Have any of you had a chance to demo the Roland SH-201

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4amStudios
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Location: Hattiesburg,Miss

Have any of you had a chance to demo the Roland SH-201

Post by 4amStudios » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:10 pm

I am considering purchasing one , and am curious if any of you have had a chance to demo one. Look for some thought's and impressions of the sound/depth/build quality etc.
http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/SH201-large.jpg

thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:39 pm

Yeah, I've played with it...

The sounds are actually really great. Think of almost a mini version of the JP-8000 which in my opinion, was the last great synth Roland made. It's quite flexable and the filters sound really nice and deep to me. I'm not sure if the Sh-201 is using any other different fliters then Roland uses with other synths but for some reason or another, the filters really shine on this instrument. With this instrument, Rolands should have almost came up with a name closer to the Jp-8000 then the SH-101 series of synths. It's much closer to that synth then the SH-101...

I of course demo'd this out in a store and didn't have it hooked up via the built in usb port to use this synth as a plug in. Kudos to Roland for building it this way. That opens up a TON of options and editing the sounds via your computer is definetly the way to go. You don't have an LCD disply at all with this synth. Not even the red A1 led... fine with me as it almost MAKES YOU DIG IN AND FIND YOUR OWN SOUND(S)!!!

Roland also has some user banks listed on there site. One by Jean Michael Jarre if I remember correctly. Hopefully, they will continue to add these banks. Of course that takes away from creating your own but extra sounds are always welcome by me. Especially when you are storing patches on your CPU and not taking memory away from the actual unit...

The cost for this new is like, $549. A total steal as far as I am concerned. Seeing that you get 49keys, which can be used as a midi controller, built in usb, abiltity to use it as a vst plug-in, not to mention a really killer "mini-jp-8000" (my opinion) synth it's a total value. I have tended to stay away from Roland and have done so but this actually has me tempted. Of course, Korg sells there Microkorg for $399 and I think it's the best value out there for a synth (beginner or otherwise) but this ranks right up there in terms of value.

And finally, you don't get value these days without cutting a few corners and sadly Roland cut them in the build quality of the machine; glued on knobs, cheap plastic feel, and an ugly sliver panel (which begs to be modified really). Although not the prettiest of synths, and def. not the most sturdy, the Rolands SH-201 sounds great and I think it will be used in many studios here real soon. Get to the store and demo it out when you get a second. I think Roland actually has a winner here...

KU
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Post by KU » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:51 pm

I love to go meddle with the keyboards on my breaks and I totally dig the SH201. I may only have 5 minutes to tweak, but the layout is simple, and I can get immediate gratification.

The filters sound decent, and the layout is very retro/usable.

mooncaine
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Wonder how it would suit a guitar synthesist?

Post by mooncaine » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:26 pm

I'm no keyboardist, but I like toying with my Roland GR-33 and I'm thinking this might be a cool external sounds module for that. I love to program synths and cook up patches, and that's why this looks interesting to me. The fact that you like the sounds, esp. the filters, makes it even more interesting.

thelike5
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Re: Wonder how it would suit a guitar synthesist?

Post by thelike5 » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:18 am

mooncaine wrote:I'm no keyboardist, but I like toying with my Roland GR-33 and I'm thinking this might be a cool external sounds module for that. I love to program synths and cook up patches, and that's why this looks interesting to me. The fact that you like the sounds, esp. the filters, makes it even more interesting.

The SH-201 is very much a "real" synth and should be thought of as much more then an external sound module. The cool thing is it can function as that external sound modle loaded up in Live or another other sequencer that doubles as a vsti host. Not that you were calling it only a sound module, but I just wanted to stress that it is a very powerful, fully capable synth and will be in the studios and sharing the stage with many a quality artist. I don't work for Roland, by the way...!

The value of this synth put right up against the Alesis Ion or Korg MicroX, should really sell it alone. The ion makes better sounds out of the box due to the presets and I'm sure it will inspire someones creative palate all the same the Roland just seems a lot more fun to dig into and really tweak those filters. Of all the budget priced synths out there, this one is worth an equal look while out shopping.

mooncaine
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Re: Wonder how it would suit a guitar synthesist?

Post by mooncaine » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:24 am

thelike5 wrote:
The SH-201 is very much a "real" synth and should be thought of as much more then an external sound module.... I just wanted to stress that it is a very powerful, fully capable synth and will be in the studios and sharing the stage with many a quality artist. I don't work for Roland, by the way...!
I'm with ya, buddy, that's what thrills me about the thing. I'll probably get one in a year or two so I can have a quality synth experience while I'm tweaking and honking with my GR-33.

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