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
bunnycat
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.
jonthan
January 30, 2010 @ 6:26 pm
This was used by Animal Collective (namely Avey Tare on Spirit..) extensively.
Sean
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,
synfox
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 :)
Skatta
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 (362 Votes)

  • 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.
  • 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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