Roland SH-32

Roland SH-32

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Roland SH-32 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Roland
  • Model: SH-32
  • Category: Analog Modeling Synth Racks/Sound Modules
  • Added in our database on: 08/21/2008

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Roland SH-32 user reviews

Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 11 reviews )
 8 reviews73 %
 2 reviews18 %
 1 user review9 %
Value For Money :
MGR/Bruddah Max07/28/2004

MGR/Bruddah Max's review"Roland SH-32"

Roland SH-32
I picked this synthesizer module up on closeout for $199 after it was discontinued.

This is a maximum "bang for the buck" item. By using samples for the oscillator waveforms, Roland has squeezed 32 oscillators into this unit (32 or 16 synth voices depending on whether your patch uses 1 or 2 oscillators). Most of the synthesis parameters have their own knob or slider, making programming of new sounds very easy. People looking for a cheap virtual analog synthesizer would be hard pressed to find a better value, new or used. In addition to 3 multitimbral synth parts, there is a rhythm part which has samples of Roland's classic drum machines of yesteryear - the TR-808, TR-909, TR-606 and more. They've also added a fully programmable arpeggiator to the mix.

As far as the sound goes, this unit excels at recreating the sound of Roland's synthesizers of the '80s - Jupiters, Junos, JXs, most of the sounds of these classics can be coaxed out of this box. The filter has that "Roland" edge to it that most other virtual analogs have trouble approximating. Add to this a very clean sounding reverb/delay unit and an "insert" effect with 35 possible effects, including many time-based effects that can be synced to MIDI beat clock, and you have a comprehensive virtual analog palette of sounds.

Roland decided to offer oscillator sync mode, but when this is enabled, the synth becomes monophonic and the filter is taken out of the synthesis engine. This greatly limits the usefulness of the sync mode.

The SH-32 also has a 3-character LED display - and these are 8-segment LEDs at that, so complex characters are difficult to present. Roland has invented their own alphabet to compensate for this limitation, and it makes much of the parameter information (for effects settings and such) difficult to read.

The filter knob can occasionally add a zipper-like noise to the filter if swept slowly. This is only from the knob's limited resolution, however - any envelope or external MIDI control of the filter does not produce a zipper sound.

Due to the small size of the front panel (about the size of an A4 sheet of paper) and the multiple labels per button, finding some functions can be difficult. Most of the settings are indicated on the front panel, though, so the hunt for particular parameters is usually short.

As I've already mentioned, the unit is quite small, and weighs very little. The case is made of sturdy metal, though, so it will take a knock or two without falling apart. The power supply is an external line-lump cord, and this is probably the weakest element of the setup.

This is a very capable and clean sounding "virtual analog" synth module with the added bonus of drum samples to allow "all-in-one" dance song creation (there is no sequencer but the arpeggiations can have up to 32 steps). There is quite simply nothing at this price level that can compete - or even at twice as much. Highly recommended!

This review was originally published on

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland SH-32
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If I decided to keep it, it's because he's her that I can not imitate other synths and as I like to have in my mixes sound then the original synths DIFFERENT from the SH-32 is a color in my palette!

I will not say more because for me it is the most important!
To give you an idea of ​​the sound, I made a little demo to only with the SH32 and when I have time I will put you more!

Here is the link: DemoSH32 (


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shanneton's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland SH-32
No keyboard, just a mode where you can test the sound (preview).
Two jacks for stereo output, MIDI In and MIDI Out.
Pedal connection (configurable).
Full effect.
32 oscillators but oscillators by two plus two Preset LFO and full of parameters. I refer to the manual it would take too long to describe everything.
Polyphony is limited by the maximum number of oscillators is 32.
The presets are clearly techno style.


The configuration is complex and requires a learning process.
But after learning that no problem editing sound is super fast because almost everything is directly accessible.
The manual is clear enough.


It's a synthesizer is the search for original sounds.
The module is very reactive and the effects are ok.
This is an excellent material to learn about subtractive synthesis.
We can get amazing sounds.
It is capable of producing very powerful bass for example.


I use it for about a year.
The material is quite complex but exciting.
I am delighted to have made this choice I have not finished with him!

chguigoz59's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Nice little machine"

Roland SH-32
I will not remember his CHARACTERISTICS, other opinions better than I do ...


Everything is accessible almost IMMEDIATE except a few buttons that allow access multiple modes or combinations of keys to press simultanment. The notice also will be of good help on this.
edit sound is easy and fast enough, damage the position of the cursor does not refltent rglages present a set of LEDs as a R3 for example. In addition, the tiny screen display not only shows minimal values ​​of the button that is being handled.
The manual is average, and poorly organized. This is not serious trs to the extent one is dealing a pretty simple machine overall.
I acquired this "desk synthse" for my set of complter machine.J got a R3 and Micron and I must say that this synth has given me more because it has sound s and diffrent complmentaires of the latter.


The sounds are really good and sound good "Roland" in the whole not unlike The series of Juno, Jupiter, and Sh-101. There are also distorted lead sounds reminiscent of JD-800.Les sounds are hot throughout and sounding quite thick and not too numriques felt and as the filter is not complete open, it is a trs nice surprise! I like tablecloths with patch 21, which is a good analog ground near a clbre piece of Pink Floyd. I think the sheets are one of its strengths because they sound good analog, a little fawn a rpeuses the Eminent.
It is also good in the lower right trs trs Submitted and prcises because, as one does not ask too much of an attack because the envelopes are a little soft. In this regard, I dplore the cot trs abrupt rglage envelopes is not prcis trs.
The downside is the real time. Indeed, custom settings ragissent slowly varying the sound stair, it is not the most beautiful effect! We must move slowly the pitch bend wheel while playing a arpge otherwise blocking notes during the pitch change! No one on this point and it is the very first time I see this kind of default on a machine. I found all of this was even better than MIDI.
But overall, the sound is good and trs trs sounds close to an analog is what is asked. The sound is clear, no breath, no artifact or noise due to the envelopes as can be seen on other machines.
32 voice polyphony is gnreux for that price or a machine usually must settle for four or eight votes.


I note trs good on the report quality price and quality sound despite its default. It is a small device that will find its place in any set of synth.
A "must have" especially given its price and relative machines Chres more current or more that do not sound as well as this one!

- Sounds great and nice to see a close analogue - Sounds thick and Submitted, bright and clear. For VA, bravo Roland!
- Good arpeggiator that allows its own expressive phrases and trs
- Editing sounds easy and fast with a little practice with no decision-head
- Good effects and ruffed
- Kits correct rhythm (909,808)
- 32-voice polyphony (if a single oscillator) and 4 parts multitimbral!
- Manual rtable custom settings that the positions of the buttons (thankfully!)
- The price but apparently, its rating has dernirement augment. Machine rare finally
- Look cool and fresh, chssis mtallique machine rather unique

- Rglages varying the sound stair
- No indication of paramtres tural Patch
- Cracking in the sound when one varies the LFO with the panomarique
- OSC SYNC mode enlve filter and polyphony
- Cot some abrupt rglages
- No modulation matrix
- Display trs minimalist

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Other names: sh 32, sh32

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