Roland's New SH-01A Is A Polyphonic-Capable SH-101 Hardware Synth

Today Roland announced the TR-08 and their digital recreation of the iconic SH-101 analog synthesizer in the Roland Boutique format. Here's all the latest details on this new synth.

Hot off the heels of the TR-08 (legendary TR-808 in Boutique synth form) Roland have today added a new synth to their line-up. The SH-01A is a $349 faithful recreation of the iconic SH-101synth. We reported on the potential online leak of this synthesizer two weeks ago. It looks like the blurry image of the SH-01A was indeed a prototype, or production-ready model.

Roland SH-01A with K25 keyboard.

This recreation of the SH-101 analog synth fits snuggly into Roland's expanding Boutique range of synthesizers. As with all Boutique models with the exception of the recent SE-02, it utilises Roland's ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) to faithfully emulate the original analog circuitry in a digital machine. But Roland have improved upon the original monophonic SH-101. The SH-01A includes four modes: mono, poly (up to four simultaneous notes), unison, and chord.

Here's the full official press release from Roland for the new SH-01A:

Los Angeles, CA, August 8, 2017 — Roland announces the SH-01A Synthesizer, a new addition to the Roland Boutique electronic instrument lineup. The SH-01A is a compact reproduction of the Roland SH-101, one of the most popular analog synthesizers from the 1980s. Building on the iconic sounds and creative immediacy of the original, the SH-01A offers exciting new polyphonic capabilities, inspiring new performance features, and a level of authenticity that could only come from Roland.

In comparison with more complex instruments available at the time, the SH-101 was a seemingly unremarkable monophonic synthesizer when first launched in 1982. However, it quickly became prized for its rich, musical sound and simple-to-program synth structure. Legions of artists found it quick and easy to create fat basses, edgy leads, and exciting sound effects with the SH-101, and these hallmark sounds continue to be revered by electronic musicians over 30 years later.

The SH-01A recreates the oscillator, filter, and envelope behaviors of the vintage SH-101 with extreme accuracy. Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology fully realizes all the sonic details and quirks of the SH-101, modeling each analog circuit right down to the component level. And though scaled-down in size, the panel interface offers all the hands-on controls found on the original hardware. 

Expanding on the SH-101’s huge monophonic voice, the SH-01A supports four voices and four modes for more sound-creation possibilities. Mono mode produces the classic SH-101 sound, while Poly mode allows four notes to be played simultaneously, making SH-101 sounds available for pads and other chordal work. Unison mode stacks four voices for super-fat basses and leads, and Chord mode layers any four pitches together for playing in semitone steps. The SH-01A also offers 64 patch memories for storing sounds, a feature not available on the SH-101.

The SH-01A is equipped with an intuitive 100-step sequencer like the one found on the SH-101, but now adds the ability to save and recall 64 sequence patterns for any performance situation. The sequencer can also be used to control modular synths, hardware modules, and software plug-ins via CV/Gate, MIDI, and USB.

Like all Roland Boutique modules, the SH-01A is extremely portable, runs on USB bus power or batteries, and includes a built-in speaker for monitoring the sound in mobile situations. When mounted in the optional K-25m Keyboard Unit, the SH-01A can be used as a compact, all-in-one synth with 25 velocity-sensitive keys.

SH-01A Main Features

  • Sounds of the classic SH-101 synthesizer via ACB tech, including bass, lead, noise, and sound effects
  • New Unison, Chord, and four-voice Polyphonic modes expand on the original’s iconic sound palette
  • Built-in sequencer with 64 patterns available to save and recall
  • Easy performance arpeggiator with three playback modes, note hold, and three-way transpose switch
  • CV/Gate output for controlling modular or vintage gear
  • Multiple sync options including internal and external MIDI, MIDI via USB, LFO clock, and trigger input
  • 64 writeable preset patches for increased performance capabilities
  • Selectable advanced LFO with new waveforms and extended range of clock rate
  • Sends and receives MIDI control change messages via traditional MIDI jacks or USB
  • High-quality construction with metal front panel
  • Highly portable for mobile music making
  • Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
  • Compatible with the K-25m Keyboard Unit and other optional Roland Boutique accessories
  • Available in limited-edition red and blue colors like the original SH-101

 

Synthesis 101
The Filter
by Bob Moog Foundation

"Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training pro..." Read More

Discussion

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!