The Roland SH-4d is a groovebox disguised as a synthesizer #GeekLeap

Quite a lot of Roland’s current devices, that are not simply rehashes of basic gear, take an “every little thing and the kitchen sink” strategy. Sampling and drum synthesis? Why not. Presets numbering within the hundreds — plural? After all! A devoted vocal impact part and phantom energy for operating a condenser mic? Could be foolish to not. The SH-4d follows the identical fundamental formulation, it has principally any function you could possibly need, and few you marvel who would need them, however sticks it in a field targeted synthesis and sound design (principally).

Not like most of Roland’s newer fare although, the SH-4d has loads of hands-on controls. There is a full two octave keyboard, 16-step sequencer buttons, 4 faders and 32 knobs. It even has movement controls for some motive — You possibly can truly choose up the synth and tilt it to vary parameters. I am unsure what the enchantment of that’s, however what, I am simply glad to see Roland including controls as an alternative of stripping again extra.

Beneath the hood is a strong sound engine with 11 oscillator sorts, starting from emulations of basic analog sounds from Juno-106 and SH-101, to metallic FM tones, PCM samples and 31 totally different wavetables. There is a multi-mode filter, an amp envelope, and LFO and a multi-effects engine with 93 totally different choices, together with 9 reverb sorts and 5 choruses. The 128 x 64 LED display screen is not the sharpest, nevertheless it’s positively an enchancment on the considerably archaic seeming shows on the Verselab and TR-6S

Primarily based on the demo clips, it looks as if the instrument is leaning closely into Roland’s legacy as a cornerstone of techno, home and different digital dance music. Nevertheless it’s it’ll probably be versatile sufficient to work for different genres as nicely. So long as you are pairing it with different devices.

However the SH-4d would not cease at sound design. There’s additionally a 5 monitor, 64-step polyphonic sequencer with movement recording and three totally different playback modes. The primary 4 tracks can management any of the 11 oscillator fashions, The fifth is a devoted rhythm monitor that may play again a collection of 439 totally different samples and digital analog waves. 

The sequencer and rhythm part flip the SH-4d into extra of a groovebox than a synth, which has sort of been Roland’s specialty over these previous couple of yr. However its interface positively screams synthesizer, which is a welcome change from the menu-divey affairs the corporate has been pumping out not too long ago. 

At practically 4 kilos and over a foot extensive, to not point out virtually eight inches deep, the SH-4d is not tremendous moveable, however it may be powered 4 AA batteries none the much less. You too can energy it with a typical USB-C charger such as you may use to your cellphone, which is good. Plus, at the very least it will not eat up an excessive amount of desk house. The Roland SH-4d will likely be arriving someday in March for $650.

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