Thursday, 29 August 2013

New synth - Roland SH-201

In a surprise move, taking into account that I said in a previous posting that I was done buying more hardware, I've added another synthesizer to the fold!!!
Yep, and so it is that I now have a Roland SH-201 synthesizer nestling nicely on the keyboard stands with the Roland Juno-D, Alesis QS6 and Korg 01/W FD.
What I like about this latest addition is that it has knobs and sliders, which ultimately means more real-time control. This is something I have been longing, though it was partly satisfied by the Juno-D, but it's controls were only really for envelope and filter settings. The SH-201 has the lot which will be great for live stuff as I like the idea of changing and shaping sounds on the fly.

Sound-wise, it's lovely, really lovely. Pads are lush and expressive (as one would expect from Roland), the basses are deep and dirty and the leads can really cut through a mix, thanks to the sync feature and the SuperSaw waveform (as seen on the Roland JP-8000). There's a cracking arppegiator which can be programmed via the supplied software and a useful phrase recorder.
As well as top-notch MIDI implementation, it also has excellent computer comms, all of which happen via the USB socket on the rear. This, along with the software, means that the SH-201 can be used as a VSTi instrument within any DAW and it's multi-timbral - for me this is just great. Everything from standard parameter control to arppegiator programming to MIDI settings can be accessed and the librarian software makes saving and loading patches and patch banks an absolute doddle.

As with the Juno-D, the SH-201 also has the D-Beam performance control, excellent for Theremin style playing or wacked-out-wavy-handed filter tweaking. I've not really explored the D-Beam much on the Juno-D, but after messing about with it on the SH-201, I think that may change.

I'm very happy with this latest acquisition and know that it is going to be an important part of the GTK Studio set up.

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