Roland SH-3a

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The SH-3a is a funky little analog synth and was among Roland's first programmable additive synths. Like the SH-1 and SH-09, the SH-3a has a single oscillator for a simple monophonic sound. Not nearly as good as the two or three VCO's found in other monophonic synths. It could perform additive synthesis by mixing in up to five different waveforms. All of its editing controls which are just shy of the SH-5's features have been crammed together all the way to the left of the keyboard. This was an attempt to accommodate organ and piano players who would typically put their synths on top of their piano. This makes space for sheet music, there's even a stand for sheet music. As for its construction, the wood casing is covered with fake leather, and protected by metal corners. It has been used by Kitaro, Human League and Vangelis.

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Roland SH3 Synthesizer - Part One
ManualRoland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.


Polyphony - Monophonic (low note takes priority)
Oscillators - 1 VCO plus Pink/White Noise generator and Portamento
Memory - None
LFO - LFO1 has sawtooth waveform, LFO2 sine or square and delay slider, Sample-and-Hold with level and sample time sliders. LFO's can be assigned to VCF, VCA, VCO.
VCF - Resonant self-oscillating lowpass filter w/ frequency and resonance controls
VCA - VCA is basic ADSR type
Arpeg/Seq - None
Keyboard - 44 keys
Control - None
Date Produced - 1974 - 1976