MATRIXSYNTH: Roland Introduces the SH-4d Desktop Synthesizer

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Roland Introduces the SH-4d Desktop Synthesizer

Update: two more user videos (Alex Bell's & Starsky Carr's) added to the user playlist below.

video uploads by RolandChannel

"Lose yourself in a world of sound with the Roland SH-4d Synthesizer, a powerful desktop instrument featuring hands-on workflow and deep synthesis tools for in-the-moment magic. Watch as Detroit techno legend Carl Craig takes the SH-4d for a spin, bringing you on a sonic odyssey and diving headfirst into the unit’s array of sonic capabilities.

What’s inside the SH-4d? Command eleven OSC Models for a diverse range of sound-design possibilities, from vintage analog synths and PCM-based sounds to cutting-edge digital tones. Create custom kits with the rhythm part’s rich tone-shaping capabilities containing 26 unique drum instruments that can each be designed from scratch.

Spur spontaneous musical moments with the multitimbral sequencer, extensive effects, and plenty of polyphony. And with the loaded front panel, dynamic controls, motion recording, and more, you can transform ideas into short loops or complete songs as quickly as your ideas come."

User videos (ordered by shortest videos first - use the player controls to skip around):

Roland SH-4d : First jam - Freaky Tweaky
The Roland SH-4d In a Nutshell - Alex Ball
Roland SH-4d:基本機能・VISUAL ARPEGGIO・D-MOTIONの説明 - Freaky Tweaky
Roland SH-4D 1st Look - Sonic LAB - sonicstate
Roland SH-4d Demo & Review - musictrackjp
ROLAND SH-4d REVIEW // Rolands best synthesizer groovebox yet?! - BoBeats
Roland Synthesizer SH-4d Review // A Synth Groovebox with Vintage Vibes - Starsky Carr
Roland SH-4d Review: The multi-engine synth battle heats up! // Full SH4d tutorial - loopop
Roland SH-4d Mega Tutorial - True Cuckoo

And the press release:

Future Retro Desktop Synth with 11 OSC Models, Pro Sound Design Tools, Hands-On Workflow, and Multitimbral Pattern Sequencer

Los Angeles, CA, February 23, 2023 — Roland announces the SH-4d Synthesizer, a powerful new desktop instrument focused on synthesis and sound design. With 11 OSC Models and a hands-on panel filled with knobs, buttons and sliders, the SH-4d fuels on-the-spot creation and endless sonic discoveries. It also features a multitimbral sequencer with four synth parts and a customizable rhythm part, allowing users to compose intricate patterns with motion recording, extensive effects and more. Equally suited for studio, stage and traveling, the SH-4d is a fun and versatile instrument that will appeal to both modern electronic music creators and synth collectors everywhere.

Fifty years ago, Roland launched its first synthesizer, the groundbreaking SH-1000. The SH name has represented the company’s core synthesizer instruments ever since, merging innovative new technologies with tactile interfaces for quickly designing sounds in the moment. The SH-4d opens the next chapter in the long-running series, offering Roland’s latest analog modeling advancements and a deep-yet-inviting panel that catalyzes creativity and rewards exploration at every turn.

Detroit techno legend Carl Craig was so impressed with the SH-4d that he agreed to be the face of the launch video, delivering a spirited performance featuring new music composed solely on the unit. "That machine is a little monster,” he said after spending just a short time with the SH-4d. “So many options to not only shape sound but to shape the musical composition too."

Eleven OSC Models offer diverse sound-crafting possibilities, from vintage analog tones with SH-4d, SH-3D, Chord, Ring and Sync Models to cutting-edge digital textures with Cross FM, Wavetable and Drawing Models. Influential voices from Roland’s historic past include SH-101 and JUNO-106 Models and a PCM Model with a large selection of sample-based sounds. The SH-4d also features a flexible drum synthesizer with rich tone-shaping capabilities for creating custom kits from scratch.

The SH-4d puts everything creators need for pro sound design at their fingertips, with 32 knobs, four sliders and a massive array of multi-function buttons. The LCD, sliders and buttons automatically reconfigure their functions to follow the selected mode, eliminating menu-dive roadblocks that slow the creative flow. Dedicated Filter, Amp and LFO sections are always ready to shape any tone or pattern. And with the powerful Matrix section, users can create an even wider range of sounds by routing the output of the LFO or envelope generator to parameters in a Model.

Among its many tricks, the SH-4d features built-in motion sensors that allow the user to pick up the synth and adjust sounds with physical movements. D-Motion mode provides X/Y control for two parameters, while the unique Visual Arpeggio shapes note patterns via fun interactive displays.

The SH-4d sequencer is always a button press away, ready to transform sound ideas into compact loops or extended compositions. Up to 60 notes of total polyphony provide ample resources to develop complete musical ideas in the box. There’s also a versatile selection of renowned Roland effects to frost, finesse, rough up or mangle tones and patterns.

The SH-4d runs on a standard USB-C phone charger or AA batteries for up to four hours. There’s a two-plus octave button keyboard for self-contained composition, plus MIDI I/O for use as a sound module and controller in an expanded hardware setup. The SH-4d also functions as a USB-C audio/MIDI interface with 12 discrete audio channels for computer music production.


  1. An updated SH-32?

    1. Interesting That's what initially came to mind for me as well.

      Majorly updated with all the models of course.


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