Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

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Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby binarymizar » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:13 pm

I play guitar in a rock covers band and feel a synth could make us somewhat more flexible.
I was originally looking at the Gaia but just can`t get over it`s Fisher Price styling!
The JP8000 has been suggested, but it`s a bit too old, for instance I like the fact the `201 has USB.
The SH201 has also been suggested, but seems to polarize opinion. It`s either loved or hated.
So do any of you have an opinion on the `201, or indeed the Gaia?
Any advice would be much appreciated by someone who is getting a bit confused by it all!
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby Ashe37 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:15 pm

Ummm... no

You'd be better off with an Ion or a Micron and a midi keyboard. USB to MIDI adapters are $30.
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:50 pm

The Micron is a terrible first synth, it doesn't have anything to teach you how to use it. The SH-201 has its detractors, but it's a good synth for learning on. It sounds decent IMO, totally good enough for playing live. I've mixed a few bands that use one and it works pretty well live.
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby binarymizar » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:08 pm

Have to say reading the reviews the JP8000 is a good synth. Any opinions?
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby meatballfulton » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:22 pm

Ashe37 wrote: USB to MIDI adapters are $30.


But the SH-201 (and the Gaia as well) also support stereo audio in and out over USB. Less boxes and less cables is a good thing.

The Gaia has many advantages over the SH-201 but one really large drawback...one less octave of keys!

You can get the SH-201 used for much less than a used JP-8000.
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby rhino » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:28 pm

IMHO people bash the SH-201 unfairly for it's sound: With a bit of work it can get quite wild.
BUT...I would advise NOT taking it on stage live...the plastic construction is absolutly the flimsy-est, bendy, wobley
wanky-est s**t ever. Sit it on a shelf/rack in a studio and play it gently and enjoy the sounds.

My vote: JP-8000
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby binarymizar » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:57 pm

Yes I`ve heard the `201`s construction is pretty c**p. Thing is it WOULD be used live!
I`m slowly steering more towards the JP8000, "ancient" though it is. Have to try to look for some vids on YT that DON`T make out it`s only any good for trancey stuff.... :shock:
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby rhino » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:35 pm

If your budget can take it, look at the Juno-D also.
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby binarymizar » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:23 am

rhino wrote:If your budget can take it, look at the Juno-D also.


As a first synth I want to steer clear of synths that need a lot of button pushing to edit, nice though the Juno-D is. I want an old skool type synth so I can hear what I`m doing if I tweak that knob or push that slider.

At the moment it`s a close run thing between the GAIA, SH201 and JP8000. Minus points for each are (or I perceive them to be):

GAIA. "Only" 37 keys. No split keyboard. A bit toy looking.
SH201. Build quality of a paper bag.
JP8000. Getting a bit long in the tooth? Maybe a bit of a one trick pony in that it finds a lot of favour with the trance/dance crowd?

First and foremost I`m a guitar player and I need the synth for occasional parts (think of the opening of The Killers All These Things That I Have Done) or arpeggiated parts (The Who`s Won`t Get Fooled Again) so I don`t think I need anything too complicated or that is going to link up with other gear.

I am leaning towards the JP8000 at the moment, just need to seek out some vids that show it can do other things apart from Supersaw!
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Re: Roland SH201: Any good as a first synth?

Postby blavatsky » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:48 pm

novation x-station, 49 or 61 key version.

Good, great at times virtual analog sound, sliders and knobs for just about everything. Good arpeggiator. You can record over USB plus it has 2 inputs for 1/4 or xlr. Built in effects , XY pad plus joystick (some people prefer wheels, I kind of like it here though). Decent keyboard feel.

Should be able to get in the 330 to 500 range depending on which one I think.

cons: build quality is just ok, no split keyboard parts, not multitibral. loud patches can cause peaking/clipping.
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