALITY, than this is the thing for you, i have ARP 2600, and many more, but belive me , what this thing can do ITS AMASSING, Automatic Gainsay did A great job with the demo, but its not 1/10 what this baby can do!!!!!!!!! NO 1 of all times for me !!!!!
I would kill 100 men on working hours if someone took it from me
ed van son
October 15, 2008 @ 2:10 pm
this beast is amazing. its capabilities with a bit of learning time spent on it make it the best synth in my collection for what it does! one of the best-the micromoog is amazing too, but this thing can hold its own against most gear. its controls are sensitive and unweildy occasionally, but thats what we like about analogue stuff, you never know quite what youll get and it often blows us away! a secret synth this one.
September 8, 2008 @ 8:03 pm
this synth is also used by blackheart procession, but theirs is thrashed.. suprisingly it still works good! i've found plugging a drum machine out into the vcf control on mine can produce some happy fun time!
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Rated 3.89 (331 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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 - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO (square, ramp and pulse-width)
  • LFO - 2 LFOs (sine, square, sample+hold)
  • Filter - 1 VCF w/ frequency and cutoff sliders (lowpass)
  • VCA - 1 ADSR envelope gen
  • Memory - 10 presets
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1973 - 1981

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