Roland SH01

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Primal Drive
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Primal Drive » Fri May 07, 2010 9:32 am

There was an old thread where I posted that I would like to see an updated version of the SH32 with the same looped waveforms, but with actual analog filters. Sadly, the SH01 doesn't even come close to that wish.

The waveforms of the SH01 are looped samples, but you only have a choice of 3 variations each - unlike the SH32 which gives a choice of 12 saw waves, 10 square waves, 9 pulse waves, etc.

There is no sub osc mode on any of the three oscs.

There is no "Analog Feel" modulation which can be applied to the 3 synths. Though it never resembled true analog instability I still found it useful for adding texture to the sound.

Besides poly, the SH01 only offers mono mode, but no legato mode. I find that frustrating because in mono the envs retrigger with every key press.

On the other hand, legato mode never quite worked like it should have in the SH32 to begin with. It would only track about three octaves before repeating the same note further up the keyboard. This made a five octave portamento sweep impossible. I can see now why they didn't include this setting if they were unable fix this flaw.

The mod lever on the SH01 can only be used to apply LFO modulation to the three synth sections. Unlike the SH32 it cannot be set to control filter cutoff, for instance.

I don't mind (too much) if the SH01 has to go into mono mode for sync and ring mod, but why couldn't Roland have figured out a way to keep the filter from being bypassed? I'm no tech, but I assume this has to do with the way they implemented the looped waveforms. Still, this inexcusable.

A trick I think they missed was not allowing the GM sounds to be run through one of the synth sections. Since the oscs of synth 1 and 2 are used for sync and ring mod, then the osc of synth 3 could have been disabled, and the GM sounds could have been processed by it's LFO, filter and amp. It may not have been all that spectacular (GM sounds after all), but it would have added to the SH01's sound pallet.

At first, I liked the idea of the SH01 having 3 separate synths that resembled the SH32. But after reading the manual, I feel that instead of being a "beefed up SH32" (Yoozer) it's actually a stripped down version.

I will wait until I can play one before I make up my mind if I like it's sound. But at the moment I'm not too optimistic.

As for the price, I think it's at least double what it should be.

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Doooooooom » Fri May 07, 2010 9:50 am

So its not really even a virtual analogue synth?

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Primal Drive » Fri May 07, 2010 10:36 am

Sadly, no. It's a hybrid just like the SH32.
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by invisibleairwaves » Fri May 07, 2010 11:08 am

As a Micron owner driven mad by one-knob menu-diving, I have to say I'm intrigued by the controls on the SH01. Looks like it might be the most useful, efficient, intuitive interface of any modern VA. Sonically, though...I guess I should reserve judgement until I actually hear the thing in person, but I'm not optimistic. Aliasing? Really? And it sounds pretty thin on the video, but again, I'll wait to hear it in better conditions.

Maybe, after they come down in price, I'll pick one up and use it as a controller for the Micron (assuming most of the useful sliders and knobs actually send CC messages).
¯\(°_o)/¯

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by iProg » Fri May 07, 2010 3:00 pm

boxed wrote:New video

It sounds awful.

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Doooooooom » Fri May 07, 2010 4:55 pm

This is the reason I initially liked the look of the Roland GAIA, its the interface, the controls. I wonder if it really even sounds bad, or whether the placebo effect of its semi-romplerified nature just puts people off on this site. I mean lets face it, these days just about every instrument sounds good, it's not hard to achieve. What is really important in a piece of hardware now is how it feels to control, and even just the way it looks and how it makes you feel when you play it, how it inspires you. It looks like it would be great fun making sounds on this instrument because the controls are laid out accessibly. Someone mentioned the Alesis Micron. I used to own one, they sound great but I hate that synth. It feels horrible because the interface is anti-human. Maybe a second-hand MS2000 is better than the Roland GAIA. (Why did Korg stop making that synth??)

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by shaft9000 » Sat May 08, 2010 2:03 pm

Doooooooom wrote:This is the reason I initially liked the look of the Roland GAIA, its the interface, the controls. I wonder if it really even sounds bad, or whether the placebo effect of its semi-romplerified nature just puts people off on this site. I mean lets face it, these days just about every instrument sounds good, it's not hard to achieve. What is really important in a piece of hardware now is how it feels to control, and even just the way it looks and how it makes you feel when you play it, how it inspires you.

A big clue to the sound quality is ALWAYS how many effects they ice the cake with. Turn the FX off to hear how it really makes sound - a great-sounding synth already IS an fx device and needs no tack-on post-sweetening to sound fantastic.

If the osc itself is deficient then no amount of fx dressing is going to change that. Sure it will sound 'more pro' to the inexperienced because it sounds like studio-trick magic, but after using synths day in and out it becomes far more valuable to have quality building blocks that sound good on their own: nice VCOs, a great filter and fast EGs. These go a looooong way because you never have to compensate for inadequacy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the SH-01 has any of those qualities out the gate.
imho, It looks more and more like the marketers at Roland decided it was time for a new VA, but beyond designing new cosmetics they made no effort to come up with any new concepts or next-gen tech to actually put in the thing.

Here's to hoping Korg gets back into analog with a vengeance and make waves in the industry, so
(fat chance ;) ) the shareholders and BoD of Roland sack management for sitting on their hands and unloading junk like the GAIA.

btw -
a second-hand MS2000 is a great choice for learning a LOT about synths; it's got fantastic layout and tons to explore - plus it's one I always keep around for a few special things it can do like nothing else. Just don't expect Moog-like phhhhatttnesss.
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by mute » Sat May 08, 2010 2:59 pm

To me, from the layout of it's panel, it appears it has the same design flaw that the SH-32 does.. (and i dont think anyone has mentioned this here yet) and that is; when you switch voices (Tone on sh01, Part on sh32) the entire panel layout's sliders and values do no represent the current voice and when you change them and switch back to another voice.. you again have the same issue. Which also means any time you flip to another voice to do edits, not only are the values not represented accurately but you'll have value jumping issues when you edit filters, etc. I really like sliders but wish they had worked out a better solution. Other synths have this same issue, but it's nowhere nearly as drastic with knobs as it is with sliders.. particularly since alot knob synths with similar designs use endless rotaries or assignments to avoid it. You can't do the same with sliders unless you motorize them and that would add alot to the cost and likely hurt the lifespan of such a product...

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by nvbrkr » Sat May 08, 2010 3:25 pm

Doooooooom wrote: I mean lets face it, these days just about every instrument sounds good, it's not hard to achieve.
Really?
mute wrote:To me, from the layout of it's panel, it appears it has the same design flaw that the SH-32 does.. (and i dont think anyone has mentioned this here yet) and that is; when you switch voices (Tone on sh01, Part on sh32) the entire panel layout's sliders and values do no represent the current voice and when you change them and switch back to another voice.. you again have the same issue. Which also means any time you flip to another voice to do edits, not only are the values not represented accurately but you'll have value jumping issues when you edit filters, etc.
Yeah, good point. With presets it's still somewhat manageable, but with voices it will no doubt get annoying fast.

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sat May 08, 2010 9:47 pm

Primal Drive wrote:As for the price, I think it's at least double what it should be.
Pray tell, how do you come by your assessment?
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Primal Drive » Sun May 09, 2010 1:13 am

Blue Monster 65 wrote:
Primal Drive wrote:As for the price, I think it's at least double what it should be.
Pray tell, how do you come by your assessment?
My assessment of the price comes from how much value I place on the synth in terms of design and build quality and is a completely subjective and personal opinion. I've already stated my disappointment regarding it's design, and when I get a chance to play one I'll make my final decision on how well, or how badly I think it's built.

If for whatever reason I decide to own one then I'll wait until I can pick one up for $2-300.
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sun May 09, 2010 2:53 am

Fair enough.

I'm going to reserve judgement myself, but so far what I've heard isn't inspiring me. There was one bit in the "official" video that it sounded good, but overall ... I dunno. The guy from Sonic State seemed to enjoy it, but ...
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by White » Sun May 09, 2010 3:12 pm

Doooooooom wrote:I mean lets face it, these days just about every instrument sounds good, it's not hard to achieve.
Yes I agree - but if you can program it well and take your time, then any synth can sound amazing, even with some of the old synths from the eighties.
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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Ashe37 » Mon May 24, 2010 1:58 am

Ok, my local Best Buy put one on display today...

and basically, all of Primal Drive's stated shortcomings are mostly true. When you sync tone 2 to tone 1, the synth goes into mono mode. The filter for tone 1 is bypassed, but I'm pretty sure both tone 1 and 2 are going through the filter for tone 2.

Each tone has its own filter, which can be both neat and frustrating when you're trying to run everything through the same filter settings.

No display. No way of telling what everything is set for when you change patches- a very 1980s way of patch storage, in that all the controls are single-purpose controls that have no way of indicating what they are set for when you change patches.

The sound engine sounds like a glorified 3-osc version of the SH-201

It would be nice for learning synthesis on, but not worth the price that is on it.

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Re: Roland SH01

Post by Alex E » Mon May 24, 2010 2:28 am

boxed wrote:New video

"It REALLY reminds me of a Jupiter-8!"

...

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