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Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer   

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The Roland GAIA SH-01 synth offers high-performance value with old-school charm. The Roland SH-01 delivers massive sound, hands-on ease, and an affor...Read More

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      High-performance value with old-school charm.

      The Roland GAIA SH-01 synth offers high-performance value with old-school charm. The Roland SH-01 delivers massive sound, hands-on ease, and an affordable price. The synth's triple-stacked engine puts potent virtual analog synthesis under your fingertips, yet the control panel is so fun, friendly, and inviting, even first-timers can create great sounds.

      The Roland synth's signal flow is simple to grasp, with logically arranged knobs, sliders, and buttons. Hands-on control and fat sound make the little Gaia SH-01 a powerhouse and a joy for music students, songwriters, session players, and live performers of all styles and skill levels.

      Triple-Fat Virtual Analog
      Sink your teeth into the new triple-stacked virtual analog engine, comprising 3 complete synths for incredibly thick, powerful sound. Unleash the beef of 3 oscillators that drive a trio of multimode, resonant filters, multi-shape LFOs, and amplifiers, plus 9 envelope generators. The Roland Gaia SH-01 is like having 3 synthesizers in 1! With 64 polyphonic voices onboard, the GAIA SH-01 makes it possible to play massive sounds without experiencing note drop-out.

      Stackable Effects
      From the silkiest reverb to the grittiest growl, the Roland SH-01's instantly selectable multi-effects catapult your sounds into another spatial dimension. You can layer up to 5 simultaneous effects for dozens of variations. Onboard Roland effects include reverb, distortion, fuzz, bit crash, flanger, phaser, pitch shifter, low boost, and delay with panning and tempo sync. Roland eqips the Gaia SH-01 with cdedicated control knobs for tweaking the effects in real time.

      Portable Power
      At less than 10 pounds, the Roland GAIA SH-01 is lightweight, compact, and great for musicians on the go. The 37-note keyboard is full-size, however, so performers can play naturally and comfortably. The synth can be powered via AC or batteries* for the ultimate in portable convenience. A battery-life indicator on the front panel ensures that you won't lose power unexpectedly. When used in conjunction with a battery-powered amp such as Roland's CUBE Street, MOBILE CUBE, BA-330 or KC-110, the GAIA SH-01 can be played and heard anywhere!

      Instant Control
      The front panel puts every control directly under your fingertips. There are no hidden menus, no nonsense. Just play and move the knobs and sliders, or wave your hands over the invisible D Beam for dramatic effects. The logically designed front panel shows the signal path from left to right. It helps beginners understand synthesis, while experienced players will love the instant gratification of hands-on control during performance.

      Phrase Recorder and Arpeggiator
      Hold a note or chord and let the arpeggiator create musical magic automatically for you. The tempo can be set via tap tempo. In addition, the onboard Phrase Recorder lets you record what you play on the keyboard as well as the movements of the knobs and sliders. The controller data can also be played back independently to complement the notes you play in real time.

      USB and EXT IN
      Connect directly to a computer (Mac or PC) with one simple USB cable, and stream audio directly to the software of your choice. The SH-01's USB ports can also be used to transmit and receive MIDI data, and to store your patches and phrases (recorded with the Phrase Recorder) to a USB memory stick. For integrating with external devices, the SH-01's EXT input lets you connect external audio sources such as an MP3-player and play along with your favorite songs or backing tracks-great for practice and live performance. Manipulate the incoming audio with three Center Cancel modes, which let you eliminate pre-recorded vocals, guitars, or bass.

      *Can be powered by 8 rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries.

      FEATURES
      • Huge sound with 3 virtual analog engines onboard, each with a dedicated oscillator, filter, amplifier, envelope, and LF0
      • Layer up to 5 simultaneous effects, including distortion, flanger, delay, reverb, low boost, and more
      • 64-voice polyphony for massive sounds without note drop-out
      • Fun, hands-on control panel that's great for instant gratification, and for learning synthesis
      • Lightweight, compact body with 37 full-size keys
      • Runs on AC or battery power for portable convenience
      • D Beam, arpeggiator, and Phrase Recorder onboard

      SPECIFICATIONS

      Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer

      • Keyboard: 37 Keys (with velocity)
      • Maximum Polyphony: 64 Voices
      • Sound Generation:
      • Virtual analog synthesizer sound generator (Number of part: 1)
      • (Oscillator + Filter + Amp + Envelopes + LFO) x 3
      • PCM sound generation (Number of parts: 15)
      • Patch memory
      • Preset: 64
      • User: 64
      • OSC Section
      • Oscillator waveform: Saw, Square, Pulse/PWM, Triangle, Sine, Noise, Super Saw
      • Knobs/Sliders: Pitch, Detune, Pulse Width, Pulse Width Modulation
      • Envelope: Attack, Decay, Envelope Depth
      • Modulation
      • Oscillator Sync, Ring Modulation
      • (Tone 2's OSC 2 is applied as modulation to Tone 1's OSC 1.)
      • FILTER Section
      • Filter Type: LPF, HPF, BPF, PKG (-12 dB/-24 dB)
      • Knobs: Cutoff, Resonance, Key Follow
      • Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Envelope Depth
      • AMP Section
      • Knobs: Level
      • Envelope: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
      • LFO Section
      • LFO Shape: Triangle, Sine, Saw, Square, Sample
      • Knobs/Sliders: Rate, Fade Time, Pitch Depth, Filter Depth, Amp Depth
      • Tempo Sync: On/Off
      • Effects
      • DIST: Distortion, Fuzz, Bit Crash
      • FLANGER: Flanger, Phaser, Pitch Shifter
      • DELAY: Delay, Panning Delay (with tempo sync function)
      • REVERB: Reverb
      • LOW BOOST: Low Boost
      • Knobs: Control 1, Level
      • Controllers
      • Pitch Bend/Modulation lever
      • D BEAM Controller
      • Arpeggiator: Preset pattern: 64
      • Phrase Recorder
      • User: 8
      • Number of Track: 1
      • Jacks/Connectors
      • OUTPUT jacks (L/MONO, R) (1/4 inch phone type)
      • Headphone jack (Stereo 1/4 inch phone type)
      • PEDAL jack (TRS phone type)
      • MIDI Connectors (IN, OUT)
      • USB COMPUTER (supports USB Hi-Speed Audio/MIDI)
      • USB MEMORY (supports USB 2.0 Hi-Speed flash memory)
      • EXT IN jack (Stereo miniature phone type)
      • DC IN jack
      • Power Supply: DC 9 V (AC Adaptor or rechargeable nickel-metal hydride AA batteries x 8 ) Batteries sold separately - Note: Zinc-carbon batteries or alkaline batteries cannot be used.
      • Current Draw: 600 mA
      • Battery life for continuous use: Approximately 5 hours
      • Using rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries
      • Approximately 4 hours if USB memory is connected
      • Differs depending on the conditions of use/dd>
      • Accessories: Owner's Manual, Guide Book, CD-ROM (USB DRIVER), DVD Video, AC Adaptor (PSB-1U), Power Cord
      • Options (sold separately): Keyboard Stand: KS-18Z(*), Pedal Switch: DP series, Expression Pedal: EV-5, USB Memory: M-UF2G * Make sure that this instrument is mounted at a height that is no higher than 1 meter.
      • Size and Weight
      • Width: 27-3/16" (689 mm)
      • Height: 3-15/16" (100 mm)
      • Depth: 12-1/2" (317 mm)
      • Weight: 9 lb. 5 oz. (4.2 kg)
      Reviews
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      Review Snapshot®

      by PowerReviews
      RolandGaia SH-01 Synthesizer
       
      4.2

      (based on 13 reviews)

      Ratings Distribution

      • 5 Stars

         

        (7)

      • 4 Stars

         

        (4)

      • 3 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 2 Stars

         

        (2)

      • 1 Stars

         

        (0)

      88%

      of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

      Pros

      • Easy to use (8)
      • Portable (6)
      • Responsive / good action (4)

      Cons

      No Cons

      Best Uses

      • Electronic music (5)
      • Concerts (3)
      • Learning (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (5), Professional musician (4)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      GREAT First Synthesizer!

      The right choice for my first synth. The user interface is the best in the business by far. Roland always was good in this department. This is why many pros also like this...Read complete review

      The right choice for my first synth. The user interface is the best in the business by far. Roland always was good in this department. This is why many pros also like this synth: Lady Gaga, Dream Theatre, Gary Neuman to name a few. No menu-diving or complex parameter matrixes. You may never hear the same sound twice! The beauty of sound design.
      BUYERS READ: Roland dropped the ball with marketing this synth. Don't get fooled by the presets, this does not show what Gaia does See on youtube: 'Luftrum Gaia Patches' and 'Gaia Patches by Alba Ecstacy' they are pro sound designers.
      Sound is better than expected, don't go by videos, hear for yourself. It does not sound like a Virus or Nord. The sound is as good or better than the Korg R3 or MicroKorg and the UI is not even dabatable. Korgs are not for beginners
      Overall the Gaia to me is the best combination of sound, interface, and features in this price range and covers all the classic synth sounds like those of: Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, and all decades inbetween.
      Could have been multi-timbrle, but thats why we multi-track. Not happy about having to pay for a Software Editor when the SH-201s was free. Arpeggio (Roland Gaia Too) editor FREE online as the "Gaia Tool," also lets you name presets and other features NOT in the Roland Editor.
      Just bought it, but other Rolands seem to have held up fine. No better or worse than Korgs and others in this price range. Have not heard complaints.
      Considering all it does, its a great value, but again the lack of software editor takes points away.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Out of Sync

      I?ve owned the Roland Gaia for about two months now. I learned to program synth on a Korg MS2000 first and later on the micro-korg using the midi based sound editor, which I...Read complete review

      I?ve owned the Roland Gaia for about two months now. I learned to program synth on a Korg MS2000 first and later on the micro-korg using the midi based sound editor, which I find quite straight forward. I?m throwing this in there because most of this review is going to be a direct comparison of the Gaia to the MS2000/microkorg.The first thing I did when I got the Gaia was to try and recreate all my favorite patches from the microkorg/MS2000 on the Gaia. So, here the Gaia has one really big problem: when you use the sync mode it puts the filter into bypass mode!! This really bugged me, I have this cheesy patch on my microkorg that I just can?t duplicate without the oscillator sync. So practically speaking the Gaia doesn?t ?really? have the sync feature because you can?t shape the sound you get from the oscillator. It?s kind of like advertising a new car that has a great stereo, only when you take it off the lot you realize that the stereo only works when the car is in neutral; not very useful! The ring modulator doesn?t have this problem and works as expected.The next difference (advantage or disadvantage depending on taste) are the options you have with routing the envelopes and LFOs. I happen to respect how the Gaia was designed with simplicity in mind, however there are a quite a few patches on the MS2000 that you won?t be able to get on the Gaia because you can?t route the envelops (e.g. the ?GoldenSynth? patch on the MS2000). I do like a few things about the Gaia and it would be unfair not to mention them. First off, I love the 80s look of the Gaia, which goes along with the great layout (easy to use sliders and knobs, OSC->Filter->FX). I like the feel of the Gaia, both the microkorg and the MS2000 have these really spongy keys that just don?t satisfy, the Gaia has some snap which I appreciate. Like the microkorg, the battery use feature is great; a real life saver if you?re touring. Also, I haven?t really experimented yet with the capabilities of having three oscillators with three independent filters and envelopes. The microkorg has two oscillators that route into the same filter and envelope. So, it?s fair to assume that there are some patches on the Gaia that are going to be impossible to make on the microkorg. Overall, I would be satisfied with the Gaia if it didn?t have the problem with the oscillator sync; that kills it for me. If you own ?Welsh?s synthesizer cookbook?, check out how many of the patches use the oscillator sync?.lots. I feel cheated in general by my purchase of the Gaia; its borderline false advertizing in regards to the sync function. If you?re deciding between the Gaia and a Korg, get the Korg, it is much more versatile and a better value. Finally, I don?t buy the sales guys rebuttal that at this price point you can?t expect the chips to handle too many features. A few months back I bought a laptop computer for less than I paid for the Gaia! At this price point they could use Intel chips and my Gaia could run Windows 7!

      Reviewed by 13 customers

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      5.0

      Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer

      By 

      from Los Angeles, Ca

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Responsive / Good Action

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Electronic Music
        • Playing With Sound

        Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

        Good little synthesizer that sounds excellent and is fun to experiment with. It has preset voices that you modify with knobs ans sliders, plus effects like distortion, reverb, etc., and a large number of arpeggio patterns. I connected mine, via Midi cable, to an old electronic drum machine so they play in sync, and it sounds great.

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Gaia SH-01

        By 

        from Bodega CA

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy to Use
        • Portable
        • Responsive / Good Action

        Cons

        • Limited Sound Selection
        • Poor Instructions

        Best Uses

        • Concerts
        • Electronic Music

        Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

        I have a room full of behemoth synths of various manufacture going back to the 70s (ARP 2600) - as I age, schlepping heavy, cumbersome gear has become a problem so I'm working on putting together a small, light "gig rig" for playing live and this fits into that strategy well - I've only had it w few days and am sure I haven't yet seen all it can do but so far I'm pleased with it.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        How deep the rabbit hole goes

        By 

        from Tokyo, Japan

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Portable

        Cons

        • None Known
        • Pc Editor
        • Pc Editor In't Free

        Best Uses

        • Concerts
        • Electronic Music
        • Learning
        • MIDI
        • Travel

        Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

        This unassuming-looking little box is far more powerful than it appears. I say this because I am currently shopping for a $$$$ modular system, and as I read the specs for it, I begin to understand how much I have underestimated the Gaia's flexibility. Will the Gaia replace a modular? Of course not. But it's a great instrument for quickly fleshing out the sounds you hear in your head, it loves to be tweaked, and it's sounds can be ambitious. This hot rod, in "racing parlance", is a sleeper, yet it is easy to program.

        The Gaia is marketed as a Virtual Analog with quick access to sound editing, which is true. It is also marketed as "three synths in one", which as Obi-Wan would say "is true, depending on your point of view". This distinction is important.

        Bottom line: your DAW's sequencer sees one VA synth and 15 PCM channels conforming to GM standard. I totally do not care about the 15 PCM channels (while noting that they are present, in case you need need them) but will focus on the "3 in 1" VA synth".

        The VA synth only responds to one MIDI channel. But that one MIDI channel is actually three single yet independent synths playing at the same time; which is to say that one "MIDI note on" message creates three radically different events, OR if you wanted to, they could all trigger the same event three-fold, to create huge patches. Very few synths are so flexible, as far as the recording interface is concerned.

        As remarkable as it is, it doesn't make much sense until you being exploring its innards; the possibilities are rich. Currently, my Gaia is the fast and speedy scratchpad for my Jupiter 80 share the same architecture, but a larger scale), which is essentially 10 Gaias

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Great synth!

        By 

        from California

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Portable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Accompaniment
          • Electronic Music
          • Rock Pop Fusion

          Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

          I play a lot of keyboards, and I love this virtual analog synth for the tones, the programmability, the polyphony, the portability of a light-weight keyboard, and how easy it is to modify your tone in real time while you are playing. I recommend this keyboard highly. If you can afford to pay 2 to 3 times as much, the Moog Sub 37 is AWESOME.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Gaia is Greatness

          By 

          from New York

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Fast Programming
          • Gm And Pcm Sounds
          • Great Arp
          • Many Hidden Tricks
          • Perfect Midi Controller
          • Portable

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Anywhere With Headphones
          • At A Park W Headphones
          • In A Field W Headphones
          • Studio Or Live

          Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

          I have owned many synthesizers since the 1980's from Moog to Oberheim, and this synth can recreate those classic sounds with easy, so much programming in a little synth, tons of features and a killer effect bank to use.
          I would recommend this synth to anyone looking to recreate vintages synths, or anyone looking for a synth that is easy to program, if you are looking for weird sounds or a piano this can do it

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Very easy to use.

          By 

          from Miami, Florida

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Nice Entry Level
          • Portable
          • Realistic Sound
          • Responsive / Good Action
          • Touch Sensitive Keys

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Concerts
          • Learning
          • MIDI

          Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

          I use the Gaia in my Rock Band and is very easy to create sounds on the fly.
          I control the Gaia using a midi Keyboard Controller, is a monster with 61 keys.

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          GREAT Interface/Not so great SOUND

          By 

          from Pittsburgh, PA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Easy to Use

          Cons

          • Unrealistic sound

          Best Uses

          • Learning

          Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

          I've owned quite a few VA's and I when this came out I was so excited to get one. I got it and was not impressed, at all w/ the sound. Quite honestly, it's cheesy, plastic and just terrible. It's a real shame too because the interface of this instrument is absolutely AMAZING! It basically has 1 for 1 controls for every parameter. It's a great synth for a beginner to learn subtractive synthesis on but as much as I loved the interface I couldn't get past the horrible sampled synth engine!!! C'mon Roland, really?

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          One of the best VA synths!

          By 

          from New York

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Easy to Use

          Cons

          • No After Touch
          • Poor Factory Presets

          Best Uses

          • Chill Out
          • Electronic Music
          • Meditation Relaxing
          • New Age

          Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

          I have this synth after 1 month of its release and I'm in love since then by its features! Because I am not a very good sound designer I downloaded also the Alba Ecstasy patches for Roland Gaia and I have to say that I didn't knew that SH-01 can sound that good!!!
          It sounds very clean and clear, with great leads or deep pads.

          As cons, I am wondering why doesn't have aftertouch at this price. Also, Roland should solve the problem the memory stick: I need a stick for every new set of 64 patches that I am making or buying and let's be clear: I will not spend so much money for Roland's software...

          Finally, if you afford it, you should buy the Roland Gaia SH-01!

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A great buy for the aspiring keyboardist

          By 

          from Utah

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Portable
          • Realistic Sound
          • Responsive / Good Action

          Cons

          • No Editor Sofware

          Best Uses

            Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

            Great instrument. I went from using a cheap akai usb controller and softsynths to this beauty and there is no remorse in my purchase. The only drag about this is that Roland didn't include the editor software. It's a separate purchase.

            Comment on this review

            (11 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            GREAT First Synthesizer!

            By 

            from Philadelphia, PA USA

            Comments about Roland Gaia SH-01 Synthesizer:

            The right choice for my first synth. The user interface is the best in the business by far. Roland always was good in this department. This is why many pros also like this synth: Lady Gaga, Dream Theatre, Gary Neuman to name a few. No menu-diving or complex parameter matrixes. You may never hear the same sound twice! The beauty of sound design.
            BUYERS READ: Roland dropped the ball with marketing this synth. Don't get fooled by the presets, this does not show what Gaia does See on youtube: 'Luftrum Gaia Patches' and 'Gaia Patches by Alba Ecstacy' they are pro sound designers.
            Sound is better than expected, don't go by videos, hear for yourself. It does not sound like a Virus or Nord. The sound is as good or better than the Korg R3 or MicroKorg and the UI is not even dabatable. Korgs are not for beginners
            Overall the Gaia to me is the best combination of sound, interface, and features in this price range and covers all the classic synth sounds like those of: Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, and all decades inbetween.
            Could have been multi-timbrle, but thats why we multi-track. Not happy about having to pay for a Software Editor when the SH-201s was free. Arpeggio (Roland Gaia Too) editor FREE online as the "Gaia Tool," also lets you name presets and other features NOT in the Roland Editor.
            Just bought it, but other Rolands seem to have held up fine. No better or worse than Korgs and others in this price range. Have not heard complaints.
            Considering all it does, its a great value, but again the lack of software editor takes points away.

            Comment on this review

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