31 May 2010

Roland GAIA SH01 Review

At the moment I'm testing the new Roland GAIA SH01. And I must say I was instantly hooked to this little one. I unpacked it in the living room and started playing on it and it hasn't left the living room yet :) The sound reminded me a bit of the Roland JP8000 them to be. The are 3 oscillators that you can layer and they each have their own LFO, filter, AMP. It is nice that you can select just one part and edit it, but you can also select all three parts at the same time and do editing on all of them. Sound design is a real breeze on this machine. In fact I started to build my own sound bank already. Maybe I'll even submit it to Roland or put it on my own website later on.

Here you can see the layout of the synth. You can click the picture for a larger version of course. I also like the effects section on the right. It has delay, and reverb, but also distortion, frequency shifting, phasing and flanging effects. They are actually vwith a tad of V-Synth GT as far as the VA part. The layout is great. The envelopes have sliders and are right where you wanted ery useful. You get 64 factory presets with it and you can also store 64 presets of your own. As I said I'm building a nice bank with 64 sounds of my own now. All more ambient pads, leads and sound effects. I'm really amazed how versatile this machine is.

On the back is a USB connection to hook it up to your PC and of course the midi and audio connections. There is also a spot for USB memory. I guess you can store more sounds on there, but I must admit that I haven't read the manual yet ;) So I'm sure there is more to discover. I just plugged in my headphones and started playing around. I have been at it for two days now and I'm still not bored by far. I'm very surprised about the filters, they are quite nice actually and also do a nice job in auto oscillating.

And then the part I love the most. You can put batteries in it :) That was mainly the reason I bought it. I have to go on some trips soon where I want to take a little synth with me to play a bit. It is quite small and light so you can easily take it with you. I think this little one is very suitable for leads, pads and basses and I will certainly use it on some upcoming productions. I have heard people complain that it is not multitimbral, since it has more than enough power. Ah well I don't mind. I think it is more than worth its money. Be sure to check it out! Hopefully I can tell you more about my sound bank soon. I'm almost done with it, but it would be nice if Roland would put it online somewhere. I'll keep you posted.

8 comments:

rene-vanderwouden said...

Hi Michel, I am very curious on this one as well since the beginning. I hope to buy one soon too.

rene

Synth.nl said...

Well I like it as you can read :)

Miguel Ángel Sebastián said...

Hi from Spain. After I see your studio, I only can say "isn't too much for a only one man? noooooo"

Synth.nl said...

There is no such thing as too much synths ;)

Paddy said...

Hey Michel,
Whats the feel of this synth(compared to a JP8000)? It looks like they used very cheap plastic.. I heard a rumor that there's a GM voice bank build in, only accessible trough midi. Did you try this already? I am looking forward to buy one, but it'll take a while before these synths hit the irish shops.. groeten uit Ierland!

Patrick Aka Pivotal Modulation

Synth.nl said...

Hi Patrick, thanks for your comment. It feel quite good actually. Nothing like the SH-201. That is the only synthesizer I ever brought back to the store ;) I heard that rumour about GM too. Haven't tried it yet though. I was so hooked on making sounds, that I didn't even connect it over midi or USB yet :) If I find out I will let you know. Michel, Synth.nl

Jeremy said...

I think it is supposed to have audio over usb drivers! Plug that usb in man!

musicgeek said...

There are some sound examples here: http://www.rolandus.com/flash/demos/sh01/