Roland Boutique SH-01A


It’s funny that noise and distortion would be desirable but then that is what analog is about I guess. The one’s and zeros of the 01a do a great job of mimicking the 101 though and in some ways being so cheap and tiny makes it more fun in a Matchbox kind of way. If I had one of these under the tree I’d be a very happy camper…


I was really happy with myself when I bought mine but now after a short while I’ve realised I never actually want to use it.

I spent a long time creating midi sequences from my OT in poly mode p locking harmonies on each note and after a while I sent the same midi to my bass station mk1 and it sounded so much better even though the midi was designed for chords.

Selling now is such a bad idea as new ones are cheap… I got the keyboard too. Not really sure what to do. Bummer.


From me, it’s a nope to Roland gear in general. They are toys compared to what’s out there for not much more money.


Aren’t they all toys?
For me, they are.



Sorry crap sound quality, but you get the gist :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I will stop calling my gear (synths, effect pedals, etc.) toys - and what fun toys they are! - when somebody pays me enough money for my music that I can quit my day job. :slight_smile:


My friend has an Atlantis module, and its really killer sounding, so much one can do with it. 700€ though - not tempted from the roland device. If they would have rebuild it analogue, it would be a different matter to me. I like digital synth engines too, but its not in the same leage as the blofeld, virus or nord.

I hope for a modern mono machine from elektron, that will be fun.


Yep most definitely.
More disposable products for the masses


Picked one up yesterday, returned it today… It was a good sounding synth but it got me thinking. My A4 MKII has this ground covered… Think I’ll just hold out for the AR MKII…


I mainly was talking about hardware synths in general :wink:


I’d take the small compact toy with extra functions over the bulky original any day. Sequencer, sampler, analog drum machine, analog mono, digital poly, fx pedal, it all fits in one backpack. I like toys.


SH01a arrived today. It took 3 weeks, was out of storage…

First impressions:
The look is great. Build quality is top.
It’s my first boutique and I read so many negative comments about the size. That they are only toys and not operable. I have to say I love the size, I have very limited space so that’s one reason of course. But it’s so portable as well and for me at least, there aren’t any problems in tweaking this thing. The knobs and faders feel very good.
I don’t have particular small hands, but yeah… The size for this synth at least is perfect to me. The interface is genius, but that’s a general thing with the 101.
The sequencer is fun, chord and poly modes are a very nice addition.

But I thought I would be more impressed with the sound…
I love the 101 sounds on records, on youtube videos. Never heard the original in reality.
It sounds very good, and I could create thick bass sounds in no time (opposite to working with the A4), but compared to TAL 101 or Diva or something like those vsts, Roland’s ACB doesn’t sound particular better to my ears.
I also tried to design some pad sounds. It works, but I’m not sure so far if it’s very suited for this. I liked most of the pads only played with two notes. 3-4 notes became a bit muddy.
But I have to give it more time of course.

So far: Look, interface, size great. Sound not that special to my ears, at least compared to plugins available today. Would love to hear a original one.

EDIT: The manual seems like a joke


All the ‘Boutique’ series manuals are complete garbage - the form factor is awful and the information is minimal.


definitively, really awful and incomplete


Ok. This might be another overhasty comment, but actually I’m really in love with the sound right now :slight_smile:
Comparisons with TAL bassline aside, it certainly sounds great


I recently d/l’ed the TR-09 manual - it’s quite a treat… engaging and thorough, with a bit of humour and personal touch. Haven’t read this one, but I’m betting it’s useful. Good luck


I really like his videos. Will have a look at this, thanks!


Mini Video, just cause I stumbled over the notes :smile:


Some slightly stupid questions, sorry if they might already be asked:

  • can the SH101a be powered with a phone charger that I use for my samsung galaxy? I’m always an idiot is these technical things…
  • I often get a crackling sound when I use it in Ableton for a while, connected (and powered) by USB. Happens when plugged into overhub, but also when directly connected to the macbook? I have to restart it then, but it happens again after a while. Anybody with similar experiences?
  • The volume of audio over USB is very quiet. Is there a way to turn it up? So far I raise the gain of live’s utility device.