One Synth to Rule Them All? New Roland Device Emulates Just About Everything

It’s also fully portable and battery-powered

Roland just announced a new flagship synthesizer that boasts an astounding 11 synth engines, or oscillators, allowing it unparalleled emulation skills. 

The Roland SH-4d is a loving tribute to the company’s very first synthesizer, released in 1973, the SH-1000. As such, the SH-4d can emulate the vintage tones first found with that keyboard, but that is just the beginning. 

Roland SH-4d


All told, this synthesizer includes 11 oscillators, a suite of onboard effects, and various filters that allow it to emulate just about everything from Roland’s storied history, from the iconic Juno 106 to the techno-defining SH-101. This synth is not just about emulation, however, as you can combine the engines to create new sounds—including drums—and play samples. 

The onboard sequencer allows you to arrange sounds and drum loops as you see fit, creating full songs without sadly staring at a computer monitor for hours on end. 

This is a hands-on device with plenty of knobs, dials, and buttons for making adjustments, complete with a small LED screen for visual notifications. It is also an ultra-portable device, weighing just a couple of pounds and allowing for power via USB-C charging or simple AA batteries. 

Roland SH-4d


The SH-4d also includes a pair of motion sensors, so you can make on-the-fly adjustments to the sound with physical movements. The motion sensors allow for controls along two preset parameters. For instance, you can use hand movements to adjust the volume of a particular sequence or to apply a digital effect. 

The Roland SH-4d launches in March for $650 at retailers nationwide. 

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