Roland SH-4d In-Depth Review

In his latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes a very in-depth look at the new Roland SH-4d Synthesizer, a desktop ‘groovebox’-style synth that features 11 OSC Models, a hands-on control panel, multi-timbral sequencing, effects and more.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:20 vs ZEN-Core
5:25 Overview
10:30 Mixer view
11:25 Connectivity
12:00 SH-4d
14:40 SH-3D
15:45 Sync
17:10 SH/JUNO
17:55 Cross FM
20:30 Ring
22:20 Wavetable
23:40 Chord
25:20 Drawing
26:40 PCM
28:10 Filter
29:35 Env/LFO
31:30 Effects
35:35 Rhythm
38:55 Mod matrix
41:20 Arpeggiator
42:50 Visual arp
45:40 Sequencing
48:45 Automation
49:40 Live rec
51:15 D-Motion
55:10 Pros & cons
58:05 Outro
58:25 Factory songs

Check out the review and share your thoughts on the Roland SH-4d in the comments!

via Andreas, Ziv Eliraz

18 thoughts on “Roland SH-4d In-Depth Review

    1. “if” Korg releases new electribe hardware many ppl (me) will instantly buy it just because they have been waiting for ages.

      sry off topic

  1. I am impressed, actually very impressed.- Also good drop some cool new stuff before NAMM, feels like everyone else is waiting until April 13trh then its too much all at once.

    1. me too – there is a lot on this thing that I have wanted in grooveboxes for a while – multiple synthesis types, poly, patch per track drums, insert per track with global fx
      it lacks in the groovieness without microtiming but it is still realy neat

  2. Gosh, I really had my hopes up. Maybe Roland will finally introduce a better sequencer to the Fantom. Everyone is allowed to dream…

  3. Street price is $929 AUD in Australia – but for a couple of hundred more I could get a Behringer Poly D? Hmm.. wait till NAMM to see what else is out.

  4. Everyone likes this and so do i !

    More focused then zencore makes it actually more powerful!

    So far:
    The only hardware handling zencore well is the huge Fantom (6, 7,) 8 workstation.
    Fantom (06, 07,) 08 lacks the hands on synth interface.
    Jupiter-X & Juno-X only work if you use the corresponding synth models.
    Jupiter-Xm is hopeless.
    MC-101 & MC-707 are good grooveboxes if you like using presets.

    The SH-4d ! Like roland is back into synths!
    An inviting interface with simple, multi colored led marbles, aestetic.
    It is form follows function again! No more trying hard to look like a retro synth …

    The Digital (!) oscillator models sound neat and it is obv what they do immediately!
    Arpeggiator games are fun!
    The drum part offers more then some standalone drum machines.
    Effects en masse are very welcome, since FX have become vital part of “the synth sound”.
    & D-motion LOL

    Ofc there is room for improvments, like Starsky Carr mentioned all the oscillators need fine tune, maybe with “shift & tune” shortcut (?) But Roland was always good at providing updates after a product launch quickly, so we can be confident many features will be added. Maybe even pattern chaining or song mode.

    Also would totally make sense to offer a SH-4d keyboard version, with maybe some further additions like a seperate part mixer, performance controls etc.

    Plz let roland continue into that direction!
    There is rly many things to like about the SH-4d !

    PS.: it shares some DNA with the elektron syntakt – does it?

    1. I’m pretty sure there will be a keyboard version.
      It’s called the SH-04d.
      Why put the d at the end? I’m guessing because this is the Desktop module.
      The keyboard version will just be SH-04.
      Or maybe not, who knows. It is Roland and they always do some crazy stuff!

  5. As a user of the MC-707, I can see how the hands on control here is really great, even if the synth engine has been simplified.

    However the samples have been cut too close to the bone for my liking, that depends on your music style.

    Incidentally the MC-707 may have 8 tracks but I frequently run out of polyphony/CPU anyway past 6 tracks.

    1. How do you mean the samples have been cut too close to the bone? I was about to buy the 707. Would you be able to add any more info/ideas between the two?

  6. Drum part in particular seems really impressive. Can imagine seeing an offshoot of this that is 100% drum part(s) with a few enhancements (mainly to the drum sequencer). TR-4D?

  7. Better than the usual from Roland, at least it seems so. Still a lot of menu stuff for simple settings like OSC fine tuning; and the screen is garbage, as usual. Their product lines can get so random. We have this, the MC stuff, the MV-1, the TRs…less might be more?

    1. osc fine tune = shift & pitch knob 😉

      Agree, less is more. The SH-4d is exactly that imho.

      Less: bling bling, which is also represented by it’s simple and minimal looks.
      More: creative opportunities, some of wich are very rare or only found in software, like waveform drawing and playful arpeggiator modes etc.

      Also cool, the presentation, causing a stir without all the teasing and cheesy marketing.
      There is not even a name for the “engine” or line of instruments the sh-4d belongs to.
      It is simply the latest “Roland SH”!
      Reviews dropped, showing what the new synth can do – there it is!

      Rolands sympathetic paradigm shift !?

      PS.: Hoping and waiting for a Keyboard Version.

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