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In-depth Feature:  Roland SH-32
Ronald Pieket writes: .

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LED Display
The SH-32 does not have an LCD. It has a three digit, seven segment LED. This is fine for displaying numbers, but the SH-32 also uses it to display other information which can appear a little cryptic at times. For example, when you press the "write" button, the display will show "Sur". Well, this means that it is trying to ask "are you sure?" and is waiting for another button press. The seven segment LED alphabet takes a little getting used to, but you’ll learn.

MIDI Control
All knobs send MIDI data. There are two modes for this: one that uses continuous controllers, and one that uses a combination of continuous controllers and SYSEX.

Velocity can be used to modify the attack time of the envelope of both the filter and the amplitude section, as well as modify filter frequency and amplitude.

Modulation wheel MIDI data can be routed to the filter frequency, as well as the amount of modulation from LFO1 to the oscillators, filter frequency, and amplitude. Aftertouch can be used to control filter frequency, and amplitude.

The Manual
After a while, working with the SH-32 will be second nature. But until that time, you will need the manual. I'm not kidding. There are no self-explanatory menus, and knob labels tell only half the story. The manual is thorough, methodical, it has a "quick start" section, an index, but it's not going to win any prizes for clarity. But it's all in there. Persevere.

Conclusion
I'm very excited about this synthesizer. I've always preferred to use physical controls for sound programming, rather than menus or software programmers, and the SH-32 is perfect for this. The sound, to my ears, has a pleasing quality to it. It has character. The SH-32 is not going to replace my Nord Lead, or my Supernova, but it will compliment them. If I describe the sound of the Supernova as silky and polite, and the Nord Lead as tight and hard, the SH-32 complements it by being rude and unruly. The SH-32 is a cool addition to my studio, and a source of new inspiration. It's a keeper.

The SH-32 has a list price of $595 but hits the street at around $499.99

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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