The Roland SH-1000 Analog Synthesizer

This is a demo of the Roland SH-1000 analog synthesizer with Roland DEP-5 effects processor.

The Roland SH-1000, introduced in 1973, was the first compact synthesizer produced in Japan.

The SH-1000 resembles a home organ more than a commercial synth, with 10 simple preset voices, but the SH-1000 can be manually tweaked to create new sounds. Its features include white and pink noise generators, portamento, octave transposition and a random note generator.

Notable SH-1000 users include The Human League, Jethro Tull, Blondie and Eddie Jobson.

via AnalogAudio1:

Demonstration of the Roland SH-1000 synthesizer with Roland DEP-5 FX processor.

The monophonic Roland SH-1000 was the first synthesizer from Roland – and the first synth of the SH-series! It has a surprisingly good basic sound. The filter sounds like a 24 db one. You have many waveforms with many footages, wich you can switch on simultaneously. A very underrated synth – as you can hear…

If you’ve used the Roland SH-1000 analog synthesizer, leave a comment with your thoughts!

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11 thoughts on “The Roland SH-1000 Analog Synthesizer

  1. I have one of these. As a matter of fact it is the only hardware I have left perhaps because it was my first synth. I bought it in the winter of 1974 while still a kid, and took delivery in January ’75. I hate it because it just doesn’t do enough for me, the keyboard feels like one of those little blower organs (electric “cordeens”) and needs processing to get good depth of sound out of it, otherwise it is so dry rinky-dink sounding and the sliders and pots need constant cleaning or it scratches like vinyl. It does have some cool sounds though if you work at it.

    Later I acquired two Mini Moogs and a SEM. The SH worked nicely in that group, stays tuned really well and made some really amazing sounds together, but I still hated it. I hate it still.

    We had lots of fun! That matters most I think and if you are lucky enough to have one just keep working with it and you’ll discover some nice subtleties to sound that comes with working such limitations. You’ll probably end up hating it too.

  2. I bought mine used in 1976 for $475 from L M in Vancouver. At the time this was minor fraction of the price of a used minimoog or ARP. The sound was much thinner than the expensive big guns of the day, but the SH1000 definitely filled a niche. The sound is clean enough to come through choruses, reverbs, delays etc with pleasing results.( Hey, my digital/midi/rompler blah blah boards have their own dirt in the signal that effects processing sometimes uncovers, to my surprise). My approach was to keep fiddling with this thing until my trial and error yielded something I liked. Usually I just ran it through an MXR micro-chorus with a little reverb.
    Your Demo was fun to watch, two-fisted analog filter vs envelope-dance. I have to say, that you used more random note function in your 5 minute demo than I have in 33 years of owning this thing. Lotsa fun .My SH1000 still works great. Thank you for posting your demo.

  3. i too love my sh1000, however it conks out every now and then. usually during summer humid months. it’ll be working find and then all of a sudden no sound. shut it off and come back to it a few days later and it works again. has anyone had a similar problem or can anyone help me out with this problem?

  4. i hate it too!! 🙂 and i have the same problem with the volume, except it’s not coming back… Anyway i just can’t use it without some effects near, because of the really-too-much-old-school sound. and it’s monophonic.

  5. I also have the same problem with my sh 1000, does anyone know where i could source replacement capacitors from ?? doesn’t seem to be much info on the net…

    thanks Tim

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