Roland SH-101

Roland SH-101 Image

The SH-101 is very cool, especially for techno, drum&bass and ACID! It's a monophonic bass synthesizer. Its sound lies somewhere between the TB-303 and a Juno bass sound. It has a lot of simple but cool features. You can control the VCF, pitch, LFO or all from the pitch bender. It has a white noise generator, arpeggiator with up, down and up/down patterns and a simple real-time sequencer. The LFO offers random, sine, square or noise waveforms. And normal or auto portamento effects give you that elastic bass sound. There are external clock inputs for the sequencer and arpeggiator, CV/GATE inputs and outputs and a CV hold pedal.

Roland SH-101 Blue Image

Unfortunately there is no patch memory storage and although it has no MIDI there are upgrades available for it from many analog service companies that will allow you to incorporate it into any MIDI studio environment. It can also be controlled by MIDI using a CV/MIDI converter. It's great for bass sounds or bubbly analog effects. They come in three different flavors - gray, blue or red (there was a VERY rare white version too)! It can also be strapped on like a guitar for live performance using the optional Hand Grip.

Red SH-101

It is used by Orbital, Future Sound of London, Überzone, The Prodigy, 808 State, The Grid, Cirrus, Eat Static, Jimmy Edgar, Apollo 440, Devo, Union Jack, Luke Vibert, Dirty Vegas, Josh Wink, the Crystal Method, Aphex Twin, Astral Projection, Les Rythmes Digitales, Sense Datum, Squarepusher, Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM/MDFMK, Freddy Fresh, Lab-4, Nitzer Ebb, the Chemical Brothers, Boards of Canada and many more.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland SH-101? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

104 Visitor comments
August 5, 2010 @ 2:47 pm
@Louis Padgham: Try changing out your power supply. The thing is probably as old as the synth itself and has just worn out.

Just try to find one that has the exact same specs as the one you currently have, and you should be set.
louis padgham
August 3, 2010 @ 12:20 pm
Hi, I bought my sh 101 in full working order roughly 3 months ago and have had no problems. Until, recently after about 5 seconds after being turned on the power supply slowly dies. I've opened the 101 up and can't see any problems, any suggestions for any help?
July 29, 2010 @ 9:28 am
People still care who used what? Anyways, what can be said about the synth itself? Not much, its very simple and very limited, the sound is indeed pleasant but its hardly unique and for what these cost these days, you can get miles more potential, wether it be mono or poly, analog or digital etc. I know its pointless to complain about it, its the way market is heading and people with big wallets and little reason gladly pay 1200+ dollars for one of these (yes, I've seen them go for this). Don't get me wrong, I'd love one but for me the sound matters so much more than the badge, and while the 101 sounds great its certainly not its sound people pay for.
June 27, 2010 @ 5:54 pm
I had 2 of these many moons ago sold them both for peanuts at the time best thing I ever did. Then they became very popular through techno now I wish I still had them .
So that I could sell them again to these mugs for more money and buy something decent. As mono analog synths go the flashy look with the mod grip and the fact that every 80's pop star has been pictured poseing with one blinded people to the fact that they were well just ordinary and you could get the same sort of sound out of a yamaha cs01 for about 50 quid at the time And for the same money as the sh101 there were better synths about
May 3, 2010 @ 6:45 am
on source mixer drop back all sliders,push noise full up, at modulator section select noise, press/hold a key then play with VCF sliders to achieve the gritty might of a saturn moon rocket lift off. this cannot be replicated on a 'soft 101'.go on,have twiddle!
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  • 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Roland SH-101
    by stretta

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

    Patch File - This is a text document describing how to set up the SH-101 for a nice Orbital style synth lead sound.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO (independent levels for saw, square/pulse/pwm and sub-oscillator)
  • LFO - triangle, square, random and noise waveforms
  • Filter - resonant, self-oscillating LPF, mod by EG, lfo and kybd tracking
  • VCA - ADSR, mod by EG or gate
  • Arpeg/Seq - Digital sequencer up to 100 steps record/playback; Arpeggiator patterns: up, down, up/down
  • Keyboard - 32 keys
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1983

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