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In-depth Feature:  Roland SH-32
Ronald Pieket writes: .

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With two oscillators per voice providing sawtooth, square, pulse, PWM, triangle. noise, and something that Roland calls "spectrum"n there’s a pretty wide palette of sound building blocks.
With the exception of PWM, all waveforms come in multiple flavours. These variations cover various flavours of the same waveform, like the same waveform can vary between synth models. Eg a Moog sawtooth doesn't sound the same as a Yamaha sawtooth, even though both are labelled "sawtooth". The origins of these variations are not listed.

The noise waveforms are dramatically different, covering the usual white and pink noise and continuing into assorted strange noise types, sounding to my ears like they have been processed with filters and ring modulators. The "spectrum" variations include several enharmonic waveforms, as well as a few organ type waveforms.

With the exception of the PWM, all waveforms are multisamples. There appear to be four multisamples per octave.

As far as I'm aware, VA's like the Virus, provide mathematically perfect waveforms so the waveform doesn't vary over the key range. Most VA sawtooths and square waves could be drawn with a ruler. The SH-32 approach breaks with this tradition. Not only can you select imperfect waveforms, the waveform also varies over the key range.

Both oscillators have a sub-oscillator. It is either on or off, sadly, there’s no mixer control. Beside the traditional square wave, the sub oscillator has another waveform, with "special characteristics". It sounds a little rounder than the regular one.

Oscillator 1 can be hard synced to, or ring modulated by, oscillator 2. Enabling sync makes the voice monophonic and disables the sub-oscillator as does ring mod.

There is a balance control, for mixing the two oscillators. An "analog feel" can be applied, which will introduce some random variation in oscillator pitch.

  • Listen to the SH32 waves

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
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  • SH-32 Basic Waveforms (MP3)
  • User Reviews @ Sonic State

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