Time machine: Exploring the classic Roland SH-101

September 10, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized 

A voyage into the heart of the Roland SH-101 from the year 1983. Exploration by Marko Ettlich monophonic analog synthesis 1 VCO I Saw, Square, PWM, Noise Filter – 24dB lowpass step sequencer, arpeggiator It has been used by The Prodigy, 808 State, Apollo 440, Devo, Aphex Twin, Astral Projection, Nitzer Ebb, Chemical Brothers, Boards of Canada and many more.

The SH-101 is very cool, especially for techno, drum&bass and ACID! It’s a monophonic bass synthesizer. Its sound lies somewhere between the TB-303 and a Juno bass sound. It has a lot of simple but cool features. You can control the VCF, pitch, LFO or all from the pitch bender. It has a white noise generator, arpeggiator with up, down and up/down patterns and a simple real-time sequencer. The LFO offers random, sine, square or noise waveforms. And normal or auto portamento effects give you that elastic bass sound. There are external clock inputs for the sequencer and arpeggiator, CV/GATE inputs and outputs and a CV hold pedal.

Unfortunately there is no patch memory storage and although it has no MIDI there are upgrades available for it from many analog service companies that will allow you to incorporate it into any MIDI studio environment. It can also be controlled by MIDI using a CV/MIDI converter. It’s great for bass sounds or bubbly analog effects. They come in three different flavors – gray, blue or red (there was a VERY rare white version too)! It can also be strapped on like a guitar for live performance using the optional Hand Grip.

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