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In-depth Feature:  Roland SH-32
The SH-32 is a cool addition to my studio, and a source of new inspiration. It's a keeper.
Ronald Pieket writes: .


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Introduction
The SH-32 is Roland's latest addition to the subtractive synthesis field. It's a small table top unit. At <$500, it could be considered a budget module. Though in reality this is a 32 voice polyphonic, 4-part multitimbral instrument. It has the sound architecture of a traditional subtractive synth, featuring (per voice):
Two oscillators, one filter, an amplitude segment, two LFO's plus two effect processors.

The SH-32 also contains a full set of drum sounds. These appear to be mainly samples from classic analog Roland drum machines, including the TR-808, TR-909, and CR-78.

One thing to be clear on SH-32 is not a groove box. It has no sequencer, it has no pattern chain play, it does not have remix controls. The controls on the front panel are pretty much all dedicated to sound programming. This is a synthesizer made for sound programming, and to get the most from it you'll need an external keyboard or sequencer.

Front Panel
The SH-32 front panel contains sliders, knobs, rotary switches, buttons, and a three digit, seven segment LED display. Buttons come in two kinds, firstly (and most numerous) with a built in LED. Some have three states: dark, lit, and flashing. Secondly, multi state buttons have LEDs associated with them. Pressing the button will cycle through the options.

There are a lot of multi function controls with fine print labels. The bulk of the surface is for the synthesizer interface. To conserve panel space, two oscillators share the same set of controls as do the two LFOs.

The two rows of buttons at the bottom of the front panel control much of the multitimbral,system and arpeggiator functions. They also serve as a mini polyphonic keyboard.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • SH-32 Sounds with FX (MP3)
  • SH-32 Price@ zZounds.com
  • SH-32 Basic Waveforms (MP3)
  • User Reviews @ Sonic State
  • SH-32 Short Demo (MP3)

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