Synth Site: roland: SH-32: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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David a part-time user from USA writes:
I own many quality synths and have played just about every other synth I don't own. I am NOT an owner of the SH-32, but it has turned my head on many occasions.

True, the filters zip (it is clearly audible--can't miss it). However, I have rarely had so much fun programming a sound and getting such immediate results. I think it's a great little synth. It has its special place in a rig.

I am looking to acquire one, not as an all-purpose device, but for the special sounds it can produce. It has its niche. However, I AM waiting for the price point to drop. I won't pay $400 for one. However, as the price drops, I will eventually snag one. I clearly see a place for it.

It will not (it cannot) replace my pro-level synths. However, I WILL get one and I WILL use it for its unique pallette that it can deliver.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-27-2002 at 21:05
Tang Song He from China (ex pat) writes:
The Roland SH-32 will be a possible choice for anyone ON A BUDGET wishing to use subtractive synthesis to make electronic music. Obvious competitors are the Yamaha AN200 (with a very basic sequencer, 4 EG tracks, and great computer editor), Korg MS2000 (decent keyboard, extra noise oscillator, 'reliable' sound and vocoder) and the Novation K station (3 oscillators, FM synthesis, vocoder, 2 octave keyboard). Though lacking the above features, the SH-32 is still competitive because it has higher polyphony, more waveforms, more and better effects, a unique programmable arpeggiator and more powerful multi timbrality.

If you find hidden controllers and menus tedious, you will enjoy the SH-32. It has enough physical sliders and knobs to free the sound creation/editing process from creativity sapping menus. The SH-32 can’t be criticised for its sounds. They are varied, distinct and sufficiently sharp or fat when needed (the sub osc, compressor and part stack functions are useful). Nit-picking about the fact that the waveforms are samples is pointless. A spectrum analyser will tell anyone that the difference is tiny and clouded by the character of the other modules in the sound chain anyway. The SH-32 only loses points for its slight tendency to unpleasantly distort the sound before the output stage when using the filter with a 24 dB cutoff slope. One can avoid this problem with care. The envelopes noticeably slow down under medium to high loads also.

Synths are as much about dynamic and static sound structure within a note as about melody right? It takes a lot of practice to learn how to set and play each synth agreeably. With so many budget synths around, each with a different interface and spec, selecting one is like trying to choose whether to play a saxophone or a clarinet. Don’t trust any reviews that praise or criticise the SH-32 after only a few hours or days use. Some synths will give you a great sounding simple riff seconds after switch on. Fine if you want to use someone else’s ideas. I haven’t yet heard any Bachs or Bartoks whose music I want to play for myself. The SH-32 demands attention and familiarity but apart from the filter/envelope gripe is just as capable at creating fantastic music as any other synth. Well, the music I make is shite anyway but I know that this is my fault, not my tools! :)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-12-2002 at 11:36
Jim writes:
It's a good bit of gear for the price i paid 2nd hand about 350US$. It's by far perfect, considering both the osc parimiters are used by the same slides and the same with the lfo so programming it is a pain but too damn easy to worry about. The 3 digit led is a pain also, if this thing waz layed out in a ms2000r style it would be the beez neez for simplicity...But i bought this to compliment my other gear and this is what it does to perfection..The sounds are good quality . The programmable arp is great fun as you can make some really cool sounds with it either controling notes or the filter, also there are truckloads of diffrent waveforms to choose from. Not to mention the effects.. It does have a sound of it's own and NO not phat analog crap nothing like it but it does fit well in a mix.... I like it and won't part with it for ages. Don't bother listening to all the people that dis this synth as they obviously don't know shit about what a sh-32 is meant for..

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-07-2002 at 07:33
Panos Chatzigeorgiadis a professional user from Greece writes:
Definitelly one of the best modules/synths at this price range and undoughtly great value for the money spent. I got mine second hand - mint condition and apart from that it also covers many aspects of my sound needs...certainly you can really come up with a wide variety of electronic sounds therefore in my opinion this is designed to cover many different styles of today's electronica...i am particularly in UK trance style with dominant riffs which are filtered during the tracks therefore in many cases this baby seems to fit the bill for me...i would definitelly recomend it to anyone who really needs to build his own sounds but not to somebody who is now starting to deal with music-writing and he might need a more general purpose synth...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-21-2002 at 10:34
Dave a professional user from Belgium writes:
N8sula you are so full of shit. Makes me wonder if you know you'r stuff at all. I have the sh-32 and i like it really much. If you can't work with it it's time to go back to the beginning of synth principles again. What did you expect to get for that price. A nord lead or a jp8000? This synth is just great value for the price you pay for it. I have been creating some very phatt and detailed sounds with it and haven't had any problem with the stuff you mention. There are not much synths with filters that do self oscilate. And a zipper sound when adjusting any control isn't true. You just need to set the encelope's in the right way to avoid that. The strings you can make with this synth are very nice and the drums are a cool extra. For this kind of money you get a very nice synth module wich provides you with great sound scaping possibilities. There is no way you can compare it to the yamaha an200 wich is a module with half the controls of the sh-32

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-08-2002 at 12:20
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