The Roland SH-4d is a groovebox disguised as a synthesizer | Engadget

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Lots of Roland’s newest devices, which are not merely remakes of traditional {hardware}, take an “every thing and the kitchen sink” method. Sampling and drum synthesis? Why not. Is the numbering of presets within the hundreds a plural? After all! A devoted vocal results part and phantom energy for condenser mic work? It could be silly to not. The SH-4d follows the identical primary components, it has mainly each function you would need and few folks suppose who wants them, however places it in a field centered on synthesis and sound design (largely).

Nonetheless, not like most of Roland’s new merchandise, the SH-4d has many handbook controls. There’s a full two-octave keyboard, 16-step sequencer buttons, 4 faders, and 32 knobs. For some motive, it even has movement controls—you’ll be able to choose up the synth and tilt it to alter parameters. I am unsure what the enchantment of this is, however you realize what, I am simply glad to see Roland including controls as an alternative of taking them away.

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

Judging by the demo clips, it appears to be like just like the instrument attracts closely on Roland’s legacy as a cornerstone of techno, home and different digital dance music. However it should most likely be versatile sufficient to work for different genres as properly. Offered you mix it with different instruments.

However the SH-4d is not restricted to sound design. There’s additionally a five-track, 64-step polyphonic sequencer with movement recording and three totally different playback modes. The first 4 tracks can management any of the 11 oscillator fashions. The fifth is a devoted rhythm monitor that may play a pattern of 439 totally different samples and digital analog waves.

The sequencer and rhythm part make the SH-4d extra of a groovebox than a synthesizer, which has been Roland’s specialty for the previous few years. However its interface positively screams synthesizer, which is a welcome change from the menu objects the corporate has been coping with these days.

At practically 4 kilos and over a foot broad, to not point out practically eight inches deep, the SH-4d is not precisely moveable, however it may be powered by 4 AA batteries. You too can energy it with a customary USB-C charger such as you may use to your cellphone, which is good. Plus, at the least you realize it will not take up a lot of desk house. The Roland SH-4d will arrive someday in March for $650.

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