Roland SH-5

Roland SH-5 Image

The SH-5 is a classic yet very advanced monophonic synthesizer rivalled mainly by its successor, the SH-7. The SH-5 has just about two of everything. There are two analog VCOs with triangle, ramp, square and pulse waveforms, two LFO's, two filters, two VCA's, white and pink noise generators, and more.

The oscillators can be modulated by the LFOs or the ADSR envelope generator. The two LFOs include controls for rate and waveshape: ramp, reverse ramp, triangle, sine, square, delay; and there is also a Sample + Hold feature. The two multi-mode filters include hi-pass, low-pass, and band-pass filtering with cutoff, resonance, keyboard tracking, envelope sensitivity (AR, ADSR or preset) and modulation (ramp, sine, square, s+h) controls plus an additional band-pass-only filter. The two VCAs offer Attack/Release and ADSR envelopes which can be triggered by the Sample + Hold, LFO #2 or an external audio trigger input.

Extra features include the standard SH-type Mixer section with 5 sliders to adjust noise, VCO1, VCO2, ring mod and an external signal levels. Each of these 5 signals can be individually sent through the VCA, the multi-mode filter, the band-pass filter or both. The SH-5 even has stereo output with panning controls in the VCA section and portamento! The Ring Modulator alone is enough to wet your appetite for this synth. A serious analog mono-synth with lots of flexibility for creating serious electronic and dance music. It has been used by Eat Static and Freddy Fresh.

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16 Visitor comments
February 5, 2014 @ 3:40 pm
Only instrument I've ever played I got goosepumps.
January 2, 2014 @ 4:42 am
I was making a hard decision to spend over between sys100m, 303 or an 808 and ended up getting an SH5 for myself. Probably, the priciest synth i have every paid for ($1300 + a minibrute) which still worth it. The quality is as much as its weight. The closest thing i have that i could think of for now is Yamaha CS30l.
February 14, 2013 @ 7:10 pm
Stunning. Has that raw 70's electronic sound that makes me think of the SPACE 1999 tv series :) Great filters and a huge sound that is very different from the Minimoog, but equally great, and often more inspiring. Sounds almost as good as the system 700 at times, and I will never part with mine.
January 11, 2013 @ 11:29 am
Le SH 5 est un excellent monophonique. Il est puissant avec un son très médium qui lui donne beaucoup de présence dans un mix. Son filtre est très créatif voire très joueur.
Son architecture est très simple et sa prise en main rapide. Sa quilité de fabrication est sans reproche.
Bref, une magnifique machine !
September 10, 2012 @ 4:38 pm
oh man you would be deispointed with voyager compared to this beast ;)stuff now is made to budjet not to spec
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.09 (361 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 - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs range: 32' to 2', (triangle, ramp, square, pulse)
  • LFO - LFO 1: Rate, ramp, reverse ramp; LFO 2: Rate, Delay, triangle, sine, square; 1 Sample+Hold: Sample time, delay time
  • Filter - VCF 1: hi-pass, low-pass, band-pass, cutoff, resonance, keybd, env sensitivity (AR, ADSR or preset) and modulation (ramp, sine, square, s+h); VCF 2: Band-pass with cutoff, resonance and amount
  • VCA - 2 VCAs: AR and ADSR, triggered by sample+hold, LFO 2 or external trigger
  • Memory - None
  • Keyboard - 44 keys
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1976 - 1981
  • Resources & Credits
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