Roland SE-02


i would say all the se-02 needs is a magnifying glass.
the layout is great it just needs to be twice as large.

there was no need to sabotage the project by making such a small fiddly unit, the inconvenience detracts from the joy of making tunes.

and yet, the instrument sounds fabulous.


Then it would be too big :sunglasses:


lol … if i was a Roland fanboy i would reply "yes and it should be even bigger to reflect it’s huuuuuge sound! :heart_eyes: " :smiley:

however i’m only a fan of their vintage gear, not the new stuff.
although i must say the sound of the 02 is highly alluring.
a sign of magnificent things to come (in larger boxes) hopefully.

it’s like the word “boutique” has been coined to imply “small but high quality and expensive”, when the word has never been associated with size before.


This “not in saved state” indicator rarely works like you describe, even in software. Usually the way it works is that editing since previous saved state sets the flag, and it cannot be reset by any other means than via a new save operation.

I am assuming the MIDI CC implementation of the SE-02 is 100% comprehensive? If so, then you might be able to get what you want via a software editor of sorts…


In my world the SE-02 is among the first good things Roland has created in a long, long time… And having just sold my moog little phatty as an “inconveniently big and bulky” instrument, I am loving the small size of the SE-02. Never again will my back ache from lugging a ~12kg dinosaur of a monosynth to a gig. Maybe if I had a car it wouldn’t bother me, but I don’t.

SE-02 also only needs 18 watts to run, easily powered with my portable battery bank for hours and hours.

SE-02 is a testament to the fact that volca-sized gear does not need to be “toyish”… YMMV tho


I’m not sure how you would detect the values for every pot and switch without having an LED for each one.

Maybe at some point there will be a way of dumping the current sound to software via USB or midi. Librarian software could be nice, like the System-1 has, but the SE-02 does at least have a decent number of patch memories.


Having a compare function suggests to me something useful, more useful then an indication that there is a difference between the patch and what is on the panel, I mean, I can hear that (and there is also the Manual button). Anyway, the values of the encoders are read, so it should be possible to make a comparison and display the value … unless there is a lack of precision with the encoders. Not even the values are displayed, so that makes it more cumbersome to programm it with the sequencer. Yes, the sound is great but to me there remains this toy feeling and it shows to me that paying more money for your synth gets you also a lot better designs of the hardware user interface.


Of course the values are being read, otherwise turning knobs would not do something. There is also a LED and would be quite easy to display the current value when turning a knob. Many synths have that and it is very useful. I am not waiting for these Rolands for some update and extension … waste of time.

I am happy with the SE-02, you get what you pay for, so no need to defend the box. There are however small things that could make it a lot more practical (a compare function, displaying values :wink: I’ll have another go, maybe there is a workflow that makes this fine. I am only at the beginning with t his one and it will stay with me.


Yeah, true, you could display values on the LED display as you change each control, I’m sure they’re only being recorded on a 0-127 scale. Doesn’t feel like something I would necessarily expect for the style of the synth though. Many of its direct competitors don’t even have patch memory/recall.


Obviously - that’s not what I meant. I meant, the user being able to detect when the patch value was matched.


yes, and if you have a LED to indicate a difference, why not switching the LED off, when the difference is not there? (unless this would be imprecise or unreliable). I will have another look at this, can hardly imagine that the compare function is so simple.


Because, as tsutek alluded to, patch comparison rarely works like that. It’s the difference between setting a true/false flag when the patch is first modified (low-overhead and easy to achieve), and constantly having to live-compare all the current parameters against all the saved parameters (much higher overhead and much more work to implement).


Ok, I will say anything else. You deserve your place on the Roland team :wink:


I’m thinking of investing in a trolley just to carry around the new Elektron machines lol.

but all merriment aside, the se-02 truly does bring the goods.
and not having actually played one, i don’t know what the experience would be like.

all the same, the word “boutique” has never before in the English language been used to describe ‘extremely size economical’. Not that semantics of descriptions mean anything. It’s all about the sound. And yes the economical footprint is actually a desirable factor, especially for home studio or performing from a dj booth.


I don’t think it’s only Roland who have made that decision. It’s exactly how patch comparison works on many, many analogue synths. Seems like an odd thing to get hung up on.


yeah, and many other synths do it better. If at least you show the value on the LEDs … seems rather trivial. Anyway, a nice toy and synth to play with. I have my fun. I will control it via the Pyramid sequencer but I was hoping for a knob twiddling experience :slight_smile:


Again, please point out which synth does this dot thingy like the way you describe? I’m not saying it would require too much resources or anything, just saying that AFAIK it never is done like that.

Furthermore, how does this compare function and its details prevent you from twiddling the knobs?


Well, I’m not going to lie, manipulating the controls will feel different to a “fullsize” UI. But so far my feeling has been that its something I can get used to jus’ fine.

One thing tho - the legending on the controls is so tiny that with my poor eyesight its hard to read. Will certainly need to develop a muscle memory for the UI to speed up using the synth.


The DSI Pro-2 (3.5 times the price of an SE-02) has a function that allows you to see the current value of a control without changing it, and a function to return an individual parameter to the saved patch value. It also has the same ‘simple’ patch compare function as the SE-02.

The Prophet-6 (5 times the price of an SE-02) has the same simple compare function as the SE-02.

A Minimoog Model D (7 times the price of an SE-02) has no patch memory.

So it seems as if paying more money for your synth gets you a simpler design of the hardware user interface…


Yes, a function to match the knobs with a patch is not common, or on “many” synths. I was referring to displaying the value of a knob, which all other synths I have is there. Having a compare function that helps to recreate the knob settings so that they match the patch is something very useful, which is why I like to see it (and not reasons why its not done). At least showing the current value on the LED would help with the CC programming on the sequencer. I was wondering whether I missed something but I did not and in case a potential buyer wonders about this, no values of knobs are not displayed.