Roland SH-2

Roland SH-2 Image

The SH-2 is one of Rolands' early synthesizers. It is very simple in design, look and function. It sounds much like the SH-101 synth, including the typical SH-style sub-oscillator. But the SH-2 employed 2 oscillators for a much fatter sound. It has the typical Roland SH sound - it's a monophonic bass synth that's flexible enough to provoke punchy analog basses, leads and squelchy sounds. The oscillators can be de-tuned as well, another feature the popular SH-101 lacks. But it isn't very pretty to look at as it shares the same design and layout as the SH09. Still it makes a simple and easily programmable mono-synth that can be used in place of the more common SH-101. However the SH-2 is harder to find and so it usually has a higher price than other SH-type synthesizers from Roland. It has been used by Duran Duran, Groove Corporation, Eat Static, OMD, Men Without Hats, and the Eurythmics.

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46 Visitor comments
February 20, 2010 @ 12:15 pm
People often talk about the filters in vintage analogs, and while this synth does have a very nice, powerfully resonant roland filter, it is not the main thing that makes it stand out. Rather it's the *oscillators* in this thing that sound so distinctive and fantastic. I always find myself backing off the filter cutoff to the point where I'm playing more of the raw oscillator sound, especially the sawtooth. Just *so* electric and raw sounding, sort of like it has a subtle pulse wave mod built into the oscillator that makes the sound alive and dynamic but without any obvious modulation/LFO. Think Dimension D (spatial chorus effect) but with PWM. Beautiful synth, and my main left-hand board in my live setup. And a little bit of 64' sub osc goes a long way. Our 900W 18" 3-way TOA PA can't even reproduce the low end accurately (though it still sounds amazing) - you really need a serious amp and speaker system to understand what it's capable of.
January 30, 2010 @ 6:26 pm
This was used by Animal Collective (namely Avey Tare on Spirit..) extensively.
December 14, 2009 @ 12:39 am
Can i ask who in the hell writes these reviews? i've noticed on a few synths that it says things like 'sounds much like xyz synth' to say that the SH2 sounds like the SH101 is utter rubbish and does the SH2 a horrible disservice, the SH101 sounds plasticky and cheap, the SH2 sounds full of power and heat, i've owned quite a synths in my time, and just about every mono thats ever been produced, and this synth and the promars are the only 2 synths i ever look out for now, i again looking to buy another SH2 and Promars. do yourself a favour ditch the over rated SH101 and look for one of these guys, you wont ever regret it,
December 2, 2009 @ 8:45 pm
The layout of the synth is so simple and basic but the range of sounds that this synth can produce is massive . Envelopes are fast , filter is great , oscilators are both fat and they stay in tune . Basses are strong , moody saw leads are fantastic , leads with pwm and detuned oscs are moogish , self oscilating filter fxs with analog delay are exceptional . You can add an subtle overdrive and it sounds more moogish or arpish but the basic sound of this synth is just wonderful . It also likes analog delays and digital reverbs . But more importantly , it's so musical , you can play it for hours and it fits in a mix great . It doesn't matter what you play , this synth can find place in any music style ; rock , progressive rock , electronica , synth-pop , ambient , trance ... It's my favorite mono , I just love it :)
October 1, 2009 @ 8:20 am
I'm really just a wannabe muso, but I spotted an SH-1 in a friends garage about 20 years ago and bought it off him for $50 thinking it might get me started in music. This wasn't a sound plan (pun) of course' as this little baby can't play chords. I was still able to get a lot of enjoyment out of it however as I had learnt a little about ADSR etc on my old Commodore 64 ( which incidentally had a pretty impressive built in synth for a vintage home entertainment computer). Now although my little baby may not be that attractive, I am sure I spotted her face the the hit music video " I ran " by A Flock of Seagulls. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, it's a bit hard to tell from the YouTube clips, most of them are low quality. The live vids show them using other synths so I suspect the SH-1 was used for the clip only. As in most music videos of course, the instuments aren't even plugged in and he is playing chords.
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Rated 4.09 (369 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 - 2 VCO's + 1 Sub oscillator (waveforms: pulse, square, sawtooth, sine, noise)
  • Memory - None
  • Effects - LFO with sine, square and Sample & Hold; Auto-Bend
  • Filter - Resonant, self-oscillating 24dB lowpass filter, mod by EG, lfo and kybd tracking. External audio input
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1978 - 1979

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