Roland SE-02


See ?

So hard to resist :scream:
But it takes the spotlight away from SE-02 in my mind :thup:


I think the debate on functional values of electronic instruments versus the cost, just took the train at some point and left and we’re still on the platform.

Comparisons between the A4 and the SE-02 in terms of features, are pointless. The A4, for its price and feature set, blows anything out of the water now. Anything. At least here in Sweden.

We just gotta face the music that comes from these lovely machines, that the emotional values of any instrument, electronic or other, seriously trumphs any list of features. Sometimes, we rationalise our decision by saying “Yeah, but it’s got a delay” or “The sequencer’s just great”, but really, it’s like that episode in Friends when Ross makes a comparison list between Rachel and Julie, and Julie’s got all these great things going for her but it’s one thing she just can’t beat - she’s not Rachel.

For some, the SE-02 is just that. Who cares if the A4 can do a shitload more things? It’s not an SE-02. And if you love an SE-02, no A4 can replace it.


[erasing my mind like it was an OP1 tape and I never read these :imp: words while repeating like a mantra “I don’t need more gear”]


I get that the SE-02 has a huge sound, knob per function, and a fun sequencer.

But for what it is worth, just using A4 in unison, it is a huge sounding mono synth with lots of capability.

If I had neither, I’d go with A4 first.

And if A4 MK1 prices keep dropping, I’d be more inclined to get a second A4 than an SE-02


Mmmm… What if we were keeping a gentleman’s attitude any time, whatever the situation ?
And stay on the simple chatting level without showing passive aggressiveness or even picking a fight ?

Please, consider amending your posts and rephrasing any offensive parts so that everyone feel comfortable reading your messages…
Let’s keep on making this little part of the internet a better place.



Man, this synth is really great. I’m starting to get a good feel for its sweet spots. A lot of people don’t like filters that diminish the bass when turning up the resonance, but I enjoy filters that do this. I feel that in conjunction with the feedback, this filter has a ton of range. I like how you can get rid of a ton of the lowest muddy frequencies easily, and I feel the sound just fits into the mix perfectly. It reminds me a lot of the filter on the Boomstar 4075.

It’s awesome that osc 2 modulates the filter, and osc 3 modulates PWM. I like having just the first osc audible while using the other two strictly for modulation. I’m getting some very nice complex sounds this way. When both the filter and the PWM are being modulated simultaneously by the two oscillators, getting the tunings just right creates interesting rhythmic interactions as the separate modulations beat against one another.

I had it sitting right next to the MFB Dominion Club, and the knobs of both units felt equally tactile to me. The size is just a non-issue imo. The range and waveform knob caps don’t fit on their shafts as snugly as they do on all the remaining knob shafts. The pots to these knobs are actually different from all the other knobs; they have six positions that click in place as the knob selects them. I suspect the same knob caps were used for all the different pots, and that the shafts for the range and waveform knobs (pots) are just a bit narrower. The shafts are firm. All the remaining knobs/shafts/pots feel very firm and solid.

I initially had it docked in a K-25m, but I just got rid of it because I really like how compact it is without it. It’s like a little calculator or handheld video game or something. It’s such great fun to tinker with as I lounge in my living room.


Ah, that’s interesting. Maybe something they can improve in production.




My SE-02 arrived. Bass on tap. Exactly what I wanted.

As noted above, it’s only the switchable controls that wobble, the pots are solid. I’m sure it’s just the knob caps not fitting properly on the switch control shafts.

First jam with it…


Ok, I also could not resist. This is not really advertising the SE-02 but as an example why music making is so much fun. This is what happened: I started with the initial patch, created a 14 bar loop in Gmin and then did not remember that the synth was routed to the Eventide H9 … this is what came out:

I did not touch anything. At 2:00min, I bypass the H9 Shimmer algorithm and wondered why I spend hours patching a synth when I just need to plug a simple sound into an effects engine :joy: … ok, I know that we all enjoy creating sounds ourselves, bottom up but I enjoyed this coincidence nevertheless.



I like the idea of these tiny boxes (more space for more synths in the room) but with the tuning of the oscillators one really hits a limit here. Tiny movements of the tuning knobs for the oscillators matter and that means for these small knobs that 2mm of movement makes a difference, for better and often for worse. If the sync switch for Osc2 is up it is not easy to get things right. For the sustain knob there is a jump between zero and 1, again this seems to be due to the tiny knobs.

Because the top plate is so full, one has to either bend over the box, or have some stands. I therefore had to order these right away. The design of the front is also such that without the stand, it looks like something is missing.

The Arturia iMini app is currently on sale. One can get inspiration from the Minimoog patches and start doing something similar on the SE-02. I am going to give that a try.


There’s a youtube video of someone running an alarm clock through an Eventide reverb… it’s a cliché but it really does make anything sound good.

Agree about the tiny controls. I’m alright with it, especially for the price - I don’t have the biggest hands and I have no space for a full-sized synth. Mylar Melodies said this about it:

had a sneaky go on one of these yesterday. sounds good. but if you think you’re getting the experience of a minimoog with something so fiddly small…you ain’t.

I’ve personally not felt like it’s a problem yet, I just feel like I have to take a bit of care sometimes.


Loving mine! The small knobs are a little strange but do not inhibit tweaking - what bugs more than their size is the reflective silver cap that makes it hard to see where the indicator line is. It’s a fun standalone machine with the internal sequencer, but shows a whole new personality when you hook up a MIDI controller with some mod wheels - lots of expression!


Seems I have a chance to grab one of these babies sooner than later… But how’s the tuning stability?

I am looking to replace my moog little phatty with this one, and stable tuning, which tdoes not drift with fluctuating temperature is my biggest concern… Anyone had any tuning issues whatsoever with their SE02?

The steppy cutoff is slightly annoying, but not a dealbreaker…


I’ve encountered no problems whatsoever with tuning stability. It has temperature-monitoring auto tuning compensation I believe. There is also a tuning routine that I don’t think is in the (typically light) manual. You hold the Transpose button and push the value encoder, then push again to begin. Repeat the tuning process a second time and you’re done.

I need to check how that steppy sound was made and test it, I thought Roland said they were going to fix that for final consumer units. I’ve not noticed it so far.


Ok, getting one to replace my moog then! Aand just realized I will be able to bypass the steppy cutoffs with some CV love from my A4, so all good.

Kinda feels stupid to also go for the behri D after this… But presets are kind of a big deal with a moogy synth for gig use at least, so I will need both :tunga:



Ooookay so yeah the stepping absolutely is there. If you just play the filter resonance on its own and sweep the cutoff it’s really obvious, it’s just as it is in all the videos. I’ve not noticed it outside of that specific test though, with the emphasis turned down less than max and with the VCOs mixed in I don’t really hear it.

Bloody hell this thing sounds good though. Big sound and a lot of features for the money.


Have you tried the CV filter input and replicated this ? Could be some aliasing in filter digital control, no ?


I think its just the usual stepping/zippering caused by 127 levels of cutoff. The rytm does the same if you crank up the reso

So yeah, got mine last night. This thing is tiny! I recall reading people being shocked wrt the size in person, and I too got the feeling it was smaller than I expected. But knobs feel jus fine to me and everything has a chunky feel to it, like it will stand up to moderate abuse very well. The build quality is better than I expected tbh, nothing budgety feeling about this boutique.

The size is really growing on me though and I’m already making plans for a new “portable rig”. Just need to suss out the polyphonic instrument choice :diddly: This thing is the same height (depth?) as a pocket operator!

Will have a time to test the actual use of the SE-02 later tonight. Too bad I left the A4 to the studio, can’t test the CV side until weekend…