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Sunday, May 27th, 2018 08:37 am

Synth Glossary

A polyphonic synth can play several notes at the same time....


The SH-1 is a single VCO, monophonic analog synthesizer with a 1 1/2 octave, 32-note (F-C) keyboard. The VCO can be switched between a 5-octave range (2', 4', 8', 16', 32'). Available waveforms are sawtooth, square and pulse (with Pulse Width Modulation via Envelope 1 or the LFO). The VCO can be modulated by the LFO, with a slider controlling amount, or by "Autobend" with sliders controlling depth and time. Autobend, a common feature on many of the early Roland synths, causes the VCOs pitch to slide into tune from a selected distance (depth) at a selected rate (time). A sub-oscillator is also available. It is switchable between a square wave 1 octave down, a square wave 2-octaves and a pulse wave 3-octaves down. There is also a noise generator available which can output either white or pink noise. The mixer section has a slider for the VCO, sub-oscillator, noise generator, and external signal input, and includes a convenient overload LED. A knob controls portamento rate and another controls fine tune. There is also a switch to select the keyboard as the control source or the CV/Gate inputs.

The filter section features a Low-Pass VCF with sliders for cut-off frequency and resonance, as well as sliders for each modulation source, Envelope 1 (either normal or reverse polarity), the LFO, the keyboard, and an envelope follower, which is set up to follow the external input signal. There is also a High-Pass Filter. The VCA has a switch to choose between Envelope 1 and Envelope 2, and a slider to adjust the hold amount.

The LFO, called "Modulator" is switchable between sine wave, square wave, and sample-and-hold (called "random"). There is a slider for rate and one for delay time (delay is only available with the sine wave). Envelope 1 is an ADSR (attack decay sustain release) with sliders for each stage. The envelope can be controlled by the trigger input, the keyboard gate, or the LFO via a three position switch. Envelope 2 is a simpler AR envelope with a slider for attack and release. It can be controlled by either keyboard gate or LFO via a switch.

To the left of the keyboard is an additional transpose switch (L, M, H) and a pitch-bend (the horizontal kind with pressure for modulation) with controls for VCO and VCF sensitivity. On the back of the SH1 is the power switch, the main output, the headphone output, external signal input, the input and output 1/4 inch jacks for CV/Gate, and the trigger input.

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