Synth Site: roland: SH-32: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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wadrad a hobbyist user from Europe writes:
Yeah, I'd have to agree with the majority of more recently posted reviews. For the money, this thing is WAY decent. And I paid $350 for it about a year before the $200 specials started popping up. I'm not crazy about the actual timbre quality of the sounds. I think my red sound "dark star" is smoother (and it cost $199) BUT the "dark star" is a pain to program compared to the SH-32. I also have a JP-8080, and to be honest, other than for leads and some basses, the SH-32 gets used more. Maybe because of the polyphony or programming... I'm not sure. For the money, if you can find it, WAY worth the investment

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-21-2004 at 10:01
alvin Hayek a professional user from New York, Mahattan writes:
We just recorded our new full length with a $169.00 SH-32 using a M-audio Radium 61 key midi controller and a micro korg, an Viscount OB12, and a Nord Lead 2. Being that the SH-32 was the least expensive synth, it still had it's part as one of the main synths during the production of this album. I can't believe someone can complain about a portable synth that costs under $200.00 Now that they're discontinued I would consider owning one a major acheivement! What a find! 32 voice polyphony! this cheap fucker has more polyphony than the Nord we used(16 voices). I would recommend this to anyone that doesn't have $1500 to shell out for an access Virus c tabletop synth. It worth every dime. Especially if you live in a metropolitan area, where you don't have a car or take the train everywhere. You put this and some cables in a backpack and you're all set! All you need is a midi cable, the sh-32 and a decent midi controller/keyboard, and you're Ruling!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-12-2004 at 13:06
Dan a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Here are my initial reactions and comments about the SH-32 after a couple days of fairly heavy use: First off, the Roland SH-32 was probably the most fun straight out of the box of any synth I've owned so, the "fun-factor" is a factor. The build quality is good; it has metal casing and the MIDI ports are screwed into the casing - Nice! I had read a review that said the sliders are a little flimsy but, when the sliders are the only way to tweak envelopes you wouldn't want a lot of resistance when trying to nudge them just a hair one way or the other. The slider touch has to walk a fine line between being too light where the slightest bump will change settings and being too resistant where it's difficult to make precise tweaks.

I recently sold my Alpha Juno 1 and I can already tell I won't miss it a bit. (Relative to the SH-32, the Alpha Juno 1 was *a lot* more of a hassle to program, had less features and less of a sound palette and, frankly, IMO the Alpha Junos don't sound very good in the higher ranges.)

The SH-32 presets are generally good and some are awesome; they cover the typical analog range of basses, leads, pads, sweeps, brass, & SFX. I was pleasantly surprised that there were some beautiful pad sounds. I had good results making minor tweaks to some of the weaker presets. As an example, the presets I usually don't like (on any synth) are the short "plinky" type sounds that are probably meant for sequencing or arpeggiating but when I extended the envelopes on some of these types of sounds I was happy with the outcome.

A couple notable presets are B/D 44 and 45 the first is phase pad and the second is an analog string/pad. Although these are common sounds, these in particular are among the best I've heard.

I agree with others that the resonance sounds harsh and metallic above 1/2 - 2/3 of the max. setting (but the sounds I make are usually below that anyway).

IMO the waveforms do sound good and I have made a couple patches from scratch to test the PWM, square and sawtooth waves.

The limitations of using osc. sync. although somewhat of a drag isn't as bad as it might look on paper. The preset leads that use osc. sync. (...and IMO that's the most common application e.g. The Cars, "Let's Go", lead sound.) only need one voice anyway since they are, well, leads. The lack of filter on sync. sounds is mitigated by the inclusion of basic waveforms samples that are apparently sampled without all their higher order harmonics.

The LFOs even have a trapezoid waveform option that I liked (although it might initially seem esoteric) and I'll probably wish that all my synths had that feature now!

I also liked several of the pitched noise waveforms. You can make some cool sounds with them that you can't with white/pink/blue noise.

For those who gig, it's probably safe to say that you'd rather not take your flagship synth out to clubs where you play and I think a synth like the SH-32 would be great for that. It's cheap and easy to carry around and it sounds to me like it "has the sounds".

Rating is about a 4.2 but I'll round up to a 5 to help counterbalance some of the senseless 0's and 1's!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-31-2004 at 13:52
Steve a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I just got one of these from Zzounds for $199 free shipping and it is fantastic.

It is sitting on top of My SuperJX and I think that this little thing is great. I don't know why so many are complaining about the sound. I really think that the people who are dissatisfied with Roland expect them to reissue the Jupiter 8 with the capabilities of a Virus C all for $499. If you want a Jupiter, then go get one. For the money, you would be hard pressed to find anything that sounded this great.

The arpeggiator is tops. The only thing that makes me mad is that the hold has to be activated with the onboard keyboard. That is a stupid design. The reason is that I always use the arp on hold to design sounds, a habit I acquired from my Juno 60 and my Jupiter 6.

All in all, this one is a keeper.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-20-2004 at 16:28
a professional user writes:
Unbelievable value for the money. You can come up with some incredible sounds with this puppy and its got a great interface too.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-12-2004 at 21:38
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