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
June 5, 2010 @ 4:45 pm
used by the electro industrial band suicide commando
May 26, 2010 @ 11:39 am
I was going to get the sh-201 for some time now but i got sh-32 and im glad i did it sounds better then the sh-201 but they are some sounds that the sh-201 has. I use my MicroKorg as a keyboard and you can use the microKorgs arpeggiator to arpegiat the sh-32s sounds but it has its own arpeggiator as well, there not that easy to find and there getting hard to find, If you find the sh-32 buy it, its well worth the money
Hypnotik Infekted Bloodline
April 13, 2010 @ 8:59 pm
Love this little noize maker!...One of the BEST arpeggiators ever put into a synth!... and the EFX,..are HUGE! I don't know if many people that own one of these, knows this or not,..But you can TWEAK the delay in "realtime"...and this makes for some killer spaced-out sounds. The effect I'm talkin' about is "rdly" in the EFX section. I stumbled upon this by accident, and I love it! I must say...YOU HAVE TO READ THE MANUAL to realize it's full potential. I own two of these little buggers, and will never get rid of 'em. You really have to learn the ins and outs of this box to get to where you want to go. In the long run, it's worth taking the time to STUDY the manual, and forget about any other piece of gear you might have for awhile. The results are VERY REWARDING. It'll take you to the moon and back!
April 10, 2010 @ 4:35 pm
Some days I love it, some days I can't stand it. Doesn't stand up next to my Mopho one bit for bass/leads, but that being said you can get really tasty spacey saw pads and whatnot. and no menu diving! i'm surprised no one has mentioned here that every knob and slider sends out midi ccs, making this one hell of a controller for Live or anything like that. the setting is definitely buried, check yo manual ;)
April 7, 2010 @ 11:29 pm
Great. I bought it on CL, used it for a day and like it already. Pairs harmoniously with my MicroKorg. Accepts a lot of MIDI data via my MKorg with knob tweaking. So much sound, wish I had an army of these things. Can't wait to see how this pairs with my Yamaha SY-77. Comprehensive manual and a very versatile synth. It is not analogue, just a few cents short of it. Happy buyer of SH-32, happy musician/programmer.
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Rated 4.57 (716 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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