Roland GAIA SH-01
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Roland GAIA SH-01
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James... 24/12/2011

Roland GAIA SH-01 : la opinión de James... (content in English)

"Infinite sounds"
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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
USB ports for saving user patches to USB flash drives, and for audio/MIDI connection to computers

Basically this synth boasts that you can stack 3 different synths to make totally unique sounds. It has 3 different engines, all of them analog in flavor. There aren't any screens or menus. Basically all the controls are right at your fingertips, which I think is a pretty good way to go about making a portable synth. The layout can be a little intimidating at first if you aren't very familiar with analog based synths.

UTILIZATION

I produce dubstep as a kind of hobby. And I'm also always on the lookout for new tools for my studio. I have tried about every synth out there. This new offering from Roland really intrigued me. The idea is clever... The manual is pretty good, and it needs to be because I have never used anything quite like this before. This is the kind of device where you will be rewarded if you spend time with it. It's not your typical synth. The controls all seem solid and I was up and running with it pretty fast. It's easy to get bad sounds out of it if you don't kind of know what you're doing. The keys are pretty solid. Not world class but good enough for the price point. Nothing on the keyboard feels overly cheap. I have never used it with batteries so I don't know how good that is.

SOUNDS

First off the presets are horrible. Roland designed a great sounding unit here but it seems they don't know how to use it? The real goods come when you start pressing buttons. You will probably never hear the same sound twice with this synth. There's so many different combinations and effects combos that it would be hard to run out of ideas. It's a creative masterpiece in that regard. Now whether or not every sound you can get is useful is another thing altogether. The Gaia can make your traditional synth sounds and in my case it covers most of my dubstep needs okay. But the real strength here is the ability to really dig down into the unit and get some amazing sounds to come out. The demand is high but the reward can be even higher if you put in the time. The sound quality kicks butt in this price range and the variety of things you can make it do is massive.

OVERALL OPINION

Roland took a very simple concept and turned it into something that is infinitely versatile here. There is a big learning curve though. Learning how to use all 3 programs together so that you can get what you want out of it is crucial. I don't recommend this to people with no synth experience at all. But on the flip side, you don't need to be a synth genius to make it work. I love it and I will be keeping mine for a long time.