Roland SH-32 Synthesizer

Roland SH-32 Image

The SH-32 is a 4-part multitimbral desktop synth module using new Wave Acceleration Synthesis to deliver up to 32 voices of fat synth waves and entirely new waveforms. The raw waveforms are sampled rather than mathematically generated and are actually multi-sampled across the octave ranges. There's also a full complement of knobs and sliders, analog-style 808 and 909 drums, DSP effects and a killer programmable arpeggiator - all at a reasonably cheap price.

The SH-32 is more like an affordable follow up to Roland's JP-8000 and JP-8080 analog modeling synthesizers than the real SH-series synths of the seventies/eighties. But that doesn't mean it can't sound like an SH-101, for example. The SH-32 has awesome, aggressive filters, however audible stepping can be heard when slowly twisting the cutoff knob, but not so when modulated with the envelope or LFO. It has many more variations of each classic wave than older SH synths, offering 67 types of waveforms. Everything from thick bass sounds to entirely new sounds not possible on traditional synthesizers can be coaxed out of the SH-32.

Every parameter is available on the front panel via knobs and sliders. There are no hidden menus, although the mass clutter of controls and information printed on the face of the SH-32 is a bit overwhelming, but look closer and it does seem as logically laid out and organized as possible.

Whilst you can certainly hook this baby up to your MIDI keyboard or sequencer and go to town with its great sounds, the SH-32 is perfectly happy running stand-alone making it perfect for DJs, live musicians, and just plain having fun. It has no sequencer but does have an amazing Arpeggiator with programmable or tap tempo settings. There are 64 arpeggiations and 64 drum rhythm patterns and they can be fully programmed by the user. It even has a chord memory feature making it great for techno and trance style arpeggiations. Superb built in effects will sweeten up the sounds immensely as well, with 35 insert fx and 10 types of reverb and delay. The SH32 is a unique combination of virtual analogue synthesis, excellent rhythm sounds, rhythm styles, an arpeggiator, and other 'groove' facilities - with an affordable price and compact size.

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83 Visitor comments
NB
July 27, 2012 @ 6:04 pm
To: g-love-
Sorry, cannot give you a comparison to Nord lead but realize it would not really be a fair comparison as it would not be a fair comparison of the Virus KB (which I own), because of more oscillators, mod routing options--it would be akin to trying to compare the Sh32 to a SCI Pro One--it's simply a different animal--analog; but realize I added this to my array to HAVE diversity of sounds, which one gets even from different flavors of VA's. The SH32 holds it's own and do not keep anything unless it IS utilitarian. Only minus- the power-wart that looks like it swallowed my cat!
NB
July 27, 2012 @ 5:53 pm
This is my first time ever considering a Roland as lean toward Waldorf/Access/SCI/DSI; but SH32 filled a specific need and aside from it's rather cluttered surface, one quickly realizes it's a very deep machine. Considering you get TR808 drum-sets, the fact that it can sound VERY lush, wildly experimentally crazy (what I was looking for), and to last poster, yes, leads can be programmed that I was able to DUPLICATE "Blade Runner" analog juiciness BEFORE realizing I could stack/unison! Even the $300. spent was better choice for me than say an electribe. Effects are great & will never sell!
G-Love
July 26, 2012 @ 7:11 pm
I'm really interested to know how the LEADS are on this thing compared to the Nord.
M Synth
June 24, 2012 @ 9:36 am
The only things that ever bothered me about the 32 were its ICU colour sceme & those horrible little grey nipples that need to be ´pinched`...so I finally decided to do a complete workover... http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_synth_concepts/7431788904/in/photostream/

Now it looks like a Roland box should...
Neutron wAve
May 17, 2012 @ 4:36 pm
Just SOLD, thanxs Jim* :)
 
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User Rating

Rated 4.57 (720 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 - 32 voices (16 if both oscillators are used, sub-oscillators don't decrease polyphony)
  • Oscillators - 2 x Oscillators (with Sub Oscillator, PWM, Oscillator Sync, or Ring Modulation). There are 67 waves (7 categories) for main oscillators, 63 rhythm waves for rhythm sets.
  • Multitimbral - 4 parts (or 3 + 1 Rhythm)
  • LFO - 2 x LFO (7 forms)
  • Filter - 1 x Filter: low, band, high pass, PKG; 12dB or 24dB; cutoff and resonance knobs, ADSR, Envelope, Key Follow sliders.
  • Envelope - 1 ADSR envelope for the Amp
  • Memory - 128 User Patches, 128 Preset Patches. 4 drum sets including TR-808 and TR-909 sounds. 64 Performance patches.
  • Effects - 10 types of reverb/delay and 35 insert multi-effects.
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator: 32 step with 128 patterns (64 arpeggiations, 64 rhythms), Style Programmable (Step/Realtime Input Modes)
  • Keyboard - None (has 13 preview buttons)
  • Control - MIDI In, Out
  • Date Produced - 2001
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Roland

    Reviewed December 2007.

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