Roland SH-201 Synthesizer

Roland SH-201 Image

Roland has resurrected their SH-series of synthesizers with the SH-201, an analog modeling synthesizer that's both fun and easy to use with plenty of features and cool sounds at a great price. The sounds and controls are analog style, and the SH-201 features Roland's famous Supersaw waveform (introduced in the JP-8000), resonant filter, saturation control, and more. Unlike the original SH-synths which were monophonic affairs, the SH-201 offers 10 voices of polyphony, which is perfect since we only have 10 fingers and this is definitely a hands-on performance oriented synthesizer.

At its heart the SH-201 has two beefy analog-modeling oscillators with ten analog styled waveforms. The two oscillators can be blended together in the Mix section, and there is also oscillator sync and ring modulation. Of course there is a filter section with High, Low and Band pass filtering at 12 or 24 dB/oct slopes, with the usual cutoff, resonance and key follow controls. Two LFOs add some modulation with 6 wave shapes plus sample-n-hold and multiple destinations. It also comes with high-quality delay and reverb effects, an overdrive control, and (like the SH-101) an arpeggiator function with 32 patterns.

Like the SH-101 of the early eighties, the SH-201 is quite user friendly, with a fairly simple and organized panel lay out (in a logically positioned signal path from left to right) and every control onboard is within reach. There are no complicated touch screens or menus of parameters to wade through, just grab a control and tweak! The keyboard is compact with just 49 keys and is only sensitive to velocity (no aftertouch). Patch memory is a bit on the disappointing side, with only 32 user and 32 preset patches. However, with its state-of-the-art USB connectivity, the SH-201 can be connected to a Mac/PC computer (both MIDI and audio can be routed through the USB port) and a VSTi software editor is included, which allows SH-201 sounds to be edited and stored from within a VSTi-compatible host software sequencer.

Roland SH-201 Image

The SH-201 also features external audio inputs with dedicated filters and effects. The SH-201 also features Roland's D-Beam technology allowing you to simply wave your hand above the D-Beam controller to create some wacky pitch-bends or modulations to the sounds. While it is clearly loaded up with Roland's latest technology it is packaged in a synth that is easy to use and simple to understand, with instantly accessible analog-type synth sounds that won't empty your wallet to attain--and in that way, this truly is a Roland qualified to carry the "SH" designation.

It is used by Richard Barbieri.

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147 Visitor comments
Keybern
September 15, 2009 @ 12:53 pm
How come some people say it's not multi-timbral ? The keyboard can be split into two sections so two patches can be played at the same time.
laikenf
September 7, 2009 @ 6:34 am
Played around with one of these in Guitar Center last week and I couldn't believe my ears. A friend of mine had told me before that this was a little sleeping beast, so after checking it out I'm even considering getting one. Very fun and intuitive; but the sounds, wow, the sounds.
sh
August 27, 2009 @ 4:47 pm
i got my sh last night and i cant turn it off it so much fun roland ruls:)
excelent instrument easy sounds grate
Nord72
August 26, 2009 @ 12:05 pm
http://www.deepsonic.ch/deep/htm/roland_sh-201.php - Demo
http://www.deepsonic.ch/deep/htm/roland_sh-201_editor.php - Editor
http://media.roland.com/en/IT/SH-201_IT/index.html - Interactive Tour.
This Synth is really a great reincarnation of the classic vintage Roland synths from the 70s to the 90s.
With the editor You can access the double 2 OSCs (yes its 4! sum.) and it splits into two regions (called UPPER and LOWER) or You can make a 4 layer patch of course.
With the editor the arpeggiator is working independently and You can trigger it with a sequencer (for.ex MC-909) and You have as much as arps while the 10 poly is full.
The usb midi+audio file transfer is working nice in any DAW ( I'm using FL Studio ) and it could send/receive 16bit or 24bit wave stream
It lacks with spdif out but with the VSTi plugin You can access the 44.1 kHz 16/24bit 'track' via USB port.
You only need a DAW software, integrate the vsti inside and send or receive midi+audio at the same time.
John
August 25, 2009 @ 8:50 am
Also being used by Front 242.
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 4.25 (926 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - Up to 10 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 Analog Sound Modeling oscillators;
    Waveforms: SAW, SQUARE, PULSE/PWM, TRIANGLE, SINE, NOISE, FB OSC, Super SAW, EXT IN;
    Knobs: Pitch, Detune, Pulse-Width/Feedback, Pitch Enveloper: Attack, Decay;
    MIX/MOD Section: Oscillator Sync, Ring Modulation, Low Boost/Low Cut, Knob: Balance (OSC1/OSC2)
  • LFO - 2 LFOs; Shapes: TRIANGLE, SINE, SAW, SQUARE, TRAPEZOID, SAMPLE AND HOLD, RANDOM, Knobs: Rate, Destination 1 Depth, Destination 2 Depth, Tempo Sync ON/OFF
  • Filter - 1 Filter; Types: LPF, BPF, HPF (-12 dB/-24 dB), Knobs: Cutoff, Resonance, Key follow, Enveloper: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
  • Amp - 1 Amp: Level, Insertion Effect: Overdrive, Enveloper: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
  • Effects - Reverb, Modulation Delay
  • Arpeggiator - 32 Patterns (programmable with PC editor software)
  • Memory - Preset : 32, User: 32
  • Keyboard - 49 keys (velocity sensitive)
  • Control - MIDI (IN, OUT), USB Connector (AUDIO/MIDI)
  • Date Produced - 2006
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Roland-US.

    Reviewed August 2008.

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