One Random Note: Roland SH1000

Josie performs a one-note jam on a Roland SH1000 courtesy of our friend Merce the cat. Here are some more detailed photos.

The SH1000 was perhaps Roland’s first keyboard synthesizer. It had a single oscillator and filter, along with an ADSR, two LFOs, and separate noise sources. It’s look is more like an electric organ and demonstrates the conceptual bridge between these instruments, even if their architecture and playing techniques are quite different. As our feline friend demonstrates, it is particularly good for drones or unique bass tones.

[The SH-1000] features 10 Preset sounds, but they are pretty weak. Fortunately you can create your own sounds for some really great mono-synth bass, lead, percussion and FX sounds. Basic square, ramp and pulse-width waveforms are available from the oscillator and the LFOs have sine, square and sample+hold. It has a terrific ‘Growl’ and ‘Wow’ effect for a pretty scary analog sound. It also features white noise, pink noise, portamento, octave transposition and a Random Note Generator. Although there is no user memory, unique sounds can still be quickly recreated or discovered thanks to its simple interface.

It also paved the way for later classics like the SH1 and SH101.