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Roland’s Latest Boutique Synth: SH-01A Synthesizer

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Synthesizer enthusiasts and vintage keyboard aficionados are rejoicing over the release of Roland’s latest Boutique-Series synthesizer, the SH-01A, which faithfully recreates the sound of the original, but at a fraction of the cost. Roland employed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) to create the behavior of the original analog circuits, right down to the fine details and odd quirks.

Some welcome additions to the original design include an advanced, selectable LFO with new waveforms and an extended clock range, as well as expanded modes such as unison, chord, and four-voice polyphony. There are 64 writeable presets, plus each patch saves a 100-step pattern, which can be recalled with or without the preset sound. Additional performance enhancements include an easy-performance arpeggiator with three playback modes, note hold, and a three-way transpose switch. Multiple sync options include internal and external MIDI, MIDI via USB, LFO clock, and trigger input. The CV/Gate outputs allow you to use the SH-01A’s sequencer and arpeggiator with other analog synthesizers or modular setups.

The rear panel offers a micro-USB port, which handles MIDI and audio into your computer, as well as 1/8" connectors for headphones, main output, and a mix input for routing signals through the SH-01A’s filter section. Additionally, the module features two full-sized 5-pin DIN connectors for MIDI in and out. The two ribbon controllers on the left of the panel are assigned to pitch and modulation. The module is compatible with the optional K-25m keyboard controller and the Boutique DK-01 dock. The SH-01A can be powered by the included four AA batteries or via USB.

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